By Paul Huggins
Back in 1944 the Nobel Prize winner, Friedrich Hayek, discussed the important role of economics in society, explaining how it can help us to use knowledge to decide how to efficiently allocate resources, meeting society’s needs in the most effective way. But it would have been difficult for him to predict at the time quite how much knowledge we would have at our fingertips today.
At the time Hayek was writing, products were mechanical and business processes were manual. In the 1960s and the 1970s, advances in information technology enabled a rapid expansion in the use of automation and standardization in production, driving economic growth. Progress in communications technology – particularly the rise of the Internet – created another economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s, by allowing unprecedented levels of coordination, integration and market growth around the world.
We are now entering what is being described as the third wave of IT transformation – where smart technology becomes a key part of products, so that they can communicate with us and interact with other products without human intervention. This is providing leading businesses and forward-thinking governments with the opportunity to pioneer new approaches to creating a more sustainable world.Click to continue reading »