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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Maintaining the IT momentum

Stephen J Felice
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Stephen J Felice
Last month, the World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT), one of the largest gatherings of business, industry, and government leaders in technology, met in Kuala Lumpur. The time and location were perfect for such a meeting. We are living in a ‘Connected Era’ in which technology is transforming the relationship among businesses, governments, and citizens. Nowhere do we see that transformation more powerfully than in the emerging economies of Asia.

But it is also true that Asia, more than the West, is uniquely suited to tackle the greatest challenge facing the Connected Era: the sheer complexity of information technology.

IT was invented to make our lives simpler, and it has. Mundane but necessary tasks are faster, productivity is up, and reams of data are available with a click – thanks to IT.

But along the way, the systems that were supposed to simplify everything became impossibly complex themselves. In a sense, IT became a victim of its success. The more IT became capable of doing, the more people began expecting and demanding from it. Computers got faster, networked devices proliferated, and data storage exploded. By 2010 the world will generate nearly 988 exabytes, or 18 million times the information contained in all the books ever written.

Maintaining these systems has become a managerial headache. Chief Technology Officers I speak with regularly tell me that IT maintenance consumes at least 70 percent of their time, leaving only 30 percent or less for innovation. Hiring armies of consultants just to keep their systems running has become the norm for businesses and governments.
Clearly, this model is unsustainable. The challenge for our industry is to develop new IT products and systems that are easier to use, simpler to expand and upgrade, and more efficient to operate. This is what businesses, governments, and consumers need if they want to take advantage of everything that IT has to offer.

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