Terry Retter is director of strategy and technical programs at
PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a consulting editor to the Technology Forecast.
While in India to present the key findings of the latest Tech Forecast, he spoke
to Dataquest about emerging technology trends and their significance for
What are the big jumps in technology, looking forward?
There are no "big jumps," only a progress in the things that
started way back in mid-nineties. We see the Internet evolving in a big way,
which is fundamentally changing the scene of telecom, and the way applications
are written. Along with that, we are seeing a new train of consumer devices,
which make use of innovative applications, which in turn has changed the way the
applications are designed, developed and deployed as well. So we are seeing a
shift in how markets are perceived, and how consumers and end-users interact
with systems. This is making a major shift in the business model from where
products were brought into markets, to one where consumers themselves
proactively demand the products and services they want.
You have chosen the ‘intelligent real-time enterprise’
as the theme for the latest Tech Forecast. Why?
Real-time is the ability to adjust rapidly to changes in marketplace, in
competition, in customer domains, etc. The intelligence is being able to gain
information out of a vast array of legacy applications–the Internet-facing
applications, and the customer-facing applications that have been deployed in
the last two-three years. And combine that with the way business processes have
got extended well beyond the boundaries of the enterprise. Now you are feeding
information to the applications and systems of your partners and suppliers as
well. So this is the point we discussed last year as well: how do enterprises
extract information out of their vast array of applications in a manner that it
doesn’t remain exclusive to top executives, but comes to the forefront and at
the touch point with the customer, and helps the enterprise affect transactions,
and deliver products and services in an better way?
Do you have one "tech" recommendation to
That generality is very hard to obtain. The key is to understand that
technology enables change. Understanding the implications of that change and
making sure that it is compliant with business strategies and objectives is
really what executives need to work on. The key is to leverage the capabilities
of the technology to be able to push out more effective products and
technologies out of your enterprise.
Rishi Seth in New Delhi