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Preface

Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology is intended for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in Management Information Systems and Information Technology.

Cited by BusinessWeek for his teaching excellence, John Gallaugher of Boston College brings you an innovative Management Information Systems textbook that provides a manager’s perspective of IS through bleeding-edge cases, dynamic content, and a casual style that inspires rather than intimidates.

Get involved with John’s community by visiting and subscribing to his blog, The Week In Geek (http://www.gallaugher.com), where courseware, technology, and strategy intersect; by following his Twitter feed (@gallaugher) for a blast of relevant links; and by joining his Ning IT Community site (http://biztechbook.ning.com), where you can access and share resources with colleagues across the country and around the world.

At a time when technology is in the headlines of every major business publication, students consistently rank IS among the least appealing courses in the management curriculum. Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology aims to change that. The text has garnered student praise, increased IS enrollments, and engaged students to think deeper and more practically about the space where business and technology meet. Every topic is related to specific, highly recognized business examples, so students gain an immediate appreciation of its importance. Rather than lead with technical topics, the book starts with strategic thinking, focusing on big-picture issues that have confounded experts but will engage students. Chapters introduce management students to some of the most cutting-edge topics in tech, including social media, cloud computing, new media advertising, business analytics, and information security. And while chapters offer durable frameworks, theory, and concepts, cases on approachable, exciting firms across industries further challenge students to apply what they’ve learned, asking questions like the following:

  • Why was Netflix able to repel Blockbuster and Wal-Mart?
  • How did Harrah’s Entertainment become twice as profitable as comparably sized Caesars, enabling the former to acquire the latter?
  • How does Spain’s fashion giant Zara, a firm that shuns the sort of offshore manufacturing used by every other popular clothing chain, offer cheap fashions that fly off the shelves, all while achieving growth rates and profit margins that put Gap to shame?
  • Why is Google more profitable than Disney?
  • Is Facebook really worth $15 billion?

The Information Systems course and discipline have never seemed more relevant, more interesting, and more exciting. Gallaugher’s textbook can help teachers make students understand why.