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Looking back to look forward05/21/2013 | Follow Peter Waggett | Connect with Peter Waggett

I have just given a talk on new technologies and the future direction of IT to a group from the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. It was a fascinating group of people who are all currently or former senior practitioners of the IT profession who have joined the group to give something back to the IT sector and the wider community. It was fascinating to think that this group achieved Livery status in 1992 and joined the ranks of (at that time) 99 other trade associations and guilds going back to medieval times.

The discussion around my talk made me realize that IT has come of age at an incredible pace. My company is IBM and we have a heritage of just over a hundred years and, when founded, the Business Machine part of the name related to scales and time recording equipment. In my time in IT (only 25 years – and yes I know you will find it hard to believe given my youthful appearance) I have moved from using punched cards and paper tape to iPads, voice recognition and brain reading headsets. Members of the audience were able to share their thoughts and experiences and I think the common threads were that most of us had underestimated the impact and rate of progress of IT and the novel uses to which IT was being put.

Where we will be as an industry and a society in 5 years, never mind another 25 years is exercising me at the present and I hope to continue sharing and refining my ideas with the #amc13 audience next month.

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