I have been in endless discussions about Nicolas Carr's thesis that IT doesn't matter anymore. As IT increasingly becomes a commodity and your competitors have access to the same set of standard goods and services that you do, where is the basis for competitive advantage?
Dell CEO Kevin Rollins, one of the most brilliant but unassuming business leaders, provides a succinct rebuttal to Carr's thesis in CNNMoney:
"That's absolutely wrong. ... But now what counts most is the execution and implementation of all the standard pieces. And you can do that poorly. You can buy the wrong pieces, or you can buy the right pieces and do it well."
Carr, however, notes that Rollins is pointing to a management advantage, not a technological advantage.
Michael Schrage has made a similar point about innovation. Instead of constantly chasing the next new idea within the firm, the key to innovation is overcoming resistance to change within your organization. Rollins and Schrage are making the same point in different ways: Execution and Judgment still matter.