Increasingly, businesses appear to be obliged to meet the demands of sustainable development (if only in response to the growing pressure from their shareholders, consumers or employees). But there is another factor that seems now to play a key role in determining the "sustainability" or even the viability of firms: their ability to taken on board the lessons of the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs).
In this article, Xavier Dalloz and André-Yves Portnoff attempt to describe the new paradigm of management generated by the Internet, which they argue that all firms must adopt in order to avoid going into decline. The authors support their arguments by citing specific cases that illustrate the need (in both negative and positive ways) for a radical "e-novation".
In their view, one would have to be exceptionally shortsighted not to see that "the phenomena we have been witnessing over the last decade are important and in general their strength is likely to grow exponentially in future". It would then be fatal to dismiss the ICTs as merely an ornamental supplement to the real business of production or marketing. The authors are adamant: without succumbing to a blind fascination for all things high-tech, it is essential for firms to understand that networks and the shift towards the intangible are making certain styles of management and business organization increasingly appropriate and indispensable; firms must undergo major restructuring if they are to integrate these changes. The key words here are: involvement, flows, partnership and interdependence.