20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2015 - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // IT Strategy
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4/27/2015
11:59 PM
Amy Doherty and Chris Murphy
Amy Doherty and Chris Murphy
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20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2015

We hand-picked these 20 real-world projects from among the InformationWeek Elite 100 winners, looking for ideas that would spark new thinking in your IT organizations.
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You hear the words a lot: big data analytics, the Internet of Things, mobile-first development, personalization. This slideshow brings those and other tech innovations to life, with 20 real-world projects from companies on the 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 ranking.

In analytics, ConocoPhillips is using data to analyze how to most efficiently use new hydraulic fracturing techniques, and that work is helping tap new energy resources.

In mobile, companies are using smartphones to build ongoing relationships with their customers. FedEx is using text messages to let customers in Europe know a package is coming -- raising the rate of first-time deliveries, lowering FedEx's costs, and making recipients happy. Allstate, meanwhile, has put the monitoring of driving habits into a smartphone app, and one-third of new customers are opting to use the service.

Companies are using emerging technologies to change the kinds of services they can sell. Royal Caribbean is using a new, low-orbiting satellite system to offer, in the middle of the sea, the same kind of high-speed and low-latency Internet access that people get onshore -- and at a much lower cost than has been available at sea before. Black & Veatch, an engineering firm, is testing the use of drones for cellular tower inspections, instead of having two-person crews scale the structures.

The public sector is taking part as well. The Brooklyn Public Library system is putting data visualization in the hands of staff to help them fine-tune their decisions on what materials to stock. The MetroHealth System in Cleveland worked with Cuyahoga County to digitize inmates' health records and create video doctor-visit capabilities, reducing the cost and risk of moving prisoners for medical care.

On the following pages, you'll see specific examples of digital innovators from real estate to biotech to hotels to automotive. No matter what your industry, these 20 fresh ideas can help fuel your next brainstorming session.

Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and co-chair of the InformationWeek Conference. He has been covering technology leadership and CIO strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in ... View Full Bio

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BillB031
IW Pick
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BillB031,
User Rank: Moderator
5/15/2015 | 11:26:59 AM
Re: at sea
I don't understand why people feel they always need to be "connected".  When I go on a trip, whether a camping trip, bare-boat sailing, canoe trip..etc..  The last thing I think about is being connected. The whole purpose of getting away is to disconnect.   But I guess being on a cruise ship is more like staying at a hotel watching the water float by. Your not going there to disconnect, rather, to take selfies to email back home to try and make people jealous who are freezing in the snow
BobTuit
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BobTuit,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2015 | 2:22:22 PM
Text Messages from Hotels
The text message from the Hotel saying a room is now available is good, with a link to give you turn by turn directions on how to get there is better.  To have an app that  informs the Hotel (form your real time location) that you now are arriving and to say hello Mr. Tapscott here is your room number and key, clearly best.    
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
4/29/2015 | 8:47:52 PM
texts and packages
Using texts to verify people are home before diliver is brilliant. I can't tell you how many times I've had to deal with getting a package that I had to go back to the warehouse for or had rotting out on the front stoop all afternoon. While it does involve tech, it's something of a low tech solution to a real problem from both a company and customer point of view.
H@mmy
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[email protected],
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 5:41:44 PM
Paypal
I think its a great move by Paypal to switch from Waterfall to Agile. I think its a well established company and they have been a little late on this but nevertheless they have opted for Agile and it has also given good results.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2015 | 5:31:29 PM
Re: at sea
@[email protected] In the case of the person I spoke with, he was relying on staying connected to check in on business things. So he had a lot more to lose out on than not posting his vacation pics in real time.
H@mmy
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[email protected],
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 5:30:01 PM
Re: at sea
Internet on cruise , wow ! Just loved it. Sharing my snaps on the social while I am enjoying and keeping my friends update. Google's new project will make the internet availability more interesting.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2015 | 8:36:25 AM
at sea
<Royal Caribbean is using a new, low-orbiting satellite system to offer, in the middle of the sea, the same kind of high-speed and low-latency Internet access that people get onshore -- and at a much lower cost than has been available at sea before. >

I've never taken a cruise myself, but I interviewed someone just after he finished one. His main complaint was that he couldn't get Internet access for days. The ship was supposed to have had it, so he was very disappointed and put out. If Royal Carribean is touting this, they had better be able to deliver.
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