Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Analysis of Information Systems Management (Post)graduate Program: Case Study of Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Analysis of Information Systems Management (Post)graduate Program: Case Study of Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article excerpt

Introduction

To succeed in the global marketplace, companies must reposition themselves to tap the sources of sustainable growth. One of the characteristics of the information era transition period is that, in comparison to the traditional raw materials processing, information processing has become instrumental in businesses' success. At the same time, the information era transition has contributed to businesses' competitiveness, shortened their responsiveness to environmental changes, and enlarged the inventory of business practices for successful market performance.

Why do than so many companies, who yearly spend billions on new technological solutions, struggle to understand how to put information to work so that it would support business and improve business performance. As suggested by Davenport, 2000, the reason for sparse harvest is "technological obsession" which links company's competitive advantages exclusively with IT investments. IT vendors and consultants claim to have panacea for every possible business 'situation', yet they forget to disclose that IT is just one of the (important) factors of a successful information use, which leads to successful achievement of organization's goals. Not only everyday business practice but also academic research shows that "even the most rigorous economists have difficulty finding correlations between IT spending and productivity, profits, growth, revenues or any other measure of financial benefit," (Davenport, 2000; see also Strassman, 1990, and Bharadway, 2000).

In spite of that, some do succeed. (Good) business practice has already indicated that successful business informatization or/and transformation of business to e-business models are related to optimization and renovation of business processes, training and motivation of employees, adaptation of organizational structure, general improvement of business culture, information management, etc. Yet, until recently, there was no "complete cookbook recipe". In year 2000, a 28-month research study called "Navigating Business Success" was conducted at IMD business school, Lausanne, Switzerland, in conjunction with Andersen Consulting (Marchand, Kettinger, & Rollins 2000, 2001a). Authors of the research surveyed over 1,000 senior executives from 98 privately and publicly held companies operating in 22 countries and 25 industries. In essence, the results showed that only a strong combination of 1) excellence in investing and deploying technology, 2) excellence in collecting, organizing and maintaining information, and 3) getting the people to embrace the right behaviors and values for working with information, can lead to superior business performance. According to the research, senior managers possess a higher-level idea, 'Information orientation' (IO), which embraces three basic information capabilities that managers associate with effective information use: Information Technology Practices (ITP), Information Management Practices (IMP) and Information Behaviors and Values (IBV). Interesting enough, each of the areas was recognized as important in the past by academia and practitioners, however, they were considered separately in isolated schools of thoughts. "A company must achieve competence and synergy across all three information capabilities of effective information use as a precondition to achieving superior business performance," (Marchand et al., 2000, 2001a).

In the first section each of the information orientation capabilities will be briefly discussed (for in-depth analysis see Baloh, 2004; Marchand et.al., 2001a) as they present how senior management sees the information subsystem of (successful) organization. These capabilities also present CEOs' view on information systems professionals and knowledge workers, on whom each company depends on, since success depends on how fast they utilize proper information. For doing their jobs right their competencies have to be somewhat broader than they used to be and must include ample information technology literacy, information management awareness and proactive information behavior. …

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