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Harvard Business Review on Aligning Technology with Strategy by Harvard Business Review

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Competing on Analytics

by Thomas H. Davenport

WE ALL KNOW THE POWER OF THE KILLER APP. Over the years, groundbreaking systems from companies such as American Airlines (electronic reservations), Otis Elevator (predictive maintenance), and American Hospital Supply (online ordering) have dramatically boosted their creators’ revenues and reputations. These heralded—and coveted—applications amassed and applied data in ways that upended customer expectations and optimized operations to unprecedented degrees. They transformed technology from a supporting tool into a strategic weapon.

Companies questing for killer apps generally focus all their firepower on the one area that promises to create the greatest competitive advantage. But a new breed of company ...

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