It wasn't that long ago that I remember searching for just the right dress for an event, only to find something I loved, but in the wrong size. I asked the salesperson if she could check with another store to see if they had it in my size. Well, that would have required her to call individual stores, give them a SKU number or a description of the dress, and wait for them to check their racks. She was too busy to make the calls. My only choice was to call myself and hope the person on the other end wasn't too busy to look or make the trek to another mall. It just wasn't worth it. These days, however, retailers such as Macy's can make a simple query in a retail system and check inventory at other stores. No calls, no hassles, no wait.
Many years ago, I remember repeatedly dialing a Ticketmaster 800 number to buy tickets for a U2 concert. Busy signal, busy signal, busy signal. These days, I simply go to the Web site, choose an event, choose my seats, purchase the tickets, and even print them out on the spot. No more phone calls, no more busy signals, and no waiting for my Barney or Blue's Clues tickets to arrive in the mail. Instant satisfaction.
The benefits of building a real-time business are many, from significant improvements in the supply chain to simple customer convenience. In this week's issue, we profile the technologies and the challenges. Also, in this month's Optimize (optimizemag.com), we dissect real-time business from six different disciplines, including collaborative strategies and business leadership.
Many of us at InformationWeek are headed toward four days of compelling discussions about real-time business at the InformationWeek Spring Conference. In the coming days and weeks, we'll bring you plenty of news, ideas, and perspective from our stellar lineup of speakers (stay tuned to informationweek.com/events).
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.