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Fuel for Growth

Fuel for Growth

Pssst, want to fuel your business's growth? Sure you do. And there's certainly no scarcity of advice. It seems like everyone's talking or writing about how to do it. Having streamlined their organisations during the inwardly focused re-engineering era, executives are looking outward again for ways to expand. As often as not, expansion involves innovation, and these days, information technology is at the heart of such activities. CIOs and their business partners are looking with renewed interest for hot new technology ideas and applications to provide strategic advantage.

According to Professor Carl Pistorius, director of the Institute for Technological Innovation at the South African University of Pretoria, "Technological innovation is the process through which technology must be leveraged to attain the goal of competitiveness. And let there be no illusions about the nature of competitiveness; there is no such thing as 'local competitiveness' -- either you're globally competitive or you're dead!" (Regular contributor Sue Bushell conducted an in-depth interview with Pistorius when he was in Sydney earlier this year as one of the international speakers at CIO Informat, which begins on page 44.)The path to IT innovation seems simple enough: you see the need, you recognise the potential for IS to contribute to a hot and high-value activity, you try innovating, and soon you'll see the results. Right?Wrong.

The truth is that very few companies routinely innovate their business through IT.

The time for innovation is now. The market demands it, and technology makes it possible. CIOs can serve as a catalyst for the rest of the organisation by gaining the necessary skills and perspective for this critical competence. Or you can cross your fingers and leave it to chance.

Wrong.

PS In the March issue of CIO, a breakout box in the feature story "Reasonably Uncertain" entitled "Five Kinds of Business Risk" indicated that report on risk management and IT strategy was done by "Arthur Andersen and its Economist Intelligence Unit." In fact, the Economist Intelligence Unit's research report Managing Business Risk in the Information Age, was written in cooperation with Arthur Andersen. The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of The Economist Group, publishers of The Economist magazine, and is an independent source of business, economic and political intelligence.

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