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Home Page Editorial
September 7, 2001)

From Publisher and Managing Editor's Desk... 

Opinion - Continuously Evolving Landscape in IT - Where is Wireless/Mobile Computing Going?

This week, HP and Compaq decided to merge to create the second largest computer company. Properly executed, the merged company could spur the mobile revolution to some extent. A couple of days back, Motorola announced a breakthrough technology - creating a new semiconductor material by combining light-emitting Gallium Arsenide semiconductors with silicon integrated circuits on a single chip. Both Motorola and Ericsson recently decided to license its handset technology to others so that they can concentrate on their core strengths. Palm and Handspring informed FCC that they will introduce a new breed of always-on devices soon. While NTT DoCoMo confirmed that they will go ahead with October 1st launch of its 3G network FOMA, Cingular and AT&T were more modest with their announcement of GPRS network availability in selected areas.

These news flashes constitute plenty of fodder for those of us who publish technology news. Yet, news on the economic front is more somber. Consumers are cautious and enterprises are regulating carefully their capital expenditure on new projects including mobile initiatives. While we would like to publish more customer case studies and large scale roll outs of mobile applications, vendors are unable to feed enough implementation stories, except licensing agreements or partnerships.

Is this a cause for concern? Yes, it is. Should we be overwhelmed by this concern? Not really. Instead, we should look for fundamental trends and introduce structural changes in our organizations that will produce economies, reduce internal costs and provide real value to our customers. Wireless and mobile computing industry is still in its infancy. There is a lot of room to exploit this technology for increased productivity in the enterprise. However, this will come only through proven methods of systematic planning, business case justification, architecture development , design, selection of right products and sound project management - basically good systems engineering principles. As for the dreams of wireless operators and network infrastructure vendors, we shall only say that your growth will happen gradually but surely as new generation of consumers become dependent on your services and acquire the spending power that you need. Please do not use simplistic methods of demand determination - we mean straight line projection of short-term trends or forecasts of market research companies who do allow for macro-economics, human psychology of habit formation, competing methods of entertainment and realistic time table for infrastructure implementation to support it. How will the gas companies sell gasoline if there are lots of standard-shift cars but very few paved roads and older drivers still prefer walking to driving?

For your comments, click here

Chander Dhawan - Your Site's Principal Consultant and Publisher

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