Anticipate All the Changes

By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2004-11-29 Print this article Print

The benefit of building a digital business is continued growth in productivity, Brynjolfsson contends. The proper use of technology can provide a means to "leverage existing assets," he said. However, before you throw technology at the problem, you have to examine how that technology will change your business process, all the way from process flow to the way you talk about your business operations.

One conversation at the breakfast emphasized for me the shift in vocabulary needed in changing a business process. In a discussion of application development at one attendees company, the attendee said that, in the past, the application business could be described as silos of applications, each application built from scratch; rewards were developed for the application creator, and each solution was unique. In the new environment, applications are built on a shared platform using a component-based architecture; rewards go to application integrators, and solutions are model-driven and designed to be shared.

Too often, IT projects diverge at the point where technologists and business executives meet, with the two sides finding themselves speaking different languages. The greatest need is to prevent that divergence by making sure that technology capital investments are made on projects that will accommodate a change in business processes.

Without a complementary process, you are risking not only that capital investment but also the substantially larger intangible investment tied to the project. And next year, just as this year, you dont want those limited investment dollars headed toward failed projects.

Editor in Chief Eric Lundquist can be reached at

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Since 1996, Eric Lundquist has been Editor in Chief of eWEEK, which includes domestic, international and online editions. As eWEEK's EIC, Lundquist oversees a staff of nearly 40 editors, reporters and Labs analysts covering product, services and companies in the high-technology community. He is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings and user events and sits on numerous advisory boards. Eric writes the popular weekly column, 'Up Front,' and he is a confidant of eWEEK's Spencer F. Katt gossip columnist.

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