Does It Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage

Does It Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage

by Nicholas G. Carr

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422129524
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 04/07/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 193
File size: 418 KB

Table of Contents


The Great Debate


Technological Transformations

The Rise of a New Business Infrastructure


Laying Tracks

The Nature and Evolution of Infrastructural Technologies


An Almost Perfect Commodity

The Fate of Computer Hardware and Software


Vanishing Advantage

Information Technology's Changing Role in Business


The Universal Strategy Solvent

The IT Infrastructure's Corrosive Effect on Traditional Advantages


Managing the Money Pit

New Imperatives for IT Investment and Management


A Dream of Wonderful Machines

The Reading, and Misreading, of Technological Change

Notes and Bibliography


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Does IT Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
PointedPundit on LibraryThing 18 days ago
IT as a CommodityInformation Technology (IT) has transformed itself from a source of competitive advantage to simply being a cost of doing business.Despite the spectacular gains during the past 50 years, says Nicholas G. Carr, a former Harvard Business Review executive editor, IT will distinguish no single competitor. This contradicts many executives' perception that IT ubiquity is an advantage. They miss the point the scarcity, not ubiquity, creates an advantage.IT's core functions - the storage, distribution and processing of data - are available to all. Without differentiation IT is relegated to commodity status. This should force executives to re-think their IT spending plans and their vendor relationships. As this perception gains acceptance, risk and cost control will become more important than investments in innovation. In short, technology is headed down the same path the steam engine, railroad and electricity followed. Only by becoming a shared and standardized resource will IT deliver its maximum social and economic potential.Carr says the greatest risk that IT represents is overspending. While IT is entwined with many business processes and represents a huge portion of any businesses¿ expenses, it must be managed. There are several ways:1. Cut waste. Commoditization permits buyers to negotiate better deals, tie payments to usage and shop among vendors.2. Use Capacity. The overspending in the 1990 left many companies with more capacity than they need. Find ways to use it.3. Place tight controls on IT usage. Carr says 70 percent of what is stored on corporate networks represents employees¿ saved e-mails, MP3s, video clips and spam. Restrict the indiscriminate ability to save files.4. Become more rigorous in systems planning.Carr is a distinguished writer and thinker. His book serves as a wake-up call for anyone interested in competitive advantage. Although executives have grown wary of IT spending, they will have to cope with methods that will prevent the commoditization of IT architecture and applications if they are to save their companies' barriers to entry. Anyone - be he or she a business executive or IT worker - should give this tome a close examination. Its implications will be mighty.
WillyBurke More than 1 year ago
I've been in the IT business for about 20 years now and have got to say that Carr is right on the money! He provides an outstanding comparison of technology directions and what they mean to society by comparing past important technological advances such as the electrical power distribution and services. Did you know that at one time there was a Vice President of Electricity in many companies? How does this bode for the future of IT Executives? IT truly has become more like a commodity and less than a mystery that is was even a short 5-10 years ago. Standardization in protocols, the boom of the home market and the new generation of young adults that grew up with the technology have led to a technology aware society that is not mystified by IT. The book is an easy and pleasurable read! I highly recommend this book to all of us who believe we're cutting-edge IT folks as well as the general population.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of us who are 'plugged' into technology at the workplace, this book offers a realist perspective on the true value of I.T on business. Some of the authors view points were, at times, very controversial but nonetheless strikes a chord as to how technology, for better or worse, has changed the face of business forever. A must read for the technology veteran!!