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Making the Invisible Visible: How Companies Win with the Right Information, People and IT

ISBN: 978-0-471-49609-0
324 pages
March 2001
Making the Invisible Visible: How Companies Win with the Right Information, People and IT (047149609X) cover image


This book presents a new way of seeing the business value of information, people and IT as well as a way of measuring and managing these capabilities in order to improve business performance. Packed with real-world examples, the book presents the best and worst practices companies have implemented to address these issues. Case studies from more than thirty international companies are strategically used throughout the book, including Banco Bilbao Vizcayo, Philips Business Electronics, Amazon, Dell Europe, Ernst Young, General Electric, IKEA, Ritz Carlton Hotels, and Wal Mart. This fascinating guide offers a diagnostic tool that senior managers can use to evaluate the three information capabilities of their company. Plus, the book provides hands-on management prescriptions on how to improve a company s information capabilities and how to use these capabilities in achieving business strategies and in the implementating change.
We are all experiencing an information overload, be it internal to the organization or due to external influences of our own information intensive society. Much has been written on how companies should "tame the beast of information" and make it work in the organization's favour. What has not yet been covered is how an organization can actually comprehensively measure whether or not they are using information effectively to achieve better business performance, or in other words, how senior managers within an organization can measure "Information Orientation".
Following a major 2 year global research project in conjunction with Andersen Consulting, the authors of this book have been able to demonstrate that when a company is high on IO it will be high on business performance. However, beyond just using IO as a diagnostic tool or a benchmark for the effective use of an organization's information, it can also predict the organization's business performance. Invariably, a company does not make the best use of available information. Having assessed why and where the failings are, this book will provide ways in which senior managers can actively manage the different elements of their Information Capabilities to improve the usage of information.
Information Capabilities are defined in three ways: 1. Information Behaviours/Values 2. Information Management Practices 3. Information Technology practices. It is the total interaction of these three elements and the effective management of them that permits superior business performance. IO Maturity can be gained, but the authors illustrate that it is an iterative process that grows and changes in line with a turbulent environment. Managers of a high IO company realize the need to continually refine and improve their information use and to keep learning more about their business. IO begins at the top. It takes more than authorizing an IT investment and training staff to use information. It calls for different behaviours, values and practices by senior managers. This book provides the means to move towards IO maturity. It is the step beyond Information Technology to actually managing information.
The aim of this book is to make a previously invisible dimension of business management visible. A manager, after reading this book, will be able to see, measure and manage the information resources, people and IT in the company and improve business performance.
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Table of Contents

Author Biographies.





Information Capabilities Improve Business Performance.
How to Measure Information Capabilities.
Achieving High Information Orientation (IO): Making It All Happen.
Changing People's Information Behaviours.
Understanding the Power of Information Management.
Boosting the IT Pay-off.
Business Strategy, Information Capabilities and Business Performance.
Future Business Strategy, the IC Maximization Effect and Competing with Information.
Implementing Information Capabilities Globally: A Portfolio Approach.
The Personal Challenge to Lead with Information Capabilities.
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Author Information

DONALD A. MARCHAND is Professor of Information Management and Strategy at the International Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
PROFESSOR WILLIAM J. KETTINGER is Director of the Center of Information Management and Technology Research at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.
JOHN D. ROLLINS is the managing partner of Strategic Information Technology Effectiveness for Accenture (formerly known as Andersen Consulting), a leading global management and technology consultancy.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Demonstrates the "Information Orientation Dashboard" - a diagnostic tool for evaluating the three information capabilities of a company
  • Shows that a predictive link can be made between how executives manage people, information and IT, and how they achieve superior results
  • Provides practical prescriptions for how to improve a company's information capabilities and use them to gain competitive advantage
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'Managing knowledge in a company begins with using information effectively. This book helps senior managers to measure and manage their information, people and IT capabilities to create business value with information for innovation, growth and customer focus. A must read!'- Dipak Rastogi, Executive Vice President, Emerging Markets, Citibank N.A., UK
'Finally, a practical approach to the use of IT to manage information that takes into account all the non-IT parts, the parts that really determines success or failure.' - Steen Riisgaard, Corporate Executive Vice President, Novozymes, Denmark
'Making the Invisible Visible is the first complete and practical reference helping Senior Managers to optimize Information, People and Technology resources to compete and win in the new digital era.' - Frederick Wohlwend, Vice President, IS/IT, Ares Serono International, Switzerland
'The philosophy and process of Information Orientation integrates all "hard" and "soft" factors of corporate behaviours with information management and IT practices. Information Orientation provides companies in the Financial Services industry with a great opportunity to transform their information delivery and use, from art form to a strong institutional discipline, leading to improved business performance and competitive advantage for those companies that manage their information capabilities extremely well.' - Yury Zaytsev, Group Information Officer, Swiss Re, Switzerland
'This book provides a roadmap to how high performing companies really extract the business value of IT in today's knowledge and information intensive economy.' - Sukanto Tanoto, Chairman, RGM International, Singapore
'Information is a forceful weapon in creating competitive advantages to increase customer satisfaction, employee morale and shareholder value.' - Pius Baschera, CEO, Hilti Corporation, Liechtenstein
'The technology and processes to capture and analyze information are available to us all. However, this book vividly demonstrates the link between information capabilities and business performance and provides valuable guidance to unlock the potential.' - John S. Boardman, CEO, Dubai Aluminium Company, United Arab Emirates
'By applying the Information Orientation framework and guidelines to our business and improving our information, people and IT capabilities for customers, we have demonstrable proof that established basic industry companies can excel at growth and innovation and leverage e-business opportunities in a developing market. A recommended read for senior managers getting their companies e-business ready in practice, not just in theory.' - Paul Hugentobler, Vice Chairman, Siam City Cement Company, Thailand
'The ability to visualize the relation between Information, People and IT is a key factor for improving business performance in order to maintain competitive strength.' - Göran Lenkel, Managing Director, SkandiaBanken, Sweden
'The IT industry is now representing a global $1.4 trillion marketplace - it is about time that we start to look at real performance and pay back of IT investments.' - Peter Ohnemus, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, The Fantastic Corporation, Switzerland
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