Scotland faces the next big thing

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I am getting ready for the ScotlandIS 2007 Global Forum in Edinburgh on Thursday 4 October, where I am due to chair a session on the 10 next big things facing the IT industry.

One of the speakers will be John Giannandrea, a graduate of Strathclyde University, who followed that fine Scottish tradition of taking their intellectual talent round the globe.

Giannandrea moved to the US to work at internet pioneer Netscape more than a decade ago and is now chief technology officer at online encyclopaedia start-up Metaweb.

If his take on IT development is correct, a great many more Scottish IT professionals, together with those from the rest of the UK, will be moving abroad in search of opportunity – and they might no longer be going West.

“More than a billion people are on the Internet today. It is growing at approximately 50% per year, and most of this growth is outside the United States and mainly in Europe and Asia,” says Giannandrea.

“Following these trends, Europe and Asia will eclipse the US in internet activity in 2007. Assuming fair distribution of capital, the next Google should be Asian or European.”

Well, no one can or should ever assume the fair distribution of capital. But I still think he is right. The start up and fixed capital costs of online businesses are minute when compared to those for the “old economy”.

We had all better be on our metle…

If you fancy joining the debate at the ScotlandIS event – and it promises to be good, with speakers from RBS, Deloitte Research, Scottish Enterprise Oracle and O2, on a range of topics - there is still time to register here.

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