President Obama And The Coming Tech Revolution

1934[1].jpgI will admit it is difficult to put the words tech and revolution together less than 24 hours after John Chambers cratered confidence in technology with a conference call which mentioned that the next quarter will likely see revenues 5-10% lower than the same quarter last year.

But as we get past this hopefully-temporary negative news, I believe we are getting ready for another technological leap where companies of all sizes begin to embrace technology like never before.

It may be useful to go backwards before we progress and in so doing let’s stop in the late nineties when Al Gore mentioned the term information superhighway in a speech on TV. Almost immediately the tech markets were abuzz and I remember the next Internet World expo saw traffic increase exponentially.

You see, government has always had a huge influence over tech. In decades past, government standardization on things like UNIX which gave great confidence to IT markets that UNIX was a safe bet.

During the Bush administration however, tech seemed to have been something that didn’t mesh with the understanding of the President or Vice President. After all Bush did say he pulls up maps on “The Google.” Need I go on?

So if we can surmise that when government casually endorses an operating system or mentions a term in a speech and this results in a revolution in tech usage, what happens when an administration truly embraces technology?

The Obama campaign used integrated marketing better than just about any corporation I have ever seen. The had people going door to door, call on phones, they emailed, Twittered, SEOed, social networked, YouTubed, wrote iPhone apps, sent text messages and ran ads on TV. It was insane really – the Obama brand was everywhere.

Will an Obama presidency use similar levels of technology? I hope and assume so. We know government could certainly use a boost in productivity and it is about time that tech invades the White House from the top down instead of the other way around.

Another question worth asking is whether Obama will embrace technology to give citizens a larger voice in important decisions. I think there is a tremendous opportunity for him to do so. If he is smart, he will establish nationwide user names and passwords which link to driver’s license or social security numbers, allowing citizens to voice their opinions on anything, everything. He can then communicate with us as needed to answer our concerns and make us feel like we are part of the process.

So assuming President Obama continues to focus on technology when he gets in the White house — and I am optimistic he will as he has already outlined increased use of IT in healthcare and the need for broadband penetration in rural areas, we should see a trickle down of technology use in the SMB space and elsewhere.

I see this especially true in the areas of marketing where more companies will embrace social networking, texting, email, video and other forms of communications.

So once we get through this financial rough patch – and partially due to it, we will see increased of technology to enable businesses to become more productive and cost-effective. All of this bodes very well for tech over the next four years or more.

  • Randell Jesup
    November 12, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned
    That is a big step in the decision-making changes you mention, and start to leverage the tech-savvyness of Obama’s campaign.

  • Voip Guy
    November 27, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I think you give one man way more credit than he could possibly deserve. You are assuming that he wants to hear or know what the people want. Most politicians have their own agenda–to get reelected–and their pockets lined.
    If you throw enough money at an election then you can integrate your message any way you want.
    In getting elected he had money that he could control without going through the congressional Budget office and the millions of Government employees that have their own agenda.
    In response to your Poor George comment, do you remember how many states Obama visited?
    Oh yea 57… but some people are allowed to stumble verbally sometimes and others aren’t.

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