If you were to ask what the two main challenges are that we face, technology is not going to help you with either.
One is to increase the dismal productivity of the new labor force-knowledge workers and service workers. In blue-collar work, the question is how the job is done. But in knowledge work, the question is what should be done. Managements haven’t asked that question yet. For this challenge, technology isn’t helping very much.
The other challenge is to figure out what’s going on outside the company. Inside the company, there are only costs […] But we know nothing about the outside. The biggest change that technology could bring would not be a faster computer. It would be concepts for getting information about the outside. These concepts are very, very slow in coming.
The greatest mistake I made in a long life, and I made lots of them, was to invent the phrase “profit center.” There ain’t no profit centers inside a business; there are only cost centers. The only profit center is a customer whose check hasn’t bounced.