Mixing Biz with Tech: Profitable Management Mash-Ups

Posted by: Reena Jana on July 5, 2007

Sure “technology” (that grand, sweeping, often abstract word and concept) plays a vital role in all companies. So how can a non-tech company better profit from its use and management of IT? A new report that recently crossed my desk from the BTM Institute, a four-year-old non-profit think tank, is a thought-provoking look at how many kinds of companies can move beyond simply being innovative and toward becoming more agile, resilient, and profitable by creating a management mash-up of their business and technology teams.

Interestingly, the companies that the BTM Institute found to have successfully mixed their biz and tech teams, including FedEx, Lockheed Martin, and Harrah’s Entertainment, saw revenue growth far ahead of competitors who didn’t integrate the business and technology leadership as seamlessly as they did: an average 12% average annual growth versus 4% for their competitors. The report highlights UPS (ranked in the top third of the Businessweek/Interbrand Best Global Brands list for the last two years) as an example. UPS transformed itself from a company that not only delivers packages, but also serves as a supply chain manager for other businesses, such as Dell. Thanks to its reliable online tracking system, UPS is now also seen as one that efficiently moves information as well as goods.

From the inside, UPS formed groups, such as its Technology Steering Committee, to help non-IT specialists become familiar with and embrace new tech as it emerges, and for IT specialists to learn management, marketing, and sales strategies and help fold new tech into the business model quickly. This wise collaborative approach has been essential to UPS’s evolution. I keep thinking of Charles Darwin’s statement, “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change,” which could’ve been an epigram for the BTM Institute’s report. To read the report, check out: http://www.btminstitute.org/pdf/Business%20Technology%20Convergence%20Index_Final.pdf

 

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