Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Looming Threats for the Future of IT

A story in Computerworld discusses the costs and prospects of various information technology problems.

"Our panel finds plenty to worry about, from the sometimes deplorable quality of commercial software to cybercrimes and an erosion of U.S. leadership in IT. Leading the list of concerns—perhaps because it's so troublesome today—is the software quality issue, with its evil triad of poor security, unreliability and complexity. Easy, trouble-free use of IT has moved to the top of users' wish lists, some say. 'It's not much use making the digital technology better, cheaper, faster; that's going to happen in any case,' says economist W. Brian Arthur. 'Computers are working about as fast as we need. The bottleneck is making it all usable.' "

"Panel members rounded up the usual suspects. 'The purveyors of this complex and unreliable software are the current big software vendors,' says Network Services Co. CIO Michael H. Hugos. 'We all deal with some of them on a daily basis, and everyone knows who they are, including the vendors themselves.' But a day of reckoning is coming for these vendors, Hugos and others predict. 'There is a great pent-up demand for alternatives, and now, thanks to open-source software and commodity IT platforms, there are beginning to be industrial-strength alternatives to the products of the big software vendors,' Hugos says."

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