In this series which has spanned 5 weeks, weve looked back to some of Techs 10X Tsunamis, and looked at the present and the future at what we can expect. Heres a quick round-up of the 14 Tsunamis we covered:
1. Google: Google has become the info utility for many of us. Any information that I am looking for on a topic, Google is the first place I will look. Even if I am searching for a person, an address, a phone number, Google finds it for me. Google has become an extension of my brain it remembers things for me. It has, in effect, become my other memory.
2. Wireless: While wireless has revolutionised voice communications over the past few years (there are now estimated to be a billion cellphone users worldwide), the world of data is also starting to get impacted by WiFi. Wireless technologies are providing the fabric to build a real-time communications infrastructure.
3. Web Services: Websites are turning themselves into programmable components, using XML and SOAP standards. This is the world of Lego-like software, where it becomes possible to build complex software applications from simpler building blocks which exist across the network.
4. Open Source: The next 500 million users who will come from the worlds emerging markets are the opportunity for Open Source software. An integrated collection of software applications needs to be made available at a low, affordable cost to double the base of computer users worldwide.
5. Outsourcing: As companies worldwide focus on cutting costs in the face of slowing growth, Outsourcing is coming to the fore. Manufacturing, Software Development, Web Hosting, Customer Support, R&D all are being outsourced as companies focus on their core competencies.
6. The East: Armed with their masses of people creating the domestic markets and the workforce, its low-cost infrastructure, a capitalist fervour for wealth creation, along with technological innovations, the Eastern dragons and tigers are not just catching up, but have an amazing opportunity to leapfrog.
7. Networks: Networks are everywhere. They help us connect to people, to places, to computers, to utilities, and even to memories hidden deep inside the ultimate network of them all, our brain. Networks and connections have existed since time immemorial. It is not networks by themselves that are the 10X force, but our understanding of how networks work which is the real tsunami.
8. Intellectual Capital: Intellectual capital has increasingly become the biggest differentiator in business. As knowledge-intensive industries like infotech and biotech permeate more of the world, the challenge before organizations is going to on how to build and grow their intellectual capital.
9. PCs for USD 100: As the users in the worlds developing markets buy new computers, their old computers need to find their way to the worlds emerging markets. recycling older computers and converting them into Linux Thin Clients can bring down the cost of the desktop to USD 100 or less.
10. Tech Utility: In the developed world, it takes the form of grid computing. In the emerging markets, it means making technology affordable by pricing it on a monthly installments basis.
11. Blogs and RSS: The combination of weblogs and RSS is what can dramatically amplify our ability to process information. They form the foundation of what I call the Information Refinery.
12. Business Process Standards: The standardisation of business processes will streamline intra- and inter-enterprise interactions dramatically in the coming years, laying the foundation for real-time enterprises.
13. RFIDs: The next leap in communications will be objects talking to other objects. Unlike bar codes which can carry very limited information, smart tags can store and broadcast object-specific information, giving each item its own unique identify and history.
14. Displays: As specialised graphics chips from companies push the envelope, it is now becoming possible to think of a more realistic 3-dimensional display. In addition, companies such as eInk are also experimenting with providing an electronic paper where the display ink gets dynamically configured based on what needs to be shown.
Tomorrow: Marching Ahead