A Reflection On Information And Communications Milestone Made By USA
Information Technology has no doubt revolutionized the world.
This includes the way we communicate, learn and even go about our daily businesses. This 21st century innovation has indeed redefined and reshaped the rules of business engagements and how we live and conduct our day-to-day business. These influence and advancements cannot be said without one country, which has contributed immensely to its development.
That country is United States of America.
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United States of America is generally believed to be among the most technologically advanced country in the world.
While other advanced countries have been able to catch up with USA in some field of technology, they have failed short of trailing this great nation when it comes to information technology innovation. The question is 'How long can America hold grip as an IT leader'?
USA has always maintained a big lead in information technology innovation and development.
These positive developments have lead to an unprecedented growth in Information Technology expansions including IT job creation.
For more than five decades, America has continued to pioneer and lead the rest of the world in Information technology innovation. America's lead in information technology spans across all specialization in IT fields; from super-computing to parallel computing and the now popular distributed and client-server computing.
Most American IT companies are leaders in their respective fields: While Microsoft continues to lead in operating system and desktop software innovation, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on the other hand remains a dominant Microchip maker.
In mainframe and super computing category, IBM remains world number one.
To crown it all, Google is the undisputed search engine giant.
Google has proved to be one of the most innovative IT Company in the world delivering different innovative web, GPS, wireless and data communications technologies.
Dell, HP, Oracle, Paypal, YouTube, eBay USA, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook just to mention a few innovations that have also changed the business landscape in a positive way.
Other operating systems giants such as Macintosh, Unix, Linux and Sun Micro system were all discoveries that took place in USA.
High Level programming languages such as C, C++, which ushered in Object Oriented paradigm were first invented at Bells laboratory in USA while Java was developed by Sun Micro system all in USA.
Credit will also be given to the wireless world.
Motorola, AT&T, Palm and recently Apple smart phone innovation. The list goes on!
The question and the challenge is whether USA will be able to hold grip as a leader in Information Technology?
In recent times, USA continues to loose IT jobs through offshore outsourcing.
This certainly was not the trend few decades ago when USA gained dominance in information technology.
In those days, IT jobs, which involved both design and implementation, were all carried out on US soil. Today, the story is different. More than 25% of the IT design and implementation jobs are being outsourced overseas.
The big question is where are these jobs outsourced to and to whom?
Ironically, the answer may receive mixed reaction from all well meaning Americans.
When you outsource a software-programming job to a company oversees or to your company affiliates overseas, you are in part, giving out some of your key to success and innovation.
This inadvertent transfer of US technology to the outside world in no small measure affects our dominance in IT.
For America to remain competitive and continue to champion the course in information technology innovation, there should be more emphasis on local transfer of technology instead of the transfer of these technologies to countries overseas. Companies must learn to protect their trade secrets.
In a world where technology piracy is fast becoming the order of the day, American Information Technology companies must learn to be more cautious, rigid and protective when it comes to handling and transfer of technology.
Companies should also explore other avenues to go about outsourcing without necessarily sending the jobs offshore.
Indigenous and local talents could be recruited and trained as part of technology knowledge transfer.
In order for America to sustain and maintain their leadership in Information technology, the above-mentioned precautionary measures needs to be taken. By doing so, we would have gone a long way in transferring knowledge and saving IT jobs locally in US.
'A stitch in time saves nine'
Author: Justin Alan
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