Technology is dead! Long live Technology!!

srinivas joysula

Way back in 2011, one of our visiting CTOs remarked in his town hall address that he always wondered, how much more software the world is going to create if we already did not have enough lines of code written!! 

While, he may have said that in jest… let us ponder over the data… there are over 640 million websites in the world today, several million software applications and products and as per Gartner, the worldwide enterprise software spending is expected to cross $300 B in 2013. Millions engaged in writing more software ensures that hardware devices became smaller, albeit with ever increasing computing power. It was in 1965 that Gordon Moore postulated what is commonly known as Moore’s law … He predicted that transistors on integrated circuits or processors (used for processing power) would double every two years.  Many predicted this would be a short-term law and could not continue for long.  Yet nearly 60 years later, it is continuing and it is spreading…

This technology explosion, reminds me of an age old legend based on the “power of exponential growth”… surrounding a temple in Kerala, India. Legend has it that Lord Krishna once appeared in the form of a sage in the court of the king who ruled the region and challenged him for a game of chess. The king being a chess enthusiast himself gladly accepted the invitation. The king asked the sage to choose his prize in case he won. The sage told the king that he had a very modest claim and being a man of few material needs, all he wished was a few grains of rice. The amount of rice itself shall be determined using the 64 squares of the chess-board, with a grain of rice placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, eight in the fourth square and so on. The emperor chided him on his very modest request, but the wise sage insisted that would be his prize. The King lost and the net result was that he owed 2^63 (two to the power of sixty third) grains of rice for the final square alone, translating into trillion tons of rice. Noticing the King’s dilemma, Krishna revealed himself and told him that he could repay the debt over time and thus the tradition of distributing Paal Payasam (Rice pudding) to the devout continues to this day in the temple.

Extending the discussion, if we take a look at the how the mobile handset industry is growing in tandem with the growth in mobile OS and applications… it is following what is commonly known as Android’s law…the pace at which mobile devices are manufactured based on Google’s OS releases is rapidly coming down.  If one bought a smart phone last year, chances are that it is already out dated.  There has been a paradigm shift in how a Mobile device is viewed … it is more of a Global Data access instrument as opposed to a communication device.  The growth in the devices segment can be gauzed from the reported data that  there are about 300 million computers and 1 billion cell phones produced every year to replace the old, redundant and the obsolete.

The explosion of Internet and it’s users, electronic devices, information explosion with the advent of Big Data, social media & networking and the surrounding apps that are being churned out to keep the wheels going and the enormous prospects that all of which have to offer are all keeping the technologists busy. Today, technology shapes and influences and impacts our lives in many more ways than we probably ever imagined… our social behavior is dictated by the social and networking sites. Corporate world, which hitherto desisted from allowing workforce to access the social media due to security aspects have started embracing these understanding the great potential. The advent of cloud computing and the prospects of a completely connected world through the consortium lead by Mark Zukerberg of Facebook (through internet.org) will further put enormous expectation on the technologist.

We are truly in the middle of technology explosion. Spare a thought to the CIOs and CTOs, who are tasked with considering all the available technologies and evolve a robust technology strategy for the future.  The questions are many…. Starting with the ability to harness what is already there for innovation, disruptive thinking and changing the business as usual mindset. These are truly exciting times! Long live technology!!

(The author is the Director for IT Services at DST, India)