Jump-Starting the Next IT Revolution

Jump-Starting the Next IT Revolution
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Editor's Note: This article is part of our Future of Business Technology series which focuses on what is happening to business today as a result of technology, and in turn, what's happening to the economy, the job market and IT careers.

Most of us alive today have been at the cusp of an information technology revolution for most of our careers.  While we’ve thought we’ve seen at least one take place, what we’ve come to learn is that the pace of change in IT is rapid by nature.  “One day you’re in,” as model Heidi Klum reminds us so fashionably, “and the next, you’re out.”

What has not changed since the 1970s is this:  The people responsible for managing IT strategy remain uncertain that any strategy will yield benefits for any significant amount of time.  Today, the convergence of a number of simultaneous trends has led to a situation where “the cloud” -- at one time, the symbol for the indeterminate portion of the network that no one actually has to care about for it to be useful -- has become the center of IT activity for businesses of all sizes.  It’s a potential source for competitive advantage, and the scramble to attain that advantage while it’s still hot has earned the cloud the moniker “revolutionary.”

But if that is so -- if cloud dynamics can indeed remake the corporation in a new and bolder image -- then does the same fate await the cloud’s many advocates and practitioners as those who led all the IT revolutions that have come before?  History is replete with revolutions, but if history repeats itself too often, they become just revolts.

Scott M. Fulton, III has chronicled the history of computing as it happened, from the unveiling of the Apple III to the undoing of MS-DOS to the rise of the cloud.  Scott was one of the original online managers of the Delphi network (you remember modems, don’t you?), part of the original editorial team of Computer Shopper (you remember paper, don’t you?), the Senior News Editor at Tom’s Hardware and the original TG Daily (you remember... never mind), and for four years served as managing editor of Betanews.  He’s the author of 17 books and over 5,000 articles printed worldwide in multiple languages.  Scott also appears as contributing technology analyst on NTN24’s Ciencia, Salud y Tecnología.  So basically, he has at least one finger in just about every medium, in hopes that maybe one of them will take root and bear fruit.  You never know, something could happen.  His fingers are crossed.  (Which could explain the typing problems.)  While he’s waiting, Scott and his wife Jennifer, herself a best-selling author (where do you think he gets it?), run Ingenus, LLC, an editorial services provider for technology and higher education publishers.  Right now, their daughter is probably on Tumblr telling her friends how Dad keeps finding something new to go wrong with his VCR. You can follow Scott on Twitter at @SMFulton3.

See here for all of Scott's Tom's IT Pro articles.

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