Don't Be Dazzled By E-Gov

WASHINGTON (06/28/2000) - Federal information technology managers should not be blinded by the glitz and glamour of building electronic commerce applications for their World Wide Web sites, an industry leader warned Tuesday.

Rather, by focusing technology on the more mundane activity of improving internal business operations, agencies can streamline operations and save billions of dollars, according to Timothy Hoechst, vice president of technology at Oracle Corp. Services Industries.

"We're looking at how we can "Amazon.com' everything," Hoechst said. "That's important, but more important are the core business practices within our organizations."

Hoechst, speaking at the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils' Management of Change conference in Atlanta, advised the audience to think about how the Web can meet the needs of agency employees.

He cited his own company as an example. He said Oracle identified several IT applications that could be changed within the company, including consolidating human resources systems, data centers and e-mail servers. The company estimated that these strategies would save Oracle $1 billion in 18 months. But it wound up taking only nine months to save $1 billion, he said.

"I encourage you to exploit Internet commerce," Hoechst said. "But if you do that at the expense of internal processes - such as merging two e-mail servers into one - then you are missing an giant opportunity to harness the power of your information systems."

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