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Ebb and flow of IT progress

In response to the May 23 Perspectives column by Charles Cooper, "Does IT matter anymore?":

I agree somewhat with your assertions that information technology is in a holding pattern and that this breather is one reason some believe IT is not a growth industry.

The problem with the notion of "does IT matter?" is that the underlying logic is flawed, by the very fact that the definition used for "IT" is too limited both in terms of time frame and technology. The railroad, the telegraph and the internal-combustion engines are examples used in your article, and all can be considered technology. They were all the result of new scientific revelations and entrepreneurial efforts. In fact, the railroad and the telegraph are perfect examples of what should be considered information technology, as both served to "shrink" the planet with greater availability of information (whether it be physical or not) to geographically dispersed areas.

Every step forward for the last 2,000 years has been on a new wave of information technology--the printing press, the radio, television, the CD, the Internet and even genetics (lest we forget that the DNA string is the ultimate example of compressed information).

The truth is that the entire population continually moves the information technology ball forward from one stage to the next--while each wave has its pinnacle, the ball moves forward. To believe that IT doesn't matter is a simplistic reaction to the existing stagnation of spending for the present evolution of IT.

Greg Council
Denver