Resources

The archive provides a record and analysis of the facts of the computing industry and the experience, opinions and conclusions from those people who steered it from an embryonic concept looking for problems to solve to a ubiquitous technology.  Information Technology has grown from a scientific and academic curiosity 70 years ago to an industry that, according to data from the Office of National Statistics Labour Force Survey presented in the February 2016 report from the Tech Partnership, employed 1.75m people in the UK in 2015 (5% of the overall workforce) out of an estimated 31m people in employment.

Our archive gathers together the accumulated experience from one of the most important industrial growth experiences of the modern age; a mass of lessons – what worked, what didn’t and how future high growth, advanced technology industries might better be managed at personal, corporate and national levels (not to mention global, which is increasingly the nature of IT).

Relevance of AIT

Whatever you call it – Information Technology (IT), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Informatics, Computing, Computer Science – the development and application of electronic devices to calculate, control and communicate has influenced most aspects of everyone’s life at an ever-increasing pace. Our material is relevant to a whole range of scientific and engineering disciplines from basic physics and materials science to manufacturing and marketing.  The technology has revolutionised industries such as leisure, entertainment, retail and finance; it has changed the way we communicate, through mobile technology and social media and for better or worse that has had major societal impacts from the Arab Spring to Fake News.  There are lessons here for all areas of business and government.

Understanding the history and learning the lessons

Our growing archive particularly addresses the contribution of individuals who shaped the industry and societal and economic aspects of its impact.    As a business-person, policymaker, advisor or consultant you may find it useful in a number of ways

  • Our timeline charts important history in the development of technology, helping to understand how our economy and industry has developed
  • Personal accounts of industry leaders offer the wisdom of those who got it right and learned from mistakes: hiring, investing, partnering, floating, merging etc
  • Stories of industrial rise and fall: IBM’s crisis of the 1990’s; Apple’s near extinction avoided to become the world’s most valuable company; ARM the company that makes nothing in the UK but is one of the country’s most successful manufacturing businesses
  • Our material works at two levels
    • Stories and lessons from our interviews and outcomes from research are “off the shelf” wisdom to help national and industry leaders on industrial policy and development, economics and sociology
    • The raw material (interviews, documents and links) is literally a mine of information from which business leaders, economists, investors and policy-makers can derive invaluable guidance on how best to drive industry and the nation forwards.

Research

We would like to hear from departments and institutions with whom we could work to support your research and analysis programmes, which would, in turn, populate our database of lessons and experience. Get Involved and contact us via enquiries@archivesit.org.uk

References:

The Tech Partnership’s industry FactSheet (March 2016)