(Finally) Information Technology (IT) -computers and
telecommunications – is having the kind of revolutionary,
restructuring impact that has been expected and
promised for years
 Rapid advances in speed and capacity + pervasiveness
of Internet, wireless, portable devices etc. = making
major changes in the way we live and work
 ‘Go Back’ – 5, 10, 15 years
 Due to the growth and pervasiveness of IT, organizations are
operating in a different environment from just a few years ago

Introduction cont.
 Themes this unit emphasizes:
 The world seems to be getting smaller
 Backlash – local needs Vs. ‘standard’
 Jobs to stay ‘local’
 IS executives need ‘balancing act’
 Internet has become a hub for conducting business
 Interconnectivity plus!
 Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Management
 Between people
 Out of people’s heads and into ‘lasting’ things e.g. systems, policies and procedures etc.
 Management of Information Systems
 3 Major Trends
1. Governance of IT = a collaborative effort from IS executives and all other
members of Senior Management
2. Role of IS is shifting from application delivery to system integration and
infrastructure development
3. Outsourcing – total / selective
 Developing and managing contracts and relationships

Introduction cont.
Historically, managing IT has been the job
of ‘technical managers’
NOW = increasingly becoming an important
part of the responsibilities of:
Senior executives
Line managers
Employees at all levels of an organization

A Little History
 U.S. passed from the industrial era to the information era as
early as 1957
 The number of U.S. employees whose jobs were primarily to
handle information surpassed the number of industrial
 In the late ’50s / ‘60s IT to support “information work” = largely
non-existent (except telephone)
 Information work = mostly done in general offices without
much support from technology
People factories?
 70s = it all ‘started’ with many of the foundations of IT today
invented and costs starting to fall
 Typewriters, fax, ‘smaller’ computers
 1980s = number of US information workers surpassed the
number in all other sectors (>50%)

The Organizational Environment
 The way IT is used depends on the environment
surrounding the organization that uses it
 Simultaneously, technological advances affect the way
IT is used
 The External Organizational Environment
IT allows information to move faster, thus increasing the
speed at which events take place and the pace at which
individuals and organizations respond to events.
The Internet Economy
B2C, B2B etc.
IT is a major underpinning of the way the ‘old’ and ‘new’
worlds interface

The Organizational Environment cont.
 The External Organizational Environment cont.
 Faster Business Cycles
 Rely on IT
 Accountability and Transparency
 Rise and fall of dot-coms probably should have been expected
• Many business plans could not make $$$
 Debacle in Telco and business shenanigans have shaken investor confidence
• Call for greater transparency of corporate operations and greater accountability of corporate
• IT will play a significant role in implementing the ensuing regulations and fostering transparency
 The External Organizational Environment cont.
 Rising Societal Risks of IT
• IT has negatively affected millions of people
 Network shutdowns
 Computer viruses
 Identity theft
 Email scams
 Movement of white collar jobs offshore
• Led to increasing calls for Government regulation and for vendors and corporations
to take action

The Organizational Environment cont.
 The Internal Organizational Environment
The work environment is also changing, and the art of managing people is undergoing
significant shifts
 From Supply-Push to Demand-Pull
• Companies did their best to figure out what customers wanted
• Organized to build a supply of products or services and then ‘push’ them out to end customers on
stores shelves, in catalogs etc.
 ‘New’ (Internet)
• Allows much closer and ‘one-to-one’ contact between customer and seller
• Offer customers the components of a product/service then the customer creates their own version
by ‘pulling’ what they want
 The Internal Organizational Environment cont.
 Self- Service
 ATMs = early example
 1990s saw an increase in systems that let consumers access corporate computer systems
• Learn about products
• Purchase products
• Inquire about orders
• Communicate and ‘do business’ with the firm
 Now = heaps e.g. FedEx parcel tracking

The Organizational Environment cont.
 The Internal Organizational Environment cont.
 Real-Time Working
 Sales people have up-to-the-minute information about customers
 Knowing e.g. inventory and cash levels as the are NOW – not as they were a week or a
month ago
 Being able to reach someone when you need them
• Instant messaging?
 Team-Based Working
 Working together on projects
 Anytime, Anyplace Information Work
 The Internal Organizational Environment cont.
 Outsourcing and Strategic Alliances
 To become more competitive, organizations are examining types of work that should be
done internally or externally by others
 Ranges from a simple contract for services to a long-term strategic alliance
 The thinking is: We should focus on what we do best and outsource the other functions to
people who specialize in them
 Note = not ‘new’ (especially in non-IT)
 Also = some ‘backlash’

The Organizational Environment cont.
 The Internal Organizational Environment cont.
The Demise of Hierarchy
Traditional hierarchical structure groups, several
people performing the same type of work, overseen by
a supervisor
• No longer the most appropriate in factories or offices
Hierarchical structures cannot cope with rapid change
• Communications up and down the chain of command takes
too much time for today’s environment
IT enables team-based organizational structures by
facilitating rapid and far-flung communication
Note: = some of the time. Still has its place in many

Goals of the New Work Environment
Leverage Knowledge Globally
Tap tacit knowledge by fostering sharing and
supporting sharing through technology
Note: driving force is culture!
 Happens through organizational pull (people
needing help) rather than organizational push which
overloads people with information
Organize for Complexity

Goals of the New Work Environment cont.
Work Electronically
Taking advantage of the Internet and networks in general =
3rd major goal of enterprises today
Requires different organizing principles, management tenets,
compensation schemes, structure etc.
Changes how organizations interact with others including
The microchip moved power within companies. Bandwidth
moves power all the way to consumers
Will increase exponentially as bandwidth capability
increases and costs decrease
 Handle Continuous and Discontinuous Change
Fits and starts

The Technology Environment
IT enables advances in organizational performance.
 Hardware Trends
 ’50s – ’60s + – Batch processing predominant; on-line systems
emerged later
 Mid ’70s processing power began to move out of the central site
(at the insistence of users!)
 1980s: Advent of personal computers
 Client-Server computing: “Client” machine user interfaces with
“Server” on the network holding the data and applications
 Major current development = hand-held devices, wireless etc.
 Further distribution beyond organizational boundaries to
suppliers, customers etc.

• Software Trends
1. In 1960s = Improve the productivity of in-house
programmers who created transaction processing
– ‘Problem’ = memory $
2. Later, programming issues:
• First = Modular and structured programming
• Then = Life cycle development methodologies and
software engineering
– Goal = Introduction of rigorous project
management techniques
The Technology Environment cont.

• Software Trends cont.
3. Prototyping: quick development of a mock-up
4. Purchasing software became viable
alternative to in-house development
5. Paying attention to applications other than
transaction processing
• Decision support systems (DSS), report
generation, database inquiry
6. End users develop their own systems
The Technology Environment cont.

• Software Trends cont.
7. Push for ‘open systems’
• Purchasers were tired of being “locked in” to proprietary
software (or hardware)
8. 1990s – trend towards Enterprise Resource Planning
(ERP) e.g. SAP, PeopleSoft
• Expensive and troublesome, especially for companies
wanting to modify the ERP software to fit their ‘unique’
• A fundamental organizational change!
The Technology Environment cont.

• Software Trends cont.
9. Like hardware, software is migrating to be network
• Web front ends to empower employees rather than replacing
legacy systems
• Looming change = move to Web Services – packages of
code that each perform a specific function and have a URL
– e.g FedEx parcel tracking, MacAfee’s’ virus updates
• The significance of Web Services is that it moves software
and programming to being truly network centric – the
network becomes the heart of the system, linking all Web
The Technology Environment cont.

The Technology Environment cont.
• Data Trends
– At first = File management
• Organizational techniques for files that served
individual applications
– Then = Corporate databases
• Serving several applications
• Led to concept of establishing a data
administration function

The Technology Environment cont.
• Data Trends cont.
– ’70s = focus on Technical solutions
• Database management systems
• Dictionary/directory
• Specification and format
• Now = Data definitions: information about
relationships among systems, sources and
uses of data, and time cycle requirements
– First 20 years: techniques to manage data
in a centralized environment

The Technology Environment cont.
• Data Trends cont.
• Late ’70s / early ’80s = 4th generation languages
and PCs:
– Employees directly access corporate data
– Users “demanded it”!
• Also = Distributing data from data resources to
information resources
– Data management organizes internal facts into data
record format
– Information management focuses on concepts
• Contains a much richer universe of digitized media including
voice, graphics, animation and photographs (digitized media)

The Technology Environment cont.
• Data Trends cont.
• Managing this expanded array of information
resources requires new technologies
– Data warehousing
• Stores huge amounts of historical (not ‘live’) data from systems
such as retailers Point-Of-Sale systems
– Data mining
• Uses advanced statistical techniques to explore data
warehouses looking for previously unknown relationships in
data e.g which customers are the most profitable
• Knowledge management (intellectual capital)
– ‘New’ – The ‘Holy Grail’?
• Web has broadened ‘data’ to mean ‘content’
– Text, graphics, animation, maps, photos, video etc.
• Now ‘tightly’ controlled Vs. early proliferation

The Technology Environment cont.
• Communications Trends
• Final core technology = Telecommunications.
• This area has (is?) experienced enormous
change and is now taking ‘centre stage’
• Early use = online and time-sharing systems
• Then = interest in both public and private (intracompany)
data networks blossomed
• Internet = changed everything!
• Today the Internet’s protocol has become the
worldwide standard for LANs and WANs
– Will also soon be the ‘standard’ for voice

The Technology Environment cont.
• Communications Trends cont.
• Telecom opened up new uses of IS so it became an
integral component of IS management
– Communications-based information systems link
organizations to their suppliers and customers
– Explosion of wireless
• 2nd generation, instant messaging, Wi-Fi, 3rd generation
• Doesn’t just enable mobility = changes how people
communicate, how they live and how they work

The Mission of Information Systems
 Early days: “paperwork factories” to pay employees, bill
customers, ship products etc.
Objectives of information systems defined by productivity
 Later = MIS era: produced reports for “management by
exception” for all levels of management
 Today = Improve the performance of people in
organizations through the use of information technology
 Improving organizational performance is accomplished by
the people and groups that comprise the organization
One resource for this improvement is IT

The Mission of Information Systems
The mission is to improve the
performance of people in
organizations through the use of
information technology

A Simple Model (Fig. 1-2)
In the early days of Information
Systems, the ‘translation’ between IT
and users was performed almost
entirely by systems analysts

Systems Professionals Bridging the
Technology Gap (Fig. 1-3)
 Over the last 50 years technology has become increasingly complex
and powerful
 Users have become increasingly sophisticated
 Information systems are now viewed as ‘products’ and users have
become ‘customers’
 More specialization is required of systems professionals to bridge this
wider gap

Users Bridging the Technology Gap (Fig. 1-4)
 Technology has become sophisticated enough to
be used by many employees and consumers
 Today, some of the technology is truly userfriendly,
and some applications such as Web page
development, database mining and spreadsheet
manipulation, are handled by non-IT staff
 Transaction systems, however, are still
‘developed’ by professional developers, either
inside or outside the firm

Why talk about the ‘Technology Gap’?
 The main point of this discussion is that
technology is getting more complex, applications
are becoming more sophisticated, and users are
participating more heavily in the development of
 The net result is that management of the
process is becoming more complex and difficult
as its importance increases

A Better Model (Fig 1-6)
 Expanding the simple model gives us more
guidance into managerial principles and tasks
 We suggest a model with four principal
1. A set of technologies that represent the IT infrastructure
installed and managed by the IS department
2. A set of users who need to use IT to improve their job
3. A delivery mechanism for developing , delivering and
installing applications
4. Executive leadership to manage the entire process of
applying the technology to achieve organizational objectives
and goals

1. The Technologies
 Several forces contribute to the increased importance
and complexity of IT:
1. Growth in capacity + reduction in cost & size
2. Merging of previously separate technologies of computers,
telephones/telecom/cable TV, office equipment and consumer
3. Ability to store and handle multiple forms of data
 Information systems now fill major roles in
management reporting, problem solving and analysis,
office support, customer service and communications

3. System Development and Delivery
 Systems development and delivery bridge the gap
between technology and users
 Systems for procedure-based (clerical) activities
differ from systems for knowledge based
information work (managerial)
 Systems are built based on technology resources.
Three main categories (essential technologies):
1. Hardware and software
2. Telecommunications
3. Information resources
 Management of these is called infrastructure

3. System Development and Delivery
 Systems development and delivery bridge the gap
between technology and users
 Systems for procedure-based (clerical) activities
differ from systems for knowledge based
information work (managerial)
 Systems are built based on technology resources.
Three main categories (essential technologies):
1. Hardware and software
2. Telecommunications
3. Information resources
 Management of these is called infrastructure

4. IS Management
 Chief Information Officer (CIO)
 Must be high enough in the enterprise to influence
organizational goals
 Must have enough credibility to lead the harnessing
of technology to pursue those goals
 Must work with all the other CXOs
 IT has become too important to be left to one
 Executive team must work together to govern
it and leverage it well

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