Personal Experience with Technology

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Personal Experience with Technology

Personal Experience with Technology

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Managing information is a critical skill for success in today ’ s business environment. All decisions made by companies involve, at some level, the management and use of IS and the interpretation of data from the business and its environment. Managers today need to know about their organization ’ s capabilities and uses of information as much as they need to understand how to obtain and budget fi nancial resources. The ubiquity of personal devices such as smart phones, laptops, and tablets and of access to apps within corporations and externally over the Internet, highlights this fact. Today ’ s technologies form the backbone for virtually all business models. This backbone easily crosses oceans, adding the need for a global competency to the manager ’ s skill set. Further, the proliferation of supply chain partnerships and the vast amount of technology available to individuals outside of the corporation have extended the urgent need for business managers to be involved in information systems decisions. In addition, the availability of seemingly free (or at least very inexpensive) appli- cations, collaboration tools, and innovation engines in the consumer arena has put powerful tools in everyone ’ s hands, increasing the diffi culty of ensuring that corporate systems are robust, secure, and protected. A manager who doesn ’ t understand the basics of managing and using information can ’ t be successful in this business environment.

The majority of U.S. adults own a smart phone and access online apps. According to the Pew Research Center , in 2014, 90% of U.S. adults had a cell phone of some kind, and 87% of American adults used the Internet. 1 Essentially the use of these types of devices implies that individuals now manage a “personal IS” and make decisions about usage, data, and applications. Doesn ’ t that give them insight into managing information systems in corporations? Students often think they are experts in corporate IS because of their personal experience with technology. Although there is some truth in that perspective, it ’ s a very dangerous perspective for managers to take. Certainly knowing about interesting apps, being able to use a variety of technologies for different personal purposes, and being familiar with the ups and downs of networking for their personal information systems pro- vide some experience that is useful in the corporate setting. But in a corporate setting, information systems must be enterprise‐ready. They must be scalable for a large number of employees; they must be delivered in an appropriate manner for the enterprise; they must be managed with corpo- rate guidelines and appropriate governmental regulations in mind. Issues like security, privacy, risk, support, and architecture take on a new meaning within an enterprise, and someone has to manage them. Enterprise‐level management and use of information systems require a unique perspective and a different skill set.

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