Innovation. How do you define it? It's a question we've been asking a lot of people lately. I've gotten some very thoughtful responses from readers, many of whom believe that even a rotten economy can't stifle it. It might change it, but it can't kill it. Last week, Kevin Rollins, Dell's president and chief operating officer, said "standardization is leading to innovation, in that it lets users focus more on how they can apply IT." By standardizing much of the infrastructure that serves as the foundation for business, more time and resources can be spent on the strategic projects that increase business value (for more on this, see "Dell And Sun Offer Different Visions," Sept. 17, 2003).
For others, innovation is about optimizing existing business processes or rethinking the way you work with customers, partners, or even competitors. Call it the period when innovation is all about cutting back and doing more. But there's plenty of the "more" category out there, as we found in our annual ranking of the most innovative users of business technology. You'll find hundreds of pages of profiles and research data across 22 industries.
It's worth noting that in 2001, we found significant innovation in the technology practices of Owens & Minor, a Virginia distributor of health-care supplies that topped that year's list. We also saw the company in action as its executives put their efficient supply chain to the test one day after our list was published and helped get the right supplies to the medical community treating injuries from the Sept. 11 catastrophes. Once again, O&M is in the No. 1 spot. You can find out more about its innovative supply-chain operations and push into third-party logistics in , Top Of The List: Owens & Minor Takes Supply Chain Deeper.
Congrats to O&M and all companies continuing to push innovation in many exciting and creative ways.
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.