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Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

February 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 2

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Strategic driver or unimportant commodity?

A decade after "IT Doesn’t Matter," SMEs prove that it really does

By Alejandro Cataldo and Robert McQueen

In 2003, Nicholas Carr published his famous but controversial article "IT Doesn’t Matter" in the Harvard Business Review. Carr claimed that information technology had become a commodity and, therefore, had lost its ability to influence strategy in a positive way. In reaction, the information technology community presented its arguments about how IT could be a strategic influence. Still, CEOs used the article as a rationale for restricting IT budgets. The issue posed by Carr, that IT had become commoditized and no longer could drive strategic benefits, still raises hackles. Both Carr and those who argued against him took extreme positions, and there was no middle ground.


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