Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Korea’s IT839 Reshuffled

With South Korea’s new president Lee Myung-bak came a major reshuffling of the government. For those who, like me, try to follow up on Korean information technology there will certainly be a period of confusion. The reorganization is radical.

The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) used to be a good source of information about Korean IT projects. Their web site carried detailed annual status reports, among other things. However, MIC has been divided and merged with other ministries, notably the new Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE). At the time of writing MKE is just a little over 6 months old. Its web site is still mostly an empty shell.

The grand IT839 project, or vision, has also been cut up. Its various subprojects have had to find new sponsors.

My impression is the new government is eager to usher in the age of convergence. Convergence is a very flexible term that is used in many areas with various meanings. In this case it means that IT in its own right fades out of sight and merges with other disciplines. A prominent example is IT merging with construction technology to enable the U-City vision.

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