Welcome to FT Digital business

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Choosing the open source movement as the main focus for the first issue of FT Digital Business was a relatively straightforward decision.

In FT Digital Business we aim to move the FT’s technology coverage along from merely illustrating how technology is helping to change the business world, to showing how emerging technologies are creating new businesses, new models and even new markets and to illustrate how the most dynamic executives are harnessing it to blast their sleepier rivals out of the water. At the same time we intend Digital Business to maintain FT-IT’s legacy of being the most comprehensive and accessible source of technology information available to a general business readership.

The time for Digital Business has arrived because the technology industry – and under this tag we include a wide and varied array of sectors from telecommunications to computer gaming, enterprise software to the internet – is finally beginning to fulfil some of the promise it made in the late 1990s to change the world, even if it is not happening in the way that many predicted or hoped.

The dynamism and free thinking of the open source movement illustrates this idea perfectly. It has used the power of collaboration made possible by the internet to create an entirely new way of doing business. If this remains most evident software, where Linux (whisper it quietly) has evolved from revolutionary newcomer to respected member of the establishment, it is now tearing up trees elsewhere.

From manufacturing to media, collaborative creativity is making its mark, and rather than indulging in Canute-like attempts to stem the tide, the very best businesses are working out how to adapt to it.

Our launch issue, featuring the FT’s very best technology writers as well as authoritative comment from outside, such as Lawrence Lessig above, has captured this diversity, analysing its impact on the technology and telecoms sectors as well as those further afield.

Elsewhere we are delighted to introduce personal technology coverage. It is important for two reasons: firstly because people interested in enterprise IT systems tend to be enthused by devices and gadgets but more importantly because developments in consumer technology are now informing and influencing business and corporate technology. That is a theme we will elaborate on in the coming issues.

As well as aggregating much of our comment on one page – including Dan Gillmor who has made a seamless move from FT-IT – we have introduced new features. The guest column, brilliantly filled today by Mr Lessig, will be a regular feature, as will From the Blogosphere, with which we will dip into the great pool of excellent technology writing and thought available online.

The remaining five issues of Digital Business published this year will follow the lead of this one by taking on broad technology themes. The next issue, to be published on October 5, will examine technology strategy in the 21st Century, while a fortnight later we will analyse China’s massive and growing impact on these industries. In November we shall look at security (November 9) and wireless (November 23) before the year-end issue, which comes at the halfway point of the first decade of this new century and looks forward to technology in 2010.

If you have any comments on this issue, I’d love to hear them, so please forward them to digitalbusiness@ft.com

Ben Hunt, editor.

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