Editor's Note: R&D Plus Eurekas! Move Technology - 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.

IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
Commentary
10/25/2002
03:24 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
50%
50%

Editor's Note: R&D Plus Eurekas! Move Technology

In the October issue of Optimize, venture capitalist Ned Renzi and CIO John Zarb debated whether the soft economy is stifling tech innovation. Both gentlemen had compelling arguments (optimizemag.com/issue/012/squareoff.htm). It's a topic that often gets discussed in business-technology circles these days. A look at the R&D spending among the 2002 InformationWeek 500 reveals a decline from 4.5% of IT budgets last year to only 2.5% of budgets this year. But there are companies bucking that trend. Microsoft has committed to a 20% increase for fiscal 2003. Likewise, Sun Microsystems and a handful of other top technology vendors have vowed to increase their spending. Others, of course, have slowed such spending. But the good news is that, in many cases, those cuts aren't as steep or fast as the sales decline has been.

I chatted last week with Danny Hillis, co-chairman and chief technology officer of Applied Minds, about R&D and its impact on continued innovation. During his stints as a scientist, inventor, and businessman, he's seen some phenomenal breakthroughs in the world of information technology. And he's been known to say that some of the greatest ideas come not from R&D on core technologies, but from unexpected eurekas! along the way. Sure, it's appropriate for companies to spend most of their budgets on core product ideas, but they also need to look for ways to go beyond. Sometimes that means acquiring a company with a brilliant development or partnering more closely with universities. In any event, collaboration is the name of the game.

"It seems passé to use the term 'net economy' these days, but it's a reality," Hillis says. "More things get done when you have a network of people doing things they're really good at." While he believes that innovation in the core technology of computers is slowing, what's exciting is the application of that technology to business problems. Indeed, innovation doesn't just come from a technology or a product. It can come from a new process or a new, smarter way of collaborating with partners or customers.

To find out how some of the industry's top vendors are investing in the future, turn to page 30.

Stephanie Stahl, Editor
([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
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Industries with Job Openings Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/27/2020
Commentary
How 5G Rollout May Benefit Businesses More than Consumers
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/21/2020
News
IT Leadership in Education: Getting Online School Right
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/20/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Slideshows
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