IW 500 Lessons: Endless Projects To Consumerization Myths

Lessons on analytics, e-commerce, clouds, mobile and more from the InformationWeek 500 companies.
5. Location data still isn't widely used.
Boeing is giving technicians tablets to bring into the nooks and crannies of planes under construction. Boeing's next experiment will be to add location data to those tablets, so that when a technician documents a problem on a four-story, 170-foot-long behemoth, the device notes where exactly that problem is. But only around 30% of IW 500 companies report widespread or limited use of location data tied to mobile apps.

6. Analytics must get laser-focused.
One in every four of us can't metabolize a drug, clopidogrel, used to thin blood to prevent clots after heart attack, stroke or related treatments. University of Florida Health developed a test to identify the gene responsible for metabolizing clopidogrel, and it made that test standard for patients prescribed that drug.

What University of Florida Health's IT team did next is critical: It formatted the DNA data so that the system delivers only the piece of clinical information needed to answer whether this drug works on a particular patient. It integrated that data into the provider's Epic electronic health record so that the record presents alternative drugs. "A lot of alerts, we physicians don't know what to do with," says Dr. Don Novak, a pediatrician and assistant dean for clinical informatics at UF. "This is concrete."

7. The Internet of Things will make or break companies.
To improve the output of its legacy natural gas wells, ConocoPhillips is installing more sensors on them and collecting more pressure and temperature readings, and it's now sampling readings every 30 to 60 seconds as opposed to once or twice a day. The company has improved output as much as 30% by analyzing the data to optimize gas production -- more wells connected, more data collected and better analysis. This kind of constant monitoring and analysis will become life-or-death for many industrial production and manufacturing companies.

8. Cloud strategies are pretty boring.
Just 12% of InformationWeek 500 companies say they can switch between public cloud infrastructure and an in-house data center -- in other words, a hybrid cloud. That capability is a higher level of sophistication than just running a discrete computing workload or an isolated development project on a public cloud like Amazon Web Services'. When it comes to cloud infrastructure, we're barely in the walk stage of crawl, walk, run.