God’s gift to technology implementation

December 2000 had a director of IT solutions discussing the challenges of keeping her department staffed in an economy where jobs outnumbered professionals.

Because of the skills shortage, IT applicants thought they were God’s gift to technology implementation.

“”I think there’s a delusion of grandeur to a great extent, especially around the network specialists simply because they look at a Cisco router and consider themselves the expert of the planet,”” she said.

This trend soon made a U-turn with unemployment lines populated with skilled IT workers, but an ITAC study released last June said that Ontario high tech professionals should expect yet another turnaround.

Ontario government given deadline

The end of 2000 also saw the Ontario government order all of its ministries to get fully online by 2003. The plan was to enable citizens of the province to be able to do tasks such as replace lost health cards and renew drivers licenses online in order to place Ontario as one of the leaders in the world of service delivery. The goal of the initiative was to transform Web sites that simply provide information into sites that provide e-commerce services.

Management Board Chairman Chris Hodgson, the minister in charge of internal government relations, said that he was confident that the plan would be implemented by 2003. “”We learned from Y2K problems (the importance of) a coordinated approach with deadlines and accountability of all ministries to report to myself and management board and cabinet works,”” he said.

While not all of their expectations have come to pass yet, they’re on their way.

Challenges? Yes. Startups? No

A speaker at the Next Generation Network’s 14th annual conference in Washington told attendees that user demand and technological advances mean that the Internet would undergo a decade of rebuilding. John McQuillan, the president of McQuillan Ventures and chair of the conference predicted that the future would depend on factors such as technological advances, customer acceptance, economic issues of adoption and integration, regulatory forces and access to human and financial capital, noting that logic alone is not a reliable guide.

He also predicted that it would be startups that would offer strong challenges to companies such as Nortel, Lucent and Cisco, and has proved to be half right. Since December 2000, challenges in the telecom industry have been offered in spades, but not necessarily from startups.

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