by CIO Staff

The technology times they are a-changin’

Feb 18, 20092 mins
Mobile Apps

In music, Decca records thought The Beatles wouldn’t make it because “guitar music is on the way out”. In movies, Gary Cooper turned down Gone With The Wind and rejoiced that it would be Clark Gable “falling on his face”. In the ICT sector, DEC founder Ken Olsen saw “no reason why anybody would want a computer in their home”, while IBM’s Tom Watson expected a global computer market of five, and Western Union saw the telephone as providing “no value to us”.

So it goes, and in a forecasting battlefield strewn with the red faces of those who have dared to predict and got it murderously wrong, the hunch may be a better bet than pure science.

And my hunch is that business IT is on the cusp of a once-a-decade mood swing. If you think about it, every 10 years sees a step change, from mainframes in the 1960s, Unix servers in the 1970s, the PC LAN and client/server in the 1980s and the internet in the 1990s. The change that is coming for the 2010s is of course, the cloud, a suitably fluffy term by which I mean the migration of resources from corporate server rooms to external datacentres that act as the centralised switchboards for corporate processing, IP traffic and storage.

The most persuasive factor is that the current economic cataclysm will force firms to pursue radical approaches that change the fundamental economics of trading. And if you don’t think I’m right on that one, then try my other bet: Newcastle United to win the Premiership in 2010. Even mug punters get lucky sometimes.