Software // Enterprise Applications
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2/11/2005
04:10 PM
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The Big Picture: A Business World Without Boundaries

Apps and processes must run on a global network of diverse platforms.

It's a big world out there, and it certainly isn't getting any smaller or less complex. As I've spent time discussing 2005 goals, it has become abundantly clear that a lot of us are being asked to create an architecture that scales internally, externally, and globally. This need is being driven by the fact that we're truly living in a global economy, and it's not just affecting the Fortune 500. Rather, every company trying to link into these tremendous hubs of commerce must now realize that there are no boundaries when it comes to business or technology.

We at InformationWeek define globalization as the ability of a company to engage, co-create value, and succeed with any partner or customer regardless of geographic location, size, or business-technology infrastructure. It's certainly much more than just transacting business across oceans. The challenges are immense but the opportunity unlimited. To be able to create a business that allows customer interaction from all points of the value chain without concern for geography gives an organization a level of flexibility and scale that's difficult to compete against.

It involves ensuring that your applications fit a business model and business processes that facilitate transactions both inside your company and across a global network of diverse platforms. It means understanding the diversities of parochial customer needs and having the intelligence and the infrastructure to stay ahead of the lightning-quick changes in these preferences. And it means deploying the technology, services, and processes that connect your business with customers in the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective manner possible.

This topic of globalization is so robust that InformationWeek has decided to make it the theme of the InformationWeek spring conference, April 10-13 at Amelia Island, Fla. Entitled "The Borderless Enterprise: Global Technology, Customers, And Standards," the three-day event will be dedicated to clarifying some of these issues and challenges that we've been discussing. The conference will spotlight companies that already are major global players. We'll examine the hurdles they've overcome to get there, the continuing challenges inherent to international businesses, and the competitive and financial advantages they're enjoying as a result. We'll debate what business and IT functions and processes can and should be moved offshore. Plus, we'll highlight emerging markets that need to be on your radar screen in the coming months and years.

Be assured that we will rely not only on our expertise but also turn to experts such as Ram Charan, executive consultant and co-author of Confronting Reality: Master The New Model For Success (Random House, 2004), and Bob Herbold, former chief operating officer of Microsoft and the author of The Fiefdom Syndrome (Doubleday, 2004). We also will hear real-life experiences from the CIO's of FedEx Kinkos, Volkswagen, UPS, GM, Honeywell, DaimlerChrysler, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and more.

So please join me at the InformationWeek Conference on April 10-13 and enjoy a great event with your peers and colleagues where we plan to have some fun and learn more about this pressing issue of globalization.

Report from the Old Geezer Basketball League: Bob Evans mangled a finger last week, requiring him to have a football-sized cast on his right hand and making typing a column not feasible. Unconfirmed reports from very subjective sources that he injured a finger while executing a spectacular tomahawk dunk could not be confirmed by objective sources, so are being ignored! He hopes to be back next week.

Michael Friedenberg
VP and publisher (mfrieden@cmp.com)


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