IT Moves on from the “Next Big Thing”

January 31, 2019

Over the last few decades, the technological capabilities of American companies have increased significantly with each passing year. In fact, the trade group CompTIA expects global spending on information technology (IT) to increase by more than $200 billion in 2019, which would put total IT spending for the year over the $5 trillion mark. Unlike in the past, though, many of today’s companies are focused on using the tech currently at their disposal rather than searching for the “next big thing” in IT.

Many years ago, for instance, a Xerox machine represented the height of technological sophistication in the office. Then came the fax machine, which was followed by other marvels such as the desktop computer and dial-up modem. These Internet-connected offices soon added smartphones into the mix along with cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and all sorts of other high-tech tools. According to CompTIA, however, game-changing advancements like these are becoming increasingly rare in the modern workplace. Instead, companies are now working to see what sort of new efficiencies they can discover by combining elements of their current tech.

Because companies have invested so much in technology in recent years, CompTIA claims that many of them don’t need to keep buying new products when they can simply fuse together a  number of key concepts. For example, companies can take Internet of Things-enabled devices and combine them with algorithms powered by AI to automate basic tasks. This technique can help companies increase the efficiency of everything from manufacturing equipment to cash registers. So rather than spend big on new devices or technological services, CompTIA says that companies should work to “understand an ever-growing set of building blocks and how the pieces fit to drive digital transformation.”

Questions:

  1. Why has the trade group CompTIA advised companies to develop their current technology rather than search for the “next big thing”?
  2. Do you think companies should take CompTIA’s advice and focus less on finding the “next big thing” in tech? Why or why not?

Source: Angus Loten, “No More ‘Next Big Thing,’ Trade Group Says,” The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2019. Photo by Kuldeeps2105.

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