Gartner Research

Innovation: A Brief History of Information Technology

Published: 28 July 2008

ID: G00203466

Analyst(s): Ken Anderson


For almost three decades, IT departments have relied on technological innovation to connect, integrate, and automate countless business and social functions. Past technological innovations dramatically changed the delivery of business and global communication. Unfortunately the future of IT appears uncertain: less technical implementation; more traditional business. In this Perspective document, CIO Executive Strategist Ken Anderson covers the past, present, and future of IT.

Table Of Contents



  • In the Beginning: Early Information Systems
    • Innovation During the Time of Early Information Systems
  • Personal Computers: Data Gone Wild
    • Innovation During the Time of Personal Computers
  • Time of Choice: Mainframes, Minicomputers, and Microcomputers
    • Innovation During the Time of Choice
  • Application Development: Automate Everything
    • Innovation During the Time of Application Development
  • New Applications: Best of Breed vs. the Enterprise
    • Innovation During the Time of New Applications
  • Time of Collaboration: LANS, MANS, and WANS
    • Innovation During the Time of Collaboration
  • The Internet: A Web of Business
    • Innovation During the Time of the Internet
  • IT Today: The Busy-ness of Technology



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