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  • More than ever, IT professionals are helping their organizations increase agility. For example, they are deploying advanced technology tools to better anticipate business changes and overhaul outdated processes. Beyond that, agile companies are embracing diverse backgrounds and skill sets, while giving their employees and teams the resources and freedom needed to make quick, informed decisions. To determine what separates agile frontrunners from followers, Accenture conducted a comprehensive survey of global senior executives. The resulting report, "Traits of Truly Agile Businesses," covers the deployment of analytics, social media, data sharing and other tech-related functions, in addition to specifics on organizational shifts. It also divides companies into the categories of "leaders" and "laggards." Leaders are defined as organizations that increased sales more than 10 percent in the last fiscal year, while laggards are experiencing sales declines. "Leaders stand apart from other companies on nearly every dimension of agility," according to the report, "from speeding up decision making, to knowing what is strategic and what is operational, to aggressively investing in and using analytics to run their organizations." An estimated 1,300 global C-suite and senior-level executives took part in the research.

  • CIO Sigal Zarmi describes how GE Capital Americas has approached digital business and offers guidance on how a company can become a digital enterprise.

  • The majority of worldwide organizations today are either deploying or plan to deploy platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies, according to a recent survey from Progress, an app development and data integration software company. These organizations are finding that PaaS is increasing productivity and innovation capabilities, while saving costs. In addition, integration turnover time is being greatly reduced. All of this supports the trend of departments—including those outside the IT organization—adopting what's called a "develop your own application" (DYOA). "It's never been easier to develop an application that can allow your business, a department or even a specific individual to be more productive, regardless of your coding skills," says Matt Robinson, vice president, of technology at Progress. "However … there's still a huge appetite to be able to improve these cycles by making them quicker and better. The benefits of using a rapid application development PaaS to improve speed and productivity should not be lost in the excitement of the DYOA age." Approximately 700 global IT decision-makers took part in the research.

  • When it comes to the Internet of things (IoT), think big. As in really, really big. As in a staggering number of online machines and devices—including those installed for network-enabled cars, shoes, washing machines, pets and virtually anything else in existence—connected by the next decade. For enterprises, this represents a watershed opportunity for cost reductions and new revenue, according to recent research from Deloitte. The resulting report, "The Internet of Things Ecosystem: Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices," reveals what companies are seeking from this developing technology. In addition, it presents a number of best practices for IT teams to maximize IoT's strategic value. "The Internet of things has the potential to offer business value that goes beyond operational cost savings," says Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. "Providers in the IoT ecosystem have a largely unexplored opportunity to develop compelling solutions that explore how the ability to collect and analyze disparate data—in real time and across time—might transform the business. These developments will play out within and across enterprises, offering opportunities for sustained value creation, and even disruption for those who can imagine possibilities beyond the incremental." Deloitte compiled the statistics included in the following slides from research conducted by Gartner, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Deloitte's own analysis.