The WSJ had a set of articles based on its CIO network conference that were somewhat interesting.
Some key takeaways from me included the reasons why CIOs use cloud (“51% say it’s about agility, only 17% say it is because of cost”) and the increasing importance of digital (“40% of chief digital officers report to CEOs”). Also, note how many (70%) are thinking of changing service providers and where they think the next wave of innovation is going to come from (hint: it’s not the established enterprise tech players).
I think Pat Gelsinger (CEO of VMWare) summed it up nicely with his quote
“When we think about this period that we’re in—the combination of cloud, mobile, and big data disrupting both consumer IT and enterprise IT—we are in the period of the greatest tectonic shift in the IT industry in the last 30 years. We think about the Internet wave, the mainframe, the minicomputer—this is the granddaddy of them all. And the companies that we’ve seen fall so far, these are the minor tremors of the things that are going to happen over the course of the next few years”
I couldn’t agree more.
Hot on the heels of the recent (and scary) Economist article about humans’ rapid decent into obsolescence, comes a book (The Second Machine Age) from two guys at MIT which pretty much says the same thing but in much more detail. The book is full of wonderful detail and many charts (such as the one below) that allow the authors to argue that we’re on the cusp of rapid technological growth the likes of which we haven’t seen since the first industrial age.
One thing that really caught my eye was the example of the introduction of electricity (akin to our digital tech) as a replacement for power from steam engines. Apparently, the managers at the factory simply replaced where the steam engines were with the electric motors, without re-thinking the overall flow of work. Predictably, productivity didn’t change.It wasn’t until the old managers retired (~30 years from when electric motors were introduced) and were replaced with fresh thinking managers, that the flow of the work was completely re-thought and productivity began to change (dramatically).
This reminds me of how most people (in large companies at least) think of digital: Do some ecommerce, do some digital marketing, play with social and call it doing digital. The real value, however, will become apparent when companies re-think their entire processes and operating models around these technologies.
This little gem from the Economist in an article just blew me away:
The average Westerner sees a logo (sometimes the same one repeatedly) perhaps 3,000 times each day
Wow. Something to keep in mind when one is launching a new product/service.
For those looking for high level statistics on the state of the internet, the Akamai State of the Internet report may be a good place to start (see excerpt below).
It seems to have all the high level items that one may need – # of devices, connection speeds etc., plus some useful data on security and mobile.
BCG has an interesting new report on the disruption caused by tech (and software in particular) that is chock full of interesting facts/figures (e.g. see below).
It covers a very broad range – from cloud computing, to analytics, to differences by geography, to mobile economics etc. – and has some interesting items (e.g. “Google is currently experimenting with providing mobile access through high-altitude balloons”).
Its essential message is similar to what Marc Andreessen (of the Netscape fame) has been saying for years: “Software is eating the world”. And the time to act is now. Should be required reading for anyone interested in tech.
The Economist has a depressing article on the future of jobs where it reports that ~47% of all job categories will be subject to automation in the next two decades (see below).
The original article (from Oxford) on which this report is partially based can be found here. It may be a good time to start praying, professionally.
In reading an article (Barclays, Payments – 18 Dec 2013) about Bitcoins I came across a useful definition of digital/virtual currencies. Bitcoins are Type 3. Hope you find it useful too.