Understanding IT
A Manager's Guide

By Dave Aron & Jeffrey L. Sampler
Financial Times / Pearson Education
September 2003
ISBN: 0-273-68208-3
196 Pages, Illustrated, 6 3/4" x 9 1/4"
$62.50 Paper Original

"All senior managers are making strategic decisions driven and enabled by the capabilities of information technology. Finally there is a clearly written and accessible book for senior managers to understand the underlying technologies that will drive their businesses. Senior managers should add this book to their management tool kit for daily reference in shaping competitive strategies." --Peter Weill, Director, Center for Information Systems Research, Sloan School of Management, MIT

"Now, more than ever, general managers must strive to understand technology, in order to ensure that it is well implemented in their organisations, and to inform their corporate strategy. We will continue to see those that succeed in this achieve greater success than those who treat IT as a black box and 'leave it to the IT department'. I have had to acquire my understanding of the IT sector through experience and application. I wish I'd had this book as the starting point in that process!"
-- David Levin, CEO, Symbian Ltd

"Enthusiasm for the subject shines through and helps make for a stimulating read."

--- Paul Blanchard, Principal Lecturer, Business School, Oxford Brookes University

Understanding IT offers you the opportunity to become familiar with not only information technologies of today, but also the technology of the future. Written in an engaging style, the book explains IT concepts with superb clarity. In this way it serves as the driving force that will enable you to successfully exploit existing technology and to realize the potential of emerging technologies in your organization. The book is an ideal companion for general business managers and for students of management, particularly at MBA level.

Dave Aron is a Strategy Consultant and a Teaching Fellow at London Business School. Jeffrey L Sampler is Associate Professor of Information Management and Strategy at London Business School.

Jargon busting Succinct and useful for busy MBA students Directed diagnostic test so readers can asses what they know already and therefore also what they need to learn. Complete glossary of terms goes beyond what is covered in the book. A wealth of business illustrations and case studies. Doesn't assume any prior knowledge of IT Writing style is accessible and engaging First chapter contextualises importance of an IT strategy Companion Website will include lecturer material, weblinks and update facility.

Preface: Why General Managers Should Understand More About IT The Challenge to Markets and Investors The Challenge to General Managers The Solution - Education Purpose of the Book How to Use The Book
1. Introduction - The Importance of Information Technology A Definition Need for Managers to Understand The Opportunity of IT The Challenge of IT
2. What a Computer Is A Soft Machine Ubiquity Scope of Computers A Digital, Electromagnetic Medium (For Now) Components Program Execution Layers
3. How Software Works What is software The Goals of an IT System Machine Code is Tough High Level Languages A Comparison of Current Computer Languages
4. The role of Networks and the Internet The Purpose of Networks How Networks Work Layers of a Network Types of Network The Anatomy of the Internet
5. The Web and E-Commerce: the transition from information superhighway to transaction superhighway Basic Web Technologies Advanced Web Technologies Computer Security
6. The Mobile/Multimodal Internet What's Different About The Mobile Internet Mobile Internet Communications Technologies Architecture of the Multimodal Internet Security in the multimodal world
7. The Future of IT A Framework for IT Progress - ICE9 Emerging Technology 1: The xInternet & web services Emerging Technology 2: Bluetooth PANs Emerging Technology 3: Wireless Information Devices (WIDs) Emerging Technology 4: Artificial Intelligence Bleeding Edge Technologies
Appendix I - Glossary of IT Terminology Appendix II - Communications Speeds Appendix III - Commonly Used Computer Languages Appendix IV - IT Literacy Test For Managers Questions Questions cont Answers Appendix V - Useful Books and Websites

Return to the Businesss Titles Home Page