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Navigating the Next IT Revolution

Monday, September 19, 2011


It has become commonplace to open discussions of technology with a nod to the ubiquity of change. Storage, network bandwidth, and computing power double every 18 months. Today's smartphones have more computing power than was onboard Apollo 11 as it hurtled toward the moon. Software gets easier to use with each release.

New online services roll out daily. Most burn brightly and fade by evening. But a few make it, sometimes with profound implications for the ways we work and interact. Security threats and their associated countermeasures proliferate at network speed. The secretary of defense recently announced that a single cyberattack allowed hackers to steal 24,000 military files. Indeed, tales to the constancy of technology-driven change are so common that we risk becoming deaf to moments of real and significant change. This is such a moment.

Information and communication technologies are currently undergoing fundamental changes that will rival the disruptions that we saw with the advent of personal computing. Three forces are driving this sea change: 1) the economics of aggregation, 2) IT consumerization, and 3) the Janus-faced role that technology plays in serving higher education’s mission. In this session, we will discuss each of these forces.

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