Sunday, January 26, 2014

Does IT Matter ? The Debate on Its Strategic Value has Taken an Odd Twist

Nicholas Carr made a name by deconstructing the strategic decline of IT for business innovation. Just as it was once imperative for every manufacturer to host their own power plant, so every 21st company has their own IT center. Carr has brilliantly argued that IT is becoming a commodity service, essential, but undistinguished.

What does it mean for Nicholas, when the model begins to revert ? Because of the widespread distribution of alternative energy sources, Utilities are suffering a decline. The demand for U.S. electricity in 2013 is anticipated to be 2% below 2007's peak. Power customers are back in the business of generating their own electricity.

In Liam Denning's article in the Wall Street Journal he notes that,
Subsidies and falling technology costs are making distributed solar power — panels on roofs, essentially — cost-competitive with retail electricity prices in places like the southwestern U.S. . . . . As more people switch to solar, utilities sell less electricity to those customers, especially as they often have the right to sell surplus power from their panels back to the utility.
So, what's the IT metaphor equal to solar panels ? Distributed mobile clouds ?