Business Technology: People, Processes, Tech--We Have It All
Last week's issue offered observations from CEOs and other executives on what the coming year should be like in the world of business and technology. And it was great to see so many of these leaders expressing optimistic outlooks for 2004, particularly because those perspectives came from across a wide range of industries and companies. It should be noted that none of these execs--all of whom kept their companies focused and engaged through the intensely difficult 2-1/2 years from mid-2001 to late 2003--said anything even remotely approaching the absurd canard that "IT doesn't matter"; in fact, quite the contrary: The global business leaders who participated in our Visions 2004 issue said that information technology will matter more in 2004 and coming years than ever before.
The difference is that leading companies in every field, regardless of their size, have come to understand clearly that optimization isn't just about business technology (although that's a huge part of the effort); rather, all of that stuff has to be optimized in close concert with business processes and the people behind those activities. The new vision of, well, optimal optimization encompasses a unified and inextricable approach across all three components: people, both inside and outside an organization; business processes that increasingly reach far outside a company to dozens or hundreds of other companies; and business technology, the sets of tools and services that map to those behaviors and initiatives to allow customer-focused innovation and transformation to happen.
"Last week, a U.S. military transport plane flew 550,000 pounds of nuclear-related equipment and material out of Libya to the U.S. The shipment was estimated to be just 5% of the nuclear equipment the U.S. plans to move out in coming weeks, but included the most sensitive parts."
--The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2
In the midst of these profound changes, all of us at InformationWeek are delighted to invite you to join us--and a few hundred of your peers--in several weeks at our Spring Conference, with the theme "Optimizing People, Processes, and Business Technology." You'll have the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts from leading global companies on how they've blended those three ingredients to get closer to customers, create new revenue streams, reduce expenses and development cycles, raise brand awareness, and engage customers more productively on multiple levels. The event will run March 28-31 at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla.--for more details and a look at the program to date, please visit www.informationweek.com/events/04spring.
Among our featured speakers will be InformationWeek's 2003 Chief of the Year, Roy Dunbar of Eli Lilly & Co., who capped off a wonderful year by being promoted from corporate CIO to president of one of Lilly's operating units. We'll also have top executives from Hilton Hotels and from Burlington Northern Santa Fe in special spotlight sessions, along with our usual stellar mix of business-technology executives from a host of outstanding companies. Also true to our form, we'll provide highly productive opportunities to network with peers, participate in our high-energy "Get to the Point!" debates, and offer focused workshops exploring technology deployments behind new business strategies, hear renowned computer scientist David Gelernter's views on the emerging dynamics of business and technology, and get a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the most daunting optimization projects in the world from Andrew Allen, program manager at the Kennedy Space Center.
And since no one wants to be thought of as dull because he/she's all work and no play, we'll keep with our entertainment-side traditions of a terrific golf tournament and many other opportunities for some fun. And for us at InformationWeek, this unparalleled chance to meet new faces and renew existing acquaintances gives us the opportunity to serve you better as we learn how we can make all of InformationWeek's media platforms--not only events but also print, online, and research--more valuable and relevant to you and your colleagues. We look forward to seeing you there.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.