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Dot Vertigo

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Dot Vertigo

Doing Business in a Permeable World


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Bad news: Any IT investments you made before 1995 are now obsolete.

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Bad news for corporate executives: Any IT investments you made before 1995 are now obsolete. That’s the message from Richard Nolan, who advises companies to forget about updating their legacy systems and begin anew from scratch. Why is such a dramatic gesture required? Because technology advances over the past decade have totally revamped the competitive landscape, making speed and flexibility the business imperatives of the 21st century. Sure, there are echoes of ’90s Net hysteria here, but strongly recommends this book as a warning that, just because the bubble has burst, decision makers cannot afford to neglect their IT systems.


The Permeable Organization

When the rug is being pulled out from under you, when all your reference points are gone, when you can’t find your balance and seem to be spiraling out of control - that’s vertigo. It’s deadly for pilots and, in the form of dot vertigo, it’s equally catastrophic for businesses unable to adapt to today’s increasingly chaotic economic environment. Symptoms include falling revenues, eroding market share and competitive surprises.

An organization that seeks long-term survival must become permeable to meet today’s challenges. You can measure permeability by the extent to which a company’s network, its I-Net, penetrates every corner of its business. In a truly permeable organization, the boundaries that traditionally separate activities, strategies and functions become transparent. Permeable organizations are the only ones that will be able to react rapidly and efficiently enough to reflect the growing speed, collaboration and scalability of the network economy. The I-Net is where it all happens: where a company’s operations (its Intranet) meet and merge with the outside world of customers, suppliers and partners (the Internet).

Doing Business...

About the Author

Richard Nolan , a widely respected information age theoretician, is a professor at the Harvard Business School. He is an active researcher and an advisor to such companies as Cisco Systems and Charles Schwab.

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