To avoid the budget ax, IT departments have made strides in demystifying the black magic of realistic ROI. By the same token, to figure out where the money is going, the business side has endeavored to learn enough to be dangerous about information technology.
Yet most IT managers remain convinced that, outside of a small circle of technologists, no one really understands them or the challenges they face. That’s one reason why the annual InfoWorld 100 is such an important institution: It provides a unique forum where IT managers get the recognition they deserve for smart, successful projects from an audience of their peers.
To enter the winners circle, an InfoWorld 100 project must stretch beyond the typical, off-the-shelf solution. As judges, our editors have an explicit bias toward multiple technologies used in innovative ways to serve well-defined business goals. That’s why, this year, we picked a ground-up development project, UPS’ package flow initiative, as the top InfoWorld 100 project. By closely modeling the logistics of package routing and loading, and writing software to manage them, UPS will eventually save more than half a billion dollars annually.
In this and other winning projects, you will find object lessons to help you plan and sell initiatives — and maybe even help with the day-to-day task of making things work. Like a good blog, the InfoWorld 100 serves as a clearinghouse of ideas for people with similar challenges. Online or offline, that’s essentially the definition of community.
The 2004 InfoWorld 100
Distributed systems optimization
Unified supply-chain management
Integrated sales system
Shop-floor control system
Web services partner integration
Academy of Art University
Full ERP and Wi-Fi deployment
Michigan State University
On-demand supply-chain research
Somerset Area School District
SSL VPN for unified school network
Wireless railcar monitoring
Wireless vibration sensors for tankers
Dynamic, predictive querying tool
Integrated risk control system