Of all the issues we face in the year ahead, one stands far above the rest: how to deal with the internet. Whatever your age or position, there is no escaping it. Many executives may have breathed a sigh of relief recently when Tony Blair took two fingers to a computer keyboard in a show of technical prowess at a Government-financed learning centre. If our leading apostle for the internet revolution is still a bit of technophobe, maybe it isn't too late for you and me. But time is short.
Management Today thinks it can help. When we relaunched last April, we said we would deal with the issues that keep you awake at night. The internet falls into this category. Over the next 12 months we will guide you through this bewildering new world. We will provide answers to simple questions about the net (without jargon), keep you in touch with developments and the people behind them, and tell you how you can stay ahead of colleagues and rivals. As well as regular coverage in the magazine and our 'Techknow' and 'Smart cookies' pages, in March we will introduce a user-friendly quarterly supplement devoted to e-business. We call it Section e.
It is time to tap into cyberspace, for yourself as well as your business.
At work and, more significantly, outside it, using the net will transform your efficiency, knowledge and ability to find what you need at the right price. As technology improves, we will all be working where we want, when we want - whether at home, in an aircraft or even on a beach - and we will be doing a lot of it wire-free on our mobile phones.
In this month's 'Where we go from here', each of six sector leaders identifies technology as the principal challenge facing them this year. That's no surprise coming from Jim Rose of QXL, but we get the same prediction from economist Roger Bootle and Alan Borg of the V&A Museum. It is still early days, and many businesses of the old economy are still thriving or getting by without fundamental changes to their organisations or the way people work within them. But sooner rather than later, the fallout will begin and companies, their people and even some of internet start-ups will be left behind. Having said all that, the future still looks bright for most of us. To anyone feeling gloomy at the prospect of the digital economy, I recommend our survey of futurists, 'Strategy in a crystal ball'. A tour of America by BBC radio presenter Peter Day produced a strong sense of optimism about the future of our businesses and our planet.
Each generation seems to believe its time is the most exciting in which to live. In the case at hand, it is hard to disagree. Our resolution at Management Today is to keep loading you up with editorial software that will help you cope with the changes you face in the year ahead. Have a good one.