© David L. Pells, 2008, published here December 2010 with permission.

Introduction | A Broad Definition of IT 
1.  Massive Investment in IT Worldwide | 2.  The Natural Project Orientation of IT
3.  IT Project Failures | 4.  The Increasing Complexity of IT Programs & Projects
5.  Rapidly Changing Technologies | 6.  The Information Age - The Third Wave has Arrived
7.  IT Crosses Over Industries, Organizations, Programs & Projects
Why These Trends Will Continue! | What it Means to the Project Management Profession

5.  Rapidly Changing Technologies

We are all familiar with how rapidly personal computers, cell phones, mobile devices and other consumer electronics have transformed both business and society in recent years. There have been many more advances in industrial applications, driven by developments in semiconductors, networking and systems theory. And as semiconductors have continued to follow "Moore's Law", i.e., the rate of change has increased while the impacts have multiplied.

Here are just a few examples of newly emerging technologies that will affect the IT world:[12]

  • Artificial intelligence - devices to replace humans
  • Solid state drive - smaller, faster, quieter, lower power consuming storage that can replace hard drive
  • Memristers - smaller, faster, lower power consuming storage, analog electronics that could replace some current integrated circuits and many electronics devices
  • Optical computer - smaller, faster, lower power consuming computing that might replace many integrated circuits and other electronics devices
  • Nanomaterials and carbon nanotubes - stronger, lighter, and more intelligent materials to replace steel, aluminum and other traditional materials
  • Molecular nanotechnology - desktop devices that can make anything
  • Wireless communications - continuous and expanded development of wireless technologies and devices
  • Semantic web/answer machines - web machines that link data on the web based on meanings, which could revolutionize web searches
  • Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) - computer displays and screens of various kinds that can replace LCD and plasma displays (shown in photo at right)
  • Machine translation - electronic translation of natural languages in areas where misunderstanding is non-critical and language is formalized, facilitating cross-cultural communications
  • Optical and holographic data storage - allowing storage and archiving of data that was previously erased for economic reasons, possibly rendering other optical data storage solutions, magnetic tape data storage, and other mass storage devices obsolete
  • Quantum computing - Much faster computing
  • Nanowire batteries - technologies for storing energy (hydrogen, conventional batteries and in some cases fossil fuels) that might be used for laptops, cell phones, electric cars, storing power for electric grids, and other uses
  • WiTricity - wireless energy transfer

And we have not even mentioned continuous development of semiconductor technologies based on nanotechnology that have led to miniaturization, systems-on-chip, and other developments that are increasing the power of computers. The life cycles of technologies, products, systems continue to decrease. The potential impact of changing technologies on IT projects and PM in the IT sector are and will continue to be dramatic.

4. The Increasing Complexity of IT Programs & Projects  4. The Increasing Complexity of IT Programs & Projects

12. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emerging_technologies
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