A Lesson in Technology from Titanic

One hundred years ago this week, one of the most famous maritime accidents in history occurred when the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage. It had raced across the ocean to break a record and met an iceberg instead. That was April 14, 1912.

James Cameron won an Oscar for romanticizing it in a movie. Hundreds of documentaries have been made about this ship. It even inspired a Broadway musical.

Why was it so famous? It was a sign of its time. It represented class warfare during the industrial revolution; it represented a new life; it was the latest in technological innovation. It was (absolutely) unsinkable.

Then, as now, we lived in world where we looked to technology to be absolute. Then, as now, we were focused on innovation. With those parallels, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind all of us that we are on the verge of greater technological innovation. We’re making it easier to collaborate, and we’re driving instant global communication. That said, we might run in to some hiccups along the way, and I want to be sure we don’t get discouraged.

As an example, there are still a lot questions surrounding enterprise adoption of cloud. Is it secure? Is it reliable? Can it meet stringent, global regulatory requirements for data control?

We’re working through the answers. We’re building these cloud-based solutions in real-time to get them into the hands of CIOs. But, there are no absolutes, just as there weren’t 100 years ago.

Here’s what’s funny about that… According to this article, the people who built  the Titanic and those who commissioned it and sailed it did not claim it was unsinkable. They relentlessly marketed their investment, but they themselves never made the absolute claim that is was unsinkable.

And, I think that’s something to which we should pay attention.

What do you think?  Are we facing any “Titanic” problems with technology that we can’t overcome?  What are the biggest threats on the horizon and how can we solve them?  We look forward to your comments.
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