||0066620929 Amazon.com Driving Digital is loaded with both inspiration and pragmatic advice for anyone who recognizes that extraordinary gains are already being made by fully integrating technology into the workplace, but who still lacks the know-how--and perhaps the motivation--to get it accomplished. Robert McDowell, a vice president at Microsoft, uses best practices from wired operations like Marriott International, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and his own employer to flesh out its theme: using technology as a strategic weapon. McDowell's underlying message is that company leaders must truly be computer literate in order to drive their cultures in that direction and realize the benefits. He explains ways this is happening today, emphasizing that the most effective programs are implemented by business staffers, rather than IT, because they make related decisions and are ultimately accountable for them. He describes specific improvements, such as reducing red tape (for example, by transferring common forms to user-friendly electronic versions available through a company intranet) and upgrading vendor relations (by literally bringing them on board through alliances and strategic partnerships). Recommended for business leaders who know what they must do, technologically, but who still need a swift kick in the right direction to get it done. --Howard Rothman From Publishers Weekly Dispensing basic advice on how businesses can adapt to our technological age, McDowell, a Microsoft vice-president, and Simon (Beyond the Numbers) explain, "Earlier technologies were like equipping a home with indoor plumbing: they saved time and made the experience more pleasant... but in this new era, the technology becomes a catalyst for changing the business itself." In the aftermath of the dot-com meltdown, which has senior managers reassessing the role of the Internet and related technologies in their organizations, this engaging book couldn't be better timed. The authors stress that technology must be at every organization's core, enabling a firm to improve upon what it does and to gain competitive advantage, and that various corporate technology-based systems need to work in concert. Prescriptions for incorporating technology range all over the map and cater to CEOs who lag behind the curve: for example, senior management must communicate by e-mail to show, at least symbolically, that their company is devoted to change; firms should put as much information as possible about their inner workings on corporate intranets. Devoted readers of business books, and those under 35, won't find much new in these lessons, though they are worth repeating. But old-school management may find this clear advice helpful. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.