Over the past few months, various economic indicators have been pointing in the same direction-toward good news. Confidence indexes, stock markets, growth in the gross domestic product, earnings reports, venture-capital investments, IPOs: Together they scream recovery and growth. Severe cost-cutting is subsiding, but the optimization of people, processes, and technologies will continue indefinitely. Nevertheless, the road ahead is exciting, refreshing, and incredibly fascinating.
With all of the warnings last year by smart business leaders to "innovate or stagnate" and "position yourself for the turnaround," now is the time to watch the leaders separate from the laggards. In this special issue, we focus on the former. On the following pages, you'll find insight, perspective, and strategies from business executives-builders and buyers-across multiple industries.
There's a healthy dose of optimism (mixed with discipline) and a pervasive belief that business technology can change the rules of competition and collaboration. And while all may agree that technology remains a significant differentiator in business, our business leaders share many different opinions and strategies on global initiatives, offshore outsourcing, and emerging technologies.
"The vast potential of technology to bring social and economic progress has never been greater," says Carly Fiorina. "A decade from now, we're either going to be able to tell a glorious story of empowerment and opportunity, or we're going to look back on missed opportunities and talk about what might have been."
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.