Editor's Note: When Less Is More--And When It Isn't - InformationWeek
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6/11/2004
07:10 PM
Stephanie Stahl
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Editor's Note: When Less Is More--And When It Isn't

Doing more with less can be good or bad, depending on what the more is and what the less is. Doing more work with less staff is the not-so-great part for a lot of companies. But what about increasing storage capacity by 587% while spending 67% less? Or increasing network capacity 346% while spending 60% less? Now, that's the good kind of doing more with less. And that's what's going on at pharmaceutical company Wyeth. It's just one of the many companies that have spending on a path that my colleague Eric Chabrow likens to many diet fads--less carbs and more protein!

All kidding aside, the time, energy, and fewer resources spent on optimizing business processes, while also planning for new initiatives, has become standard business practice--the new "normalcy." And it's likely to stay that way for some time to come. Of course, business-technology executives have to balance all of this while also evaluating emerging technologies and game-changing strategies. Getting back to the less-staff part of the equation, consider this from the Hackett Group. So-called world-class IT organizations spend 18% less than the average company on IT, and do so with 36% fewer workers. They do it while providing more strategic value to their companies.

One area in which less is really being felt is in R&D. Some companies have cut it significantly or completely, while others use the savings from other IT belt-tightening to continue to fund their R&D projects. This week, though, we'll tell you about a few companies that still celebrate their research efforts. Hats off to them for trying to keep innovation alive and kicking, even when their efforts have no immediate ROI.

Stephanie Stahl, Editor-in-chief
sstahl@cmp.com


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