Global ICT trends and implications

An analysis of the extant literature, coupled with expert consultation has identified a number of trends likely to influence the future direction of ICT in Ballarat. Projected ICT trends are described on the following pages. These are followed by consideration of trends in the economic, social and business environment, identified by McKinsey and Company as the key trends affecting the future of the industry and the economy in the first part of the 21st century. This underlines an important point; ICT innovations only affect society to the extent that they are successfully diffused through the system. Many ICT innovations never make it commercially even though technically they represented significant advances.

The resulting trends upon which we build our strategy for ICT 2030, are summarised in Table 3 (page 35) and Table 4 (page 36). They are mixes of technology, economic, social and business trends that will drive ICT up to 2030. In the past, ICT innovation has sometimes led and driven market changes. However, as consumers become better informed we expect to see the industry become more consumer rather than technology driven. For instance, at IBM over the period 1999-2022, there was a major switch of customer focus. In 19999, 45 per cent of customers (of IBM products) were joint IT/Business purchases. By 2002, 87% were in this category and only 9 per cent were purchases made purely by IT departments. This emphasises the increasing importance of IT application as opposed to the technology per se. Since 2002, IBM has moved even further down a business performance transformation services route with almost all of its products and services having a strong joint business and IT focus (IBM, 2005).