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IT innovation and business transformation are the two main items of a major European IT conference organised by IDC.

IDC’s European IT Forum, scheduled to take place in Paris in September, aims to offer to top managers, IDC analysts, economists, and IT opinion leaders a unique opportunity to meet and discuss the needs and future prospects for the IT environment and European and worldwide economy, analysing in particular European markets trends compared to those in the US.

This year the debate will focus on the importance of using technology innovatively in order to transform processes and business models for the achievement and maintenance of high performance and market leadership. The ability to align the core activities in real time to the evolution of a fast-evolving market is becoming one of the most important strategic levers in businesses.

From this point of view, this IDC event represents the occasion to highlight how enterprises are going to enhance their productivity and their competitive advantage, passing from a rigid technological infrastructure to a flexible one, that IDC defines dynamic IT, able to adapt itself to business objectives.

The development of dynamic IT capabilities is seen by IDC to be critically important for the success of European businesses in a rapidly globalising marketplace because, “Businesses throughout Europe have invested less in information and communication technology in recent years, even though the strategic use of ICT has become much more important, both for driving growth through innovation, and for meeting the growing demands of corporate governance and legal compliance,” says Frank Gens, senior vice president of research at IDC.

Joining Gens and IDC’s chief research officer, John Gantz as keynote speakers at the conference is a host of distinguished speakers from the US and Europe, including Thierry Breton, the French minister of the economy, finance, and industry; Nicholas Negroponte, founder and director of the Media Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, and Luc Soete, director of the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) and the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

Lester Thurow, professor of management and economics and Peter Weill, a leading expert on the role of IT governance in enterprises and director of the Centre for Information Systems Research, both from Sloan School of Management, MIT, will also be giving high-profile presentations, and top management from sponsoring companies Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Cognos, Ericsson, Symantec, Foundry Networks, Novell, Secuware, and Xerox, will also attend the forum.

During the event, the "IDC EMEA 2005 Award for ICT Innovation and Business Transformation” aims to recognise outstanding organisations that have substantially improved their competitiveness and business results by applying ICT to product and/or process innovation. Over the following months, members of the expert committee formed by IDG and IDC senior executives and chaired by Frank Gens, will identify a shortlist of projects where the use of information technology has been especially noteworthy for the originality of its conception, the breadth of its vision, and the significance of its benefits. The expert committee will select the award finalists from the shortlist.

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