The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Is the next wave of computing a product of the financial downturn?

The Fellows have been discussing the perspective that, based on previous technology shift performance, 2008 is the year that is the tipping point to the next wave of computing. In a discussion with the Enterprise Irregulars about organizations and the adoption of new technology, it became apparent that there may be other factors that force the shift.

 

A company may initially respond to new technologies much like a cancer patient may respond to the news that they have cancer. This is with an added stage that could only be applicable to business, that after acceptance comes enthusiasm. The technology can cure everything.

 

We were discussing how DEC, COMPAQ and numerous other companies sprang out of the downturn of the early 1980s. One thing to keep in mind about the early ‘80s is that this period was the time of the PC entering the mainstream. People were throwing money at problems because there was a new wave of computing to address the business problems.

 

I believe we are in this same situation today. There are a number of new technologies that will enable the next wave of computing (e.g., edge device, cloud computing, business analytics). There are also new software techniques that are ready to be applied as well.

 

What the early ‘80s had that we do not have today is a killer application that resonates with business and forces them to invest. In the early ‘80s, it was the spreadsheet.

 

After the early '90s recession, the .COM era was powered by the browser.

 

What is it today? I have some ideas of what it generally could be, but I can't think of a commercially viable instantiation of it.

 

It is interesting how the next wave of computing is usually forced into existence by a financial downturn.

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