Nowadays, the main industry of personal computing comprises, together with only traditional desktop, PC servers, and laptop PCs, smart handheld devices such as ultra-mobile PCs, PDAs and smart phones. A number of component suppliers, logistics providers, distributors, manufacturing services, retailers, service specialists and others support the industry and other electronics industry segments. This is the reason why these companies are considered to be the part oft the overall production and innovation network in PC industry supporting the segments of the industry and providing infrastructure for innovations.
The 25th anniversary of the original IBM PC release was celebrated on August 2006. The product boosted the formation of a new industry of PC which consisted of a global network of suppliers of components, systems, software, and peripherals. The main factor that caused shaping of the PC industry structure was the IBM PC design as it was an open system with standard interfaces. It permitted newcomers to enter the market and gave producers of parts, components, and systems the opportunity to have access to global economies. While the industry was working on the innovations on the common standard, desktop PCs were joined by notebooks and PR servers (Dedrick and Kraemer, 2008, p. 19).
Analysis of the Field
It is widely used by American companies to produce products of high quality at home. IT is also used to offshore manufacturing and production, in the same way reducing the price of such products as DVD players. It is evident that IT, as well as overall technological change, makes globalization move faster, quicken the pace of globalization and make its effect on the USA for intensive. It is easily seen from the reduction of the IT price, for example cheaper computers and software. It is explained by the fact that more and more companies use cheaper IT in order to redefine their strategies, access new markets, and create\new products. Computers, software, and the internet help local producers reach not only national, but also global markets. IT makes it easier for banks and stock brokerages to reach new customers and enables individuals check their bank balances and make various stock transactions.
Research shows that lower IT prices cause greater a number of investments into the IT sphere: 10 % drop in IT prices causes more than 10% increase in the investment in IT. The investment in IT means that the U.S. economy has a higher growth potential. The example is the IT boom of the 1990s when the economy accounted for more than half of the productivity growth acceleration of the decade. IT led to the higher GDP growth, lower rate of unemployment, and low inflation.
The tendency of these gains diffusion of IT will continue as there are still many economy sectors that haven not made great investments into the IT sphere. Among the sectors which have already invested in IT one may mention financial institutions, telecommunications, and wholesale trade. Construction and health services fall behind the investment as they have a huge number of smaller enterprises and business interrelationships which are really complex. The health sector faces a real challenge while managing the needed information by hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies. Among the more regulatory hurdles of the healthcare sector are gains that come from using IT and the cost reductions. The construction sector is characterized by a number of small businesses which find IT too expensive and not oriented to their specific needs.
Due to the globalization of IT services and software, It products which are required by these sectors will become cheaper at the same time leading to larger investment in IT. With the greater number of sectors in the U.S. economy which invest in IT, there is greater and faster growth of the productivity of the U.S. (Mann, 2004, p 33-35).
Research Topic Background
Such technical innovation as the integrated circuit (developed in 1959) and the microprocessor (developed in 1971) caused the appearance of personal computers. The integrated circuit made it possible to miniaturize circuits of computer memory whereas the microprocessor helped to reduce the CPU size to the size of a silicon chip. A microprocessor was developed by Ted Hoff. It happened at Intel Corporation in California (the Santa ClaraValley south of San Francisco. The area became known as Silicon Valley due to the computer and microprocessor industries which developed there. A microprocessor is a machine which combines thousands of transistors equivalent on a tiny silicon chip.
Due to the fact that a CPU could perform logical operations, calculate, manage data flows, and contain operating instructions, there existed a great potential for the development of a separate system functioning as a complete microcomputer. They introduced into the microcomputer such new features as inexpensive data storage and disk-drive programs, expanded memory, and color graphics. Being the fastest growing company in the U.S. history of business, Apple Computers inspired a large number of similar manufacturers of microcomputer to enter the field. The end of the decade marked a clear definition of the personal computer market.
A microcomputer model IBM PC was introduced in 1981. In spite of the fact that it did not make use of the most recent computer technology, the PC was considered to be a milestone in this field. It became obvious that the microcomputer industry was a necessary tool for the business community. The use of a 16-bit microprocessor in PC was the start of the development of more powerful and faster and more micros. The possibility to use such microprocessors by all computer makers caused the standardization of the industry.
Other important developments were made in the middle of the 1980s, among them the introduction of a powerful 32-bit computer capable of running enabling high speed multi-user operating systems. There was almost no distinction between minicomputers and microcomputers, as office desktops had enough computing power to serve all small businesses and most medium-size businesses.
The introduction of simpler was the next innovation. It was a user friendly method that controlled all microcomputer operations. The Apple Macintosh and other similar computers allow the user to choose the symbols icons graphic of computer functions by substituting a graphical user interface for the traditional operating system.
Theories of Innovation Management
Being an economic driver and having increasing importance, knowledge has major outcomes for innovation management. It is also considered to be a key factor of competitiveness at the national and regional levels.
The reduction of transaction costs between firms and other actors, especially in the research and information areas, buying and decision making, enforcement and innovation policy, have caused the contribution of knowledge to innovation.
The generation of innovation and knowledge has been created in the result of a variety of activities, and many of them are outside the process of formal research. Thus, knowledge is generated not the same way as in research centers and universities, but in a variety of locations within the economy being considered a product. The current economic context shows that growth mostly originates from increasing the productivity of knowledge work, and this increase is the most important contribution which may be made by the management.
Knowledge workers and productivity are the most valuable assets of a firm in the 21 century. KIOs range from providers of knowledge-intensive service to manufacturers of high-tech that is why they need to manage the processes of innovation in order to increase productivity if knowledge.
Thus, knowledge and innovation generation have been analyzed from a specific systemic approach taking into consideration the role of the market, the knowledge architecture, and other factors, as well as the innovation alternatives such as product, process, etc. outlining a parallel comparison between both processes (knowledge and innovation) (Hidalgo and Albors).
Maximization of Technologies Impact
As businesses have been the basis of technology for a very long time, there arises a question whether production may be speeded through drawing into more business. Emerging in the 20th century, computers promised a new age of information technology. Businesses are in the constant process and need to adapt and change their infrastructure to reap the benefits. The example may be the Bank of America which took on the system of check-processing which is automated and American Airlines as the company started using the system of a computerized flight booking,
Nowadays communication devices and personal computers help in conducting most businesses, they also help in organizing personal schedules, dense databases, and other forms of essential information. Quick movement, reliability of information, there are almost not distance barriers, it helped businesses to realize how easy it is to outsource jobs from outside. Hiring employees who work outside the company is called outsourcing. Companies can outsource such duties as telephone customer service, computer programming, fast-food restaurant service and others. Outsourcing is considered to be a controversial practice (McGrath).
Successful IT integration presupposes a clear understanding of the goals of the newly combined company’s and early planning. The requirements and needs of the company’s current and models of the target business determine the approach of IT integration approach. Usage of the best company systems or development and support of standalone systems give the company opportunity to achieve the desired end state efficiently and quickly.
To set the course for the integration of Information Technology it is necessary to assess the IT environment across all major business applications of IT components, support infrastructure, spending, assets, organization, and to provide a distinct image of integration opportunities and challenges. To fulfill this aim it is required to have a close partnership and collaboration with business leaders in order to determine the business impact of IT integration opportunities such as time-phased cost savings, timing, risks, and potential interdependencies. Then opportunities of IT are based on cost savings, revenue enhancement, timing, risk avoidance, and level of effort.
For the company which is newly combined, this approach requires a strong decision-making and ownership structure of IT sphere. With such a structure in place, a company can be sure to solve any arising issues in the way consistent with the goals and strategy of a company, and to overall minimize or avoid failure in operations. This has a great importance when it comes to the integration responsibilities of connecting business process with the integration responsibilities of systems (Information Technology: how to complete the M&A integration process, minimize disruptions, and achieve desired synergies).
Information Technology is prophesied to be one of the key factors which drives progress in the 21st century. It is believed that IT sphere will influence and transform the way we live, work, learn, and play. Advances in communication technologies and computing are believed to create new infrastructure for business, social interaction, and scientific research. This infrastructure which is in the process of expanding may provide humanity with new tools which help to communicate throughout the world and to acquire knowledge and insight from information. Our understanding of the effect on the natural environment and its protection is also perceived through information technologies. Providing the basis for economic growth, information technology will improve the health care quality, make the workplace more rewarding, and make government more accessible to the citizens’ needs. The technical advances which caused the appearance of modern information tools began with the support of research by the Federal Government in collaboration with industry and universities. The success of these innovations depended on the investment in fundamental and applied research (President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, p. 243-244).
The Future of Computers
Recent innovations, for example iPad, provide a good vision of the future of computers. In order to better understand the future trends of computers, it is necessary to have a look back into their history of evolution. The machines from the mid-20th century were massive and consisted of wires and vacuum tubes. It was necessary to use punch cards stacks in order to program them. The first computer was brought down to size by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as they were instrumental in this business. With the introduction and widespread acceptance of the personal computer, computers shrunk while processing power increased. Moreover, the reduction of costs over the years gave many households the possibility to own wireless networks and several personal computers. Future technology will greatly change the home PC. The examples are modern Web-enabled televisions and appliances.
First the world witnessed laptops, then netbooks, and nowadays ultrabooks. These devices have several characteristics as folding design and portability which have been integrated. The differences are their size and storage. Hard disks are used for laptops, the cloud for netbooks, and Flash memory for ultrabooks).
Apple’s iPad has substantially influenced the future trends of computers. In a short period of time it was followed a flood of tablets with small sizes, extreme portability, simple designs, Internet access, thousands of apps, and loads of features, and others.
In spite of the fact that speech recognition is not perfect, it has improved greatly in recent years. Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking software continues to gain acceptance while Windows 7 has the program of built-in speech recognition in its operating system. A keyboard and a mouse are in danger; the last one may be successfully substituted by a touchscreen technology (Baloch, 2012).
Having strong linkages with different sectors of the economy and being essential for the appearance of a new paradigm of innovations, the importance of the business services sector goes beyond its growing GDP share. Sectors which face the double challenge of globalization, and feel the need in innovations in knowledge-intensive economy, have an essential necessity in the access to the sector of efficient business services.