The Economist’s survey are a must-read. The latest issues has a survey on IT:
This survey [examines] how much grey the IT industry (and their leaders’ hair) has already acquired. The first three chapters are about technological shifts, and how value is moving from the technology itself to how it is applied. Many of the wares that made the IT industry’s fortunes in the installation period are becoming a commodity. To overcome this problem, hardware vendors are developing new software that allows networks of machines to act as one, in effect turning computing into a utility. But the IT industry’s most profitable layer will be services of all kinds, such as software delivered as an online service, or even business consulting.
The second half of this survey looks at institutional learning, which has caused the value created by the IT industry to be increasingly captured by its customers. For the first time in its history, the IT industry is widely adopting open standards. Equally important, buyers are starting to spend their IT budgets more wisely. Meanwhile, the industry’s relationship with government is becoming closer.
Summarises Ludwig Siegele: “So far, information technology has thrived on exponentials. Now it has to get back to earth.”
As for me, I am more optimistic than ever on the potential for technology to make a difference to people – but we have to search out the new markets. This is the vision of Emergic: take emerging technologies and apply them to emerging enterprises in the world’s emerging markets. These are the next 90% of users, and they haven’t been tapped. This is where technology can make an even bigger impact – simply because the alternatives are fewer. The competition is “nonconsumption”. So, look beyond the world’s developed (mature) markets, and you’ll see another world beckoning. This is the next frontier.