Executive Briefs: July 2001

Atomic Bond
by Allan E. Alter

Peter Weill, the director of the Center for Information Systems Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management, talks about the close connection between IT infrastructure and architecture, and the eight “atomic” business models on which e-business strategies are based. These models can be used to create strategy, set IT priorities and diagnose opportunities, but CIOs can also leverage their companies’ IT capabilities and turn them into the foundation of business strategy. Weill also comments on the future of e-business, provides advice on how to participate in corporate strategy-setting discussions and suggests how to discuss technology with non-technical executives.

The Intelligent Grid
by Dave Lindorff

“Energy,” says CIO Ianne McCrea of Reliant Energy, “is information now—prices, availability and demand.” The ability to quickly exchange this information explains why the emergence of online power trading—buying and selling electricity over the Internet—is giving CIOs a new opportunity to cut costs for their companies. Writer Dave Lindorff offers a glimpse at PJM, the grandfather of the nation’s new online power traders, and shows how power trading is likely to be the first step toward a power grid rebuilt by networking technology. Progressive CIOs have already begun to work with their company’s energy executives and local government officials to plot out future energy strategies.

Roundtable: Power Shortage
by Marcia Stepanek

A roundtable of eight IT and energy industry experts convened by CIO Insight in June warns that the Information Age is rendering the nation’s aging power grid obsolete and dangerously crisis-prone, with risks to IT systems more serious than the Y2K software bug might have been. Trouble is, the panelists say, there is no leadership focused on upgrading the power grid, and companies and CIOs are starting to feel the heat. The full text of the roundtable is available at www.cioinsight.com.

Deciphering RosettaNet
by Patrick Porter

Four years ago, a handful of big companies in the electronics parts industry embarked on a gamble called RosettaNet—an experiment in collaboration aimed at getting all components makers’ information systems speaking the same language so they could do faster, cheaper and better business online. It now appears that early hopes for RosettaNet were wildly optimistic. Few companies have converted their systems to run on this new, virtual supply chain. This case study written by Patrick Porter sheds light on the challenges facing any industry seeking to transform itself via the Net. In a sidebar, Porter talks to Hau L. Lee, Stanford University’s supply chain expert.

Research: CRM
by Mike Perkowski and Terry A. Kirkpatrick

In early June, CIO Insight surveyed 434 CIOs and senior IT strategists on their experiences with customer relationship management systems. The results were decidedly mixed: Only 52 percent of respondents were somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with the results of their efforts, according to Mike Perkowski, head of Ziff Davis Market Experts. Meanwhile, companies’ strategic expectations for their CRM systems are growing. The result has been significant project delays: Half of the projects at smaller companies were completed behind schedule, and that number rose to almost 75 percent at larger companies. The most commonly cited reason for those delays was change in company strategy.

Canned Spam?
by Michael D. Scott

Although it gives the Federal Trade Commission the power to fine spammers and attorneys general the power to prosecute them, attorney and author Michael Scott says the so-called “Can Spam Act of 2001” now before the U.S. Senate won’t stop spammers unless it requires marketers to obtain permission before sending commercial e-mails to users.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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