Jan 01 2005

Making IT Strategic

Running a small business is not for the fainthearted. Day-to-day decisions range from minutia to make-or-break choices that would challenge even a seasoned veteran.

For example, consider the most recent tough decision that landed on your desk, requiring your immediate and undivided attention. As you pondered the problem, a first thought might have been, "How do I solve this problem? And what's the impact—in terms of cash, resources and personnel—on my business?" Yet increasingly, information technology (IT) options and concerns will figure into any answer to serious business challenges. Most big problems can't be solved without IT.

Growing businesses look at the bottom line differently than their established counterparts. Every dollar counts. IT plays a major role, allowing small businesses to grow—whether by making it easier to post more revenue through productivity gains, cut costs, usher in innovation or pinpoint where your company generates its highest margins.

BizTech, CDW's new quarterly, focuses on what you need to know to level the playing field with technology.

Our research shows that CEOs and CFOs often define business needs while IT usually drives product choice. On these pages, we'll make the connection so business leaders can leverage technology more effectively to make insightful decisions. If you're reading this magazine, you understand what we're talking about.

You can look to BizTech for straight answers: Our technology coverage is "vendor-neutral but not indifferent." We'll explore best practices for implementation, best-of-breed technology products and case studies from the field.

We position business challenges and IT solutions as integrated, complementary elements—not as separate but related components. This is the overriding factor that differentiates BizTech from the other publications in this market. Each BizTech article covers both the technology and business issues that senior IT leaders and business managers must tackle in evaluating and implementing a solution.

The department "Out-of-the-Box ROI" polls the tech savvy on measurements that help determine their company's return on investment for a given purchase. For the CEO, we've included some simple takeaways to aid that individual in determining whether there's a strong case for a tech purchase or if it's just the "gee whiz" product of the day.

Our project management feature "Asset Management" was written for the line-of-business manager in search of a project manager. It includes takeways from the tech perspective for IT directors.

The cover story delves into a subject that most small business leaders care about—figuring out how their IT budget measures up. We share their insights here.

This issue is packed with advice, anecdotes, analysis and some pretty fun stuff, such as our interview with CDW founder Michael Krasny, who dishes up insights on what it took to grow a one-man computer reseller into a multibillion-dollar technology powerhouse.

Welcome to BizTech. In this issue, and future issues, we will deliver actionable insights relevant to your business. And we hope it will make your job as a small-business owner a little easier.

Pull up a chair and enjoy BizTech.

Lee Copeland
Editor in Chief