Saturday, January 24, 2009

There are no new ideas

If you spend any time around me, you’ll hear me say this phrase somewhat regularly.  As I have now been working in the IT industry for 10 full years, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Computer Information Systems and a Master’s degree in Information Technology, it becomes more and more clear to me that there are no new ideas, only a new way to implement the same old ones.

For instance, take ERP system such as SAP and PeopleSoft.  There is absolutely nothing new about putting your business information into a computer.  In fact, the only new about the an ERP system is that is has more information available, in a shorter period of time, and in a way that people can understand. Hmm, that sounds a bit like a chart… more information available, short time, more people can understand…. exactly.

The same goes for the various kinds of computers systems that run today corporations and small business.  30 years ago we talked about virtualization on the mainframe, and now we talk about on mid-range or mini-computers.  Still virtualization, still the same old making one computer look like or act like many computers at the same time.

I find that extraordinary.  So, really, the big ideas are not new, only new ways to implement the same old ideas that have already been proven successful decades, centuries or millennia ago.

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