Businesses have overestimated the strategic value of IT and must cut back on spend and expectations, asserts Nicholas Carr while stating that IT does not matter. He contends that core IT functions such as data storage, transmission and processing of digital information have become utility services and no longer offer competitive differentiation. Dr. Langer’s Driver/Supporter theory identifies commodity IT functions as Supporter products while recognizing other IT projects as Driver functions that strategically integrate with the business, playing a frontline revenue generating role. He further identifies the life cycle over which Drivers are evaluated, mature, get assimilated into the organization and eventually become Supporters.

Cognizant a global IT services major, developed code generator tools that helped differentiate it from the competition and secured rewarding client contracts. However, competitors were quick to revert with plagiarized tools of their own causing erosion of this strategic advantage. Cognizant’s IT organization recognized that the key to generating and sustaining non-linear growth is to innovate and bring alternate technology differentiators such as Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud offerings. These Drivers have resulted in continued financial success[i].


[i] http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2013/11/05/cognizants-ceo-thanks-smac-for-record-breaker/ (Forbes Inc. 2013)