Browse Definitions :
Definition

sea change

A sea change is a significant and/or systemic transformation. The term is frequently used in as a synonym for paradigm shift  in business and as synonym for IT transformation in information technology (IT).

The many technological sea changes cited in the media include the Internet, cloud computing, big data, social networking, Web 2.0, IT consumerization and mobile computing.

Here are a few examples of how the term has been used:

  • According to some speculation, Google Wave (the predecessor to Google +) was expected to enable a sea change in business collaboration.
  • The trend towards distributed computing was described as a sea change. (John Gage of Sun famously described the transformation from isolated desktop computers: "the network is the computer.")
  • Open APIs (application-program interfaces) have been described as fostering a sea change in application development and interactivity.

"Sea change" originated in Shakespeare's, play "The Tempest," which was written about 1610. Ariel sang the following in a song to Ferdinand, describing the physical transformation that the sea had wrought in his father (who had drowned).

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

According to Michael Quinion of World Wide Words, "sea change" first began to be used metaphorically in the late nineteenth century.

See also: IT transformation, disruptive technology, change management

This was last updated in October 2012

Continue Reading About sea change

SearchCompliance

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

SearchSecurity

  • information security (infosec)

    Information security, often shortened to infosec, is the practice, policies and principles to protect data and other kinds of ...

  • denial-of-service attack

    A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is a security event that occurs when an attacker makes it impossible for legitimate users to ...

  • user authentication

    User authentication verifies the identity of a user attempting to gain access to a network or computing resource by authorizing a...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close