While The New Polymath was overall wildly optimistic, I had a pessimistic chapter about the state of IT, healthcare, sustainability etc.
Five years later the contrast is even more stark.
I see Gartner’s hype cycle on new technologies and it’s good to see convergence of infotech, healthtech, biotech, cleantech in a variety of trends like autonomous vehicles, bioprinting and brain computer interfaces. I see a very nice polymath panel at Popular Science discussing progress in astrophysics, disease mitigation, programming languages and many other STEM disciplines. It is good to see Bill Gates continue to invest in global health progress, Elon Musk push the boundaries of electric cars, space travel and more, Google/Alphabet invest in a wide range of breakthrough areas, Amazon pioneer with robots and drones, Apple with wearables, GE with all kinds of smart industrial machines and so on. Plenty to be optimistic about.
But you look at the state of IT and shake your head. Still way too much spent on infrastructure and back office when companies are screaming for money for digital products and front offices. Dumb security weaknesses. Medieval behavior by many IT vendors as they continue to use trickery and threats to cling to older revenue models. Poor user satisfaction.
Ditto with healthcare. Still too slow drug and device approval and global availability cycles. Big bureaucracies on the payor and provider world.
Ditto with sustainability. Cheap oil, idiotic politicians, short term focused capital markets all conspire to hold back needed progress in alternative fuels, water sources and many other areas.
Over the last year I have been fairly pessimistic as I have written two books on SAP Nation and spent much time talking to customers about back office IT. I need to keep reminding myself the European Dark Ages were followed by an amazing Renaissance. Cannot wait for that with our technologies.
(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)