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It is often observed that there is a gap between what IT could deliver and the experience of what actually happens. For me the trouble is that this is often put down to ‘IT problems’ when it is often due to other factors.
It is one of the truisms of our times that no organisation is being left untouched by the march of digital technologies and platforms. Organisations can be undermined by new business models from so many different directions that keeping up with the seemingly endless possibilities is a significant headache for us all, as well as offering new potential.
Earlier this year, an analysis of London Underground users travel patterns from Oystercard records showed that contrary to expectations, a strike had provided an economic boost.
Recently, I’ve been involved in a number of initiatives around future skill needs. Trying to define ICT skills in the context of finance, retail or professional services for instance is far from a trivial task.
My favourite cynical observation is 'Cheer up things could be worse. So I cheered up and sure enough things got worse.'
Computers can play a dominant game of chess, drive cars and even write a ropey film script. AI’s future isn’t however guaranteed as what works in one culture may not translate well to another.
Last week on the radio, I heard someone state that there are now more mobile phones on the planet. Wikipedia gives a figure of more than 5bn, but I have yet to find a reasonable source for a 7bn figure. There are many who claim that the PC is dead and the future is mobile. So should we give a cheer and claim that the digital divide is dead and buried?
I'm not sure that the late Freddy Mercury was thinking about web 2.0 when he sang those words. The song came on the radio as I finished reading Wired's Chris Anderson's new book "FREE" and Malcolm Gladwell's review.
One of the frustrations (there are many joys) of thinking about the future is that some trends are clearly predictable but being right doesn't help. In the real world the urgent nearly always crowds out the important. By the time the important becomes urgent, there is not the time or resource available to deliver the optimal solution. For me one of those challenges is the ageing society.
'It is often said that history is written by the winners. Ignoring or losing the view of the vanquished can distort our perceptions. This can then mislead us about where we are today and where we might get on what timescale.'

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