Critical Resources Information Technology
Therefore, understanding basic fundamentals about using and managing information is worth the investment of time. The reasons for this investment are summarized in Figure I-1 and are discussed next.
A Business View of Critical Resources Information technology (IT) is a critical resource for today’s businesses. It both supports and consumes a significant amount of an organization’s resources. Just like the other three major types of business resources—people, money, and machines—it needs to be managed wisely.
IT spending represents a significant portion of corporate budgets. Worldwide IT spending topped $3.7 trillion in 2014. It is projected to continue to increase.4 A Gartner study of where this money goes groups spending into five categories including devices (e.g., PCs, tablets, and mobile phones), data center systems (e.g., network equipment, servers, and storage equipment), enterprise software and apps (e.g., companywide software applications), IT ser- vices (e.g., support and consulting services), and telecommunications (e.g., the expenses paid to vendors for voice and data services).
Resources must return value, or they will be invested elsewhere. The business manager, not the IS specialist, decides which activities receive funding, estimates the risk associated with the investment, and develops metrics for evaluating the investment’s performance. Therefore, the business manager needs a basic grounding in managing and using information. On the flip side, IS managers need a business view to be able to explain how technology impacts the business and what its trade‐offs are.
People and Technology Work Together In addition to financial issues, managers must know how to mesh technology and people to create effective work processes. Collaboration is increasingly common, especially with the rise of social networking. Companies are reaching out to individual customers using social technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Renren, YouTube, and numerous other tools. In fact, Web 2.0 describes the use of the World Wide Web applications that incorporate information sharing, user‐centered design, interoperability, and collaboration among users. Technology facilitates
FIGURE I-1 Reasons why business managers should participate in information systems decisions.
IS must be managed as a critical resource since it permeates almost every aspect of business.
IS enable change in the way people work both inside and outside of the enterprise.
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