--> Gill Blog: The Internet is the Killer App

Gill Blog

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The Internet is the Killer App

In the early days of the study of business continuity, no one knew that the Internet would be the killer app; the essential technical application facilitating the networking of individuals, businesses and governmental institutions that is at the core of any disaster recovery, survival strategy or business continuity program. A decade ago, trusted news anchors explained the Internet over the familiar medium of television. Doesn't that news flash seem strange, now?

Ten years later, the Pew Research Center just published online the latest report in its Pew Internet & American Life Project detailing the changing picture of who's online and what they do.
The Internet has been irrevocably woven into everyday life for many Americans. While there was once a time when the Internet was interesting because it was dazzling, it is now a normalized part of daily life for about two-thirds of the U.S. population. For some, it has become an integral and required part of work or school. For others, it is a primary means to stay in touch with family and friends. All the trends set out here seem destined to continue, if not evolve, as the technology gets better, the applications become simpler, the appliances that use the Internet become omnipresent, and the technology fades into the background of people’s lives – as powerful, ubiquitous, commonplace, and “invisible” as electricity.
In a report dealing with our business specifically, the Pew Research Center published a survey called The Internet and Emergency Preparedness, which details the importance of this killer app.
While most people would turn first to television to get their information, the recent blackout made clear that multiple alert systems are needed to tell people quickly what is happening.

"Everything we've seen in our research suggests that Americans want every channel of communication fired up when there are emergencies," says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. "They want horns sounding, radios blaring, TV screens alight with the latest information, pagers buzzing, emails sent, and Web pages updated on the fly. They don't want to have to rely on just one communications method and they don't want one channel to have special privileges over others. They want each one of them used when all hell is breaking loose."
As a reader of this website, you already knew this, of course, and are probably working to ensure your own business continuity using the power of the Internet.