Lightning Round: Technohits, Technomisses

We ask business leaders and experts: Where have we overshot the mark when it comes to technology, and where have we not yet begun to realize its potential?

Christopher Meyer (vice president and director of the Center for Business Innovation, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young): We’ve undershot in terms of courage on the strategy side. Technologists have developed new capabilities, but strategists haven’t figured out how to use those resources to start adjusting strategy.

Frances Karamouzis (research director, Gartner Inc.): We’ve underestimated how long it would take for technology to permeate the social fabric and underestimated our own human capacity for creativity.

Jim Davis (senior vice president and chief marketing officer, SAS Institute Inc.): The issue isn’t technology. The issue is whether an organization can apply new technology.

Paul R. Gudonis (chairman and CEO, Genuity Inc.): More than 500 million people worldwide are now connected to the Internet, and tens of millions more are coming on board. But we haven’t figured out how to make money with the Internet yet.

John R. Patrick (former vice president of Internet Technology, IBM): In terms of technology, we’re at the very beginning. Although there are 500 million people connected to the Internet, only about half of them are using it right now. That leaves nearly 6 billion people who are not using it.

Jill Mullen (first vice president and CTO, Corporate Technology Group; Merrill Lynch): In the financial world, the real
focus is on cost-efficiency. That’s where we’ve undershot the mark. We’ve spent lots of money growing technology initiatives but the ROII — return on Internet investment — isn’t necessarily where people want it to be.

Thornton A. May (chief psychographer, Toffler Associates Inc.): The Vietnam War was lost in part because of a lack of popular support. Technology’s promise is lost because of a lack of popular support. There should be no more CIO-centric technology implementations. No more technology Vietnams.

Technology Briefs: What’s New? What’s Next? What Matters?
1. Technology is fast; the absorption rate by society and by organizations is slow.
2. Collaborative computing will be the next big thing.
3. The only way technology matters is if the PDU — the poor dumb user — trusts it, believes in it, and wants it.