There are two areas of information technology that have emerged, and the next convergence of them will bring about a major evolution in how technology affects our lives. Personal computers and internet was one of the first convergences that dramatically shaped our lives. People and businesses all over the world have dramatically been affected by the global movement of computers connected to the internet. Billion-dollar businesses have emerged from nothing to dominate this new market all due to technology. How people work, how they access information and communicate have been radically transformed by this convergence. The last 10 years have seen an emerging technology that will again transform the planet in the form of The Cloud and mobile technology.
When I ordered business cards for Silver Lining Technology, I dealt with a local printing company. I’m not sure of the cost savings I could have found by going online, but it was a relatively minor purchase and I do try and support local businesses. When my cards were ready, I went to pay the bill and pick up the completed cards. The vendor was explaining to me that the logo I had provided wasn’t in the correct format. He had sent it out to be redone. I was concerned that the added cost wasn’t approved but he waved his hand and said there wasn’t a charge. He has a guy in India who does work for him, and my $20 setup fee more than covered the added charges. I marveled at the changing dynamics of business relationships and wondered what long-term effect this globalization will have. The immense changes brought about by the internet and globalization are reflected everywhere you look. The second major convergence is coming before the dust of the first has even settled, and you only need to look as far as your hand to see it.
I do some 3rd party technicial work for an international company. They use a website designed to match up companies with local freelance technicians. I’m familiar with their services and it was a good match for my skills. I do all the paperwork from my mobile phone. I can review and accept service requests. I do any required paperwork, including attaching pictures of repairs. I have an application loaded on my phone that lets me bill from my accounting software and when I’m notified of payment, I can deposit the funds in my account. This is all possible due to the convergence of two separate technologies. The first was the move to cloud based services, and the second is the emergence of smart phone technologies. Everywhere we go we bring our phones now. We take pictures, stay connected with our friends via social media, and many of us use our smart phones to stay in touch with co-workers via company email systems.