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Archive for February 2011

Understanding the strategic value of IT in M&A

Wow! This must be IT week! 😉 Ok, a very interesting article just published from McKinsey on understanding the strategic value of IT in M&A. As many of us know, many mergers don’t live up to expectations because they stumble on the post merger integration of technology and operations. One reason is that executives from IT and operations often aren’t included in the due-diligence process, preventing them from offering valuable input on the costs, challenges, and practical realities of integration. McKinsey’s report digs into these challenges and presents some interesting thoughts. Check it out here!

-DF

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Written by David Frederick

February 28, 2011 at 3:23 PM

IT and Productivity.. is there such a thing?

An excellent and interesting study by Erik Brynjolfsson from MIT’s Center for Digital Business. In it, Erik makes the case that if companies learn to make strategic decisions based on rigorous data-driven experimentation and analytics, not only will they see larger profits but they could drive the next great boom in productivity—which is in turn key to national wealth and standard of living.

There are also some interesting and not uncommon results i.e. that it’s not simple to tease out the relationship between IT investment and labor productivity, or economic output per hour of labor worked. Erik points out that between 1973 and 1995, productivity grew by only 1.4 percent annually. But it jumped much more from 1996 to 2003, and economists recognized that IT investment had taken time to pay off. This point may have been a revelation to economists on a more “micro- long-term level”, but those in technology management, IT, and product development have been making that argument for years! Ever try to implement a major IT solution i.e. Peoplesoft, SAP PLM, etc? Yikes!

Regardless, there is some really great stuff and applicable data in Erik’s study. I highly recommended it. Check out the summary. You can view it here!

-DF

Written by David Frederick

February 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Students Get Little From U.S. Colleges…surprised?

Here is a very interesting article by NYU Professor Richard Arum about the very important and lacking skills of most students coming out of univerisy…critical thinking! According to Professor Arum, 45% of students made no significant improvement in critical thinking, reasoning, or writing skills during their first two years of college, and 36% showed no improvement after four years of schooling. Prof. Arum who studied more than 2,300 students at 24 U.S. colleges and universities for his book Academically Adrift. This is very troubling as the U.S attempts to maintain its leadership position in innovation. – DF

Check out the article by clicking here!

Written by David Frederick

February 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM