University of Baltimore
Merrick School of Business
Challenge of IS Technology
The rate of change of IS Technology is in the up-swing, as always. Managing IST is like managing a river, of which you can take the temperature and speed, but, unfortunately, as soon as you do so the waters you got information have just passed by and new waters are coming. Take a look at the evolution of the IST "key issues" as perceived by the CIOs. Some issues that were of paramount importance in one year become less important or disappear in future years, while others follow the reverse course, from unimportant to key issue. If you look again to the chart you will see that none of the current issues, like data warehousing, electronic commerce, client-server, enterprise resource planning (ERP) are included in the surveys.
What are managers to do, both IT and top management? See the ComputerWorld article on the CIO/CEO relationship in managing IST. This course aims to discuss a series of concepts that are a foundation for survival in the IST environment and IST environment manageable trends. See pages 3-9 and 10-13 of the textbook for an introduction to these concepts and trends. All remaining class meetings will explore each one of these issues at a time.
VeriFone, our first case, is a good example of how CIOs and CEOs can work together to make a business competitive and profitable. Take a look at VeriFone web site for an update of their activities, and, of course, their products using the Web. See also the strategic alliance with Microsoft and HP.
We will use a simple framework to analyze each case: (a) what is the problem, (b) what are the alternatives, and (c) what are the recommendations. In the case of Veri-Fone we will depart from this framework to help us to understand better the "what is the problem?" question.
(a) What problems Tyabji was facing in 1986?
(b) What actions did he take?
(c) How the concepts presented in the textbook apply?
(d) What problems were brewing in 1994?
(e) What is VeriFone doing presently?
The case discussions will take place in two steps: first at the Forum and then in the face-to-face meeting, Friday evening. Please note that I posted each of the above questions in the Forum for the case. You should enter your contribution as replies, to these questions, under the corresponding question. Each of you is supposed to contribute individually at least in one of these questions. Be prepared to elaborate in your ideas in the face-to-face class meeting.