December 01, 2004

Tech companies start to look past tech

change and innovation in technology that people will see affecting their daily lives, he says, will come about slowly, subtlety, and in ways that will no longer be "in your face". It will creep in pervasively.

This is coming from Nick Donofrio of IBM, quoted in this story from the BBC. It's interesting to see a representative of a tech company downplaying the immediate effects of technology. That implies a potentially deep strategic shift, one that requires a different approach to understanding the role technology plays in people's lives. Of course he's using it to push IBM's pervasive computing agenda (whatever that is) and, surprisingly, big iron:

Behind this vision should be a rich robust network capability and "deep computing", says Mr Donofrio.

Deep computing is the ability to perform lots of complex calculations on massive amounts of data, and integral to this concept is supercomputing.

IBM clearly hasn't given up all of its assumptions, and I think the supercomputing idea is totally shoehorned into the pervasive idea, but it's interesting to see that they're at least giving lip service to some of these thoughts, if only to further their existing position. GE created GE Capital when they realized that their role in the building process had changed to one of financier and oursourcing consultant. IBM's consulting unit became responsible for a big chunk of the profits because they realized that they weren't just selling computers, but services. These things point to the idea of understanding the system in which products exit. Similarly, this could be the beginning of an attitude shift in tech toward understanding and manipulating the social system in which technology is used.

Posted by mikek at December 1, 2004 01:56 PM | TrackBack
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