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

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

  • contextual marketing

    Contextual marketing is an online marketing strategy model in which people are served with targeted advertising based on their ...

Close