Big fish, small fish, fast fish, slow fish!

ATN-300InsightaaS: In the process of launching the Toronto Cloud Business Coalition, I’ve had a chance to learn from thought leaders from many different companies and contexts. Today’s ATN feature comes from a discussion that I had with Shawn Rosemarin of VMware, who highlighted this post from World Economic Forum chairman Klaus Schwab. The ‘hook’ from the post – the quote “Gone are the days of big fish eating small fish. In the post-post-crisis world, fast fish will dominate – and slow fish will die” – sounds like something Dr. Seuss might say, updated for the reality of what Schwab terms the “post-post-crisis world.” It is, I think, a great metaphor for describing the IT-enabled transformation that businesses (and entire economies) are experiencing.

Schwab’s post conveys a sobering re-set for economic growth expectations that are increasingly distanced from the heady times that preceded the Great Recesssion. He pokes at “the flawed assumption that the post-crisis world’s challenges were only temporary,” stating that we are instead in a “post-post-crisis world” that requires “a new framework of realistic solutions.”

Schwab sees technology as the linchpin for slower but sustainable economic growth, one with “outstanding…scope and scale” of disruptiveness. In one passage, he sounds like several of the folks who post here:

“The pace of change has been accelerated by the interconnected nature of today’s world. Technological progress is occurring within a complex and deeply integrated ecosystem, meaning that it simultaneously affects economic structures, governments, security arrangements, and people’s daily lives.”

Schwab goes on to present an evenhanded view of the new economic realities, looking at “Uberization” and growth in specialized (and well-paid) employment on one hand, but also noting that “if workers fail to acquire the skills to fill these new positions, they will be left behind.”

Overall, this is a good macro view of technology’s impact on the global economy, well worth the few minutes needed to go through it in its entirety.

GENEVA – The world needs to stop looking backward. Since the 2008 financial crisis, we have wasted far too much energy trying to return to the days of rapid economic expansion. The flawed assumption that the post-crisis world’s challenges were only temporary has underpinned policies that have yielded only lackluster recoveries, while failing to address key problems like high unemployment and rising inequality.

The post-crisis era is over, and the “post-post-crisis world” is upon us. It is time to adopt a new framework of realistic solutions that promote shared prosperity within the global economy of today and tomorrow.

In this new era, economic growth will occur more slowly – but potentially more sustainably – than it did before the crisis. And technological change will be its driving force. Indeed, just as the Industrial Revolution transformed the productive potential of societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a new wave of technological breakthroughs is reshaping economic and even social dynamics today. The difference is that this revolution’s impact will be even greater.

One outstanding feature of this revolution is the scope and scale of its disruptiveness…

Read the entire post here