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REVIEW: "Does IT Matter", Nicholas G. Carr

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKDSITMT.RVW 20060827 Does IT Matter , Nicholas G. Carr, 2004, 1-59139-444-9, U$26.95/C$40.95 %A Nicholas G. Carr %C 60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 18, 2006
      BKDSITMT.RVW 20060827

      "Does IT Matter", Nicholas G. Carr, 2004, 1-59139-444-9,
      U$26.95/C$40.95
      %A Nicholas G. Carr
      %C 60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163
      %D 2004
      %G 1-59139-444-9
      %I Harvard Business School Press
      %O U$26.95/C$40.95 800-545-7685 http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591394449/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591394449/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591394449/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 191 p.
      %T "Does IT Matter"

      In the preface, Carr states that it is impossible to predict or
      explain successes or failures of the implementation of IT projects,
      and that business is investing in IT without a clear understanding of
      the strategic or financial impacts of IT. (Which would make it
      somewhat difficult to do cost/benefit assessments during risk
      analysis.) He also states the IT is no longer strategic but a
      commodity: a necessity, but not a benefit. Chapter one repeats this
      latter idea. (Since Carr's own definition of IT includes both
      hardware and software, it is odd that this assessment seems to be
      based solely on hardware and off-the shelf software.) The concept of
      movement from strategic to infrastructure technology is reviewed, in
      historical terms, with examinations of the nineteenth century rise of
      the railroads and electricity, in chapter two. Carr details his
      argument in chapter three, addressing the different types of software.
      Chapter four is a historical review of IT business successes, but does
      little to advance the argument. Chapter five almost seems to be
      making the case that nothing gives a business advantage any more. The
      failure to control IT spending is examined in chapter six, along with
      system disasters. Finally, in chapter seven, we are told that
      expectations that computers would run everything for us are
      unrealistic.

      I'm sorry, but I don't know what all the fuss was about. Carr was
      probably right: it always has been extremely difficult to make a
      business case for information technology. His book, however, does not
      provide us with any helpful suggestions.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2006 BKDSITMT.RVW 20060827


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