Engineering

IT STRATEGY: ISSUES AND PRACTICES

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IT STRATEGY: ISSUES AND PRACTICES

T h i r d E d i t i o n

James D. McKeen Queen’s University

Heather A. Smith Queen’s University

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

McKeen, James D. IT strategy: issues and practices/James D. McKeen, Queen’s University, Heather A. Smith, Queen’s University.—Third edition. pages cm ISBN 978-0-13-354424-4 (alk. paper) ISBN 0-13-354424-9 (alk. paper) 1. Information technology—Management. I. Smith, Heather A. II. Title. HD30.2.M3987 2015 004.068—dc23 2014017950

ISBN–10: 0-13-354424-9 ISBN–13: 978-0-13-354424-4

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

CONTENTS

Preface xiii

About the Authors xxi

Acknowledgments xxii

Section I Delivering Value with IT 1

Chapter 1 DEVELOPING AND DELIVERING ON THE IT VALUE PROPOSITION 2 Peeling the Onion: Understanding IT Value 3

What Is IT Value? 3 Where Is IT Value? 4 Who Delivers IT Value? 5 When Is IT Value Realized? 5

The Three Components of the IT Value Proposition 6 Identification of Potential Value 7 Effective Conversion 8 Realizing Value 9

Five Principles for Delivering Value 10 Principle 1. Have a Clearly Defined Portfolio Value Management

Process 11 Principle 2. Aim for Chunks of Value 11 Principle 3. Adopt a Holistic Orientation to Technology Value 11 Principle 4. Aim for Joint Ownership of Technology Initiatives 12 Principle 5. Experiment More Often 12

Conclusion 12 References 13

Chapter 2 DEVELOPING IT STRATEGY FOR BUSINESS VALUE 15 Business and IT Strategies: Past, Present, and Future 16 Four Critical Success Factors 18 The Many Dimensions of IT Strategy 20 Toward an IT Strategy-Development Process 22 Challenges for CIOs 23

Conclusion 25 25

Chapter 3 LINKING IT TO BUSINESS METRICS 27 Business Measurement: An Overview 28 Key Business Metrics for IT 30

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Designing Business Metrics for IT 31 Advice to Managers 35

Conclusion 36 36

Chapter 4 BUILDING A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BUSINESS 38 The Nature of the Business–IT Relationship 39 The Foundation of a Strong Business–IT

Relationship 41 Building Block #1: Competence 42 Building Block #2: Credibility 43 Building Block #3: Interpersonal Interaction 44 Building Block #4: Trust 46

Conclusion 48 48 Appendix A The Five IT Value Profiles 50 Appendix B Guidelines for Building a Strong Business–IT

Relationship 51

Chapter 5 COMMUNICATING WITH BUSINESS MANAGERS 52 Communication in the Business–IT Relationship 53 What Is “Good” Communication? 54 Obstacles to Effective Communication 56 “T-Level” Communication Skills for IT Staff 58 Improving Business–IT Communication 60

Conclusion 61 61 Appendix A IT Communication Competencies 63

Chapter 6 BUILDING BETTER IT LEADERS FROM THE BOTTOM UP 64 The Changing Role of the IT Leader 65 What Makes a Good IT Leader? 67 How to Build Better IT Leaders 70 Investing in Leadership Development: Articulating the Value

Proposition 73 Conclusion 74 75

MINI CASES Delivering Business Value with IT at Hefty Hardware 76 Investing in TUFS 80 IT Planning at ModMeters 82

Contents vii

Section II IT Governance 87

Chapter 7 CREATING IT SHARED SERVICES 88 IT Shared Services: An Overview 89 IT Shared Services: Pros and Cons 92 IT Shared Services: Key Organizational Success Factors 93 Identifying Candidate Services 94 An Integrated Model of IT Shared Services 95 Recommmendations for Creating Effective IT

Shared Services 96 Conclusion 99 99

Chapter 8 A MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK FOR IT SOURCING 100 A Maturity Model for IT Functions 101 IT Sourcing Options: Theory Versus Practice 105 The “Real” Decision Criteria 109

Decision Criterion #1: Flexibility 109 Decision Criterion #2: Control 109 Decision Criterion #3: Knowledge Enhancement 110 Decision Criterion #4: Business Exigency 110

A Decision Framework for Sourcing IT Functions 111 Identify Your Core IT Functions 111 Create a “Function Sourcing” Profile 111 Evolve Full-Time IT Personnel 113 Encourage Exploration of the Whole Range

of Sourcing Options 114 Combine Sourcing Options Strategically 114

A Management Framework for Successful Sourcing 115 Develop a Sourcing Strategy 115 Develop a Risk Mitigation Strategy 115 Develop a Governance Strategy 116 Understand the Cost Structures 116

Conclusion 117 117

Chapter 9 THE IT BUDGETING PROCESS 118 Key Concepts in IT Budgeting 119 The Importance of Budgets 121 The IT Planning and Budget Process 123

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Corporate Processes 123 IT Processes 125 Assess Actual IT Spending 126

IT Budgeting Practices That Deliver Value 127 Conclusion 128 129

Chapter 10 MANAGING IT- BASED RISK 130 A Holistic View of IT-Based Risk 131 Holistic Risk Management: A Portrait 134 Developing a Risk Management Framework 135 Improving Risk Management Capabilities 138 Conclusion 139 140 Appendix A A Selection of Risk Classification

Schemes 141

Chapter 11 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: THE NEXUS OF BUSINESS AND IT 142 Information Management: How Does IT Fit? 143 A Framework For IM 145

Stage One: Develop an IM Policy 145 Stage Two: Articulate the Operational

Components 145 Stage Three: Establish Information Stewardship 146 Stage Four: Build Information Standards 147

Issues In IM 148 Culture and Behavior 148 Information Risk Management 149 Information Value 150 Privacy 150 Knowledge Management 151 The Knowing–Doing Gap 151

Getting Started in IM 151 Conclusion 153 154

Appendix A Elements of IM Operations 155

MINI CASES Building Shared Services at RR Communications 156 Enterprise Architecture at Nationstate Insurance 160 IT Investment at North American Financial 165

Contents ix

Section III IT-Enabled Innovation 169

Chapter 12 INNOVATION WITH IT 170 The Need for Innovation: An Historical

Perspective 171 The Need for Innovation Now 171 Understanding Innovation 172 The Value of Innovation 174 Innovation Essentials: Motivation, Support,

and Direction 175 Challenges for IT leaders 177 Facilitating Innovation 179

Conclusion 180 181

Chapter 13 BIG DATA AND SOCIAL COMPUTING 182 The Social Media/Big Data Opportunity 183 Delivering Business Value with Big Data 185 Innovating with Big Data 189 Pulling in Two Different Directions: The Challenge

for IT Managers 190 First Steps for IT Leaders 192

Conclusion 193 194

Chapter 14 IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: AN IT PERSPECTIVE 195 Customer Experience and Business value 196 Many Dimensions of Customer Experience 197 The Role of Technology in Customer Experience 199 Customer Experience Essentials for IT 200 First Steps to Improving Customer Experience 203

Conclusion 204 204

Chapter 15 BUILDING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE 206 Understanding Business Intelligence 207 The Need for Business Intelligence 208 The Challenge of Business Intelligence 209 The Role of IT in Business Intelligence 211 Improving Business Intelligence 213

Conclusion 216 216

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Chapter 16 ENABLING COLLABORATION WITH IT 218 Why Collaborate? 219 Characteristics of Collaboration 222 Components of Successful Collaboration 225 The Role of IT in Collaboration 227 First Steps for Facilitating Effective Collaboration 229

Conclusion 231 232

MINI CASES Innovation at International Foods 234 Consumerization of Technology at IFG 239 CRM at Minitrex 243 Customer Service at Datatronics 246

Section IV IT Portfolio Development and Management 251

Chapter 17 APPLICATION PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT 252 The Applications Quagmire 253 The Benefits of a Portfolio Perspective 254 Making APM Happen 256

Capability 1: Strategy and Governance 258 Capability 2: Inventory Management 262 Capability 3: Reporting and Rationalization 263

Key Lessons Learned 264 Conclusion 265 265

Appendix A Application Information 266

Chapter 18 MANAGING IT DEMAND 270 Understanding IT Demand 271 The Economics of Demand Management 273 Three Tools for Demand management 273 Key Organizational Enablers for Effective Demand

Management 274 Strategic Initiative Management 275 Application Portfolio Management 276 Enterprise Architecture 276 Business–IT Partnership 277 Governance and Transparency 279

Conclusion 281 281

Contents xi

Chapter 19 CREATING AND EVOLVING A TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP 283 What is a Technology Roadmap? 284 The Benefits of a Technology Roadmap 285

External Benefits (Effectiveness) 285 Internal Benefits (Efficiency) 286

Elements of the Technology Roadmap 286 Activity #1: Guiding Principles 287 Activity #2: Assess Current Technology 288 Activity #3: Analyze Gaps 289 Activity #4: Evaluate Technology

Landscape 290 Activity #5: Describe Future Technology 291 Activity #6: Outline Migration Strategy 292 Activity #7: Establish Governance 292

Practical Steps for Developing a Technology Roadmap 294

Conclusion 295 295 Appendix A Principles to Guide a Migration

Strategy 296

Chapter 20 ENHANCING DEVELOPMENT PRODUCTIVITY 297 The Problem with System Development 298 Trends in System Development 299 Obstacles to Improving System Development

Productivity 302 Improving System Development Productivity: What we

know that Works 304 Next Steps to Improving System Development

Productivity 306 Conclusion 308 308

Chapter 21 INFORMATION DELIVERY: IT’S EVOLVING ROLE 310 Information and IT: Why Now? 311 Delivering Value Through Information 312 Effective Information Delivery 316

New Information Skills 316 New Information Roles 317 New Information Practices 317

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New Information Strategies 318 The Future of Information Delivery 319

Conclusion 321 322

MINI CASES Project Management at MM 324 Working Smarter at Continental Furniture International 328 Managing Technology at Genex Fuels 333

Index 336

PREFACE

Today, with information technology (IT) driving constant business transformation, overwhelming organizations with information, enabling 24/7 global operations, and undermining traditional business models, the challenge for business leaders is not simply to manage IT, it is to use IT to deliver business value. Whereas until fairly recently, decisions about IT could be safely delegated to technology specialists after a business strategy had been developed, IT is now so closely integrated with business that, as one CIO explained to us, “We can no longer deliver business solutions in our company without using technology so IT and business strategy must constantly interact with each other.”

What’s New in This Third Edition?

IT shared services; big data and social computing; business intelligence; manag- ing IT demand; improving the customer experience; and enhancing development productivity.

resourcing options; and innovating with IT.

Working Smarter at Continental Furniture and Enterprise Architecture at Nationstate Insurance.

from the second edition being moved to the Web site.

All too often, in our efforts to prepare future executives to deal effectively with the issues of IT strategy and management, we lead them into a foreign country where they encounter a different language, different culture, and different customs. Acronyms (e.g., SOA, FTP/IP, SDLC, ITIL, ERP), buzzwords (e.g., asymmetric encryption, proxy servers, agile, enterprise service bus), and the widely adopted practice of abstraction (e.g., Is a software monitor a person, place, or thing?) present formidable “barriers to entry” to the technologically uninitiated, but more important, they obscure the impor- tance of teaching students how to make business decisions about a key organizational resource. By taking a critical issues perspective, IT Strategy: Issues and Practices treats IT as a tool to be leveraged to save and/or make money or transform an organization—not as a study by itself.

As in the first two editions of this book, this third edition combines the experi- ences and insights of many senior IT managers from leading-edge organizations with thorough academic research to bring important issues in IT management to life and demonstrate how IT strategy is put into action in contemporary businesses. This new edition has been designed around an enhanced set of critical real-world issues in IT management today, such as innovating with IT, working with big data and social media,

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enhancing customer experience, and designing for business intelligence and introduces students to the challenges of making IT decisions that will have significant impacts on how businesses function and deliver value to stakeholders.

IT Strategy: Issues and Practices focuses on how IT is changing and will continue to change organizations as we now know them. However, rather than learning concepts “free of context,” students are introduced to the complex decisions facing real organi- zations by means of a number of mini cases. These provide an opportunity to apply the models/theories/frameworks presented and help students integrate and assimilate this material. By the end of the book, students will have the confidence and ability to tackle the tough issues regarding IT management and strategy and a clear understand- ing of their importance in delivering business value.

Key Features of This Book management issues as opposed to technology issues

– sions, enabling problem-based learning

A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO TEACHING IT STRATEGY The real world of IT is one of issues—critical issues—such as the following:

media, in our business?

However, the majority of management information systems (MIS) textbooks are orga- nized by system category (e.g., supply chain, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning), by system component (e.g., hardware, software, networks), by system function (e.g., marketing, financial, human resources), by system type (e.g., transactional, decisional, strategic), or by a combination of these. Unfortunately, such an organization does not promote an understanding of IT management in practice.

IT Strategy: Issues and Practices tackles the real-world challenges of IT manage- ment. First, it explores a set of the most important issues facing IT managers today, and second, it provides a series of mini cases that present these critical IT issues within the context of real organizations. By focusing the text as well as the mini cases on today’s critical issues, the book naturally reinforces problem-based learning.

Preface xv

IT Strategy: Issues and Practices includes thirteen mini cases—each based on a real company presented anonymously.1 Mini cases are not simply abbreviated versions of standard, full-length business cases. They differ in two significant ways:

1. A horizontal perspective. Unlike standard cases that develop a single issue within an organizational setting (i.e., a “vertical” slice of organizational life), mini cases take a “horizontal” slice through a number of coexistent issues. Rather than looking for a solution to a specific problem, as in a standard case, students analyzing a mini case must first identify and prioritize the issues embedded within the case. This mim- ics real life in organizations where the challenge lies in “knowing where to start” as opposed to “solving a predefined problem.”

2. Highly relevant information. Mini cases are densely written. Unlike standard cases, which intermix irrelevant information, in a mini case, each sentence exists for a reason and reflects relevant information. As a result, students must analyze each case very carefully so as not to miss critical aspects of the situation.

Teaching with mini cases is, thus, very different than teaching with standard cases. With mini cases, students must determine what is really going on within the organiza- tion. What first appears as a straightforward “technology” problem may in fact be a political problem or one of five other “technology” problems. Detective work is, there- fore, required. The problem identification and prioritization skills needed are essential skills for future managers to learn for the simple reason that it is not possible for organi- zations to tackle all of their problems concurrently. Mini cases help teach these skills to students and can balance the problem-solving skills learned in other classes. Best of all, detective work is fun and promotes lively classroom discussion.

To assist instructors, extensive teaching notes are available for all mini cases. Developed by the authors and based on “tried and true” in-class experience, these notes include case summaries, identify the key issues within each case, present ancillary information about the company/industry represented in the case, and offer guidelines for organizing the class- room discussion. Because of the structure of these mini cases and their embedded issues, it is common for teaching notes to exceed the length of the actual mini case!

This book is most appropriate for MIS courses where the goal is to understand how IT delivers organizational value. These courses are frequently labeled “IT Strategy” or “IT Management” and are offered within undergraduate as well as MBA programs. For undergraduate juniors and seniors in business and commerce programs, this is usually the “capstone” MIS course. For MBA students, this course may be the compulsory core course in MIS, or it may be an elective course.

Each chapter and mini case in this book has been thoroughly tested in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs at Queen’s School of Business.2

1 We are unable to identify these leading-edge companies by agreements established as part of our overall research program (described later). 2 Queen’s School of Business is one of the world’s premier business schools, with a faculty team renowned for its business experience and academic credentials. The School has earned international recognition for its innovative approaches to team-based and experiential learning. In addition to its highly acclaimed MBA programs, Queen’s School of Business is also home to Canada’s most prestigious undergraduate business program and several outstanding graduate programs. As well, the School is one of the world’s largest and most respected providers of executive education.

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These materials have proven highly successful within all programs because we adapt how the material is presented according to the level of the students. Whereas under- graduate students “learn” about critical business issues from the book and mini cases for the first time, graduate students are able to “relate” to these same critical issues based on their previous business experience. As a result, graduate students are able to introduce personal experiences into the discussion of these critical IT issues.

ORGANIZATION OF THIS BOOK One of the advantages of an issues-focused structure is that chapters can be approached in any order because they do not build on one another. Chapter order is immaterial; that is, one does not need to read the first three chapters to understand the fourth. This pro- vides an instructor with maximum flexibility to organize a course as he or she sees fit. Thus, within different courses/programs, the order of topics can be changed to focus on different IT concepts.

Furthermore, because each mini case includes multiple issues, they, too, can be used to serve different purposes. For example, the mini case “Building Shared Services at RR Communications” can be used to focus on issues of governance, organizational structure, and/or change management just as easily as shared services. The result is a rich set of instructional materials that lends itself well to a variety of pedagogical appli- cations, particularly problem-based learning, and that clearly illustrates the reality of IT strategy in action.

The book is organized into four sections, each emphasizing a key component of developing and delivering effective IT strategy:

Section I: Delivering Value with IT is designed to examine the complex ways that IT and business value are related. Over the past twenty years, researchers and prac- titioners have come to understand that “business value” can mean many different things when applied to IT. Chapter 1 (Developing and Delivering on the IT Value Proposition) explores these concepts in depth. Unlike the simplistic value propo- sitions often used when implementing IT in organizations, this chapter presents “value” as a multilayered business construct that must be effectively managed at several levels if technology is to achieve the benefits expected. Chapter 2 (Developing IT Strategy for Business Value) examines the dynamic interrelationship between business and IT strategy and looks at the processes and critical success factors used by organizations to ensure that both are well aligned. Chapter 3 (Linking IT to Business Metrics) discusses new ways of measuring IT’s effectiveness that pro- mote closer business–IT alignment and help drive greater business value. Chapter 4 (Building a Strong Relationship with the Business) examines the nature of the business–IT relationship and the characteristics of an effective relationship that delivers real value to the enterprise. Chapter 5 (Communicating with Business Managers) explores the business and interpersonal competencies that IT staff will need in order to do their jobs effectively over the next five to seven years and what companies should be doing to develop them. Finally, Chapter 6 (Building Better IT Leaders from the Bottom Up) tackles the increasing need for improved leadership skills in all IT staff and examines the expectations of the business for strategic and innovative guidance from IT.

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In the mini cases associated with this section, the concepts of delivering value with IT are explored in a number of different ways. We see business and IT executives at Hefty Hardware grappling with conflicting priorities and per- spectives and how best to work together to achieve the company’s strategy. In “Investing in TUFS,” CIO Martin Drysdale watches as all of the work his IT depart- ment has put into a major new system fails to deliver value. And the “IT Planning at ModMeters” mini case follows CIO Brian Smith’s efforts to create a strategic IT plan that will align with business strategy, keep IT running, and not increase IT’s budget. Section II: IT Governance explores key concepts in how the IT organization is structured and managed to effectively deliver IT products and services to the orga- nization. Chapter 7 (IT Shared Services) discusses how IT shared services should be selected, organized, managed, and governed to achieve improved organizational performance. Chapter 8 (A Management Framework for IT Sourcing) examines how organizations are choosing to source and deliver different types of IT functions and presents a framework to guide sourcing decisions. Chapter 9 (The IT Budgeting Process) describes the “evil twin” of IT strategy, discussing how budgeting mecha- nisms can significantly undermine effective business strategies and suggesting practices for addressing this problem while maintaining traditional fiscal account- ability. Chapter 10 (Managing IT-based Risk) describes how many IT organizations have been given the responsibility of not only managing risk in their own activities (i.e., project development, operations, and delivering business strategy) but also of managing IT-based risk in all company activities (e.g., mobile computing, file sharing, and online access to information and software) and the need for a holistic framework to understand and deal with risk effectively. Chapter 11 (Information Management: The Nexus of Business and IT) describes how new organizational needs for more useful and integrated information are driving the development of business-oriented functions within IT that focus specifically on information and knowledge, as opposed to applications and data.

The mini cases in this section examine the difficulties of managing com- plex IT issues when they intersect substantially with important business issues. In “Building Shared Services at RR Communications,” we see an IT organiza- tion in transition from a traditional divisional structure and governance model to a more centralized enterprise model, and the long-term challenges experi- enced by CIO Vince Patton in changing both business and IT practices, includ- ing information management and delivery, to support this new approach. In “Enterprise Architecture at Nationstate Insurance,” CIO Jane Denton endeavors to make IT more flexible and agile, while incorporating new and emerging tech- nologies into its strategy. In “IT Investment at North American Financial,” we show the opportunities and challenges involved in prioritizing and resourcing enterprisewide IT projects and monitoring that anticipated benefits are being achieved. Section III: IT-Enabled Innovation discusses some of the ways technology is being used to transform organizations. Chapter 12 (Innovation with IT) examines the nature and importance of innovation with IT and describes a typical inno- vation life cycle. Chapter 13 (Big Data and Social Computing) discusses how IT leaders are incorporating big data and social media concepts and technologies

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to successfully deliver business value in new ways. Chapter 14 (Improving the Customer Experience: An IT Perspective) explores the IT function’s role in creating and improving an organization’s customer experiences and the role of technology in helping companies to understand and learn from their customers’ experiences. Chapter 15 (Building Business Intelligence) looks at the nature of business intelli- gence and its relationship to data, information, and knowledge and how IT can be used to build a more intelligent organization. Chapter 16 (Enabling Collaboration with IT) identifies the principal forms of collaboration used in organizations, the primary business drivers involved in them, how their business value is measured, and the roles of IT and the business in enabling collaboration.

The mini cases in this section focus on the key challenges companies face in innovating with IT. “Innovation at International Foods” contrasts the need for pro- cess and control in corporate IT with the strong push to innovate with technology and the difficulties that ensue from the clash of style and culture. “Consumerization of Technology at IFG” looks at issues such as “bring your own device” (BYOD) to the workplace. In “CRM at Minitrex,” we see some of the internal technological and political conflicts that result from a strategic decision to become more customercen- tric. Finally, “Customer Service at Datatronics” explores the importance of present- ing unified, customer-facing IT to customers. Section IV: IT Portfolio Development and Management looks at how the IT function must transform itself to be able to deliver business value effectively in the future. Chapter 17 (Application Portfolio Management) describes the ongoing management process of categorizing, assessing, and rationalizing the IT application portfolio. Chapter 18 (Managing IT Demand) looks at the often neglected issue of demand management (as opposed to supply management), explores the root causes of the demand for IT services, and identifies a number of tools and enablers to facilitate more effective demand management. Chapter 19 (Creating and Evolving a Technology Roadmap) examines the challenges IT managers face in implement- ing new infrastructure, technology standards, and types of technology in their real- world business and technical environments, which is composed of a huge variety of hardware, software, applications, and other technologies, some of which date back more than thirty years. Chapter 20 (Enhancing Development Productivity) explores how system development practices are changing and how managers can create an environment to promote improved development productivity. And Chapter 21 (Information Delivery: IT’s Evolving Role) examines the fresh challenges IT faces in managing the exponential growth of data and digital assets; privacy and account- ability concerns; and new demands for access to information on an anywhere, any- time basis.

The mini cases associated with this section describe many of these themes embedded within real organizational contexts. “Project Management at MM” mini case shows how a top-priority, strategic project can take a wrong turn when proj- ect management skills are ineffective. “Working Smarter at Continental Furniture” mini case follows an initiative to improve the company’s analytics so it can reduce its environmental impact. And in the mini case “Managing Technology at Genex Fuels,” we see CIO Nick Devlin trying to implement enterprisewide technology for competitive advantage in an organization that has been limping along with obscure and outdated systems.

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SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

Online Instructor Resource Center The following supplements are available online to adopting instructors:

Data Management; Developing IT Capabilities; The Identity Management Challenge; Social Computing; Managing Perceptions of IT; IT in the New World of Corporate Governance Reforms; Enhancing Customer Experiences with Technology; Creating Digital Dashboards; and Managing Electronic Communications.

Organization at Ag-Credit; Information Management at Homestyle Hotels; Knowledge Management at Acme Consulting; Desktop Provisioning at CanCredit; and Leveraging IT Vendors at SleepSmart.

For detailed descriptions of all of the supplements just listed, please visit http:// www.pearsonhighered.com/mckeen.

CourseSmart eTextbooks Online CourseSmart is an exciting new choice for students looking to save money. As an alter- native to purchasing the print textbook, students can purchase an electronic version of the same content and save up to 50 percent off the suggested list price of the print text. With a CourseSmart etextbook, students can search the text, make notes online, print out reading assignments that incorporate lecture notes, and bookmark important pas- sages for later review. www.coursesmart.com.

THE GENESIS OF THIS BOOK Since 1990 we have been meeting quarterly with a group of senior IT managers from a number of leading-edge organizations (e.g., Eli Lilly, BMO, Honda, HP, CIBC, IBM, Sears, Bell Canada, MacDonalds, and Sun Life) to identify and discuss critical IT manage- ment issues. This focus group represents a wide variety of industry sectors (e.g., retail, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, banking, telecommunications, insurance, media, food processing, government, and automotive). Originally, it was established to meet the com- panies’ needs for well-balanced, thoughtful, yet practical information on emerging IT management topics, about which little or no research was available. However, we soon recognized the value of this premise for our own research in the rapidly evolving field of IT management. As a result, it quickly became a full-scale research program in which we were able to use the focus group as an “early warning system” to document new IT management issues, develop case studies around them, and explore more collaborative approaches to identifying trends, challenges, and effective practices in each topic area.3

3 This now includes best practice case studies, field research in organizations, multidisciplinary qualitative and quantitative research projects, and participation in numerous CIO research consortia.

http://www.pearsonhighered.com/mckeen
http://www.pearsonhighered.com/mckeen
http://www.coursesmart.com
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As we shared our materials with our business students, we realized that this issues- based approach resonated strongly with them, and we began to incorporate more of our research into the classroom. This book is the result of our many years’ work with senior IT managers, in organizations, and with students in the classroom.

Each issue in this book has been selected collaboratively by the focus group after debate and discussion. As facilitators, our job has been to keep the group’s focus on IT management issues, not technology per se. In preparation for each meeting, focus group members researched the topic within their own organization, often involving a number of members of their senior IT management team as well as subject matter experts in the process. To guide them, we provided a series of questions about the issue, although members are always free to explore it as they see fit. This approach provided both struc- ture for the ensuing discussion and flexibility for those members whose organizations are approaching the issue in a different fashion.

The focus group then met in a full-day session, where the members discussed all aspects of the issue. Many also shared corporate documents with the group. We facilitated the discussion, in particular pushing the group to achieve a common understanding of the dimensions of the issue and seeking examples, best practices, and guidelines for deal- ing with the challenges involved. Following each session, we wrote a report based on the discussion, incorporating relevant academic and practitioner materials where these were available. (Because some topics are “bleeding edge,” there is often little traditional IT research available on them.)

Each report has three parts:

1. A description of the issue and the challenges it presents for both business and IT managers

2. Models and concepts derived from the literature to position the issue within a con- textual framework

3. Near-term strategies (i.e., those that can be implemented immediately) that have proven successful within organizations for dealing with the specific issue

Each chapter in this book focuses on one of these critical IT issues. We have learned over the years that the issues themselves vary little across industries and organizations, even in enterprises with unique IT strategies. However, each organization tackles the same issue somewhat differently. It is this diversity that provides the richness of insight in these chapters. Our collaborative research approach is based on our belief that when dealing with complex and leading-edge issues, “everyone has part of the solution.” Every focus group, therefore, provides us an opportunity to explore a topic from a variety of perspectives and to integrate different experiences (both successful and oth- erwise) so that collectively, a thorough understanding of each issue can be developed and strategies for how it can be managed most successfully can be identified.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

James D. McKeen is Professor Emeritus at the Queen’s School of Business. He has been working in the IT field for many years as a practitioner, researcher, and consultant. In 2011, he was named the “IT Educator of the Year” by ComputerWorld Canada. Jim has taught at universities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States. His research is widely published in a number of leading journals and he is the coau- thor (with Heather Smith) of five books on IT management. Their most recent book—IT Strategy: Issues and Practices (2nd ed.)—was the best-selling business book in Canada (Globe and Mail, April 2012).

Heather A. Smith has been named the most-published researcher on IT management issues in two successive studies (2006, 2009). A senior research associate with Queen’s University School of Business, she is the author of five books, the most recent being IT Strategy: Issues and Practices (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2012). She is also a senior research associate with the American Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council. A former senior IT manager, she is codirector of the IT Management Forum and the CIO Brief, which facilitate interorganizational learning among senior IT executives. In addition, she consults and collaborates with organizations worldwide.

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