"...lays out the simple truths...of information technology in a lucid way, with cogent examples and clear analysis." -- New York Times, May 6, 2004
"Carr's work is thorough ... IT thinking rarely gets a contribution of this caliber. Read it." -- eWeek, May 24th, 2004
"Does IT Matter? engages the imagination and the emotions, a rare combination in a business book." -- Boston Globe, May 2, 2004
"Does IT Matter? will give executives and managers a way to sift through the next wave of tech hype." -- BusinessWeek, May 24th, 2004
"His argument is simple, powerful and yet also subtle." -- The Economist, April 2004
"cooly written [and] intellectually engaging" -- Financial Times, May 2004
From the Author
In May 2003, I published the article "IT Doesnt Matter" in the Harvard Business Review. Called "the rhetorical equivalent of a 50 megaton smart bomb," the article challenged the conventional wisdom that information technology has become increasingly important as a strategic weapon in business. In fact, I argued, IT is becoming less important as it becomes more powerful and more widespread. Some of the leading figures in the tech industry attacked the article, with Microsofts Steve Ballmer dismissing it as "hogwash." But the debate over my ideas has only intensified.
In Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage, I offer a deeper analysis of ITs role in business, examining the characteristics of hardware and software that guide their evolution. Through a series of examples, I show how IT innovations rapidly become part of the shared business infrastructure, neutralizing their ability to provide competitive advantage. I also lay out a new framework for assessing IT investments based not only on their return on investment but also on competitive responses. Managers will come away from the book with a coherent perspective that will help them derive real value from the enormous sums they spend on IT.
I also examine ITs influence on other sources of advantage. Again taking issue with the common wisdom, I show that many of the current assumptions about process automation, outsourcing, and virtual business are simplistic and dangerous. Companies that act on them are more likely to destroy advantage than create it.
Given the economys reliance on IT, these are subjects important to everyone. I have therefore written the book in straightforward prose, avoiding the jargon that makes the current writing on computer systems obscure. I think anyone who buys, sells, or uses IT or invests in companies that do will find the book invigorating and useful. I hope youll agree.
- Nicholas G. Carr