Afternoon Coffee: India Fights to Keep IKEA, The Future of Food Production (Bugs?), Sugar Cane Price

What CIOs need to know.
CIOs Must Master Human Side of IT Implementation -- The CIO's role is less about the software, the servers, the networking tools and the IT infrastructure than it is about business strategy execution and leadership skills. It's also those skills--not technical knowledge--that are most crucial during a large-scale technology implementation like an ERP software upgrade or a sales funnel tracking system overhaul. As every CIO knows, a failed implementation can be catastrophic--often to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The most common reason technology implementations flop is because employees lack clarity about how the new systems can enhance their work and help their organization to achieve its objectives. Ultimately, it falls on the leadership team, along with the CIO, to make this case to employees across the organization.

A sourcing showdown.
India seen relaxing retail rules to keep IKEA from packing up -- India's government appears set to relax heavily criticised sourcing rules for retailers, anxious not to scare off IKEA -- one of the few big name firms that has said it will invest in the country -- or any others willing to follow. India kicked open the door to foreign retailers in January when it removed an investment cap for single brand chains to set up shop but then shot itself in the foot by imposing a requirement that companies had to source 30 percent from small local firms. IKEA and others have balked, and the government's response is being seen as a test case of how well it can revive flagging investor confidence at a time when economic growth has slowed to its weakest in nine years.

A hint: 6 legs and antennae!
Future foods: What will we be eating in 20 years' time? -- Rising food prices, the growing population and environmental concerns are just a few issues that have organisations - including the United Nations and the government - worrying about how we will feed ourselves in the future. In the UK, meat prices are anticipated to have a huge impact on our diets. Some in the food industry estimate they could double in the next five to seven years, making meat a luxury item. "In the West many of us have grown up with cheap, abundant meat," says food futurologist Morgaine Gaye. "Rising prices mean we are now starting to see the return of meat as a luxury. As a result we are looking for new ways to fill the meat gap." So what will fill such gaps and our stomachs - and how will we eat it?

Drought (and recovery?)
Drier Weather Hurts Prices of Sugar Cane -- Raw-sugar futures fell 5.9% last week, as production picked up in top sugar-producer Brazil on the heels of unseasonable rains. Futures prices had rallied 27% from a 22-month low in early June to 23.92 cents a pound on July 20 due to fears the deluge would squeeze supplies from the world's top producer of the sweetener. But Brazil's sugar industry association, known as Unica, reported last Wednesday that mills in the main Center-South growing region processed 3.9% more sugar cane in the first half of July than in the year-earlier period, a sign that the harvest was recovering after the torrential rains.

- Sheena Moore

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