The Beauty Of Information Technology
I’ve always been fascinated by Information Technology. The fascination extends beyond what collective great minds have achieved to how they were able to achieve it. Just being able to view this blog post as you are doing now is a culmination thousands of technological advancements and millions of individual contributions.
I believe Information Technology is uniquely distinct from other forms of technologies and that is one of the reasons I am drawn to it. Of the pervasive technologies today, I find Information Technology to be the most empowering and if you take the time to comprehend it, incredibly beautiful.
Information technology is uniquely placed among technologies in the manner in which it can be applied in terms of scalability, mutability and intangibility. For this reason it is neither labour intensive nor is it extensively capital intensive when it comes to application by small business or individuals. Another beautiful aspect of information technology comes from the ease with which individuals and groups can collaborate.
A Matter Of Scale
All things, no matter how complex or massive, have to start off small. Companies can start with a few founders, social media giants start with a single website and human beings start off as embryos. Whatever the system or entity it needs that defining moment where it forms and from which it has an opportunity to grow.
The scale at which something can form and be practically viable is essential to the ease with which it can grow. I love the fact that with information technology, the requirements to start are not monumental. The potential for growth however, is massive.
I am convinced that all you need to succeed at anything is being offered the opportunity to get started. If you want to go into the online publication business for example, the basic infrastructure you need to run your business does not change significantly relative to the changes in number of subscribers to your online magazine. The difference in infrastructure between 10 and 1,000 or even ten-ford subscribers is not materially significant.
Other technologies in contrast are not so easy to break into. If you are in the mining business for example, you need to employ heavy equipment from the start to break into the business. You can decide to dig your way with a pick and hammer but we both know how this will end and is simply not practical.
Labour or Capital Not Big Barriers
Compared to other technologies Information Technology is not so labour intensive and neither is it capital intensive. Going back to the example of a mining operation, numerous men have to be employed to keep the operation going. At the same time massive amounts of capital have to be injected into the sustainability of the operation.
Information technologies on the other hand have an inherent beauty when it comes to labour and capital. We often enough hear stories of companies being started by one or a few individuals and in some cases all from a garage. The capital considerations for these startups are very small but the results are nothing short of spectacular.
What makes Information Technology ventures unique is the fact that their success is not so heavily contingent on the availability of massive capital or labour input. They are the result of accumulation of knowledge than is in abundant supply.
The collective knowledge in the industry has been curated and prepared by the technology itself, making it easily available to those who are willing to invest the time and effort in learning to apply them. There are vast stores of knowledge and most of it easily and publicly available.
Most Assets Not Physical But Valuable
When we think of value, we often think of things we can touch. We think of owning a car or a piece of jewellery but you can also own something that has no physical existence but is nonetheless valuable. People own shares in a company whose value is simply based on perceptions and anticipated return.
A great part of Information Technology value is derived from the fact that most of its value is rooted in intangible assets. The value arises from a collection of ideas that provide value to the world. Technological assets can give rise to tremendous value arising from an idea which is embodied in Information Technology.
Information technology allows someone to take an idea, transform the idea into something of high value by applying knowledge. The result is often intangible intellectual property. The beauty with Information technology is that this transformation can happen with minimal input of capital or labour.
More Open To Change
Another reason I sea beauty in Information Technology has to do with change. Change is an important part of everything in life. Change allows us to see growth and to adjust our path in life. It is easier to affect change with Information Technology.
Most components of Information Technology are easily mutable and can be changed. Change is costly. It has a cost in the time it takes to affect the change as well as in the resources that are needed to affect that change.
The harder it is to affect change the more the costs of that change compound on each other. Information technology is often made up of soft systems that are easier to change than other technologies.
Ability to Collaborate
The ability to collaborate is essential for most projects. It may be fine to work as a solo participant on a project in the short run but eventually you have to join forces with other people and collaborate on the project.
Information technology has developed the tools for collaboration over the years and because these tools are developed specifically for the domain in which they are used, they are very effective at bringing participants to work together. These tools are often adapted for other domains but they are most effective in the Information Technology domain in which they evolved.
Even In Other Domains, Beauty Can Still Be Found
Ultimately the beauty of Information Technology lies in its ability to effectively serve a purpose in various domains. Information Technology is a tool that can be used in any type of business in order to make it more effective and efficient. Whether you are in the Information Technology space or not, the beauty of Information Technology is equally applicable.