"Vertigo--that dizzy, confused state of mind where your surroundings whirl about you--is disastrous for pilots who suffer disorientation and lose control of their aircraft," says Harvard Business School professor Richard Nolan, "and it is no less catastrophic for businesses and their investors who are now plunging headlong into an increasingly unpredictable economic landscape." In Dot Vertigo
, Nolan proposes an antidote based on the way leading bricks-and-mortar firms and Web companies (including IBM, Merrill Lynch, drugstore.com, and Amazon.com) are successfully using the technological advances causing this frenetic confusion among others to meet the challenges of the new "permeable" or less rigid corporate world. The core of the solution is something he dubs the I-Net, which is sort of a combined Internet-Intranet that thoroughly and seamlessly integrates all internal and external functions of a given company.
The first part of the book examines this vertigo or business disorientation and relates it to the need for permeability that Nolan marks as key to future success. The second completely outlines the I-Net infrastructure, including financial benchmarks and metrics necessary for building one that is fully attuned to a company's specific financial and operational realities. The third draws upon Nolan's extensive case studies of the above-mentioned firms and others to show how successful planning and implementation can be achieved. One of a growing wave of management books to reach beyond the technomarket meltdown for associated best practices that remain viable for spurring long-term strategic improvement, this will be welcomed by anyone who recognizes that technology is not the total solution but rather one critical piece of an evolving puzzle whose impacts (both good and bad) are here to stay. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
To succeed in the years ahead, corporations will need "permeable" structures without boundaries between the corporation and all its stakeholders, argues Harvard Business School professor Nolan. Existing technology can be used to create strategy, not just to solve problems, he emphasizes. Information technology specialists are likely to find this book helpful in pitching their case to and as part of their plan to become senior management. Other managers are likely to be overwhelmed by the level of detail.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.