John Gantz

Age: 57

Claim to fame: Computing analyst since 1974 at IDC, Dataquest and his own firm, TFS Inc. Among his better-known predictions: said there would be no major dislocations from Y2k; debunked the 1980s hype around artificial intelligence, saying the business would go nowhere; and in the 1970s, predicted that the satellite business wouldn't have transponder shortages.

What he's doing now: Chief research officer and senior vice president at IDC

What's the next technology advance that will radically change the business landscape? There's something in these microelectronic machines, where you send these machines into your bloodstream to deliver drugs a lot better. They're using semiconductor techniques to create these little machines. They'll change the landscape in pharmaceuticals and medicine.

John Gantz of IDC
John Gantz of IDC
Do you think we'll be interacting with our computers differently in the future? I don't believe voice interaction is going to happen, other than maybe an occasional simple command for hands-free use. We'll pretty much be point-and-click.

Sounds like voice isn't going to be one of your choices for new applications. What will we see? Sharing pictures has become one of the primary reasons people communicate [online]. The software to search, to navigate, to classify and reclassify just isn't there for images. We're just at the beginning of figuring out how to deal with this new kind of data stream. I also don't think we understand what would happen if bandwidth were really plentiful and really free or close to free.

Information technology's been critical in terms of breaking geographic boundaries. You have these multinational corporations that run themselves pretty much like a single organism. Smaller and smaller companies will be doing business outside of their home countries.

The application we won't have is a fully integrated company with ERP, CRM and supply chain automation all talking together, the CEO sitting at some kind of war room console driving the business from this integrated piece of software. It's never going to work.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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