It’s always good to get out when things are going well, so that’s what I’m doing.
The ICT industry itself has undergone massive transformations since I started covering it in 1997. Back then, Intel was launching the MMX upgrade to the Pentium chipset, Y2K was still years away and nobody had thought to stick an “e” on the front of commerce. The New Zealand Herald was still referring to something it liked to call “electronic mail” and broadband was a distant dream. It’s good to see some things haven’t changed.
As I write this, the Telecommunications Amendment Bill has been passed and will come into law in time to start off the New Year with something of a bang. Despite its flaws — and the enshrining of a “retail-minus” model for pricing is possibly its greatest flaw — the Act should finally deliver on the promise we first saw in 2000 when Paul Swain’s brave new telco world was ushered in.
CallPlus has announced hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, and will start rolling out a national WiMAX network in the year ahead. Kordia, the government-owned wireless network formerly known as BCL, is so flush with cash and excitement its expanding into Asia although I’d rather they opted for downtown New Zealand first.
And that’s just the telco side of the business. The IT side has undergone, shall we say “upheavals” in the same period.
First there was Y2K and the upgrade cycle from hell. That threw the even-handed, steady-as-she-goes upgrade path into disarray, something we’re only just recovering from. The PC became a commodity and introducing a new chipset or disk drive seemed to be quite uninteresting to all concerned. Microsoft forgot to launch its new operating system for half a decade, some penguin called Tux got a lot of publicity and IBM was forced to slap The SCO Group across the chops a few times.
We suffered through the economic crisis in Asia, September 11 and the dotcom bubble bursting, but somehow we’re rapidly approaching the end of the first decade of the 21st century with something of a spring in our step. We’re faced with that most desirable of challenges — trying to find enough staff to do all the work. I’m confident that we’ll see more students diving into ICT, and an increase in professionals coming into the workforce in the next decade, if we put the work in now.
Here at Computerworld things are on the up as well. Circulation has increased, we’re doing more with our website and the readership survey that’s just closed was completed by an astonishing number of readers. We’re going to take on board what you’ve said, what you like and what you’d change, and hit 2007 at a run. A new editor has been appointed and will be announced once his next of kin have been informed.
While other publications are scaling back their ICT coverage, here at Computerworld I can happily say the opposite is true: next year our watch word will be “more” and that comes down to one thing: you. Our readers are amazing — everyone’s busy, doing more with less time, with fewer resources, stretching budgets to fit, but still you take the time to comment, to inform, to ask questions that generate though-provoking stories. Without you, our readers, Computerworld would be quite a sterile place and so I thank you for the support you’ve shown us and me in particular.