C|NET’s interview with Martin Illsey, Accenture Technology Labs’ director of research

c|net (or is it “C|NET”??) has posted a really interesting interview with Martin Illsey, who is the director of research for Accenture Technology Labs, which is Accenture’s R&D branch.

(Article by Tom Espiner, special to CNET News.com, Published: October 30, 2007, 1:28 PM PDT, site accessed 10/30/07.)

I’m not going to into a whole lot of detail about this article, but I will say there’s quite a bit of interesting stuff there.

Two things that caught my eye:

Illsey’s response to a request to expand on a previous answer about challenges in finding practical applications for technology —

Amara’s Law, which also goes by other names, is that people overestimate the short-term effects of an action or technology, while underestimating the long-term effects. Evel Knievel is a case in point of overestimating the short term: he thought he could jump 27 buses and couldn’t.We do the same with respect to new technologies; we think we’ve done it all and that it’s going to happen tomorrow. We also underestimate the long term, like Evel Knievel. I’ll bet he’d never have guessed that by now, he would have given up riding motorcycles and become very religious. He’s now riding pillion with God.

and Illsey’s response to a question about convergence in communications —

In some organizations, you have videoconferencing rooms that lie empty, then some conference calls with 20 or 30 people, and nothing gets done. There’s nothing wrong with the tools; there’s just no formalization of the process of inviting the right people to be integrated into systems. If the objective of a meeting is to make certain decisions, tools should make sure that the right people are there.

To the second quote above, I can only say “AMEN TO THAT!!!”

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Interesting trivia bit: The link for “pillion” in the first quote was in the original article. It leads to the Wikipedia page for pillion, which said (among other things):

During the Second World War, the British Army introduced a requirement following the debacle in France in 1940 requiring all officers up to the rank of colonel to be proficient in the use of the motorcycle, and all officers holding the rank of brigadier were required to be able to ride pillion. These requirements came about as a result of the large number of motor cars that were lost in action. The requirement for riding pillion was quietly dropped as large numbers of jeeps came into service in the middle of the war.

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