Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

Does 'High Technology' Even Still Exist?

Once in a while in this blog, I examine words and phrases that we use every day in business and try to remember the origin of their real meanings. And as it often goes with business jargon, we overuse it so much that the actual meaning gets lost.

I have noticed lately that some prominent news web sites that cover high technology, including Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, are changing their categorizations to just say "technology." The "high tech" category has disappeared. Are you noticing this too?

I think this is happening because what was once considered "high technology" has become fairly commonplace. We're buying and reading books on inexpensive portable devices, and we're able to carry around an entire library on one small device. Companies that make this technology, such as Apple, used to be minor players in the general marketplace; now they are major movers and shakers with incredible influence.

In the supply chain business, we have traditionally considered key segments of the high-tech industry to include contract manufacturers, semiconductors, consumer electronics, and telecommunications. It may well be time to redefine this definition based on how technology has evolved.

What high technology is there left in the world? What's the distinction between high technology and technology? I think the addition of the word "high" indicates that it's not supposed to be just for anyone to use. It is so advanced that it sits on a shelf just out of the grasp of most people. But this distinction is certainly beginning to fade.

The more democratized our technology becomes, the easier it is for anyone to use. For example, there are software coding languages created just for kids, so that they can program their own software to solve problems.

Are you seeing this phenomenon occurring in other places, as in the way we refer to technology changes? What do you see happening in the future?

Best,
Jim
Tompkins Associations


More Resources

Top 11 Priorities for 2011 for the High Technology Industry

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