Digital Transformation

Social Business Era: The 5th Great IT Era

Sandy Carter from IBM just published a YouTube video called: 5th Era – Social Business.  Sandy is IBM’s Vice President of Social Business Evangelism and has been publishing lots of interesting videos and blog posts.  At just over 3 minutes the video is a good break from your day.

In this video, Sandy describes the past great eras of IT, of which she is adding a new 5th era.  In these eras, we see IT going from big machines down to small and from small networks up to big networks.  Here are the eras:

  1. Mainframe – over the years many people have proclaimed the mainframe dead.  But they still live on and provide a lot of computing power for a lot of companies.
  2. Departmental – when I started in the business in 1983, I worked on implementing IBM 5520 computers for Eli Lilly.  These departmental boxes (about the size of a refrigerator laid down on its side) were used for word processing and email only!
  3. PC – it is interesting that this was the first era that brought consumers into IT in large numbers.  What is also interesting is that businesses started to say, “Businesses would never use such and such technology.”  So Apple had a hard time gaining a foothold in corporate America, as did Windows at first.  But as consumers pushed, we saw businesses accept these technologies.
  4. Internet – When the Internet came along next, many business people said, “Nobody is going to conduct business on the internet.”  Sandy mentions an executive who was willing to bet his pay that internet banking would never happen.
  5. Social – Just as with PCs and the Internet, many businesses scoffed at the idea of social technology.  Its clear that those early doubters have been proven wrong. Social is all about relationships built over time.

About the Author

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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