From the Editor

FRAMINGHAM (07/17/2000) - ROUND 2:WHO ARE YOU? In the battle between the dotcoms and the notcoms, things are starting to get interesting. In Round 1, the dotcoms were doing so many new and fascinating things--and there was so much unbridled hype around them--that the old guard fell into something of a panic. This produced opportunities for consulting companies that has made the reengineering gold rush look quaint by comparison, and it put tremendous pressure on CEOs and CIOs alike to deliver or get out of the way.

But the cold shower of this spring's shakeout in dotcom financing and valuation has provided the opening old-economy companies needed to slow their heart rates and start thinking clearly. The fact that profits do indeed matter has helped executives ratchet up their courage and ask, In the new economy, who are we?

(Or: Given our fundamental value proposition, what combination of products, services, relationships and channels will help us prevail in the technology-enabled world?) Our special report on e-business strategies showcases the thinking of both well-established players and the upstarts at this point of business evolution.

In "Destructive Behavior," Staff Writer Meridith Levinson goes inside GE to look at how Jack Welch and his lieutenants, including CIO Gary Reiner, went about destroying their businesses (through simulation exercises) in order to save them. The lesson: You really can teach an old dog new tricks. (Or can you?

Do you think GE really gets it? I'd love to know what you think.) "Brick Slayers" brings together a collection of folks you'd just love to have at a dinner party--both old- and new-economy IT leaders, along with a couple of very sharp industry observers. While some of the comments of the established players sound a bit defensive, it's clear these companies are focused on the threats, challenges and opportunities they should be paying attention to in the months ahead. Levinson's profile of Simon Property Group --a mall developer that's radically revamping its business model--is a great example of how far from the past one can get by asking "Who are we?"

Has your company begun this line of inquiry? Have you learned anything surprising? Let us and your fellow CIO soul-searchers know by sending me an e-mail to lundberg@cio.com.

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