One of the biggest US IT conferences began with a keynote speech emphasising the importance of IT innovation in business, as companies look to deliver services globally to customers.
Speaking at the Interop 2008 event yesterday, CK Prahalad, a business professor at the University of Michigan, said businesses' use of software as a service and distributed computing will allow firms to deliver tailored business services for customers globally.
"The bottom line is very simple IT does matter," said Prahalad in a videocast. He said that tools such as databases and networks would only grow in use as businesses strive to deliver customised products at a global level.
An example of a global IT service would be standardising the way a customer order is fullfilled, regardless of where in the world that order is placed, so that companies could optimally allocate stock between regions according to demand. A service like this would require a standard IT infrastructure, said Prahalad.
"The IT challenge is creating the infrastructure that can support such businesses," said Prahalad.