In the good old days of information technology - about five to 20 years ago - the CIO oversaw the introduction of new Web-enabled technologies. This old-school CIO primarily came from the technical ranks and, as such, often had a fascination with technology for technology's sake. If the CIO owned the IT budget, he or she had the power and the freedom to acquire the latest - and often the most expensive - toys.

Not only did these CIOs have the freedom to buy technology, they had freedom to make it, too. Many CIOs decided to develop their own e enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems instead of buying them. But trying to integrate all the data and processes of their organizations into a unified system proved a more daunting task than many CIOs realized. After having spent billions on developing their own ERPs, organizations are spending billions more in tailoring ERPs they have purchased, which occasionally results in having multiple ERP versions throughout the organization. While some of the new technology has enabled productivity gains, it has not done so consistently - begging the question, "Does IT matter?"

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