Technological Evolutions and Revolutions

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Technological Evolutions and Revolutions

Technological Evolutions and Revolutions

Subsequent chapters provide frameworks and sets of examples for understanding the links between IS and business strategy (Chapter 2), links between IS and organizational strategy (Chapter 3), collaboration and individual work (Chapter 4), and business processes (Chapter 5).

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The rest of the text covers issues related to the business manager’s role in managing IS itself. These chapters are the building blocks of an IS strategy. Chapter 6 provides a framework for understanding the four components of IS architecture: hardware, software, networks, and data. Chapter 7 discusses how managers might participate in decisions about IS security. Chapter 8 focuses on the business of IT with a look at IS organization, funding models, portfolios, and monitoring options. Chapter 9 describes the governance of IS resources. Chapter 10 explores sourc- ing and how companies provision IS resources. Chapter 11 focuses on project and change management. Chapter 12 concerns business intelligence, knowledge management, and analytics and provides an overview of how companies manage knowledge and create a competitive advantage using business analytics. And finally, Chapter 13 discusses the ethical use of information and privacy.

Basic Assumptions Every book is based on certain assumptions, and understanding those assumptions makes a difference in interpret- ing the text. The first assumption made by this text is that managers must be knowledgeable participants in the IS decisions made within and affecting their organizations. That means that the general manager must develop a basic understanding of the business and technology issues related to IS. Because technology changes rapidly, this text also assumes that today’s technology is different from yesterday’s technology. In fact, the technology available to readers of this text today might even differ significantly from that available when the text was being written. Therefore, this text focuses on generic concepts that are, to the extent possible, technology independent. It provides frameworks on which to hang more up‐to‐the‐minute technological evolutions and revolutions, such as new uses of the Web, new social tools, or new cloud‐based services. We assume that the reader will supplement the discussions of this text with current case studies and up‐to‐date information about the latest technology.

A second, perhaps controversial, assumption is that the roles of a general manager and of an IS manager require different skill sets and levels of technical competency. General managers must have a basic understanding of IS in order to be a knowledgeable participant in business decisions. Without that level of understanding, their decisions may have serious negative implications for the business. On the other hand, IS managers must have more in‐depth knowledge of technology so they can partner with general managers who will use the IS. As digital natives take on increasingly more managerial roles in corporations, this second assumption may change—all managers may need deeper technical understanding. But for this text, we assume a different, more technical skill set for the IS manager and we do not attempt to provide that here.

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