But Why Telecommunications?

I am a gadget groupie. As soon as I read about the latest and greatest "toy", I'm there with my trusty Amex. I fronted up for a minidisc player when you couldn't find a minidisc in the Southern Hemisphere. I bought a tri-band phone when the packaging was still wet with printer's ink. The latest Palm? Yes please, thank you very much. The Blackberry? Could I have two?

But in true groupie fashion I am not true - I lust after gadgets and then leave 'em.

I hardly use my mobile phone. Although it's a major convenience when I travel, when I'm back home in Australia it tends to lie drained and abandoned at the bottom of a handbag I haven't used for weeks. The truth is I'm a firm believer that my mobile is there to make life easy for me - that is I call people, people don't call me.

And my Palm sat in its cradle on my desk for over a year with nary an entry. (My husband surreptitiously confiscated the cradle recently so he could charge his at home and the office. I believe he thinks I haven't noticed.)

The Blackberry remains in its box because I've been too busy to read the instructions.

In the end I continue to write notes on scraps of paper (and then lose them), use my old well-worn Filofax and generally stay - well, er - unconnected.

But I am the exception.

My well-connected husband could not function without his Palm Tungsten T, his tri-band, WAP-enabled mobile and the Bluetooth headset that he uses with it so he can pretend he's in the cast of 24. And it's not just for diaries and phone books. He reads novels on his Palm. He pays bills over his mobile. He has a wireless router installed on our home broadband connection. For God's sake, he syncs business cards with people he barely knows!

He is, of course, the rule to which I appear to be the exception - something he has told me many times and never in regard to technology. Of course, I have my way of dealing with those sorts of comments and he hasn't repeated them lately.

For every one like me, there are pinstriped hordes like him. Of course, it's not only about the personal revolution, but equally compelling is the emergence of serious corporate attention to the productivity issues of telecommunications and wireless connectivity. And in the true spirit of convergence, it is the CIO who is taking a leading role in these decisions.

And that's why we at CIO decided to do a regular edition dedicated to telecommunications.

In one of my favourite movies, Zoolander, the title character keeps asking: "But why male models?" While I was putting this issue of CIO Connected together, I'd think "But why telecommunications?"

To borrow a phrase from George Leigh Mallory: "Because IT's there."

Welcome to the first issue of CIO Connected. We'll be back in February 2004.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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