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Professions in a Time of Change

Professions in a Time of Change

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Published by T M Copeland
An essay discussing the impact of technology on professional practice as well as commercial and industrial operations.
An essay discussing the impact of technology on professional practice as well as commercial and industrial operations.

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Published by: T M Copeland on Feb 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/21/2010

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For a long time I have been suggesting to anyone who will listen, or read, that the currentworld economic situation is due as much to technology impacts on the various industrialsectors as it is on bad bankers and bad banking. As if to prove this, several surveys haverecently been published in coincidental proximity to the release of financial performanceof companies supplying the infrastructure for technological change.Companies such as Cisco, IBM, Tanberg, AT&T, to name a few, have recently reported banner results. All have changed future forecasts to reflect the dramatically improvedcommercial environment they occupy. Other companies, those that use rather than makethe technology infrastructure products, are, in many cases, also reporting improvedfinancial conditions. However, these user companies are not doing anywhere near as wellas the provider companies and the users are also reporting dramatic investments intechnology to improve production productivity.For example, many user companies are expanding their capacity for teleconferencing sothat travel costs are curtailed. In a survey conducted by Research Now companies all over the world had recently expanded their capabilities in the video conferencing area or where actively planning to do so within the next eighteen to twenty-four months.While that is happening, companies like Amazon, Apple, RIM, Google, Sony and a hostof smaller players are revolutionizing the delivery of traditional forms of print, voice andvideo communications. The impact of these companies has ceased to be merely deviceand/or consumer electronics oriented. Devices such as the Kindle, iPhone, Blackberry,Android systems, E-reader series, iPad and so forth are working profound changes on theway commercial and personal communications take place. These changes incommunications are, in turn, working profound changes on the production, distribution,marketing, sales and management of a wide variety of industries, whether these industriesare communications businesses or something else. These change are so far reaching,ongoing and evolutionary that possession and use of these devices is as much part of thetechnology infrastructure for current and future business operations as the massiveswitches, servers and transmission pipelines are.What was once believed to be the "latest craze," a mere gimmick, has now become anintegral component part of a company's operational infrastructure. Companies such asItekka are offering products that result in true paperless billing for professional services,such as legal services, through the use of smart phone platforms. Once multi purposetablets such as iPad are ubiquitous in the market such billing apps will be combined withlibrary and research apps, video conferencing apps, logistical management apps, and onand on until business operations will be impossible without immediate, pervasive accessto such tablets.In much the same way that calculators drove out slide rules for complex mathematicalcalculations and then drove away the need to memorize multiplication tables, tablets willdrive away the need to memorize much of the minutia of knowledge" related to a widevariety of professional as well as commercial business. In fact, professionals who focusmore on how to use the technology in the furtherance of their professional service will be

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