Monday Apr 21, 2014
The Executive's Guide to Information Technology
Written by John Baschab and Jon Piot   
Thursday, 04 December 2008 06:36

The book is a sophisticated and comprehensive guide to running a cost-effective and efficient, corporate IT unit. The primary aim is to prescribe a course of action for senior managers and IT staff.
The Executive’s Guide to Information Technology, 2nd Edition, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007) by John Baschab and Jon Piot was designed to help guide business executives in aligning their company’s technology infrastructure with their business strategy.

The book is a sophisticated and comprehensive guide to running a cost-effective and efficient, corporate IT unit. The primary aim is to prescribe a course of action for senior managers and IT staff. The authors provide sharply-defined, specific policies, approaches and tools for each important aspect of managing the IT function, from human resources to operations to vendor selection to project prioritization.

The authors are two of the foremost experts in IT management. They are adjunct professors at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and teach management information systems classes. They meanwhile serve as senior executives of Technisource, Inc., a leading IT consulting and engineering services company (www.technisource.com) based in Little Rock, Ark.

“The Executive’s Guide is an articulation of our thinking and the processes that we use every day in our practice,” said Baschab. “This new edition was necessary because so much has changed in the technology field since our first book was published in 2003. We wanted to share our latest observations and insights developed throughout our business and academic careers. We consider this a must-read for anyone responsible for making technology decisions, including chief financial officer, chief information officer (CIO) and IT managers.”

The book features a foreword by Nicholas G. Carr, author of Does IT Matter?

“What John Baschab and Jon Piot do in the pages that follow is take IT management out of the data center and put it into the executive conference room,” Carr says in the book’s forward. “That doesn’t mean they give short shrift to the technical aspects of IT management. In fact, the source of much of the value of this guide resides in the breadth and depth of the authors’ technical expertise. What they’re able to do, though, is translate technical issues into a context and a language that will make sense to any executive.

“Their guide helps span the divide -- and it’s often a deep and pernicious divide -- between the technology and the business,” Carr writes. “Spanning that divide is the essential first step in improving the management of IT.”

The book’s other endorsements are from a number of leading IT researchers and practitioners, including Lynda Applegate of Harvard Business School and Erik Brynjolfsson of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Baschab and Piot do a great job of laying out the fundamental issues and challenges that every IT organization faces,” says Tom Nealon, CIO of J.C. Penney. “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.”

The new edition further bridges the gap between business executives and IT professionals with a focus on eliminating IT waste, reducing capital expenditures and improving the effectiveness of IT departments for companies of all sizes.

The reader will gain valuable skills, including:

  • Understanding the main sources of wasted IT dollars and identifying specific areas where IT managers can reduce costs
  • Identifying the industry average on IT spending
  • Identifying the main management areas of a successful IT operation
  • Distinguishing the business of managing IT from the technical aspects
  • Understanding symptoms and sources of IT department inefficiencies
  • Learning critical improvement steps in each of the main IT management areas
  • Learning how to make better decisions in technology direction and strategy setting, project management, human resources management and risk management
  • The second edition contains more than 35 percent new or revised material and approximately 100 additional pages with all-new chapters on IT strategy and IT problem management. Additional material covers important topics such as IT governance and strategy; outsourcing; offshoring; data center management; disaster recovery; systems security and open source software.

Content Outline

PART I: THE EFFECTIVE IT ORGANIZATION.

Chapter 1. The IT Dilemma.

Chapter 2. IT Ineffectiveness Sources and Causes.

Chapter 3. IT Costs.

Chapter 4. IT Scope and Strategy.

PART II: MANAGING THE IT DEPARTMENT.

Chapter 5. The IT Organization.

Chapter 6. The Chief Information Officer.

Chapter 7. IT Standards.

Chapter 8. IT Operations and Infrastructure.

Chapter 9. IT Problem Management.

Chapter 10. Application Management.

Chapter 11. IT Human Resources.

Chapter 12. Vendor Selection.

Chapter 13. Vendor Management and Outsourcing.

PART III: SENIOR EXECUTIVE IT MANAGEMENT.

Chapter 14. Business Communications.

Chapter 15. IT Budgeting and Cost Management.

Chapter 16. Effective Decision Making and Risk Management.

Chapter 17. Demand Management and Project Prioritization.

Chapter 18. IT Performance Measurement.

Chapter 19. IT Governance.

The first edition of The Executive’s Guide to Information Technology, reached the Top 30 on Amazon.com’s sales rankings and is utilized at dozens of universities in the U.S. and abroad, including: University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, George Mason University, St. Mary's, Saint Leo, Georgia Tech, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland University College, Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), Mahidol University (Thailand), Swinburne (Melbourne) and Macquarie (Sydney). It was also translated and is for sale in the Chinese market.

The Executive’s Guide to Information Technology, 2nd Edition, which includes a CD-ROM, is available at all major book retailers, online booksellers, such as www.amazon.com, and from publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (www.wiley.com) or by calling 800-225-5945.

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