Future of ICT Panel at NZCS Conference

NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews (Chair), Web guru Nat Torkington, CPIT Head of School Alison Young, TUANZ CEO Ernie Newman and Orcon Founder Seeby Woodhouse

What does the future look like:

Seeby: points out innovation is not just computers – many farmers are innovative and have never used a computer. Has been on three year restraint of trade sabattical from ICT industry so has given him lots of time to think. There are soft and hard trends. A soft trend is a share market going up three days in a row, But no guarantee will go up four days in a row. An ageing population is a hard trend, so Orion likely to do well as they specialize in healthcare technology.

Also things happen in cycles, so can do well if you understand the cycle.

To quote George W Bush we vastly mis-underestimated Moore’s Law, which is computing power and storage doubles every 18 months. Believes we are at the start of the stick on a hockey stick. Going from 1 MB to 2 MB not big but going from 250 GB to 500 GB is significant – means can store your entire photo collection etc.

Thinks cellphones will become instant translation devices, will allow travel anywhere.

Nat: Talking open source and the web. Encyclopedia Brittancia was an icon on authority and respect. Not to say Wikipedia is, but certainly EB no longer is.

Also says services over mobile are the most exciting things for improving people’s lives.

Ernie: Talking on telco. Copper, mobile and fibre. Copper competition is about as good as it gets – have the standard regulatory environment. Telecommunications is so much an eoconmy of scale that natural end point is a monopoly if you have no regulation.

Mobile was two duopolists. Very geographically separated market. 2 degrees has shaken this up, and all three networks now using same technology. Things good so long as termination rates come down and 2 degrees stay in the market.

Fibre: Say aim should be to 100% of NZ, not 80%.

Attacking BusinessNZ saying they have always argued against the interest of the majority of their members, and have opposed every move the Commerce Commission has made to have more competition.

Missed Alison’s contribution as I was handing out demerits in General Debate.

Seeby talking about my favourite topic – GPS location services on mobiles. Gave example of if at a sports game in a stadium, you can zoom in and see which aisle and row each of your friends are in, so can easily meet up etc.