20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2015

We hand-picked these 20 real-world projects from among the InformationWeek Elite 100 winners, looking for ideas that would spark new thinking in your IT organizations.
ConocoPhillips Integrated Data Analysis Gets Results
FedEx Uses Texts To Max First-Try Deliveries
Allstate Gives Auto Insurance Telematics A Mobile Twist
Biogen Brings Augmented Reality To Posters
Toyota's Sales Tools Lets Dealers 'Go Places'
20th Century Fox Film Builds A Digital Platform
Royal Caribbean Brings High-Speed Internet On Board
La Quinta Texts Guests: Your Room Is Ready
Capital One Chops Policies That Scare Off Tech Talent
Brooklyn Library Checks Out Data Visualization
A Faster, Easier Way To Lease Property
Pfizer Builds Digital Expertise In-House
Safeguard Mobilizes Inspection Effort
MetroHealth Digitizes Cuyahoga Inmate Healthcare System
Rensselaer Polytech Research Creates a 'Smart Lake'
Comcast Meets Customer Demand For Self-Service
Do It Best Corp. Automates Distribution
Controlled Substance Ordering Goes Mobile
PayPal Brings Agility To Its Data Center
Black & Veatch Tests Drones For Inspections

You hear the words a lot: big data analytics, the Internet of Things, mobile-first development, personalization. This slideshow brings those and other tech innovations to life, with 20 real-world projects from companies on the 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 ranking.

In analytics, ConocoPhillips is using data to analyze how to most efficiently use new hydraulic fracturing techniques, and that work is helping tap new energy resources.

In mobile, companies are using smartphones to build ongoing relationships with their customers. FedEx is using text messages to let customers in Europe know a package is coming -- raising the rate of first-time deliveries, lowering FedEx's costs, and making recipients happy. Allstate, meanwhile, has put the monitoring of driving habits into a smartphone app, and one-third of new customers are opting to use the service.

Companies are using emerging technologies to change the kinds of services they can sell. Royal Caribbean is using a new, low-orbiting satellite system to offer, in the middle of the sea, the same kind of high-speed and low-latency Internet access that people get onshore -- and at a much lower cost than has been available at sea before. Black & Veatch, an engineering firm, is testing the use of drones for cellular tower inspections, instead of having two-person crews scale the structures.

The public sector is taking part as well. The Brooklyn Public Library system is putting data visualization in the hands of staff to help them fine-tune their decisions on what materials to stock. The MetroHealth System in Cleveland worked with Cuyahoga County to digitize inmates' health records and create video doctor-visit capabilities, reducing the cost and risk of moving prisoners for medical care.

On the following pages, you'll see specific examples of digital innovators from real estate to biotech to hotels to automotive. No matter what your industry, these 20 fresh ideas can help fuel your next brainstorming session.

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