Talks & Seminars
Managing Information Technology in a Global Environment - A reflective look back with an opportunity to shape its future
Dr. Mohan Tanniru, Salter Distinguished Professor of Management & Technology, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona
Date & Time: August 1, 2006 16:00
Venue: KReSIT 3rd floor - Lecture Hall ('C' block)
Information Technology (IT) has dramatically changed the competitive landscape for businesses over the last three decades. It has caused firms to "flatten" both the internal value chain of a firm (with the use of a multitude of business partners) and the external value chain (by diving deeper into supplier operations and customer decisions). Yet, we hear constant debate as to whether IT really matters. Some argue that, while IT enables rapid production of goods and services, the technologies embedded in such a production are easily replicable, thus making it ubiquitous. Distinct competitive advantage is only achieved if you are the first mover and even then the advantage is short lived. In other words, IT is altering the efficiency at which we have to operate just to stay competitive. But are we effective? Most often information in information technology relates to this effectiveness question. IT allows users to structure the information and analyze it to make better decisions. It also allows firms to structure the business processes to improve productivity and efficiency across the organization and national boundaries. The broader reach to stay competitive, in turn, is making business processes more complex and decisions less structured. So, the constant inter-play of the structured and unstructured nature of decision making is causing organizations, IT management and users/decision makers to run faster and faster, leaving little time for reflection and learning. Similarly, information in IT is altering people's desire for more information as they view it as improving their decision quality and quality of life in an increasingly service oriented economy. Each new IT innovation alters our expectation of what is feasible and this contributes to our dissatisfaction. A recent CNN report said that "we, as people, are less patient - we want everything when we want it - we will hang up if on hold more than 5 minutes, and won't wait in line longer than 15, etc." While this dissatisfaction creates opportunities for new IT innovations, this constant inter-play of users' expectations and IT innovations is creating a need for constant change, which is putting us all under increased stress. Our insatiable appetite for information and our organization's desire to leverage IT for broader reach and greater efficiencies is increasing the pace of change, and it is unclear if we are any more effective today than we were before. Are we, as a global society, undoing in three to four short decades, what we nurtured for centuries - relationships, values, trust and learning? Using reflections from the past, this presentation hopes to raise a few questions - first a few related to curriculum and research, and then from a philosophical perspective. - What do we expect from our future IT professionals and IT leaders? - How "information centric" (product, customer, service) are we and what impact will it have on our research? - Lastly, if we, as information processors, are the weakest link (in one sense) in the value chain of our organizations and society, how do we shape the future of IT so it can help shape our future?
Speaker Profile:
http://mis.eller.arizona.edu/mtanniru/MohanTanniru.htm Dr. Mohan Tanniru is the Salter Distinguished Professor of Management and Technology and the MIS department head within the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. in MIS from Northwestern University in 1978. Prior to his joining UA in 2003, he coordinated over 200 projects with 45 companies such as GM, DaimlerChrysler, EDS, Lear, Comerica and Compuware as a Director of Applied Technology in Business Program at Oakland University, and directed over 60 projects that explored technologies and methodologies such as IT management in a global arena, business process reengineering, building a learning oriented IS organization, object oriented development, CASE, expert systems, IS bench-marking, sales force automation, and decision modeling at Syracuse University between 82-97. Prior to joining Syracuse University, he taught at U of WI-Madison (78-82). He has published over 75 articles in various journals, books and conference proceedings, and has presented at various national and international conferences. His research articles appeared in Communications of ACM, MIS Quarterly, Decision Sciences, Information Systems Research, JMIS, DSS, Information & Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Human-Machine Interaction, Expert Systems with Applications, and Australian Journal of IS. He was a consultant to Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Carrier- UTC, Bristol Myers Squibb and Tata Consultancy Services of INDIA. He is a member of ACM, and AIS organizations. He received his BE in EE from REC Warangal (1969), MS in Electrical Engineering from U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (72) and MBA from U of WI-Oshkosh (75). Web Address: http://mis.eller.arizona.edu/mtanniru/MohanTanniru.htm MIS Department: http://mis.eller.arizona.edu
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