Nick Carr Is Right, Sort Of


IT Doesn't Matter author Nicolas Carr was largely right when he said in the May CIO Insight article--"Is IT Still Strategic?"--that hardware and software per se are commodities. You cannot get an advantage from just buying HP or SAP. Where you can get an advantage is in how you use them. This is the dimension that seems to be forgotten.

The trick with IT and strategy is to use IT to generate a business advantage. Wal-Mart's logistical advantage is not an IT advantage or achieved by IT alone; it is part of an end-to-end purchasing-to-store process that leverages technology and information to reduce costs, increase speed, etc., for the business.

Let's forget the technology and focus on the business use. However, this hits a major current problem: the inability of business and IT to define business/market changing uses and requirements.

Until we resolve this problem, we'll have continuing poor benefits from IT applications and little advantage.

Jed Simms

Executive Chairman Capability Management Melbourne, Australia


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