The Internet is awash with articles discussing the rapidly changing pace of technology. If we look back on how technology impacted our lives ten years ago, we see a very different picture compared with today. Going back to an even further twenty years ago, it seems almost unbelievable to see how we have advanced in such a short space of time.
So how rapid is the change? One thing for sure is that the degree or rate of change is speeding up. This indicates that major disruptive change that was expected to have occurred over a 10-year period could now happen over a 5-year period, or even faster. In 2010 Gartner predicted that Cloud Computing, Cloud/Web Platforms and the Media Tablet were 5 to 10 years away from mainstream adoption. In three short years I think we are already there. 3D Printing was positioned as a greater than 10-year period till mainstream adoption, and we are already seeing great strides and acceptance in this technology area.
The reason for the acceleration in technology development is probably two fold. Firstly we have a global IT industry that continues to broaden and diversify. Forbes places Tech jobs as one of the highest growing sectors, fueled primarily by Big Data, Cloud Computing, and a growing interest in molecular computing. The second reason for the rapid change is consumer demand. The consumers hunger for faster, longer battery life, lighter, more mobility, more features etc. is driving the pressure to manufacturers of both software and hardware to continually innovate. So as long as these two market forces persist, my advice is to fasten your seat belt and prepare for an awesome journey.
What do we have to look forward to? Gartner is positioning 3D Bio Printing, Human Augmentation, mobile robots, and quantum computing as the 10-year vision. We now know, we can probably expect these transformational technologies a lot sooner.
The question to ask yourself is, “How do you prepare for the technology changes that are going to impact your life?” One major decision you will need to make is, what is your consumer profile? Are you an early adopter, or will you wait on the sidelines to see if a technology will be worth your time and effort to invest energy into it? Lets face it, technology change does require energy and relearning. From something as simple as purchasing a new cell phone, to working the latest Business Intelligence tools, you will need to retrain the old brain.
To me the answer is simple. If you intend to be in the IT industry or want to ensure that you benefit from the latest technology, then you need to make the commitment to setting aside time to learn, and re-learn. Remember to forget what you learnt 5 years ago. That technology has moved on. For you to remain relevant in this market, view your knowledge as a depreciating asset. Unless you are adding new knowledge and skills continuously, you will be passed by, like last years cell phone model in a retail store.
Go ahead and make the investment in the most valuable asset you own, yourself.
Create your life.