Editor's Note: Keep Innovating, No Matter What - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Business & Finance
06:15 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl

Editor's Note: Keep Innovating, No Matter What

Last week, as we celebrated the most innovative users of business technology for 2004, we also spent a lot of time discussing what innovation is, which companies are yielding the best returns for their investments, how innovation can be applied to important business processes such as customer service, who is using IT to create killer businesses, and more at the InformationWeek Fall Conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Few companies earned a good return on the IT investments they made in the 1990s, argued Ray Lane, general partner at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Only a handful of companies such as FedEx, McKesson, Merrill Lynch, and Sabre Holdings are exemplars of profitable tech investments. And those examples pre-date the '90s tech boom. "Those are precious few for the work that's gone in," said Lane, who previously was president and chief operating officer at Oracle, where he spent eight years. "Who's our IT bell cow today?" he asked.

Innovation, of course, isn't a one-size-fits-all package. While it comes from the many "next big things" that our industry has consumed, it also comes in increments that help improve productivity, increase efficiency, drive new revenue, and make customers happier. But one thing is certain: Innovation can't stop just because business is slow or the economy is weak.

"The metabolism of business is speeding up--you need to keep innovating," said Don Tapscott, author of The Naked Corporation, who spoke about "business webs" that engender IT-enabled relationships, IT-embedded products, increased intelligence, and strategic controls, among other attributes.

Stephanie Stahl,
[email protected]

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll