This may turn out to be a classic case of the business opportunity flowing not from the deployment of the technology itself but from the kinds of new businesses and business processes it can enable.
Nowadays a lot of technologies are getting cheaper and cheaper. They're becoming commodities. From the article: it benefits customers more than investors. So: there is a real problem for companies in these kind of areas.
*The key for companies is to think beyond their products--to get in their customers' doors to help remake their work, their way of doing business, and their industries. "You know that old saw that
railroads are not in the railroad business, they are in the transportation business? We are facing something similar to that," says Andy Grove, the chairman of Intel*
Talk about disruptive technologies that are really nice for consumers: cisco 'll start with an voiceIP telephone that uses WiFi. That's voice telephone calls over the cheap internet and accessing that internet over the anarchistic and cheap WiFi instead of using those 3G mobile networks everybody spend so many 10^9 euros on... Shall we start digging graves for the likes of KPN and Deutsche Telekom yet?
... only the most culturally nimble, clear-thinking, and specialized tech companies will survive and thrive. When you take this thought to the world of specification systems (my area) this means you've got to be really careful. As far as I see it many companies rely on closed-ness of their systems for their cash flow. Throwing it partly open in order to join in all those nice internet thingies might very well be the stab of death.
If you decide to go the internet way you've got to be really smart and agile, otherwise you're roadkill.
Off-topic fun comment on this article
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
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