Cover image for Driving digital : Microsoft and its customers speak about thriving in the e-business era
Driving digital : Microsoft and its customers speak about thriving in the e-business era
McDowell, Robert L., 1945-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperBusiness, [2001]

Physical Description:
xii, 211 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD30.2 .M395 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Today, technology is more than a business tool, it is the force that drives business. Now this timely and incisive book reveals what executive and manager needs to know to understand IT and take full advantage of the digital revolution. Robert McDowell charts the trajectory of both the companies making a smooth transition into the new age of technology and the companies being left behind. Using vivid examples from his 10 years of experience at Microsoft, he explains the importance of using information technology at all levels within organizations, the essentials of job training and support, and the need to turn all business plans into technology plans. DRIVING DIGITAL is a must-read for professionals at all levels striving to stay at the cutting edge of the digital age.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

McDowell is a Microsoft "veep" responsible for incorporating Internet technology into the corporate structures of the company's strategic and large-account customers. Simon is a professional writer who has previously collaborated with such business leaders as Gil Amelio on On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple (1998) and Brian Muirhead on High Velocity Leadership: The Mars Pathfinder Approach to Faster, Better, Cheaper (1999). McDowell warns that companies must "embrace technology." His alarm is neither new nor surprising, given the position he holds. But he and Simon get some of Microsoft's most notable customers--including a number from the public sector--to do the talking. Bold chapter titles catch the attention. "Technologically Illiterate Managers Should Quit Now," "A Business Plan Not Based on Technology Isn't a Plan, It's an Illusion," "What Workers Can See and What Workers Can Say Defines Their Importance," and "You Can't Lead unless You Bleed." The customers' comments then convincingly drive home the point. --David Rouse

Publisher's Weekly Review

Dispensing basic advice on how businesses can adapt to our technological age, McDowell, a Microsoft vice-president, and Simon (Beyond the Numbers) explain, "Earlier technologies were like equipping a home with indoor plumbing: they saved time and made the experience more pleasant... but in this new era, the technology becomes a catalyst for changing the business itself." In the aftermath of the dot-com meltdown, which has senior managers reassessing the role of the Internet and related technologies in their organizations, this engaging book couldn't be better timed. The authors stress that technology must be at every organization's core, enabling a firm to improve upon what it does and to gain competitive advantage, and that various corporate technology-based systems need to work in concert. Prescriptions for incorporating technology range all over the map and cater to CEOs who lag behind the curve: for example, senior management must communicate by e-mail to show, at least symbolically, that their company is devoted to change; firms should put as much information as possible about their inner workings on corporate intranets. Devoted readers of business books, and those under 35, won't find much new in these lessons, though they are worth repeating. But old-school management may find this clear advice helpful. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

McDowell, a vice-president of Microsoft, and collaborator Simon delve into the business use of information technology. While businesses have used computers since the early 1950s, e-business as a unique approach dates to about 1996. The critical difference between a business that uses computers and an e-business is that the latter uses computers as part of a defined strategy. This book's strong suit is that it was written by a Microsoft executive who has a commanding overview of business applications. McDowell tends to favor such large organizations as Ford, Texaco, Lloyds TSB Bank, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, although smaller businesses (e.g., a two-room inn on Puget Sound) are also included. In each instance, the text is enhanced by the case illustrations of the various business entities. Many of the points made in the book transcend the current issues and practices, but given the rapidity of change within the computer industry, the book will have a relatively short shelf life. Recommended only for specialized collections. Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.