Strategic Inflection Points
A strategic inflection point (SIP) is a time in the life of a society, an economy, a company, or a person when the fundamentals of its existence, and therefore of its future fortunes, are about to change. The SIP can be a threat, but it also provides the opportunity to break out of the current status and thrust into a higher level of achievement. Precisely because it represents exogenous change, a SIP involves risks when it is not attended to:
in time and ◾ in an able manner. ◾
Information technology has gone through eight strategic inflection points in fifty-five years: in 1954, 1959, 1964, 1973, 1982, 1989, 1994, and 2010. These are indicative milestones, and therefore approximate, because a big change in business does not happen overnight; a SIP wave in IT can come from hardware, software, or a system change, and it takes time to build up. Table 3.1 summarizes some basic changes in hardware and software characteristics, as IT moved to a new epoch.