January 7, 2008
First IT Book Recommendation for 2008: Carr's The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
Nicholar Carr is the author of the widely read article "IT Doesn't Matter" which was published in the May 2003 issue of Harvard Business Review. See also Carr's Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business School Press, 2004). Carr argued that the ubiquity of IT no longer provides sustainable competitive advantages; that IT is merely a commodity input now. In plain English, Carr was writing the obituary for the data-centric world of the past fifty years. Carr's new work looks at the advantages of cheap computing. [JH]
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
by Nicholas Carr
List Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton (January 7, 2008)
Book Description: A hundred years ago, companies stopped producing their own power with steam engines and generators and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities not only changed how businesses operated but also brought the modern world into existence. Today a similar revolution is under way. Companies are dismantling their private computer systems and tapping into rich services delivered over the Internet. This time it's computing that's turning into a utility. The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google to the fore and threatening traditional stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. In this lucid and compelling book, Nicholas Carr weaves together history, economics, and technology to explain why computing is changing—and what it means for all of us.
In response to Carr's HBR article, Howard Smith and Peter Fingar wrote IT Doesn't Matter-Business Processes Do: A Critical Analysis of Nicholas Carr's I.T. Article in the Harvard Business Review in 2003. Their best work on the subject is the following title:
Business Process Management: The Third Wave
by Howard Smith and Peter Fingar
List Price: $39.95
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Meghan Kiffer Pr (October 15, 2006)
Book Description: This book heralds a breakthrough that redefines competitive advantage for the next fifty years. Don't bridge the business-IT divide: Obliterate it! The book is the first authoritative analysis of how third-wave business process management (BPM) changes everything in business and what it portends. While the vision of process management is not new, existing theories and systems have not been able to cope with the reality of business processes --until now. This book describes a radical, simplifying shift in process thinking and technology that utterly transforms today's information systems and reduces the lag between management intent and execution.
A process-managed enterprise makes agile course corrections, embeds Six Sigma quality and reduces cumulative costs across the value chain. It pursues strategic initiatives with confidence, including mergers, consolidation, alliances, acquisitions, outsourcing and global expansion. Process management is the only way to achieve these objectives with transparency, management control and accountability. The process-managed enterprise grasps control of business processes and communicates with a universal process language that enables partners to execute on shared vision --to understand each other's operations in detail, jointly design processes and manage the entire lifecycle of their business improvement initiatives.
Process management is not another form of automation, a new killer-app or a fashionable new management theory. With the third-wave BPM breakthrough and its solid mathematical underpinnings, business processes can now be unhindered by the constraints of existing IT systems. Short on stories and long on insight and practical information, this book will help your business become the company of the future, the real-time enterprise, the fully digitized corporation --the process-managed enterprise.
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