GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AND INFO-MATED ENTERPRISE
A Strategic Briefing for Engineers
David Pearce Snyder
Life-Styles Editor, The Futurist
In the 30 years since computers first appeared in the factories and offices of the industrial world, the developed nations have spent trillions of dollars on information technology with little effect on productivity or prosperity. By trial and error, however, we have finally learned that the principal productive potential of computers is not their capacity to speed the flow of information or to manipulate ever-larger data bases, but rather their capacity to enable us all to make better decisions.
In the info-mated marketplace of the 21st Century, physical production, while essential, will add less and less value in comparison to the value added by professional, managerial and technical services, including research, design, engineering, quality control, marketing, etc. And, as the international business community gains experience with the new organizational structures and information systems, the resulting surge in global productivity and prosperity will be sufficient to permit both restoration of decaying first world infrastructure and accelerated third world development. Moreover, while expanding development will continue to be a source of environmental degradation, from now on all aspects of commercial and social enterprise will increasingly be made ecologically benign and sustainable through more stringent national and international regulation and the evolution of inter-modal infrastructure.
In the first half of this illustrated briefing, consulting futurist David Pearce Snyder describes the pace and scale of the techno-economic restructuring now underway in the mature industrial nations, and the impacts of that restructuring on global economic performance. During the second half of the briefing, Mr. Snyder details how the expansion of the international info-structure and the accelerating application of information technology are beginning to produce substantial added value for professional practitioners in all fields, including medicine, accounting, law and engineering, even as technology has begun to fundamentally change the ways in which these services are provided, clients are found, practitioners are certified, solutions are identified, and money is made.
© 2000 David Pearce Snyder
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