The Three Transformations Of IT
Information technology is now in its third transformation. The first transformation was the digitization of business. The second is the continuing digitization of human experience. The third stage is the digitization of machines. Each transformation is ongoing, builds up-on the others, and may overlap. Thus, some technologies that formed a foundation earlier are still active. For example, the mainframe is still alive and well, even in the time of mobile computing. We have to understand that while they act simultaneously in some sense, we also have to understand how they fit together.
Even though specific technologies provide a frame of reference, these transformations span a broad perspective and are not dependent upon any one technology. Please also note that there is not a smooth transition to each transformation, but that elements of a later transformation may be present while the key transformation of an earlier era is still more prominent.
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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review.