Meet The InformationWeek 500

Who are the <i>InformationWeek</i> 500? Their ranks include household names such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Compaq, as well as less-familiar ones, such as PolyOne Corp.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

September 14, 2001

2 Min Read

Who are the InformationWeek 500? Their ranks include household names such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Compaq, as well as less-familiar ones, such as PolyOne Corp. (a Cleveland maker of specialty chemicals) and Chamberlain Group Inc. (an Illinois manufacturer of garage-door openers). Nearly 70% of the 2001 InformationWeek 500 made last year's list, and close to three-quarters of those companies appeared on the 1999 list.

On average, InformationWeek 500 companies budgeted $91.6 million this year for new IT products and technologies, $70.7 million for consulting and outsourcing services, $85.5 million for applications, $21.9 million for research and development, and $159.6 million for salaries and benefits. As a proportion of IT budgets, that's about the same allocation as last year.

E-business transactions account for an average of 20% of U.S. sales revenue among companies on the list, down slightly from last year. But more than half of the 24 industries surveyed report E-commerce sales are well above average, led by the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry, which reports that more than half of sales are made through E-business sites. Consumer-goods companies saw the sharpest revenue growth in E-business (45% of revenue compared with 26% last year); utilities witnessed the steepest fall-off, to 7% of revenue from 19%.

Nearly half of the InformationWeek 500 say their E-business operations are profitable. The most likely industries to turn a profit: financial services, hospitality and travel, and logistics and transportation. Likely E-business money-losers include companies in the construction and engineering, health-care and medical, media and entertainment, and utility sectors.

Use of XML has increased substantially, too: 93% of companies report using it, compared with 78% last year. Nearly 70% say XML applications are deployed widely in their companies. Eastman Chemical Co. CIO Roger Mowen says the company expects to book more than $1.5 billion in sales through XML system-to-system transactions over its private exchange by year's end.

E-business investments are another story. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the country's second-largest financial institution, has seen huge losses on investments in high-tech startups this year, taking a $1 billion write-down in July. The company's tech investment arm, LabMorgan, which holds stakes in companies with technology that can help J.P. Morgan's business, continues to nurture a portfolio of nearly 60 startups. These companies are creating technologies that LabMorgan believes will shape the future of the banking industry, despite a $500 million portfolio that's down nearly 20% in value this year. "I don't care what happens on Nasdaq," says LabMorgan co-managing executive Denis O'Leary. "There's a foundation of convergent companies that will allow us to change the way we live, work, and operate."

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