420 ◾ Information Systems: What Every Business Student Needs to Know
As you read this chapter, focus on these key concepts to use on the job:
1. e best way to manage information systems varies with an organization’s dependence
on its IS, now and in the future. ere is no single best answer for all organizations.
2. Information systems can provide interesting, fullling, and well-paid work. e
demand for information systems professionals is expected to continue to grow.
3. Keeping information secure and private requires everyone’s attention. e most
important precautions, and those that cost the least, involve people more than
Amazon couldn’t function without its information systems. ey are vital to its business
concept. It can’t stay ahead of its competition unless it keeps innovating with them.
A regional heating oil supplier could operate without its information systems. It might
not want to, but if it couldn’t use the computerized oil delivery system in its trucks, its
drivers could record the amount of each delivery on paper. Clerks could gure out the bills
later and mail them. at would be less convenient, but not disabling. Such a rm needs
computers to plan deliveries on the basis of temperature patterns and customers’ histori-
cal usage, but those applications can be down for several hours, even a day or two, without
aecting the business.
e dierence between Amazon and a heating oil supplier is not just size. e two com-
panies are in dierent businesses. eir protability is determined by dierent factors.
ey have dierent customers who choose them for dierent reasons. As a result, their
dependence on information systems is dierent. Should the way they manage those sys-
tems be dierent as well?
e answer is “yes, it should.” e approach a business should take to managing its
information resources is inuenced by two factors:
1. How dependent is the organization on reliable, well-performing information sys-
tems? In 2015 every organization depends on them somewhat. Does it depend on
them more or less than a typical organization?
2. How much will the organization depend on information systems to maintain
or enhance its competitive position in the future? Again, this is relative to typical
Researchers created the grid of Figure 12.1 from these factors. Don’t read too much into
their names for the quadrants. For example, a rm in the Factory quadrant (depends heav-
ily on reliable, well-performing information systems today, doesn’t stand to gain competi-
tive advantage from IS in the future) can be in any industry. e name of the quadrant
doesn’t mean that the rm is a manufacturing company or has a factory.