Remember back in the 60s through 90s when the mantra was that IT dollars and investments gave companies an opportunity to gain decisive competitive advantage. Now the wizards at Harvard Business School are saying that “no no” that is no longer true because a major portion of the IT market is plateauing, commoditizing and becoming distinctly “me too”. Hardly the stuff of distinct competitive advantage.
Well of course the BeantownBusinessBoys are halfright as usual.
Certainly desktop PCs and many categories of desktop and LAN based software have reached an artificial plateau (call it the plight of having a pitbull monopoly player). But storage, communication bandwidth, embedded processing and other IT technologies are permutating and recombining in myriad ways far from the leash-reach of the Pitbulls Windows desktop. And many of those permutations and combinations are open source and/or cross platform with a vengeance. And that means one of the blights on ITkind, proprietary silos of processing power, are beginning to be dodo-ized. And suddenly on-demand and sharing and interoperable and secure are becoming essential.
Now at the sametime as the vigorous “underground” IT happenings are happening – the different viewpoints on what is important in IT are diminishing. Meta is being bought by Gartner. Other advisory shops are M&A-ing. And the IT trade press, absolutely gutted by the continued IT downturn, continues to implode. Do you smell opportunity ?
Shhhh – I didnt tell you. But just in case, savvy and astute IT players that foresee the technology trends and directions and link them to social/economic drivers are more likely than ever before to get an old fashioned, seldom attained distinct competitive advantage. And just look what it can do for you – WalMart has been way ahead of the curve and competition using a BI-driven IT strategy. And you thought I was just kidding!