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IT Savvy: What Top Executives Must Know to Go from Pain to Gain Hardcover – July 7, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1422181010 ISBN-10: 1422181014

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IT Savvy: What Top Executives Must Know to Go from Pain to Gain + Adventures of an IT Leader + Managing and Using Information System
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Press (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422181014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422181010
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Weill is chairman of the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at MIT. Ziff-Davis and eweek.com named him twenty-fourth of the 100 most influential people in IT. Jeanne W. Ross is director of MIT CISR and founding senior editor and former editor-in-chief of MISQ Executive, a journal for managers translating research findings into action.

More About the Author

Peter Weill is Chairman of the Center for Information Systems Research and Senior Research Scientist at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Customer Reviews

This is a thoughtful, well researched book that I highly recommend.
Richard Okeby
Weill and Ross have created a business book about IT with a clear and concise argument of the role, purpose and contribution IT makes to the enterprise.
Mark P. McDonald
The book is easy to read and understand and has very good case studies to accompany every topic.
Peter Joseph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on June 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Based on its title IT Savvy, executives may look past this book as another IT advocacy book. You know the kind that says technology will fix everything. Don't make that mistake.

Weill and Ross have created a business book about IT with a clear and concise argument of the role, purpose and contribution IT makes to the enterprise. This is a book executives should read because it clearly states mostly in business terms how executives should think about, lead and fund IT.

Highly recommended for business executives, ignore the title and read the book. CIOs and IT executives should read the book as well and buy copies for their business peers. Corporate and IT strategists should read this book as it have several tools that will help them work together more effectively.

The book's principle term IT Savvy is defined as the ability to use IT to consistently elevate firm performance. It's a good workable definition, not so prescriptive as to lock out innovation, yet not so open as to mean anything to everybody. The book builds on this simple definition with a number of very powerful observations and statements that matter:

> You have to stop thinking about IT as a set of solutions and start thinking about integration and standardization. Because IT does integration and standardization well.

> IT Savvy firms have 20% higher margins than their competitors.

> You need an operating model before you can make sound investments in IT

> IT funding is important, as systems become the firm's legacy that influence, constrain or dictate how business processes are performed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vijay Gurbaxani on June 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As someone who has read all of the earlier books by these authors, I think this is the best one yet. The world is increasingly digital and IT is now essential to how we work, live and play. Success in business will only come to companies that master the management of IT. IT enables innovation in products, processes and business models, and the operating model is dependent on IT. Many business (non-IT) execs, struggle with what their role ought to be in managing this asset, typified by complexity and relentless change. This book, targeted at the senior business exec, focuses on a handful of key IT management processes that when well designed, implemented and executed will lead to what they term IT Savvy.

Immensely readable, the book explains the key concepts clearly, illustrates them with convincing examples from leading companies, and leaves you with an actionable agenda for raising the IT Savvy at your company. The ideas in the book are based on many years of research and are a durable set of management principles that when mastered will enable companies to successfully leverage IT.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mohammed Alhamdan on October 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Weill/Ross' books are easy on the eye. This sort of book understands how CEOs think about IT and convince them on the possible hidden values of IT that many organizations don't realize. This book is obviously not just another a pro-IT book or anti-CEO book. It talks about integration to create VALUE. It also talks about cutting IT expenses as an effective tactical solution to organisations that suffer from IT. It talks about changing the organisational behavior rather than sending blames randomly or particularly to CIO.

This book is a must have for CEOs/CIOs and if you have a lazy CEO, I recommend summarizing some of the ideas to him/her to become an IT savvy.
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Format: Hardcover
Managers face an increasingly competitive global world and must know some degree of IT (information technology) savvy to be successful. IT SAVVY teaches how to link IT to bottom-line results and comes form IT expects who argue that success in the digital economy will go to companies smart about using IT successfully. Fifteen years of field-tested research contributes to a fine guide for managers on how to link IT to success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. E. Beck on August 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one book that manages to communicate very timely and tangible content. Most books in this arena are too focused on one facet of IT or way too general to be of any real value. IT Savvy was a blazing fast read that was easily absorbed and made me overlay the concepts against what I'm already doing in my organization. I hope no one else reads this book - except the members of my exec team...
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This is an excellent, easy to read book that sets out a blueprint for getting value from your IT investments, in turn growing the company.

The book is based on empirical knowledge built from studies of over 1800 companies in more than 60 countries.

The classic scenerio for IT is the problem of a piecemeal approach to system design that creates inflexiblity and reduces the ability to enable IT's value proposition: automating and standardising repeatable processes - doing what IT is good at.

Incremental point solutions can never result in a foundation for effective business processes - instead processes rely on the instinct, judgement and attention of the person completing it, introducing variablity and inconsistent outcomes. Your Enterprise Architecture becomes a noodle soup of tangled technologies managed by shifting political alliances throughout the business.

Peter and Jeanne go on to outline how to "Transform IT from Strategic Liability to Strategic Asset".

To start its suggested you need to go about fixing whats broken about IT. You do this in two important steps:

1 Defining your Operating Model: Two questions to consider: how much to standardize business processes, and how much to integrate business processes. Put a stake in the ground as deciding your operating model will be the foundation for all IT decisions in your firm.

2 Revamping Your IT Funding Model: make sure business cases demonstrates Return on Investment, and that your IT purchasing decisions are based on transparent and understood priorties and critera, as defined in the operational model. Everyone should know how prioritization works.
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