Steve Forbes on the new abnormal

LAS VEGAS – Forbes publisher and former U.S. Presidential candidate Steve Forbes addressed the solution provider community at the Ingram One show.

He dismissed the trend of “the new normal” in the economy saying that instead is “the new abnormal.”

According to Forbes, the new abnormal means that the sluggish economy specifically in the U.S. will not last. This opposes the more noteworthy trend of the New Normal which says the financial conditions following the 2008 meltdown and the global recession that occurred right after is now commonplace.

But Forbes does not think so. He told a packed audience of VentureTech Network solution providers that the economy will resume its vigorous growth rate. He added that the Web has upset the economy and has made traditional areas of business more challenging. Forbes suggested that solution providers should prepare for the new opportunities that lie ahead.

For example there is a surplus of lawyers in the world. “Lawyers can’t invent enough things to do. Who would have known?” Forbes said that a lot of those routine tasks lawyers do has been farmed out to India. People in India can speak English and can do routine lawyerly items cheaply instead of customers paying $150 an hour it can pay just a few cents.

Forbes described this new abnormal as “creative destruction.”

Other examples of creative destruction cited by Forbes are Bitcoin, the IBM Watson technology and even down to laser eye surgery.

Bitcoin, Forbes said, is money but it also isn’t money because it does not have a stable value. What it does have is a seamless process that is better than the current card swipe payment systems because that is too costly for a retailer even with Paypal. “Bitcoin is making things seamless and it’s a huge opportunity,” he said.

The Watson computer may have beaten Jeopardy champions but now it’s being used as a big data project to hopefully find a cure for cancer. All the data the world has on cancers are being put into the Watson computer and being matched up with a person’s actually situation for better treatment possibilities.

Regular open markets can also provide a positive change to healthcare such as Laser Eye Surgery. More than 10 years ago it costs about $5,000 to have elective laser eye surgery. It was not covered under any health plan so those in that business had to figure it out for improved customer’s satisfaction. Today, the procedure is improved and cost half as much.

There are three areas of focus for this new abnormal: healthcare, monetary policy and taxes.

Five quick hits before I go. John Cammalleri is switching over from HP Canada’s Enterprise Group to Printing and Personal Systems Group.

John Fago is no longer the Executive Sponsor of Ingram Micro’s VentureTech Network. He passes the baton over to Jim Veraldi, Ingram’s senior director of advanced computing division. Supporting Veraldi will be Jennifer Johnson, the North American marketing manager for Ingram. Fago will be missed by the entire VTN community. He did an exemplary job for five years in the role.

That was not the only Ingram appointment announcement. Jeff Yelton is the new executive director and GM of Ingram’s North American data capture/POS business. Yelton was the president of ScanSource POS and Barcode unit.

Finally Avaya’s Bob Gutschenritter is now the director of UCC for Ingram Micro North America.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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