Stories by Charles E. Belford

Danger-filled visions

A cursory scan of promotional chaff from consultants and management training companies makes one thing perfectly clear: you need an e-vision and the sooner the better.

Raising the IT Bar for Senior Managers

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are hot these days, and becominig hotter. Newer versions combine with data-mining capabilities that analyse the data to identify new ways to enhance the relationship through such things as loyalty or customization programs and various cross-marketing opportunities.

Management View: Imagine the Possibilities

What does your company have to look like two years from now in order to remain afloat and prosper? Believe it or not, your greatest challenge isn't turning that corpse you call a Web site into a living, sticky, interactive entertainment and sales zone for your customers. That's part of it, of course, but that's not what's going to keep you off life support.

Answering the Call for an E-Strategy

Lucky you. You've been tasked to work up an e-strategy for discussion at your company's management retreat. The members of the Executive Committee know that e-business is more about business than technology, but they're basically bottom feeders on the Internet maturity curve. Beyond telling you not to recommend a dot-com spin-off, they haven't a clue about how to develop an e-strategy. So guess what? You're it. Here are a couple of pointers for surviving that happy task.

Management View: Changing E-Commerce Models

From the way some of the dot-coms babble on, you'd think changing e-commerce business models was as easy as changing your shirt. Of course, anything's possible in a company with six twenty-somethings. But what if you're running a large company trying to grow its e-commerce business? How do you keep up? Without tearing the rest of your company apart, I mean.

Turning Disasters into Opportunities

Good news stories about the next IT-based business solution rarely grab management's interest. But bad news can really get their attention. What's your scorecard on turning disasters into opportunities?

Beyond 'Back of the Box' Value

Talk is cheap. In the computer industry, it's cheaper. In the consulting business, it's as cheap as it gets. It's not only software and hardware that stock the shelves at the vapour market. Everybody promises their clients the best return on the investment they make in their information technology. But what counts as a win, a draw or a loss when all the hype about the business value of information technology has been exhausted? Let's have a look. There is a hierarchy of business value that you can get from information technology.

Enterprise: The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

Management's reluctance to develop e-commerce and e-business on the Web is becoming a matter of concern to business commentators and others who track the Canadian economy. What's the hold up here? Is it a lack of capital? Technological skills gap? No, it's not. It's management, specifically senior management. And some chickens that have finally come home to roost.

Enterprise: Rethinking Planning

How successfully has your organization exploited information technology and the Internet? Want a quick way to determine if you're even in the race? Have a look at your organization's planning assumptions -- they can tell you something very important about an organization's prospects for fully exploiting IT and the Internet (hereinafter referred to as IT/IP). That's because the assumptions provide two self-portraits of the organization's management: focus and theology.