The Technology Revolution is Only Just Beginning


The Technology Revolution is Only Just Beginning

The technology revolution is only just beginning.

It was my 30th IT birthday a few weeks ago, and it’s safe to say that a lot has changed since I started in the industry.


For me, this was the decade when the modern age of business computing really began. 

Moore’s Law was in full effect. PCs had transitioned from simple diskette driven green screens to the first properly usable version of Windows with sounds cards, colour screens and seemingly endless amounts of disk space.

And then, in the mid 90s came the internet, browser wars and email, and things would never be the same again. We set about making websites for everything, imagining that we could sell anything with the right angle, and we made the first online browser applications, the forerunners of today’s cloud-based solutions.

And we were all celebrating our new-found freedom texting and chatting with each other on our Nokia 5110 mobile phones.

Things were revving up nicely.


The Y2K nonsense was out of the way; Windows 2000 was the operating system of choice and Internet Explorer had won. Netscape was dying, Firefox was in its infancy, and Google was just getting going.

Social networking had been around for a while, and then Facebook arrived, and it went ballistic.

Communication and connectivity were the themes.

No sooner had we caught our breath than the iPhone was released. It had the tiniest, most perfect touch screen and an Appstore full of more toys than anyone could have imagined. It even knew where you were thanks to some clever wi-fi positioning tools that were soon replaced by GPS when the 3G version arrived.

Such was the take up of mobile phones and the internet, that somewhere around the end of the decade there were more devices connected than there were people, and the internet of things was born.

And while all of that was going on, Amazon Web Services, one of the first major Cloud environments was rolled out.  All it needed was a horde of people to use it.

They came in their droves.


We were only a few months into our current decade when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad. And for me, this set the theme for the next ten years.


The desktop computer was losing its grasp on first place, and in its stead came smaller, lighter laptops, hybrids with detachable keyboards and larger, more powerful phones. Traditional, locally installed software was fading away, and seemingly everything was moving to the Cloud.

And it was being run in Google Chrome. In just five years, its usage went from almost nothing to 40% of the market.

Today, we take it for granted that we can do our work almost anywhere on just about any device.

The whole planet is connected, and we are richer for it. The internet, my most favourite of technologies, has delivered connectivity, communication and choice beyond imagining just a few decades ago, and it has transformed how we do business.

Even the smallest producer can now battle it out on the world stage.


So, what of the next ten years.

Automation, AI and machine learning will improve, and computers will do more for us, including simulating human behaviour. IoT devices will get smaller. We already have sensors powered by little more than vibrations. And the internet of disposable things, as if we need more waste, is well underway.

We’ll use them to measure anything we want, and we will record everything.

So powerful are the new devices that we will be inundated with data. The forthcoming SKA (Square Kilometre Array) telescope will produce so much data in real time that we lack the technology to be able to move it. It must be processed on arrival.

The 2020s will be the data decade, and with it will come the service revolution. The democratisation of technology will continue apace, and the savvy will use everything they can to hone their offerings to the sharpest of points, delivering exemplary, personalised services to a customer base without boundaries.


Thirty years in IT and still only 50. I reckon another thirty years will be just about enough.

Enough time for me, and quite possibly enough for quantum computing to become mainstream.

And if you think this technology revolution is mind boggling, the next one will be out of this world.

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