IT and Business

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InfoWorld writes in the context of Nicholas Carr’s “IT Doesn’t Matter” essay of 2003:

Fast-forward to the predawn of 2006, and even Mr. Carr is starting to change his tune. Nobody’s partying like its 1999 again, but across many industries companies are demonstrating that IT can be a key ingredient in a winning business formula. Here, we highlight three such companies — JetBlue Airways, Netflix, and BNSF Railway — as market leaders that make aggressive, innovative use of IT.

Management gurus are also turning more bullish on IT as a source of competitive advantage. But they note that the game has changed, that IT alone cannot create sustainable advantage in a competitive global marketplace.

Nick Carr was half right,” says Tom Davenport, Babson College professor and management guru. “You’ve got to combine IT with smart people and good business processes that are supportive of a distinctive capability the organization has.”

Davenport rattles off a roster of companies — Wal-Mart, Harrah’s, Capitol One, Amazon, and Marriott — that have “focused IT on what really matters to their business” to become tops in their categories. And he claims it may take a decade for their competitors to catch up.

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