Brain Power

Fast Tracks

Need a few good, solid reasons to justify further investment in information technology (IT)? Look no further than your tech-savvy competition: A recent Coopers & Lybrand study of America's fastest-growing companies found that firms on the fast track are allocating a growing portion of their operating budgets--5.66 percent--for computers, software, networking systems and other IT products.

Indeed, today's CEOs are confident in the value IT brings to their businesses. The study reveals an overwhelming 96 percent of the nation's fastest growers say IT was important to their profitable growth over the past two years. And 93 percent believe IT has met their expectations for increased productivity.

What kind of IT functions are deemed most useful? Nearly eight in 10 CEOs of growth firms say systems that handle accounting duties play an important role in their companies. What's more, about 62 percent see substantial value in order entry and billing systems, 53 percent in financial analysis and cash management, 47 percent in management sales information, and 30 percent in inventory control.

But the real proof is found in the bottom line. The study discovered that tech-savvy firms tend to have fewer employees but more revenue than their peers without a technology edge. In fact, when comparing sales per employee, the former has twice the productivity output: $174,000 vs. $88,000.

Need we say more?

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This article was originally published in the February 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Brain Power.

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