A Model and Sample Case for Teaching the Business Value of Information Technology

John A. Mendonca
2003 Journal of Information Technology Education  
Executive Summary Because it is a strategic resource that is complex, costly and permeates all functions of the modern organization, information technology (IT) is closely scrutinized for its contributed value, particularly in relation to resources expended. From this perspective, understanding the business value of information technology is a requirement not only for CIO's and CEO's, but also for non-managers working in IT, as well as many others in the organization. It is important that
more » ... for learning about IT value are clearly defined, easy to use, and supportive of active learning. This paper proposes an Information Technology Business Value (ITBV) model for teaching discovery of value as applied to common information technology-enabled organizational processes. The model is comprised of 1) a two-dimensional application matrix, which focuses on what business value is and where it can be applied in the organization; and 2) a set of action "triggers" that focus on the "how to" of discovering value opportunities. The horizontal axis of the matrix (the what) identifies five value parameters: quality, cost, speed, innovation and relationship. The vertical matrix identifies five functional areas where IT-enabled value propositions can be applied. The action triggers, based on principles of process re-engineering, activate the process to guide students through the discovery of meaningful value opportunities. A recommended process for using the model suggests initial discussions about business value, value added functions in the organization, and the enabling role of IT via process re-engineering. The application of the model follows this and includes case analysis and documentation. A suggested schema for documenting uncovered opportunities includes identification of proposed activities (action items), a description of the value added and where it will be applied, and the appropriate technology for each action. A sample case, with sample completed action items, is included. As a basic learning tool, the model is not intended as a structure for the thorough, complex analysis of opportunities, although it can appropriately be used as the initial step in that process. Rather, its contribution is in illuminating and strengthening the fundamental connectivity between IT and business value contribution in a simple active-learning approach that is accessible to those learning about the value and organizational impact of information technology.
doi:10.28945/313 fatcat:alyg7su6crd45b3sg4lpom2tgq