Last week in this column I wrote on exponential economies and why
this state's economic future is tied to these types of industries.
One area where we, as a state, can compete effectively and with a
minimum amount of capital investment is software. This area is
particularly appealing because we can capitalize on existing
infrastructure and intellectual capital.
Software realistically is no longer a stand-alone industry. The
shrink-wrap software industry has been engulfed by the business
services sector where the service companies are taking quantum leaps
in their ability to serve clients using state-of-the-art software
technology. The product is usually provided online, real time for a
subscription, license or frequency utilization fee, but more and
more rarely as a direct purchase.
Companies that elect to adopt application service provider
strategies with a strong customer service focus in their business
models will most likely be the standing survivors when the smoke
Rapid change is characteristic of the software industry and
exciting new advances constantly appear on the near horizon. Failure
to stay on the leading edge of these developments could mean
obsolescence for some Oklahoma companies.
Telecommunications and software industries are inextricably
intertwined -- changes in one affect the other.
A few of the new software and telecommunication advancements in
development that will have profound impacts on our economy include:
* Natural Language Processing (IBM, Microsoft, MIT, Carnegie
Mellon, University of Colorado).
Natural language processing allows people to engage computers in
extended conversations through the integration of speech
recognition, natural language understanding, world knowledge,
reasoning ability and speech generation. Software exists for
individual applications for speech recognition, speech generation
and understanding spoken questions. Microsoft is developing a
technology known as MindNet. MindNet is a massively hyperlinked web
of concepts resulting in a conceptual network that ties together all
of human understanding in words. In addition, the software will
allow computers to communicate with each other in separate
* Microphotonics (MIT, UCLA, Caltech, Nanovation Technologies,
Microphotonics uses photonic crystals to direct light on a
microscopic scale. Photonic crystals are to photons what
semiconductors are to electrons, offering an excellent medium for
controlling the flow of light -- admitting or reflecting photons
depending on their wavelength and the design of the crystal. The
resulting ability to make light bend, go straight, split, or come
back together in a small space translates into a much faster, all-
optical Internet. This optical advancement will pave the way for a
new generation of software requiring large amounts of broadband. …