Plan for a different role. IT has, in the past, been mostly about automating internal business processes. And, in the past, the IT world has been full of executives asking for "a seat at the table." The rise of these new capabilities in applications moves IT from the supporting cast to a leading role. If every company is a software company, the person in charge of software isn't going to sit at the table, he or she is going to own the table. But, as the old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for." When the company's success rides on the project release date, there will be far less tolerance for missed schedules and dissatisfied users.
Noted futurist Ray Kurzweil states that the rate of change in human society is accelerating. His formulation goes something like "every decade of the 20th century contained as much change as a century 100 years previously. In the 21st century, every year is like a decade in the 20th century." We are becoming a software-driven economy and you can see where it's headed by looking at Siri and Kinect.
Bernard Golden is CEO of HyperStratus. He is the author Virtualization for Dummies and writes about cloud computing and virtualization for CIO.com.
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