Monday, March 19, 2012

Convergence

There are a lot of people who spend quite a bit a time trying to figure out trends.  You can take your pick about who/what these people are and what they do.  Here are a few categories:  statisticians, soldiers, stock brokers, market analysts, baseball managers, scientists, etc.  These people usually have one thing in common.  They spend time puzzling out trends because it makes them money.  Of course there may be other factors including enjoyment, obligation, or tradition, but money is usually the tie that binds them all together.

Since this blog is dedicated to technology from the perspective of the CIO, let's talk about the trend that I most often ponder.  That trend would be the one of convergence between mankind and machine.  Thirty years ago when personal computers were just arriving on the scene they were too bulky to ever be considered "personal".  It took until the 21st century for truly portable portable computers to make it onto the scene (iPad, anyone?).  People who watch Star Trek consider it an inside joke that the first tablet computer was actually the "Padd", featured in the movies and serials of the 1960s-90s.

Lest anyone ignore just how powerful and appealing technology becomes when it can actually be ported/worn/carried around by consumers, look again to Apple.  The Fruit Company, as Forrest Gump put it, is well on its way to becoming the first company in history to be worth one TRILLION dollars.

The lesson to current and future CIOs should be very clear.  Your career will hinge and possibly flourish on how ably you merge technology with the people who use it.  Someday soon the computers and software you support will be biologically merged, or Converged, with the people who use it.  Find every way possible to embed hardware and software directly with if not into your company's employees.  Not only will they embrace it and hence you, it will become that much more of an effective competitive tool.

*Happy Birthday LEB*

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