Editor's Note

In 1967, when Computerworld first rolled off the presses, business had already begun its love affair with technology. In this early stage of the relationship, IT professionals were often relegated to work in the basement, where they struggled to validate their contributions to their companies' bottom lines.

What a difference 35 years make. In 2002, CIOs have the reins of million-dollar budgets. The fortunes of their companies rise and fall with the successes and failures of technology. During their climb to the top of corporate America, this new class of IT professional found a voice in Computerworld. Now it's time to revisit technology's journey, from promising contributor to the central role it plays in today's economy.

In our featured piece, "35 Technologies that Shaped the Industry", writer Russell Kay chronicles the early inventions that had the greatest impact on IT, from dynamic RAM to the LaserJet printer. In "Evolution of the IT Leader", writer Kathleen Melymuka takes a stroll down memory lane with four industry luminaries. Among the first to hold the CIO title, these men discuss the IT leader's steady ascent from the back office to the boardroom.

As technology's significance grew, there were key projects and industries that broke entirely new ground. Robert L. Scheier travels back in time with the Sabre reservation system, which helped revolutionize air travel in its day ("Technology Takes Flight"). In "Signed, Sealed and Delivered", writer Steve Ulfelder recounts the game of one-upmanship that has kept FedEx and UPS in the vanguard.

A look back on 35 years wouldn't be complete without talking with the visionaries who saw the future, the business people who brought their ideas to market and the early IT professionals who created the mold for today's IT leader. We asked these people to predict what innovations will astound us next.

Whether those predictions are right or wrong, Computerworld will be there to report on events as they occur. We look forward to spending the next 35 years helping you keep abreast of the IT industry.

Ellen Fanning is special projects editor at Computerworld.

Reporting On a Revolution
Credit: Larry Goode

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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