What Makes Companies “Tops” in Tech?

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Business Week magazine recently unveiled a list of the top 100 companies in the information technology industry, and the results might come as a surprise to many people who consider themselves quite familiar with the tech sector. For instance, the number-one firm on the list, telecommunications provider America Movil, is based in Mexico. And that’s just for starters.

The Info Tech 100 list compiled by Business Week suggests that IT as an industry has become not only more international, but also more evenly distributed around the globe. Out of the top 10 companies, only one is based in the United States—Apple Computer, in fourth place. Also, countries such as Taiwan, Spain Finland and India are all represented in the top 10. To be sure, though, one can still find U.S. IT giants such as Dell (15th), Microsoft (37th) and Oracle (51st) peppered throughout the list.


Another trend that can be found among the Info Tech 100 is resurgence of the Internet as a force in the IT industry. Companies such as Google (13th), Amazon (23rd), E*Trade Financial (28th) and Netflix (45th) show us that the Web 2.0 concept is more than just some trendy corporate buzzword. Also prevalent are telecommunications firms: Along with the previously mentioned America Movil, telecom factors heavily in the list, occupying more than half of the top 10.


This list got me to thinking: What makes a tech company great? With Business Week being what it is and its readers being who they are, the magazine gauged the firms included in (and excluded from) the Info Tech 100 by revenues, revenue growth, return on equity, total return and profits. To be sure, these are definitely important measures of success, particularly from the shareholders’ point of view. But where technology is concerned, should there be other factors in determining which companies are the best and which are the rest?


I’ve got a thread going in the General Discussion forum on the CertMag Web site titled “Top Tech Companies” that takes on this very question. Anyone who wants to offer their thoughts about what makes an IT company great (and offer examples of which ones fall into that category) can do so at www.certmag.com/forums.

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