Today, no one would dispute that information technology has become the backbone of commerce. It underpins the operations of individual companies, ties together far-flung supply chains, and, increasingly, links businesses to the customers they serve. Hardly a dollar or a euro changes hands anymore without the aid of computer systems.
Our exploration of emergent social structures across domains of human activity and experience leads to an over-arching conclusion: as an historical trend, dominant functions and processes in the Information Age are increasingly organized around networks. Networks constitute the new social morphology of our societies, and the diffusion of networking logic substantially modifies the operation and outcomes in processes of production, experience, power, and culture. While the networking form of social organization has existed in other times and spaces, the new information technology paradigm provides the material basis for its pervasive expansion throughout the entire social structure.
Manuel Castells (1996) The Rise of the Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture Volume I (Information Age Series). p. 500.
The term "information technology architecture," with respect to an executive agency, means an integrated framework for evolving or maintaining existing information technology and acquiring new information technology to achieve the agency’s strategic goals and information resources management goals.
Clinger–Cohen Act (1996); Cited in: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 104–106—Feb. 10, 1996.
I would remind you that in the United States we had an increasing gap between the rich and the poor for about 20 years, as we moved into this new economic phase. The same thing happened when we changed from being an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. In the last 2 or 3 years, we started to see the gap close again. And the answer is not to run away from globalization. The answer is to make change our friend. The answer is to have broad access to information and information technology, to have broad-based systems of education and health care and family supports in every country, and to continue to try to shape the global economy.
The coordination of information technology management presents a challenge to firms with dispersed IT practices. Decentralization may bring flexibility and fast response to changing business needs, as well as other benefits, but decentralization also makes systems integration difficult, presents a barrier to standardization, and acts as a disincentive toward achieving economies of scale. As a result, there is a need to balance the decentralization of IT management to business units with some centralized planning for technology, data, and human resources.
Here we explore three major mechanisms for facilitating inter-unit coordination of IT management: structural design approaches, functional coordination modes, and computer-based communication systems. We define these various mechanisms and their interrelationships, and we discuss the relative costs and benefits associated with alternative coordination approaches.
To illustrate the cost-benefit tradeoffs of coordination approaches, we present a case study in which computer-based communication systems were used to support team-based coordination of IT management across dispersed business units. Our analysis reveals possibilities for future approaches to IT coordination in large, dispersed organizations.
Gerardine DeSanctis and Brad M. Jackson (1994) "Coordination of information technology management: Team-based structures and computer-based communication systems." Journal of Management Information Systems Vol 10 (4). p. 85-110. Abstract
Tracking the individual learning curves of the major technologies that comprise the infrastructure of information technology provides a more detailed account of the present and future state-of-the art of the technologies underlying convergence. The base technologies of digital electronics, general-purpose computer architectures, software and interaction are mature and provide solid foundations for computer science. The upper technologies of knowledge representation and acquisition, autonomy and sociality, support product innovation and provide the beginnings of foundations for knowledge science. Well's dream of a world brain making available all of human knowledge is well on its way to realization and it is in the representation, acquisition, and access and effective application of that knowledge that the commercial potential and socio-economic impact of convergence lies.
It is clear that even though information technology (I/T) has evolved from its traditional orientation of administrative support toward a more strategic role within an organization, there is still a glaring lack of fundamental frameworks within which to understand the potential of I/T for tomorrow's organizations. In this paper, we develop a model for conceptualizing and directing the emerging area of strategic management of information technology. This model, termed the Strategic Alignment Model, defined in terms of four fundamental domains of strategic choice: business strategy, information technology strategy, organizational infrastructure and processes, and information technology infrastructure and processes-each with its own underlying dimensions.
The strategic role of information systems in “extending” the enterprise is examined. A number of issues emerge as essential considerations in the strategic alignment of the investment in information technology and business strategy. Information technologies transform organizational boundaries, interorganizational relations, and marketplace competitive and cooperative practice. The paper presents a framework of strategic control that guides the planning and execution of these investments in information technology for business transformation, seeking increased understanding and influence. Emerging information technologies change the limits of what is possible in the leverage of strategic control through transformation of boundaries, relations, and markets.
Benn R. Konsynski (1993) "Strategic control in the extended enterprise." In: IBM systems journal Vol 32 (1). p. 111.
[ Technology is] the instrumentality for accessing and using free energies in human societies for human and social purposes.
Ervin László (1992) "Information Technology and Social Change: An Evolutionary Systems Analysis". Behavioral Science 37: pp.237-249; As cited in: K.L. Dennis (2003, p. 36).
The new information technologies can be seen to drive societies toward increasingly dynamic high-energy regions further and further from thermodynamical equilibrium, characterized by decreasing specific entropy and increasingly dense free-energy flows, accessed and processed by more and more complex social, economic, and political structures.
Ervin László (1992) "Information Technology and Social Change: An Evolutionary Systems Analysis". Behavioral Science 37: p. 247.
Intelligence amplification refers to the effective use of information technology in augmenting human intelligence. It will lead to a brave new world of dating – a positive change, mind you, unlike Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World.
Newton Lee Read Me First: Sex, Lies, and Online Dating, 2013.
Enterprise architectures are required to support and maximize the efforts of virtual teams within decentralized organizations. Vendor products exist today to start evolving towards a standards-based multi-vendor architecture. The underlying networking technology, 802.3/Ethemet, is robust and will provide for a cost-effective investment that will last for many years to come. Complimentary LAN technologies are already available to ensure transparent growth of networked systems. Combining human resources with information technology will be the key differentiating factor for successful manufacturing enterprises in the 1990s.
Instrument Society of America (1991) Proceedings of the Industrial Computing Conference, Volume 1. p. 647.
Information management is the direct progney of information technology. No wonder, some critics have identified it with information economics. The world of information management is a world of inputs and outputs, in which value additions are the ultimate criteria."
Girja Kumar (1998) Sociology of Information Management. p. 77.
When software applications became larger and larger, people such as Shaw and Garlan coined the term software architecture. This notion of architecture deals with the key design principles underlying software artefacts. In the 1980s and 1990s, people became aware that the development of information technology (IT) should be done in conjunction with the development of the context in which it was used. This led to the identification of the so-called business/IT alignment problem. Solving the business/IT alignment problem requires enterprises to align human, organizational, informational, and technological aspects of systems. Quite early on, the term architecture was also introduced as a means to further alignment, and thus analyzes and solves business?IT alignment problems, Recently, the awareness emerged that alignment between business an IT is not enough, there are many more aspects in the enterprise in need of alignment. This has led to the use of the term architecture at the enterprise level: enterprise architecture.
Martin Op 't Land, Erik Proper (2009) Enterprise Architecture: Creating Value by Informed Governance. p. 26-27.
To date, most research on information technology (IT) outsourcing concludes that firms decide to outsource IT services because they believe that outside vendors possess production cost advantages. Yet it is not clear whether vendors can provide production
Natalia Levina and Jeanne W. Ross (2003) "From the vendor's perspective: exploring the value proposition in information technology outsourcing." MIS quarterly p. 331.
The strategic use of information technology (I/T) is now and has been a fundamental issue for every business. In essence, I/T can alter the basic nature of an industry. The effective and efficient utilization of information technology requires the alignment of the I/T strategies with the business strategies, something that was not done successfully in the past with traditional approaches. New methods and approaches are now available. The strategic alignment framework applies the Strategic Alignment Model to reflect the view that business success depends on the linkage of business strategy, information technology strategy, organizational infrastructure and processes, and I/T infrastructure and processes... We [have looked] at why it may not be sufficient to work on any one of these areas in isolation or to only harmonize business strategy and information technology. One reason is that, often, too much attention is placed on technology, rather than business, management, and organizational issues. The objective is to build an organizational structure and set of business processes that reflect the interdependence of enterprise strategy and information technology capabilities. The attention paid to the linkage of information technology to the enterprise can significantly affect the competitiveness and efficiency of the business. The essential issue is how information technology can enable the achievement of competitive and strategic advantage for the enterprise.
Jerry N. Luftman, Paul R. Lewis, and Scott H. Oldach (1993) "Transforming the enterprise: The alignment of business and information technology strategies." IBM Systems Journal Vol 32 (1). p. 198 Abstract.
The Enterprise Architecture is the explicit description of the current and desired relationships among business and management process and information technology. It describes the "target" situation which the agency wishes to create and maintain by managing its IT portfolio.
The documentation of the Enterprise Architecture should include a discussion of principles and goals. For example, the agency's overall management environment, including the balance between centralization and decentralization and the pace of change within the agency, should be clearly understood when developing the Enterprise Architecture. Within that environment, principles and goals set direction on such issues as the promotion of interoperability, open systems, public access, end-user satisfaction, and security.
Assessing the value of information technology (IT) has never been easy. Delayed benefits, unintended uses, business changes, and hidden support costs inhibit meaningful evaluation of individual TT investments. This was true when most investments were focused on the support of a single business process or functional area. It is even more true as business executives ponder implementations of shared technologies like data warehouses and networks, replacement of large legacy systems, and reskilling of the IT staff. Although firms introduce some systems to reduce costs and can evaluate them in terms of their success in doing so, they want many IT initiatives to support a firm's objectives. The value of these initiatives rest in their contributions to a firm's competitiveness, which is often non quantifiable and uncertain.
A fundamental change is taking place in the nature and application of technology in business, a change with profound and far-reaching implications for companies of every size and shape. A multimillion dollar research program conducted by the DMR Group, Inc., studied more than 4,500 organizations in North America, Europe, and the Far East to investigate the nature and impact of changes in technology. The synthesis and analysis of this information indicate that information technology is going through its first paradigm shift. Driven by the demands of the competitive business environment and profound changes in the nature of computers, the information age is evolving into a second era. Computing platforms in most organizations today are not able to deliver the goods for corporate rebirth. It is only through open network computing that the open networked client/server enterprise can be achieved. In nontechnical language this book shows managers and professionals how to take immediate action for the short-term benefits of the new technology while positioning their organizations for long-term growth and transformation...
Don Tapscott and Art Caston (1993) Paradigm Shift: The New Promise of Information Technology. McGraw Hill, Inc. Abstract.
In the last few years, an information resources management concept has emerged as a focus of managing information activities. Although lacking a concise or universal definition, the IRM concept has become a framework for planning more responsive and coordinated information managementorganization structures throughout Government and the private sector. In brief, IRM is viewed as an integration of management responsibilities for the control of information-related activities and related processes. It includes the planning and management of information collection, use, and dissemination as well as management of information technology.
The concept of enterprise architecture emerged in the mid-1980s as a means for optimizing integration and interoperability across organizations. In the early 1990s, GAO research of successful public and private sector organizations led it to identify enterprise architecture as a critical success factor for agencies that are attempting to modernize their information technology (IT) environments. Since then, GAO has repeatedly identified the lack of an enterprise architecture as a key management weakness in major modernization programs at a number of federal agencies. It has also collaborated with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council to develop architecture guidance. In 2002, OMB began developing the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), an initiative intended to guide and constrain federal agencies’ enterprise architectures and IT investments.
The objective of Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) is the appropriate integration of enterprise operations by means of efficient information exchange within the enterprise with the help of Information Technology (IT). Integration includes the physical and logical connection of processes by means of data communications technology operating to specified standards, but also the integration of enterprise functions as welt as enterprise information. Generalized models and an open systems architecture are required to reduce the system complexity to a manageable level. They are used to identify the principal components, processes, constraints and information sources used to describe a manufacturing enterprise progressing towards CIM. In this paper, the basic concepts of an open-systems architecture for CIM called CIM-OSA are presented. The function view of the CIM-OSA modelling framework is discussed. CIM-OSA provides a unique set of advanced features to model functionality and behaviour of CIM systems at three distinct levels (requirements definition, design specification and implementation description).
François Vernadat & H. Jorysz (1990). "CIM-OSA Part I: Total Enterprise Modelling and Function View", In: Int. J. Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 3(3), p. 144-156. Abstract.
The role of information management is to mediate between information technology and information institutions to facilitate their effective planning, organization, control, and operation.
William White eds. (1976) LJ, Library Journal. Volume 101, Nr 1-8. p. 155.
Vannevar Bush is a great name for playing six degrees of separation. Turn back the clock on any aspect of information technology — from the birth of Silicon Valley and the marriage of science and the military to the advent of the World Wide Web — and you find his footprints. As historian Michael Sherry says, "To understand the world of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, start with understanding Vannevar Bush."
The Information Age is unfolding just as predicted by many of the sociological prognosticators of this century. Information issues are on everyone’s mind and on multitudes of lips. It is hard to pick up a newspaper or current affairs magazine without seeing a feature on the internet, web pages, e-mail, television terminals or some other new technology. In fact, technology innovation is relentless and escalating and technology stocks continually drive the stock market to high after high. There is no field of human endeavor that is exempt from the onslaught of information technology.