The March 27 cover story of Computerworld declares, "Data is King!" In its survey on IT purchasing decisions for 2000, enterprise database projects was the number one concern. Ninety-five percent of the survey’s selection of corporate America’s IT managers identified enterprise database projects as one of their most crucial buying decisions this year. The reason? Respondents say they need database applications that can scale dramatically, function as part of e-commerce sites with ease and support capabilities that may not have existed a decade ago.
To translate the survey into business needs, the challenge large companies are facing is how to move their current business model to an e-business model. E-business is no longer a question of destination, "Am I going there?" It’s now a question of journey, "How will I get there?" As a destination question, IT didn’t have to be overly concerned. Then, it was a problem for the business people. Once the business side of the house decides that e-business is no longer a nice-to-have, the outcome is fairly predictable. For example, when Jack Walsh of GE declared last year that all GE companies would be e-business companies, the trickle-down effect made everyone in the IT organizations sit up and take notice. The problem has now moved from a business problem to a technological problem and landed clearly in the laps of the IT managers. E-business has moved from the realm of the nice-to- have to the land of the must-have, and it’s clearly an IT problem to figure out how to deliver.
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