Applying Technology is not Technology
"Ability is the power of applying knowledge to practical purposes" - Unknown

Via Bruce Schneier:

I've long said that the fundamental problems in computer security are no 
longer about technology; they're about applying technology. Workshops 
like WEIS are helping us understand why good security technologies fail 
and bad ones succeed, and that kind of insight is critical if we're going 
to improve security in the information age.

Bruce referring to a conference (WEIS) that looks at the relationship between economics and computer security.

I think this is a great point, but Bruce doesn't go far enough. I think this can be generalized to: The fundamental problems in professional computing are no longer about technology but applying technology.

I'm sure that people who are still pushing the boundaries in things like AI, nanotech, etc. would beg to differ, but for the vast majority of people who are involved with technology (i.e. those supplying and using computer-based systems in the business world), the problem has shifted.

Not that long ago (i.e. within my time as a professional programmer), hard drive size, memory size, bandwidth and processor speed were forefront concerns for any business application design, often requiring workarounds or selection (or anticipation) of new technlogies. Now the discussion has shifted to how we effectively apply the tools and technologies at our disposal (I haven't heard anyone say something along the lines of "well we can do that if we just get more memory" in a long time). Even my phone has more processing power now than some of the desktop machines used by companies 10 years ago.

This is not to say our work is done. But rather that its just getting started. Now the challenge is to understand how to use the things we have effectively and efficiently (arguably a bigger challenge).

It also might explain the growing sense that CS degrees are insufficient to prepare people for a career as a professional programmer. As the fundamentals become more commodotized, the application becomes more central to success.