Thanks to digital innovation, our media industry has gone through a generation's worth of upheaval during the last five years. We bet your industry has too. Don't get too comfortable: The pace of change is only accelerating.
As digital technologies enhance products, change customer consumption habits, disintermediate supply-chain players, help buyers and sellers make more informed, data-based decisions, and otherwise overturn the status quo, every company is (or should be) sweating who its next disruptive competitors will be.
Which competitor is FedEx most worried about? UPS, of course, but it's keeping a much closer eye these days on one of its biggest partners, Amazon.com, as Amazon becomes more of a business services and logistics provider. And guess who just beat out old nobody-got-fired-for-choosing-IBM for a prized CIA cloud computing contract? Amazon.
Cablevision CEO James Dolan, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in August, conceded that "there could come a day" when the company stops offering TV service, as more and more viewers go straight to the Web (Netflix, Hulu, even YouTube) for their favorite programs. Just a year or two ago, it would have been unthinkable for the chief of a cable TV company to make such an admission.
Ford, GM, and other automakers are first and foremost manufacturers, but they increasingly view themselves as software companies, as they differentiate themselves not only on horsepower, design, and dependability, but also on the entertainment, location, safety, and other digitally delivered extras they pack into their vehicles. Five years ago, which car companies would have considered Google to be a potential competitor? Yet Google's masterfully instrumented self-driving prototype car now has them sitting up. In a 2011 TV commercial for the new Dodge Charger, a dour narrator intones: "Hands-free driving, cars that park themselves, an unmanned car driven by a search-engine company. We've seen that movie. It ends with robots harvesting our bodies for energy." We think Dodge protests too much.
Rather than sit back and let the digital economy disrupt us (thank you, sir, may I have another!), we at InformationWeek have decided to do the disrupting. Today, we're officially relaunching InformationWeek.com on a brand new online platform, with a fresh design and new content-sharing tools, all optimized to promote discussion among editors, IT professionals, and other thought leaders. Our content is now organized around nine core communities, from Strategic CIO, with its IT leadership coverage, to technology communities such as Big Data, Cloud, Security, and Infrastructure, to our two industry communities, Government and Healthcare.
We're leaving behind the old, one-way publishing model of business technology journalism and pioneering an approach that emphasizes true multiway discourse. The new InformationWeek.com is a place where IT pros won't just come to read stories and consume other forms of content; it's also where they will gather to engage with our editors and with one another to share knowledge, ideas, opinions, and best practices.
Those community members include CIOs, CTOs, IT VPs, and managers, and we've enlisted literally hundreds of them to write for our remodeled site and interact with other community members. Among them: John Halamka, CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Linda Cureton, former CIO, NASA; Imre Kabai, enterprise architect, Stanford Hospital and Clinics; Jonathan Feldman, CIO, Asheville, N.C., Jim Ditmore, senior VP of IT infrastructure and operations, Allstate; Howard Anderson, Yankee Group founder and MIT professor; Mike Altendorf, CIO, Do It Best Corp.; Douglas Stone, senior VP of innovation, Maddock Douglas; Larry Stofko, executive VP, The Innovation Institute; Keith Fowlkes, CIO, Centre College; Robert Atkinson, president, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; Mark E. Johnson, professor of statistics, University of Central Florida, Orlando; and Randy Bias, CTO, Cloudscaling.
We're looking for even more contributors, so if you're in an IT leadership or management position -- and have something bold or insightful to say -- drop us a line.
Among the new and enhanced features on InformationWeek.com are live audio chats we're lining up with CIOs and other guests; a "Steal This Slide" section that lets IT pros grab PowerPoint slides, based on InformationWeek's market-leading research, to use in their own presentations; and "IT Resume Revamp," a recurring series where a recruiter will remake actual IT pros' resumes.
You'll also find an easier-to-use commenting system (our old one could be a dog); an "Editors' Choice" section, where we'll play up insightful and provocative comments from community members; and a "responsive" design that automatically resizes stories and other content to fit your tablet or smartphone.
At a time when the word "community" has lost all meaning because of overuse, we're walking the walk. Welcome to the new community-driven InformationWeek. Let us know what you think, and what we can do better. And thank you for continuing to be a loyal reader and engaged community member.
Play this video clip to hear more about our new approach: