INTS-602: Information Technology Strategy - Hockey Specialization Report a Broken Link

Building on Phase One courses, this course explores different types of information systems and the process of developing an effective information strategy for the management of an organization. The course uses a very recently revised, comprehensive textbook and a number of readings and cases to study how organizations are creating innovative information management systems and incorporating them into their business strategies. As with all master level courses, this course is not about black and white questions and answers. Instead, it deals with gray areas. Through readings and discussions, you will gain insight into and understanding of the issues associated with managing and exploiting information and information systems. By the end of the course, you will be able to more effectively participate in decision making regarding IT-related issues. A description of this course can be found at the following Web site: /AllDoc/7D5EEA9D40D2E70A87256B60006C11ED?OpenDocument

Required Readings

Lesson 1

The Value of Models Model formulation is vital in the development of all fields of knowledge. A model is like a theory but not so detailed or elaborated. Models condense the clutter of many real situations to a few salient facts or principles. Section  1.3 of the text (pp. 19-25) introduces Porter’s important Value Chain Model, and describes how the various operations in businesses produce and add to the value of the business’ products. It suggests how IT can support the processes of value creation throughout the enterprise. It is recognized, however, that the Value Chain Model does not provide a good fit for all types of organizations: particularly job shops in which the product is large 'chunks' of unique work (e.g., a consulting firm), or in business networks where the main economic activity is connecting various groups through networks (e.g., The Computer Sciences Corporation paper explores these ideas in depth.

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

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This is an overview of Weill and Ross's 2004 book, IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Performance.The authors report on their study of 250 multi-business organizations, from which they conclude that "effective IT governance is the single most important predictor of the value an organization generates from IT" (pp. 3-4). In the required reading, Weill and Ross (2005) outline the five different archetypes for organizing IT decision-making and the principle domains in which IT decisions are required. They demonstrate the IT governance pattern of typical organizations and, importantly, discuss those of superior performing firms.  

Lesson 7

"In recent years, IT project failures have received a great deal of attention in the press as well as the boardroom. In an attempt to avoid disasters going forward, many organizations are now learning from the past by conducting retrospectives−that is, project post-mortems or post-implementation reviews. While each individual retrospective tells a unique story and contributes to organizational learning, even more insight can be gained by examining multiple retrospectives across a variety of organizations over time. This research aggregates the knowledge gained from 99 retrospectives conducted in 74 organizations over the past seven years. It uses the findings to reveal the most common mistakes and suggest best practices for more effective project management." (Nelson, 2007)

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Lesson 8

There are no readings this week.

Supplementary Readings

Lesson 1 Supp. Rdgs.

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Lesson 2 Supp. Rdgs.

Lesson 3 Supp. Rdgs.

Reading 5: Eagleman A. N. 2013. Acceptance, motivations, and usage of social media as a marketing communications tool amongst employees of sport national governing bodies. Sport management review, 16, 488–497.

Future Development of the Internet It is startling to recall that the World Wide Web—the predominant application of the linked networks running the Internet Protocol known as the Internet—is only a little more than 20 years old. For a glimpse of what the next 20 years may hold, listen to Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the WWW (and now at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology), describe the potential of "linked data" in a short podcast (Berners-Lee, 2009).

Lesson 4 Supp. Rdgs.

Reading 8: Weill, P., Subramani, M., & Broadbent, M. (2002). Building IT infrastructure for strategic agility. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(1), 57-65.

Please see Security Exceptions – Instructions for trouble shooting in order to access above PDF

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Lesson 5 Supp. Rdgs.

Lesson 6 Supp. Rdgs.

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The Many Paths to Strategic Alignment Henderson and Venkatraman (1993), in this older but still very relevant article, argue that there are many paths to achieving strategic alignment. Organizations can begin at organizational strategy and align IT with this but they can also build organizational strategy based on IT. This provides some good insight into these different paths and how they can be best supported and measured.

IT and the Board Another dimension of development is considered by Nolan and McFarlan (2005), who recognize that boards of directors should be actively involved in IT governance to oversee the planning and what results from it. The authors provide an annual calendar with suggestions for boards, ranging from reviewing security practices to scanning the environment to see what others are doing in the IT arena.

Beyond Valuation "This article examines the techniques that firms use to minimize the risk and uncertainty associated with IT investments; examining how projects can be organized and managed to maximize upside potential while minimizing downside risk. The article explains contemporary IT project management and considers the ways that concepts like options thinking, added value, option value, and embedded real options apply to project management. The article examines several corporate case studies such as Starbucks Corp., analyzing their options pricing models (OPMs) in order to determine the firm's options value and real value." (Fichman, Keil, & Tiwana, 2005)

Lesson 7 Supp. Rdgs.

There are no readings this week.

Lesson 8 Supp. Rdgs.

As we are observing the trends in other fields, making information systems "green" and energy efficient is an important agenda item for many organizations today. This article presents a framework that can be customized by IT executives to assess their own organization's green IT maturity.

McKinsey Consulting always publishes interesting articles about strategic IT. You can easily become an affiliate and have access to all of their articles at

Staying Ahead in Cyber-Security In this era, the digitization becomes very pervasive, it is critical for organizations to bolster their defenses to ensure information systems and all digital resources are well protected. In the meanwhile, the threats are on all sides. In this episode of the McKinsey podcast, the leading authors provide insights how to deal with this critical issue.