I was talking to someone the other day who was lamenting the good old days. Ten years ago was quite a different world than what we take for granted today.
We were just realizing that the dot com bubble was just a bubble and the long boom turned into more of a pop (we’re seeing this discussion again). It was a time when we had just figured out that innovators had dilemmas and highly effective people had habits. Computers belonged on a desk or a data center and few people had mobile phones, let alone smartphones (I had an early windows mobile device and could listen to music, watch videos… but that was pretty rare).
Our access to information was quite different as well, since at the end of 2001 Wikipedia had only 20,000 articles. Amazon was still primarily focused on books. Ebay didn’t own PayPal and was primarily US based. USB 2.0 had just been ratified. SaaS was something you got in trouble for and social media really didn’t exist.
All our systems and software were based on significant constraints. Now we’re moving into abundance in Information Technology on almost every front. Many people are starting to have computers with them all the time, capturing data elements of our lives and storing them – forever.
With all the change just described, does anyone think that the next ten years will be less eventful? How does this admission shape your planning for the future?
Most of us recognize that the business environment will be more integrated and social, and yet likely more security conscious than today. Everything will be accessed while mobile and yet tap into the resource pool of the cloud. More and more displays will support 3D capabilities and whole new user interface possibilities will develop and we will manufacture more items right in our home from downloaded designs. Automation will begin to permeate our lives (let alone the business) taking on mundane tasks at every level. The leadership of today will be gone and Gen X and Gen Y will be firmly in control with some new generation nipping at their heels.
There are those who look to this future and don’t want to think about it, yet that is what we’re here to do. The champions of change are those that see all these possibilities not as problems but as potential. Even though we can’t imaging many of the exponential laws of IT continuing, many of them will, enabling new approaches to development and information use.