However, Vint Cerf, who helped develop building blocks of the worldwide web, said the industry in Scotland could be held back by challenges ranging from a shortage of capital to a fear of failure.
On a visit to Edinburgh, Mr Cerf, chief internet evangelist for Google, said Scotland was well placed to compete in an age of huge digital and online opportunities.
"You have all the ingredients you need to really build the IT infrastructure and business base here," said the American computing specialist while attending a conference organised by the ScotlandIS trade body.
Mr Cerf noted the strength of Scotland's universities and the legacy of the electronics manufacturing industry which developed in Silicon Glen.
However, he added: "The issues that may inhibit growth are to do with the availability of capital, [and] the models of learning: too many educational programmes teach kids how to use applications but not how to build and programme them. You may need to have more hands-on training and you have to have an attitude that it's OK to fail."
He added: "Lots of businesses fail but in some parts of the world, including Scotland, business failure marks you out for ever. In Silicon Valley it's simply a mark of experience."
Mr Cerf stressed IT sector players in Scotland must think globally in coming years.
He said the development of the internet and advanced mobile technologies would increasingly lead to people using technology to complete tasks remotely.
This will create opportunities for innovative businesses to develop applications to run on billions of net-enabled devices that come on to the market.
Mr Cerf noted Google is working in areas that will allow computers to do work people rely on their senses to do - for example look up information about objects that the computers' cameras can detect and target.
Mr Cerf played a key role in designing the TCP/IP protocols that allow the internet to channel vast numbers of packets of information around the world simultaneously, at the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency from 1976-1982.