Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Problems, problems

From my Inaugural Lecture, 15 September 2015.

Title: 'Connectivity isn't everything (but it's almost everything)'

Problems, problems

Of course, too much time on-line will continue to be a struggle for some.  Managing 'screen time' is likely to remain a challenge for homes, schools and organisations.  The question of ‘how much is enough’ is likely to be asked over and over again.

But, there are other connective challenges looming.

One example stemming from the Internet of Things is the rise of High Frequency Trading (HFT), where incredible connective speeds have produced moral hazards and unethical behavior in Wall Street banks and similar risks are possible in other industries.  (See my post on this here).

Security and privacy are constant concerns and hardly a week goes by where some Internet security or privacy breach is not reported.

Another emerging reality is the rise of hyper-scale businesses, which lead to ‘winner-take-all’ economics, where the leading company in a space gathers not just an expected market share, with others taking a portion, but rather the top company dominates the sector (Brynjolfsson and MacAfee, 2013).  Of course, monopolies are nothing new, but global monopolies are making it increasingly difficult to succeed against such unprecedented scale.

And, the digital divide will persist.  The Internet is lumpy at best and it's performance is always relative.  When you have slower broadband than your neighbours, you feel deprived. 

There are, of course, other areas of concern about connectivity, but to articulate them all would keep us from the wine longer than I am prepared to risk.

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