by Gary Beach

CEOs Need to Better Understand Power of IT

Jun 15, 20052 mins
IT Leadership

David Moschella, global research director for the Leading Edge Forum, polled 200 business executives and 200 CIOs with this question: What is the greatest obstacle to implementing technology at your organization?

We liked the question so much we asked it on, and lo and behold, both the Leading Edge Forum and CIO studies had the same finding: that the inability of the business side to take advantage of more powerful IT capabilities was public enemy number one. While CIOs have tended their tech gardens as “intelligent caretakers,” according to GM Group Vice President and CIO Ralph Szygenda, intent on squeezing cost out of the business and becoming compliant, the tech industry all around them has been busy creating incredibly powerful technologies that can truly transform a business. If only the CEO would ask.

I was reflecting on the power of technology during a recent business trip to Europe, my first venture to that continent since September 2001. Before leaving the house, I remembered I had not made a copy of the trip itinerary for my wife. With no time to print it, I booted up my notebook in the kitchen and wirelessly transmitted it to the desktop computer in the study.

Eight hours later, I landed in Germany and powered on my converged e-mail, phone and Web-enabled PDA, not expecting to receive the mail I missed in the overnight flight.

I was dead wrong. Within three minutes, I was totally synced with my company’s e-mail server.

Later that same day, while sitting in a Barcelona cafi, I decided to call home using the PDA. No way this will work, I said to myself. Wrong again! Three rings later my wife greeted me to my total amazement!

I sat there in Barcelona thinking out loud to myself, How did they do that?

I really don’t care. And neither should you. What you should care about is this: convincing your management that now is the time to start looking to this era of new, powerful technology to help transform and grow your business again.

Gary Beach, Publisher