Friday, March 26th, 2010

“IT Convergence” in Korea

English is a high-profile language in Korea and Japan. As in many other languages of the world, there is an influx of English loanwords. Koreans and the Japanese have a habit of cutting out anything that seems non-essential. In both languages apartment has ended up as apatu, super market became supa. This blog has reported on ubiquitous. And then there is convergence. Check out a few slide shows from Korean IT policy makers and you will certainly stumble across IT convergence. It’s the next big trend. But what does it mean?

To a Westerner it seems strange that something can converge on its own. Usually it takes two to converge. For example, mobile – fixed line convergence, or prepaid – postpaid convergence in telecom.

I am lucky enough to have Korean friends, so when desperation was near I turned to David for advice. I saw the light after his explanation. IT convergence in Korea means that IT is being soaked up by other areas to the extent that it becomes an integral part of something else.

For example, has anyone heard of desktop publishing? The term appeared in the 80’s when the computer was a new and exotic citizen in the world of publishing. Today there is no other publishing. Anyone doing publishing sits in front of a screen. The computer is a publishing machine, the IT flavor has disappeared. This is IT convergence.

In this case I don’t know about Japanese.

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