Digital cameras didn't creep up on the Drees company as much as they pounced. Five years ago a lot of employees at the $US1.1 billion real estate company weren't even using computers. Today, those same employees are responsible for one of the company's more innovative uses of technology
Nandan Nilekani, CEO of the outsourcing firm Infosys and the man who inspired the phrase "the world is flat", is pushing a new mantra that could become just as universal: "Work will be done where it makes the most sense."
On December 14 and 15, 2005, Coty, one of the world's largest cosmetic and fragrance makers, held an all-hands-on-deck executive meeting at the company's headquarters in New York City. Five months earlier, Coty had acquired Unilever Cosmetics International (UCI), a subsidiary of the eponymous conglomerate, and Coty's IT team was just finishing moving UCI employees off Unilever's infrastructure and onto Coty's
Every decade or so, a new platform emerges that reduces the cost of running an IT department to such an extent that vendors have no choice but to embrace it or die. In the 1990s, PCs with powerful operating systems spelled the end of mainframe development and ushered in the client/server era. Today, cheap servers and high-speed Internet connections are triggering a move away from traditional desktop PC software and to software as a service, hosted by a third party and delivered over the Internet.
In 1996 the Dow Chemical Company, which at $US46 billion in annual revenue sits comfortably in the top half of the Fortune 100, set a series of ambitious environmental, health and safety goals — ranging from decreasing leaks and emissions to improving overall safety performance — that it hoped to attain by 2005. Dow claims that it reached slightly more than half its goals, and it credits a transformation brought about in large part through IT. Over that time, Dow spent about $US700 million on IT per year, leading to a $US2.3 billion increase in productivity.