Corporate culture may matter even more to your project's success than ROI does. Here's how to work with it rather than against it.
Stories by Minda Zetlin
If there's no catastrophic system failure or major software deployment to work on, CEOs might wonder what IT does all day. Here's how to make sure your contributions aren't undervalued when things go smoothly.
Many IT leaders admit their spending is too heavily weighted toward keep-the-lights-on projects. Here's how to tip the balance.
Managing the flow of an infinite supply of worthwhile projects through a finite IT operation takes finesse. Here's how to avoid the backlog and the chaos.
IT leaders must learn to tell whether a new technology will transform their businesses -- or just become the next boondoggle. Four CIOs offer their perspectives.
About four years ago, Medidata Solutions decided to switch from its traditional "waterfall" method of software development to an agile methodology. Medidata provides clinical testing solutions in a software-as-a-service model. "We made the change for all the usual reasons," says Andrew Newbigging, senior vice president of research and development. "We wanted to be more responsive to customer needs." At the same time, Medidata's IT leaders explored the possibility of outsourcing some of the company's software development. Though that might have made sense in the traditional waterfall world, they concluded that it was the wrong way to do agile.
An insurance company decided to roll out an application for its sales reps. The new app would give them a wider selection of products to offer customers when out in the field. Information on those products was stored in a legacy mainframe system, so the company created a Web interface that let reps query the database to get details on offerings.
A user-friendly interface is paramount if you want employees and external users to adopt an enterprise application. But what, precisely, makes an app user-friendly? That's a complicated science, with detailed books and research papers devoted to it. But if your app has any of the following three elements, that's probably not a good sign.
Can deploying a user-friendly enterprise application solve customer service problems? For British Airways, the answer appears to be yes. In August, the airline conducted a pilot test in which about 100 crew members were given iPads loaded with its new Enhanced Service Platform app. After a successful test, the airline is now distributing 2,000 iPads with the app to senior crew members across its route network.
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