346 ◾ Information Systems: What Every Business Student Needs to Know
Once an idea arises, proceeding is a business decision. Technical factors dene what
is possible but cannot determine what is desirable. For that reason, organizations cannot
leave these decisions to their professional Information Systems sta. Businesspeople, such
as yourself in a few years, must make them. is chapter will show you how they’re made
and give you some tools to make them yourself.
As you read this chapter, focus on these key concepts to use on the job:
1. Users must be involved in information systems planning to get the systems they need.
2. e organization’s existing infrastructure both enables and constrains this planning.
3. ere are systematic ways to approach information systems planning.
THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS STEERING COMMITTEE
is section describes larger organizations. Small ones have less formal structure or no structure
at all. Still, everything a steering committee does is important. Even the smallest company should
think about the tasks of the steering committee and make sure someone handles each of them.
Organizations that recognize the crucial role of information systems (IS) in their suc-
cess generally establish an IS steering committee to oversee those systems on behalf of top
management. is committee is headed by the chief information ocer (CIO) or a senior
IS manager. It includes members from all parts of the organization, usually managers or
senior professionals who can speak for their colleagues. Figure 10.1 shows a steering com-
mittee, with example members in heavy borders.
e purpose of an IS steering committee is to make sure that information systems
investments are planned for the benet of the entire organization. It decides what systems
to develop. It reviews plans for major systems, and appoints subcommittees to carry out
more detailed reviews as it sees the need. It sets policies for information system use, such
as security policies, and approves major technology budget requests. By its commitment
toeective use of information technology, it sets a visible example for others in the orga-
nization. Many steering committees conduct most of their work online, with occasional
face-to-face “get-acquainted” meetings.
Corp. ctrlr. Mgr., QA
Production R&D etc.
FIGURE 10.1 Organization chart of IS steering committee.