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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

IT Is Business

So much of travel and limited time to write in the last 3/4 days. George Colony points to the fact that from a time when computers were used to track business and help with retrospective results, it has now come to a point where companies would stand to lose millions if technology stops working and therefore proposes that the term IT be replaced with BT and he thinks this conveys the fact that business is technology and technology is business.

George is right – but he is too late. After all the technology investments in the world consume almost half of the capital investments made by business. I think we have reached this situation when the ERP systems began to get implemented within large enterprises. Global rollouts, instances consolidations all made this provide IT with unimaginable importance within enterprises. Its impossible to think of the birth of some sectors like what we see today without conceding a central role to IT. A Fedex, Walmart or trading rings as we see them today, can’t be even thought of without IT. The web has stroked the fire and the dot.com companies( or their peak valuations in ther heydays!!), no doubt made people sit . I heard someone say that if their enterprise systems fail to perform for a few days, their entire annual earnings would be wiped away. Sensible boards insist on a credible CIO to get hired and no wonder we see that CIO’s also get fired faster. As I see across verticals, increasingly the competitive edge is just going to come out of Innovation and IT would play much more significant role in making this happen. In practice, I see that firms that are underinvesting in technology lose their edge over a period of time. I am not saying that every major initiative would directly contribute to competitiveness, but not trying would definitely harm them.Seen from a business perspective, Innovation need not not be always of the disruptive type but every type of Innovation counts. In today’s hypercompetitive world ,simply put innovation is non-negotiable and innovation streak is of very high value to enterprises and of course much of this would be mainly based on leveraging IT. Business and Technology are getting so integrated, calling by a different name simply does not matter. Absolute truth needs no attorney or an analyst to argue its case.

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