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Gill Blog

Friday, April 29, 2005

Rising from the Ashes: The Return of Technology

When we were all introduced to the internet in the 1990's, the future seemed limitless. I mean where else could you go to get a seemingly endless fill of e-brochures, and make millions simply by securing a catchy domain name? There was probably a good reason why this first generation of "killer apps" was destined to come tumbling down.

We now find ourselves almost five years removed from the big bubble burst, and not suprisingly, technology seems to be back, but this time, the dynamics of technology and what constitutes e-business has completely changed. We've moved from brochure-ware to business blogs, and from sites where the value is not tied up in a name, but in functionality. As the reach of broadband expands, so too will the dynamics of how work is conducted. Indeed, the e-business economy will take on greater importance. This prediction is supported by the results of the following article summarizing this year’s e-readiness rankings established by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU):
According to the EIU, this year’s rankings show that ”the global economy is beginning to feel comfortable in a digital skin”, perhaps for the first time since the technology bubble burst. Spending on information and communications technology (ICT) is growing again with some buoyancy in developed markets. In emerging markets, expansion of connectivity – defined as individuals' and organisations' access to voice and data communications – continues on a rapid ascent. Meanwhile, broadband Internet access is beginning to reach critical mass in several countries and is becoming a catalyst for other improvements in the digital economy. The 2005 edition of the rankings reflect the increasing importance of broadband to countries' digital development. As a result, the world's most developed broadband markets have registered significant score increases over 2004, although only some have moved up in the rankings.

What this says about the future is by no means definitive, but it certainly does point toward a reconfigured workplace that is decentralized and more resistant to the impacts of risk. Technology plays a critical role in maintaining workplace continuity, and it's nice to see the sector has risen from the ashes. All in all, things are looking bright.


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