One of the most intriguing keynote speakers at Citrix Synergy is Nicholas Carr. Carr became very well know in 2003 for his article “IT Doesn’t Matter”.




DOES IT MATTER?

Nicholas Carr poses this question in his 2004 book “Does IT Matter” , a follow up to his very controversial 2003 Harvard Business Review article – “IT Doesn’t Matter”. In this very controversial article and book, Carr argues that technology itself does not give you a competitive advantage and that IT should focus on risk management and cost management. Carr does admits in interviews that failure to keep up in the use of technology can put a company at a significant competitive disadvantage.





Carr’s original article created alot of controversy within the IT industry. He has posted a thorough article that links to those who agree and strongly disagree with his thoughts on his website. You can find links to both sides of the discussion on this page. You can find an interview he did with ZDNet on this controversy below –





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(If you cannot view the video, you can see it at ZDnet’s website)





Carr’s most recent book is called “The Big Switch:Rewiring the World from Edison to Google”. Carr’s description of
“The Big Switch” is below –





A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility.

The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google and Salesforce.com to the fore and threatening stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap, utility-supplied computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. We can already see the early effects — in the shift of control over media from institutions to individuals, in debates over the value of privacy, in the export of the jobs of knowledge workers, even in the growing concentration of wealth. As information utilities expand, the changes will only broaden, and their pace will only accelerate.

Nicholas Carr is the ideal guide to explain this historic upheaval. Writing in a lucid, engaging style, he weaves together history, economics and technology to describe how and why computers are changing — and what it means for all of us. From the software business to the newspaper business, from job creation to community formation, from national defense to personal identity, The Big Switch provides a panoramic view of the new world being conjured from the circuits of the “World Wide Computer.”

Here is a short video interview Carr recently did for the Search Engine Strategies conference (in London) on this new book –

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Carr blogs about these topics and many more at is personal blog site – The Rough Type.
Finally, Carr created a short little video regarding his keynote at Citrix Synergy.





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Nicholas Carr provides a unique insight in the current state and future of IT. You can hear more from Nicholas Carr at Synergy.

I will be posting about other keynote speakers and sessions speakers later.

You can click here to register for Citrix Synergy.