Friday, July 25, 2008

Have we come to the end of the IT revolution?

Over on my personal blog, Bob Quiggan and I have been discussing Kondratiev cycles. Those who are interested can find the posts here, here and here.

One of the issues that arose in the discussion is whether or not we have come to the end of the IT revolution. Bob thinks no, I am beginning to think yes.

In saying this, I am not saying that technological improvement will stop, nor am I saying that there are not further productivity gains to be had. Rather, I think that we have come to the end of the easy gains.

When I look at the organisations I know, I am hard pressed to see real IT gains over the last few years. Here I am referring to business improvement and productivity gains, not changes to technology itself.

My gut judgement is that current organisational forms and management styles work against further gains.

The first round of the IT revolution gave great processing gains. To go beyond this point, we need to change organisational structures, and I cannot see this happening.

Am I wrong? I would be interested in comments.

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