ON THE BUSINESS AND WAY OF LIFE
Are we ready?
By Sheikh Nisar Ahmed,
Managing Director & CEO MSCL
July 30 - Aug 05, 2001
The future: The business world today stands on the
threshold of revolutionary change. Changes that will effect every
aspect of doing business in future.
The technology of today and rapidly changing
technology of tomorrow is leading the way to a truly global
The factors of geographical location, time and
distance are no longer the barrier that they were in the past.
High-speed data communication in conjunction with increasing
processing power of computers will make video conferencing very cost
effective and convenient option of doing your business.
HR hiring through Tele interviews and computer
chatting is already in practice by most of the US IT companies. Soon
people will not have to go US to earn US wages.
A refinery design engineer in Houston can do the
work for a refinery in Riyadh, have his designs reviewed, approved,
consult on any problem with implementation and never leave his desk.
A small export company in Nepal or Bangladesh could
find buyers and distribute its products worldwide, at most competitive
prices, because it is able to eliminate the middlemen. This is not in
future, it has already started happening now.
Before we iook into future allow me quote ex-US VP,
Albert Gore. "We are on the verge of a revolution. That is just
as profound as the change in the economy that came with the industrial
revolution. Soon electronic networks will allow people to go beyond
the barriers of time and distance and take global markets and business
opportunities not even imaginable today. Opening up a new world of
economic possibility and progress".
Today Governments and Companies around the world
are working on technological solutions required to network the world.
Advances in satellite, wireless, and bandwidth technology will soon
solve the problems of physically connecting not only every business
and individual but also Governments to the one single global network.
While we are still living with Internet access speed of 64K to128K, in
the other parts of the world 1 or 2 MB speed is becoming very common.
And it is heartening to know that a giga byte speed data communication
has already been tested in labs, and likely to be made commercially
available soon. These developments will be supported by development in
software and Database technology.
Wireless mobile communication technology is
maturing fast. This will reduce the cost and time of laying
communication links by many fold.
With increasing availability of mobile data
applications, handheld devices should become a good substitute for
traditional access to data, removing the need for larger, more
expensive personal computers.
We have already discussed the Carbon-60 chips in
our first topic. We will soon see the commercial implementation of
these chips. This will greatly reduce the cost of computing.
Improvements in human interface technology,
including voice recognition, may also lead to simpler, easier-to-use
devices that will be more accessible to a broader population.
Innovative solutions for extending access will
become available with the declining cost and increasing power of
handheld devices. These include the development of "disposable
mobile phones" or pre-paid plans with extremely low-cost
telephones and handhelds.
All these developments in Information Technology
will change the shape of the world, we are living in a world of bright
promises offering unparalleled opportunities in education, business
and human development. The expectation like
*Distant health care
Are becoming reality.
The vision of a totally interconnected world that
will offer benefits and opportunities not even imagined today will not
be realized without the cooperation and hard work of many people from
every nation in the world. This great work is on going and progress
being made in many areas. Telecommunication treaties that are opening
markets around the world, policies and guidelines that facilitate
growth, trust, and security of the system, and creation of legal
parameters that provide uniform and consistent business environment
with safeguard for individual rights to privacy and redress of
grievances are the areas where bodies appointed by UNO, WB, Government
of USA and European Union have started working.
The success in 21st century will depend on speed
with which organizations are able to adopt to the change. Or as Bill
Clinton said" Make Change our Friends NOT enemy". It is
predicted that large organizations compared to the smaller
organizations will be slower in adopting the change. Thus a tremendous
opportunity for efficient smaller organizations to grow.
Every new era in human history has had both
positive and negative results from the change. The interconnected
world of tomorrow will benefit mankind and the environment in many
ways. But there will surely be some negative aspects. One of the
greatest challenges will be to overcome those problems that arise and
to move forward and fulfil bright hope and promise of this new era.
The big question is "are we ready?".