Where's it all going?
Since its inception, the web has been a land of unknown promise. The economy of the late 90's rivaled if not eclipsed the Gold Rush of 150 years ago, yet every day another apparently brilliant internet business disappears: Webvan, Kozmo, and USWeb/March 1st to name but a few. Other technologies, such as Linux or MP3, spark ongoing battles, in the courtrooms and in the marketplace, and threaten to destroy or be destroyed. How do you develop a successful technological strategy amid the ever-shifting gleam of silicon?
It's particularly important to understand that for most projects, the end result is anything but -- businesses continue to function, grow, evolve, and change -- so too must the underlying technology. No solution is final, rather the best solutions provide a bridge to the next iteration, scale to meet demands, and provide the necessary flexibility for change. Technology is a facilitator, and an enabler, but never a magic bullet.
In the end, a well-designed solution must focus on information flow, communication channels and business processes to best insure that work is done to the highest standards, while remaining open and portable. Capturing the ongoing knowledge transfer within a community, and being able to migrate from tool to tool or platform to platform as things evolve, offers a far more flexible growth pattern than locking into a single, proprietary system that can't grow with you nor with the market. The best solutions are but stepping stones to the future.
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