Eight people whose innovation and influence are well known.
STEVE JOBS and ERIC SCHMIDT
With very different approaches, this duo's dragging the stagnant phone business into the Internet age. Jobs' Apple iPhone embraces a closed network, and Schmidt's Google Android platform envisions a wide-open one. Both are forcing change for the better.
It's not Facebook that matters, it's Facebook thinking. IT will feel growing pressure to provide social networking functions--to customers, along the supply chain, and inside their workplaces.
He's got Hewlett-Packard back atop the PC market. How big a splash can he make in business software? The year ahead will tell.
For a Microsoft exec, Ozzie sure is quiet. That's fine, but it's time for his vision of software-plus-services to make some noise. That means delivering some surprising products businesses can put to use.
IBM can't afford to stand pat in software. After making the company's biggest acquisition ever this year, count on IBM's CEO to keep dealing in 2008.
Microsoft storms the virtualization market next year, along with a growing horde of Xen-based rivals like Sun and Oracle. The VMware CEO is a leader, and this is her toughest test yet.
2008 needs to be about new products, as Oracle promises to deliver the first of its Fusion applications, which draw together software from past acquisitions. But don't expect Oracle's president, a former Wall Street analyst, to lay off the deal-making.
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.