Integration as a competitive advantage

Henrik Hvid Jensen

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Until the end of the 19th century, many factories used waterpower to operate their machinery. The energy came from a single source (the water mill), which was connected to a complex system of pinions and pulleys that distributed power to the individual machines. When the first electric generators became available, most factories chose to use them rather than the water mill to operate the existing system. Manufacturers with greater foresight understood that the great advantage of electricity is that it is easy to distribute. Hence, many large, centralised power plants emerged that delivered inexpensive electricity. These started a chain reaction, giving us the modern world we know today (based on Nicholas Carr). The same development is taking place with computer power. Thus far, each company and each citizen have had their own "computer power generators". However, a... (more)