This specialization provides a robust introduction to the key principles and practices of Information Systems Management. The first course describes how Information Systems address business problems. This takes the form of an IT alignment model that describes how Information Systems provide capabilities that enable or support organizational strategy. This component also includes an economic analysis of the Information System. The second course in the specialization entails the practice of modeling information systems. The goal of this course is to describe the Information System defined in the first course, so that the Information System can be developed. The third course provides an overview of the capabilities of modern enterprise systems. The goal of this course is to understand the capabilities of enterprise systems, so that the firm can decide if the requirement identified in the second course can be met by an enterprise system. Managerial aspects related to the selection and implementation of enterprise systems will also be discussed. The fourth course in the specialization describes the IT infrastructure choices available to a modern enterprise and the tradeoffs associated with each alternative. Any large Information System implementation is a significant organizational change initiative that requires careful stewardship. All the courses will deal with the issue of change management and discuss strategies and approaches for achieving a successful implementation.
Course 1: IS/IT Governance
- Firms make significant investments in IT. In the IS/IT Governance course we will discuss how to govern IT to make sure that the IT investments contribute to organizational goals and strategies. Firms need to formally evaluate significant IT investments. IT investments are also risky, so firms need to consider the risk associated with the investments to appropriately evaluate the investment. We will discuss how to evaluate IT investments. Firms usually make multiple IT investments in a given year. In this course we will discuss how to evaluate a portfolio of IT investments. Firms need a mechanism to charge users for the IT investments made to encourage prudent consumption of IT resources. We will discuss different mechanisms for charging for IT that incents users to spend IT dollars wisely. Finally, IT investments are made to generate value for the firm. This requires that employees actually use the new IT systems that is developed. Thus, in the IS/IT Governance course we will discuss strategies to make sure that users use the new system so that the firm derives value from its IT investments.
Course 2: Analysis for Business Systems
- Most often, organizations acquire information systems as part of a larger focus on process improvement and efficiency. These organizations need to invest in the right system to meet their needs: right functionality, right size, and for the right price. The business systems analyst role in most organizations is responsible for translating the organization’s needs into requirements, which are then used to select or build the right system for the organization. During the Analysis for Business Systems course, you’ll learn about the standard model for systems development: the systems development lifecycle, or SDLC. You will learn how to read and even create the specific deliverables that business systems analysts prepare during the SDLC. These documents provide guidance to the organization as they determine whether to build or buy and configure a system that meets the organization’s needs.
Course 3: Enterprise Systems
- This course provides you with an understanding of what Enterprise Systems (also commonly termed as Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, ERPs) are. After learning about what these systems are, we would touch upon why these systems are useful to companies, through which you would get to see the various jobs and positions that are associated with the use and deployment of ERPs. In this course, you would also develop an appreciation of the managerial aspects related to the selection and implementation of ERPs. Specifically, we would touch on the important points to consider when shortlisting and purchasing an ERP, the approaches taken in ERP implementation, and change management techniques to utilize when an organization is undergoing ERP implementation. At the end of this class, you will be endowed with practical knowledge that would help you to address real world business problems associated with ERP usage and implementation.
Course 4: IT Infrastructure and Emerging Trends
- Today organizations are either embracing digital technologies to improve their businesses or being disrupted by entrants with such capabilities. Therefore it is important for managers and executives of all organizations to learn about various technologies and apply them in innovative ways. Some of the most important trends in Information Technology are in mobile, cloud, security, and blockchains. This course gives you an overview of the fundamental technical aspects of Information Technology. After taking this course you will be familiar with the basic knowledge of IT/IS solutions needed to help with decision-making in the real world. We will first learn about issues in cloud computing and various realizations of service-oriented computing. We will then discuss the range of mobile technologies available to modern enterprises and how these can be used to create innovative business models. We will look at cybersecurity threats that organizations need to be aware of and learn about the various defense mechanisms available to them. Finally we will talk about the innovation that emerging technologies like Blockchains can bring about. Using this knowledge of various technologies, IT managers can better overcome technical challenges, evaluate tradeoffs, unlock new revenue streams, and implement change in the organization’s Information systems capabilities.
Gautam Ray, Jason Chan, Ken Reily and Soumya Sen