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9/17/2004
06:05 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
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Editor's Note: Cheers To The Year's Top Tech Innovators

Welcome to our 16th annual InformationWeek 500--a list of the most innovative users of business technology. We've spent months examining the technological and organizational practices of companies across 21 industries and the technology leaders behind them. This year, we toast our No. 1 company, E.&.J. Gallo Winery, which has adopted a forward-leaning stance toward wireless networking and worker mobility and the ability to act on real-time information throughout the supply chain. The company has heavily automated its business--from the time the grapes are delivered, through wine production, then bottle making (it makes its own), to distribution centers and retailers. It's all about "ruthless execution," CIO Kent Kushar says.

On average, InformationWeek 500 companies invest about 3.7% of their annual revenue in technology for an average cash layout of $334 million. Widespread among many of the companies on the list is the use of business-intelligence tools, content-management software, and supply-chain-automation processes.

This year, we did something a little different. While we're still providing a detailed source of IT budget data and a listing of 500 innovative companies, we've segmented the best in class through a ranking of the top 100. These companies show even more distinction with their business-technology strategies. For most, efficiency and productivity is top notch, they've raised the bar on corporate governance, embraced emerging technologies, and developed new technology strategies aimed at revenue generation, new business opportunities, and customer service.

Congratulations to all listed for your pursuit of excellence and business innovation fueled by technology.

Stephanie Stahl,
Editor-in-chief
(sstahl@cmp.com)


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