Making the Invisible Visible: How Companies Win with the Right Information, People and IT

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Wiley, Mar 30, 2001 - Business & Economics - 324 pages
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This book presents a new way of seeing the business value of information, people and IT as well as a way of measuring and managing these capabilities in order to improve business performance. Packed with real-world examples, the book presents the best and worst practices companies have implemented to address these issues. Case studies from more than thirty international companies are strategically used throughout the book, including Banco Bilbao Vizcayo, Philips Business Electronics, Amazon, Dell Europe, Ernst Young, General Electric, IKEA, Ritz Carlton Hotels, and Wal Mart. This fascinating guide offers a diagnostic tool that senior managers can use to evaluate the three information capabilities of their company. Plus, the book provides hands-on management prescriptions on how to improve a company s information capabilities and how to use these capabilities in achieving business strategies and in the implementating change.
We are all experiencing an information overload, be it internal to the organization or due to external influences of our own information intensive society. Much has been written on how companies should "tame the beast of information" and make it work in the organization's favour. What has not yet been covered is how an organization can actually comprehensively measure whether or not they are using information effectively to achieve better business performance, or in other words, how senior managers within an organization can measure "Information Orientation".
Following a major 2 year global research project in conjunction with Andersen Consulting, the authors of this book have been able to demonstrate that when a company is high on IO it will be high on business performance. However, beyond just using IO as a diagnostic tool or a benchmark for the effective use of an organization's information, it can also predict the organization's business performance. Invariably, a company does not make the best use of available information. Having assessed why and where the failings are, this book will provide ways in which senior managers can actively manage the different elements of their Information Capabilities to improve the usage of information.
Information Capabilities are defined in three ways: 1. Information Behaviours/Values 2. Information Management Practices 3. Information Technology practices. It is the total interaction of these three elements and the effective management of them that permits superior business performance. IO Maturity can be gained, but the authors illustrate that it is an iterative process that grows and changes in line with a turbulent environment. Managers of a high IO company realize the need to continually refine and improve their information use and to keep learning more about their business. IO begins at the top. It takes more than authorizing an IT investment and training staff to use information. It calls for different behaviours, values and practices by senior managers. This book provides the means to move towards IO maturity. It is the step beyond Information Technology to actually managing information.
The aim of this book is to make a previously invisible dimension of business management visible. A manager, after reading this book, will be able to see, measure and manage the information resources, people and IT in the company and improve business performance.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Strategy and Competing with Information
9
Improving Business Performance through Effective
15
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

DONALD A. MARCHAND is Professor of Information Management and Strategy at the International Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
PROFESSOR WILLIAM J. KETTINGER is Director of the Center of Information Management and Technology Research at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.
JOHN D. ROLLINS is the managing partner of Strategic Information Technology Effectiveness for Accenture (formerly known as Andersen Consulting), a leading global management and technology consultancy.

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