Every analyst and trend watcher seems to be predicting the future of information technology these days. Most believe that given the exponential rate of development in all the fields of IT, it is safe to predict that the future of IT is bright. But are they exaggerating the effects in their attempt to either promote certain trends or products and services, or prove their leadership in the industry?
Assuming that the present milieu surrounding meaningful employment of IT everywhere continues, chances are likely that it will continue to improve in United States as well, even though at a much slower rate. And this analysis is not what developers think, but is straight from the users mouth.
Users perceptions are already changing noticeably. Most of the analysts, trend watcher and users this scribe talked to expressed hopes of positive changes IT is poised to bring about. Development in IT has resulted in expanded access and pervasiveness of computers. For example, some of the software houses are doing contractual IT work for western developers in their individual capacity. Businesses which are online, have crossed political and corporate boundaries, forming new alliances that were unknown to traditional structures and channels.
Public and private sectors IT institutions are preparing large number of employable IT graduates every year. And political image notwithstanding, industry giants are showing interest in investing in Pakistan to take advantage of the human resource that is familiar with English and is available at comparative rates.
Similarly, computers and the internet has penetrated households considerably. Fairly large number can now afford and obtain computers and internet connections. Rich and middle-class have nearly equal access to cyberspace almost anywhere and anytime and online activities of home users are maturing beyond casual communication and fun-surfing.
It is in this situation, people employed in IT and corporate sector say, that business practices as well as consumers behaviours are changing positively: Businesses have gone increasingly international in scope. Markets have expanded and monopolies are changing into oligopolies if (yet) not pure competition. Anyone who can bring a first-class product and harness technology successfully is bound to prosper in world market.
The world in which we do business today differs profoundly from that of ten years ago, and this difference is mainly attributable to IT solutions, says an international marketing expert at New York University, Professor Anthony Gonzalvalus. Why else are sky suits made in New York and sports goods made in Bheikho seen prominently in international championships?he asks.
Anthony feels that a number of business concerns, both large and small, are poised to make optimum use of IT. The realization is already upon us that IT (coupled with standard business practices) is the only way ahead, he adds.
Call centre technology developer Phill Cotner thinks, IT is not just a set of programmers, instruments or utilities processing information. It is a mixture of all these essentials to achieve business goals and should be able to meet the needs of any business outfit. It is the output from all the applications and experience to produce something useful; a product, a process, a system, a methodology. It is a result that matter ultimately because that is what businesses want.
Sheikh thinks that every futuristic concern now believes that employment in IT results in better efficiency, lower cost, more production flexibility, and product quality and consistency. He is optimistic of more business adopting call centers and deploying other IT solutions in future.
People employed in IT and corporate sector say, that business practices as well as consumers behaviors are changing positively: Businesses have gone increasingly international in scope. Markets have expanded and monopolies are changing into oligopolies if (yet) not pure competition. Anyone who can bring a first-class product and harness technology successfully is bound to prosper in world market.
The power of computers is increasing by the day. They are becoming more affordable, simpler to learn and massively customizable for different set of wants which makes them vital part of all contemporary life activities. It is now imaginable to consider an era where online hotel, airline and rail reservations, stock exchange trade, banking, shopping, payroll accounting and many other functions, which have already become part of life in the developed world, becoming routine here too.
It is no prophecy because these systems are already successfully working in other countries. What I see is the local users developing trust in gizmos and networks to transfer information as well as money economically and speedily, says Teri Hansen IT graduate now studying abroad.
IT is not autonomous. It is part of the social and cultural phenomena. Information is a universal engine of social change. Information found online in its various forms â€” voice conversations, still images, motion pictures, multimedia presentations, and online, including those not yet conceived â€” is bringing about social changes; some are already visible. Users are demanding quality information that they can turn into common knowledge and apply to real life problems on ground. Sociologist Dr. Phill Methew predicts, What we find on the internet is to become part of wisdom ultimately. Or it would have been rejected right away.
Past events and measures suggest safer surfing in future. Users have been complaining of information deficiency syndrome (and information overload), spam, security concerns, identity theft, cyber crimes, copyright violations, and unsavory material that mar the internet experience. Only spam has cost millions to businesses besides irritating individual users by bringing viruses, Trojan horses, ads for herbal medicines or links to explicit imagery in their inboxes.
But a lot is being done to clean the cyberspace and make it more â€˜liveable. Majority of local users believe that e-mail, instant messaging, searching, surfing and bogging will mature and improve in quality in future. Say a hardcore techie Mark David, In future, commuting on the information highway will be much safer. Ethics will get better. But on the downside, I see paid contents on the internet increasing. More information will go behind subscriptions and or security firewalls.
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