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If you need the best practices and ideas for the business challenges you face--but don't have time to find them--Harvard Business Review paperbacks are for you. Each book is a collection of HBR's inspiring and useful perspectives on a specific topic, all in one place.
Harvard Business Review is the leading destination for smart management thinking. Through its flagship magazine, 13 international licensed editions, books from Harvard Business Review Press, and digital content and tools published on HBR.org, Harvard Business Review provides professionals around the world with rigorous insights and best practices to lead themselves and their organizations more effectively and to make a positive impact.
Harvard Business Review Press is a leading global book publisher and a division of the Harvard Business Review Group. HBR Press publishes for the general, professional, and academic markets on the topics of leadership, strategy, innovation, and management. Recent bestselling titles include Playing to Win, A Sense of Urgency, Conscious Capitalism, The First 90 Days, and HBR Must Reads on Leadership. For more information, please visit hbr.org/books.
People who are good with computer hardware and software often do not the same types of priorities and motivations as those who run the businesses which employ them, and accordingly large enterprises usually encounter some difficulty in making Information Technology work well within the context of the business. This book provides a collection of eight articles published in the past decade addressing these issues. Some of the ideas discussed:
* Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill: A company's management team as a whole must take responsibility for particular strategic decisions regarding IT, rather than simply delegating those decisions to the IT department. * Charlie Feld and Donna Stoddard: Effective use of IT requires a long-term IT renewal plan linked to corporate strategy, a simplified unifying corporate technology platform, and a highly functional performance-oriented IT organization * Nicholas Carr: There is no longer much advantage to be gained from IT now that everyone has it. To avoid overinvesting: spend less; follow, don't lead; and focus on risks, not opportunities. * Ron Adner and Daniel Snow: It your technology gets superseded, you can still make a bold retreat by focusing on a niche market where the old technology still has advantages or relocating to a new market where the old technology is a superior offering. * Richard Nolan and Warren McFarlan: The approach which a board takes to IT depends on what strategic mode the company is in. In support mode, IT systems are not critical and expense can be minimised. In factory mode, systems need to be reliable but not state-of-the-art. In turnaround mode, there is big expenditure on IT but reliability is not yet critical. In strategic mode, IT must be reliable but also innovative to provide competitive advantages.Read more ›
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This is one of the volumes in a series of anthologies of articles that first appeared in Harvard Business Review. Having read all of them when they were published individually, I can personally attest to the high quality of their authors' (or co-authors') insights as well as the eloquence with which they are expressed. This collection has two substantial value-added benefits that should also be noted: If all of the articles were purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be at least $60-75; also, they are now conveniently bound in a single volume for a fraction of that cost.
Those who need to identify the best practices for unleashing technology's strategic potential - but don't have time to fine them -- will find the material in this HBR book invaluable. Authors of the eight articles focus on one or more components of a process by which to clarify corporate strategy with one's IT department, fund only IT projects that support its strategy, transform IT investments into profits, build one technology platform for an entire organization, adopt new technologies only when their best practices are established, use analytics to make smart decisions at all levels of one's company, and integrate social media into one's business.
I now provide two brief excerpts that are representative of the high quality of all eight articles:
In "Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn't Make," Jeanne W. Ross and Peter Weill identify and discuss a list of six decisions for which senior managers should make. "The first three have to do with strategy; the second three relate to execution. Each is a decision that IT people shouldn't be making - because, in the end, that's not their job."