Banking, retailing, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare – no matter what the industry, corporate success increasingly depends on an organization’s ability to innovate, capture new value, and adapt. This means organizations must develop and communicate a vision for IS, then deploy and manage information systems to increase efficiency, improve performance, and support innovation. Whether you are in the IS function or not, your firm’s success depends on you leading efforts that use technology to streamline introduction of new products, enable efficient management of supply-chain relationships, enhance business control and compliance requirements and maintain effective management of complex financial activities. However while billions of dollars are spent each year on technology, much of it is wasted because firms fail to account for the challenges associated with managing information systems. Managers purchase irrelevant or inadequate software because they cannot clearly specify their needs and lack the knowledge needed to evaluate and manage vendors. Multi-million dollar enterprise systems are underused because their capabilities are not understood or applied by the business users that they are designed to support. Functional managers miss opportunities to strategically use emerging technologies because they are unable to explain their priorities to technology professionals.
Effectively using information systems requires that you bring together people, policies, processes, technology, and data in a timely but resilient fashion to optimize business investments, while avoiding the pitfalls and risks associated with implementing and maintaining complex systems. In this course, we will examine issues associated with developing, managing, and maintaining firms’ ability to use information technology to create business value by reducing costs, supporting growth, and enabling innovation. Through a combination of readings, discussion, presentations, and hands-on projects you will learn about: the critical roles that IS and IS management play in successful organizations; the challenges associated with developing and maintaining an organization’s IT capabilities; the business practices (such as planning, budgeting, staffing, vendor management, standard setting, etc.) that are used to support effective use of IT; the approaches used by firms to evaluate, apply, and strategically manage their investments in information systems. After this course, the student should be able to think like a CIO, both strategically and practically. Prerequisites: None.