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Information, Technology, and Innovation: Resources for Growth in a Connected World by John M. Jordan

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CHAPTER 36

Information, Technology, and Innovation

The implications of such a massive transformation are obviously impossible to catalog, much less predict. What follows are some selected areas of business impact resulting from the shifts in the computing, communications, and social infrastructure over the past 20 years or so.

Macro Issues

Business will continue to come in multiple shapes and sizes, and the diversity is important to recognize: Construction or agriculture will always behave differently from banking or health care, but, nevertheless, each sector will see instances of what Carlota Perez described as “synergy” in Chapter 1. The speed of innovation, adoption, and transformation of technologies by their users will continue to accelerate, and, as we have seen, retail might now be facing what music confronted more than a decade ago: a sea of change in customer expectation and behavior with far-reaching consequences for the entire industry.

That said, there are three developments to watch.

  1. Mobile payments are a logical consequence of rapid smartphone deployment. Smartphone penetration in the United States is at 33% in 2011, up from 20% in 2010. Making the smartphone into a wallet (as in Japan) or a bank branch (as in Kenya) is possible, but the question is whether the technology solves a problem that isn't a problem: Credit cards have a broad installed base in the United States, and a smartphone is more easily lost. Merchants might be hesitant to install more terminals ...

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