Carlson Companies has been ranked fifth by InformationWeek magazine in its listing of the nation`s 500 largest and most innovative users of information technology. Last year the company was ranked 106th.
Carlson outpaced technology companies including 3Com, Gateway, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, and was the highest-ranked hospitality and travel company, with the next highest in the category ranked 55th.
The magazine`s rankings are based on a comprehensive inquiry that examines technology deployment, IT budget, technology strategies, E-business, customer-knowledge initiatives and staff management.
The reason for Carlson`s jump to the top 10 included its adoption and development of cross-company technology initiatives including data-review and coordination across product lines to better understand consumer behavior, and technology advances in its management of human-resources data. It also noted the company`s new process evaluation initiative and its use of wide-ranging staff groups to retool its processes.
“We`re thrilled that our efforts are being recognized in the I.T. industry. We`ve been on the list before, but this is the first time we`ve been ranked this well,” said Steve Brown, Carlson Companies senior vice president and chief information officer.
“We`re also encouraged with the progress we`re making with our new storage area network,” Brown added. “The network, which employs Internet protocol, allows a tremendous amount of data to travel further at any given moment and reduces the cost of storing information. It`s another example of how we are using I.T. innovations to improve efficiency.”
According to the InformationWeek study, challenging economic times over the past year have not discouraged industry leaders from investing in technology projects that will help trim costs, attract customers and improve productivity.