Both The Economist (Oct. 30) and BusinessWeek (Nov. 8) have recently published IT-focused cover stories. The Economist’s is a more cerebral look at the current state of technology, in nine short pieces exploring “complexity.”
BusinessWeek’s Tech Buying Guide is mostly about personal technology, but it offers a quick tour of what’s available in wireless data services, and has a first-person account of A World Without Microsoft. The authors wax enthusiastic about new lightweight laptops and ultracompact digital cameras and other gizmos.
The Economist’s special section is really interesting, and not just for your CXOs: It offers insights into new or better ways to explain certain systems or sum up the evolution of some technologies to those less in-the-know than yourself. For example, in its coverage of “solutions” that vendors offer to fight complexity (When in Doubt, Farm It Out), it says, “Taking the idea of Web services to its logical extreme, it is reasonable to ask why firms should continue to amass their own piles of Lego blocks, most of which will only duplicate the Lego blocks of business partners. Put differently, why have a datacenter if all you want is the data?” A Byte’s-Eye View of Complexity, helps us appreciate, through a prolonged metaphor, “the chaotic complexity that rules in the computer vaults [by imagining], with a bit of anthropomorphic license, the journey of one lowly unit of digital information, or byte, as it wends its way on a routine mission through a maze of computers, routers, switches and wires.” Useful and good reading.