The dotcom bubble may have burst but the technology developed at the time will have far reaching effects on business and society, according to industry heavyweights.
Speakers at the Beyond the Backlash conference, arranged by think-tanks Demos, iSociety, IPPR and Forum for the Future, explained that the language of the dotcom years was overblown but that many of the predictions will come true in the longer term.
Will Hutton, chief executive of the Work Foundation, said: "The things that were suggested at the height of the dotcom boom were substantially true and, over the next five to 10 years, these trends will manifest themselves.
"The 21st century paradigm is going to be the network, and already that's having an impact on organisations."
Neil Holloway, managing director at Microsoft UK, agreed that the technology industry will deliver many of the elements required over the next five to 10 years, but warned that the pace isn't certain.
"Getting people onto the internet took less time, but some of the experiences that people want in the consumer and business environment took longer," he said.
"The challenge we have in the UK is our ability to embrace that change compared to other G7 countries and emerging economies. They can leapfrog the old ways of thinking and some of the infrastructure challenges."
Holloway suggested that companies need to move to a "new ecosystem" where people, processes and data are connected.
"We are challenged by too much information and we don't use the technology that we have," he explained. "The systems we have aren't integrated with the business processes, and the information we want is hidden."
But John Naughton, fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, warned that there are threats to the freedom of the internet.
"The internet is designed to be as open as possible to innovation. The problem we have is that powerful forces are seeking to close it off," he said.
"If these forces succeed there will be dire economic consequences because we will have strangled the goose that lays the golden egg."
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