By Michael Vizard  |  Posted 2007-10-02 Email Print this article Print

When it comes to RFID and other tech investments, first isn't always best.

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Big IT VS. Little IT

Another thing that stands out about the Wal- Mart story is how little headway the Fortune 50 company has made in imposing its IT will on the mass of companies that form its supplier network. In fact, if you look at the 2007 ranking of Baseline 500 companies getting the most out of their IT investments, what strikes you is how many midsize companies are on the list—for every Fortune 500 company that made this year's list, there are at least as many midsize companies that landed a spot.

This suggests a considerably more sophisticated approach to IT is taking hold among midmarket companies: They're no longer willing to invest in a given technology simply because somebody says they should. Instead, time and again it appears mid-market companies are keenly aware of the impact IT can have on making their businesses more efficient.

You can't help but wonder if the seemingly better return on IT investments in the mid-market is being driven by necessity, or if it has more to do with the inertia that invariably sets in when layers of bureaucracy conspire to choke innovation in larger companies. Odds are it's some combination of these factors that has led to the strong performance of mid-market companies in this year's Baseline 500 list. Check out this year's report to see not only if your company made the list but if any of your competitors made it. If they did, some IT self-examination may be in order to keep your rivals from gaining an IT edge that will put your company at a business disadvantage.

Michael Vizard is editorial director at Ziff Davis Enterprise. Please send him questions and comments on this article to him at


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