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The Executive's Guide to Information Technology [Hardcover]

Jon Piot , John Baschab
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


"This book is important reading. It offers practical, real-world insight and pragmatic no-nonsense approaches for people who have a stake in corporate IT. "- Lynda Applegate, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"Information systems and processes are very important parts of our due diligence assessment of a company - yet the jargon is often more difficult to understand than many foreign languages. Baschab and Piot effectively translate IT into words and concepts that business people can easily understand and act upon. This book is a helpful reference guide for corporate executives and private equity groups of all types."- Neal Aronson, Managing Partner, Roark Capital Group

"Business success increasingly depends on effective use of IT. Effective use of IT depends on the kind of in-depth, practical insight in this book. Baschab and Piot provide a pragmatic approach to information systems investment that should be required reading for senior executives and CIOs alike."- Erik Brynjolfsson, Schussel Professor of Management, Director of the Center for Digital Business, MIT

"This book should provide valuable guidance for management and technology consultants. The Executives Guide provides field-proven insight on all important aspects of IT planning and execution, from governance to applications to operations and infrastructure."- Gary J. Fernandes, former Vice-Chairman EDS, member of the Board of Directors, Computer Associates

"Baschab and Piot do a great job of laying out the fundamental issues and challenges that every IT organization faces. More often than not, the issues are not technical in nature, but are a reflection of how the IT and business teams work together to define, execute, and implement new business tools. The threshold issue is leadership. Oftentimes it is difficult for business leaders to feel that they have the skills and perspective to provide that leadership on technical projects. The Executive's Guide to Information Technology provides non-technical business leaders a solid framework for engaging with their IT peers."- Tom Nealon, CIO J.C. Penney --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

The Executive’s Guide to Information Technology is a sophisticated and comprehensive guide to running a cost-effective, efficient, and business delivery-focused corporate Information Technology (IT) unit. Eschewing the theoretical for the practical, the book gives managers the guidance they need to handle any problem effectively. It provides specific policies, approaches, and tools for each critical IT management function–from application management to vendor management.

IT management experts John Baschab and Jon Piot provide the techniques IT managers and executives need to accurately assess their current operations. Further, they offer a step-by-step improvement plan designed to raise productivity and service levels while reducing costs significantly.

The authors begin by examining the symptoms and causes of waste, inefficiency, and underperformance in typical IT departments before offering in-depth analysis of each operational area of IT management. They present current and emergent best practices for transforming the department into a world-class organization.

Packed with prescriptive advice and hard-earned insight, this comprehensive resource is organized into stand-alone chapters that provide quick access to important information when managers need it. In addition, spreadsheets, documents, and checklists are designed to aid in planning and decision-making and can be easily accessed on the included CD-ROM.

Designed to help IT managers and top executives get the most out of their departments, their budgets, and themselves, the book covers such topics as: managing the department, establishing leadership roles, assessing the organization, cost management, project demand management, technical standards setting, investment evaluation, and productivity and quality measurement programs.

With The Executive’s Guide to Information Technology, IT managers will understand the main sources of waste in their departments, identify major management issues, learn and implement critical steps toward improvement, and manage more effectively. The book will help managers improve their performance and stature within their organizations by providing the tips and tools to overcome typical areas of friction and miscommunication between IT departments and other business functions. Executives will understand how to work effectively with the CIO or IT Director, as well as provide constructive management input to the IT function, achieving the best return on their IT assets.

From the Back Cover

What Every Senior Manager and Consultant Should Know About Managing Effective IT Departments

"This book sheds light on one of the most challenging topics for corporate officers –how to create and manage a high-performance IT department and obtain higher returns from technology-invested capital. The techniques and tools provided show how senior managers can work effectively with CIOs and IT directors to produce outstanding results. The approaches described are must-reading for non-technical executives with a stake in IT, as Baschab and Piot have taken pains to focus on the critical management concepts in IT without over-simplification."
–Tom Bickes, President and CEO, Employbridge

"In The Executive’s Guide to Information Technology, Baschab and Piot clearly identify the challenges inherent in many IT organizations as seen from the front lines. Guiding the reader through the day-to-day challenges, and developing a strategic, step-by-step plan make this guide a key part of every front-line technology managers toolkit."
–Bill Holt, Enterprise Engineering Manager, EDS Corp.

"Baschab and Piot have achieved a good balance between academic rigor and field-tested practice regarding the effective management of corporate technology departments. Their topical structure and process-oriented approach to each topic are directed at improving execution and high-stakes IT decisions such as vendor selection, technology standards, IT staffing, and performance measurement, while their real-world anecdotes provide context and variety. The book is appropriate for anyone interested in harvesting the heretofore largely untapped potential of IT, including those in capstone management of IT courses or for graduate students seeking a senior-management viewpoint on IT."
–Leon A. Kappelman, PhD, Farrington Professor of Information Systems
Director, Information Systems Research Center, College of Business, University of North Texas

"This book is a valuable resource for management and technology consultants who want to understand what is on the agenda of their clients, from IT management to the executive board. The authors have vividly captured the key elements of the non-technical aspects of managing the IT department and provide prescriptive advice for ensuring the highest return on corporate IT investments. Recommended for consultants of all stripes and sure to have an immediate impact on the value consultants can deliver for their clients."
–Mike Brynda, former Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton
President, The Dallas Advisory Group, management consultants

About the Author

JOHN BASCHAB is Senior Vice President of Solutions at Impact Innovations Group, a rapidly growing technology consulting company with 600 consultants and offices in Dallas, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. He formerly worked at management consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton providing technology advice to Fortune 500 companies. He received his MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Alabama.

JON PIOT is a cofounder of Impact Innovations Group and has served in multiple capacities including Chief Operating Officer and IT Optimization practice leader. Formerly, he consulted to many Fortune 500 companies on IT strategy and systems development while at Booz Allen Hamilton and, prior to that, at Andersen Consulting. He holds a master’s degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science in computer science from Southern Methodist University. He lives with his wife and three children in Dallas, Texas.

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