Investing in the IT That Makes a Competitive Difference.
By: McAfee, Andres, Brynjolfsson, Erik,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8
To survive, or better yet thrive, in this more competitive environment, the mantra for any CEO should be, "Deploy, innovate, and propagate": First, deploy a consistent technology platform. Then separate yourself from the pack by coming up with better ways of working. Finally, use the platform to propagate these business innovations widely and reliably. In this regard, deploying IT serves two distinct roles -- as a catalyst for innovative ideas and as an engine for delivering them. Each of the three steps in the mantra presents different and critical management challenges, not least of which have to do with questions of centralization and autonomy.
Andrew McAfee (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor at Harvard Business School in Boston. He is the author of "Mastering the Three Worlds of Information Technology" (HBR November 2006) and has a blog at andrewmcafee.org/blog.
Erik Brynjolfsson (email@example.com) is the Schussel Family Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the director of MIT's Center for Digital Business in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More of the author's research is available at digital.mit.edu/erik.