Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Business and convergent technologies 1 – a new emerging landscape of opportunity

Posted in business and convergent technologies, in the News by Timothy Platt on October 19, 2009

Much of what we see as change in business and technology is incremental and the trends and opportunities I will be writing about in this series will definitely include a lot of incremental adjustments, advances, setbacks and other changes. But underlying that is a more fundamental suite of changes that will have a more direct and powerful impact on society than any set of simple incremental adjustments could achieve. We are facing a period of profound change and an emerging set of circumstances that is both making this possible and driving it.

The technology side of this includes a growing suite of online connectivity options for networking, doing business, sharing information and creating value. This also includes rapid and dramatic increases in the scale and usability of database and data warehousing systems. This definitely includes the Web 3.0 automated systems for managing and presenting complex datasets with real meaning for the end user. This includes behavioral analytics and the automated parsing and tagging of an increasing array of image, sound and other data types in the way that Web 1.0 and 2.0 have depended on parsing and tagging simple text to organize and extract meaning.

There are a lot more pieces and potential pieces to the technology side of this but I want to start the series by touching on the business and economics side and by pointing out one of the key drivers in that arena for this.

The New York Times highlighted an ongoing, emerging development in its Business section, on October 16, 2009 in a Steve Lohr piece titled “The Tech Sector Trumpets Signs of a Real Rebound.” The tech giants Intel, IBM, Google and a range of other tech sector businesses, large and small are showing strong improvement and leading the recovery as we work our way out of the Great Recession that has been impacting everyone this past couple of years. This rising tide is not necessarily good for floating all boats as Nokia, for example, has just reported third quarter losses of $1.36 billion and a 20% decline in sales for the same period, but the tech sector per se is growing and it has an increasing capital investment base capability going into the coming year and more.

This capability for developing new growth translates into opportunity to develop new and emerging technologies, for which there are clear developing markets. The short list of technology high points cited above all fit in here, and simply as examples. And one of the marketplace drivers for this is online social networking with its increasing volumes of increasingly rich content and its ever expanding concomitant file sharing requirements. Facebook, to cite one example from this trend, is currently reported to store and manage some 40 billion user-uploaded photos and other image files that collectively consume more than one petabyte of storage space and just for a single copy of these files – no backups included. Here, a petabyte is 1024 terabytes and a terabyte is 1024 gigabytes – we keep having to add new terms to the large-sized end of the list with petabyte followed by exabyte, zettabyte, yottabyte and brontobyte, and one brontobyte is about 1.24 times ten to the 27th power bytes.

The ongoing drive to move medical and other records into electronic and (secure) online-ready formats also drive this data-intensive ratcheting up of need and expectation for technology capability and access and so does a growing range of data and computational hungry activities the public is coming to demand in online communication and information. Just consider the pressures to expand and improve technology and infrastructure that we will see as a society as virtual reality moves out of its current Second Life infancy and from early adaptor focus to fully mainstream-demanded. We are facing a real and significant level of change that no amount of simple, incremental adjustments can begin to accommodate.

This is the first part of what will probably be developed into an ongoing series. There is a lot to this story and it is just starting to unfold.

3 Responses

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  1. Damona said, on October 20, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Timothy, I am one the Five O’Clock Club’s Guild Coaches. I do appreciate your articles and have referred my group members to your blog. Even though I think of myself as technologically oriented, I’m not familiar with Web 3.0. How “new” is that concept and what exactly does it refer to? How does it differ from Web 2.0?

    Can you also comment on other Business Social Network sites online, e.g. Zigg, Ryze and Focus? Are there others geared to helping those who are not entrepreneurs ( seems as if a lot of them are more for entrepreneurs than not)? Also, how would you adapt the Club’s “Direct Contact” & “Targeted Mailing” to online networking sites? How can you do informational interviews on these sites?

    Keep up the great work–this blog is a terrific example of how someone can showcase particular talents. It’s a much more dynamic version of the Two Minute Pitch concept because it’s interactive.

    • Tim Platt said, on October 20, 2009 at 10:55 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comment. I will pick up on several of your points in postings but I wanted to address a couple of them here as a reply.

      Web 1.0 is a basic, central source publishing model of the web with web page viewers more or less passively consuming a one directional flow of content. Web 2.0 adds in interactivity and makes the consumer an active participant, with options and opportunities for adding their voice. This creates a two way and even a multiple direction flow of information. Web 3.0 takes a very different direction in the evolution of the web, but at the same time it does deal with issues that emerge out of Web 2.0. 3.0 is where the vastly increased flow and complexity of information and data types gets addressed so the web does not drown in it. This is where image files and audio files get tagged and otherwise processed so their can be intelligently processed, filtered, searched and presented through automated processes – making more and more, and ideally all types of content transparently and automatically available with the right information coming to the top and into view. Think of Web 3.0 as a step where the web learns how to manage its own growth and success, and especially with this vastly increased flow of raw data of all forms and formats that 1.0 and 2.0 bring in.

      The other point I would add is that anyone looking for a new job and anyone looking to manage a career has to take an entrepreneurial approach. We all have to be entrepreneurs of our own careers and our own futures. Yes, we have to take a consultant’s approach when searching and present ourselves in terms of addressing and solving the hiring manager’s problems that prompt them to hire in the first place. But that is just a tactical approach in many respects. Strategically and long term we have to be entrepreneurs too.

      OK, that probably disconnects with some of your point re Zigg, Ryze and Focus but I think the basic point is important.

  2. […] of postings: Ubiquitous Computing and Communications – everywhere all the time last October with Business and Convergent Technologies 1 – a new emerging landscape of opportunity one of the details I cited in this rapidly emerging new landscape was the way size scale is […]


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