The information technology (IT) industry has a relatively short history in global markets but can put claim to a disproportionate number of “business innovations” that it either participated in or has been the catalyst for. Concepts such as business process re-engineering (BPR), supply chain management (SCM), IT outsourcing (ITO), business process outsourcing (BPO), off-shoring and now multisourcing are tightly associated with the IT industry. The growth in the services economy and rapid escalation in the use of alliances and joint ventures for business growth is also clearly evident in the IT sector. A characteristic of an industry being a leader in the introduction of new business concepts is that it gets to experience both the excitement of forging new paths but unfortunately also the pain of unfulfilled aspirations.
How To Read This Book
As noted above, the intended readership for this book ranges from the academic scholar or student through to the IT executive with a curiosity for new ways of working.
Figure 4 provides a framework for how a reader may choose to navigate this book according to their own personal context. Part I identifies the basis for why this book has been written. What is the core issue for governance and networks being addressed here and why? A review of the literature on “theories of the firm” is conducted to highlight the emergence of the above issue and the growing importance of Corporate SC and Intellectual capital (IC) to firms operating in today’s more service centric economy. Part I should be relevant to the full readership. Part II takes a view of governance from the sociological perspective. Chapter V explores the research literature on Corporate SC and IC and is likely to be of more appeal to the academic scholar interested in the research foundations for these concepts. Chapters VI and VII address levels of networks ranging from one’s personal networks through to networks that exist within organisations. Figure 3 illustrates how these different levels of networking relate, including inter-organisational networks and market places.
The study of social networks is seen as fundamental to understanding relationship patterns. The emerging sociologically based practices should be of interest to both the scholar and practitioner.
Part III provides a bridge between research and practice. Chapter VIII provides a detailed description of empirical research linking Corporate SC and IC to firm performance and should be of interest to both the scholar and practitioner. For the scholar, details of the research methods employed are included in the appendices. Chapters IX through XI describe emerging practices that are likely to impact on IT Governance. This includes the practice of Value network analysis (VNA), new methods for undertaking market intelligence and leveraging innovation, as well as identifying the impact of Web 2.0 technologies. This section is relevant to both the scholar and practitioner. Finally Part IV is aimed at the practitioner, where the concepts, themes and emergent practices described in previous chapters are synthesised to facilitate direct application in the field.A more detailed description of the ensuing chapters is provided as follows:
Chapter II: IT Governance
In this chapter the current state-of-the-art for IT Governance is reviewed before taking a closer look at governance decision making and the different models of decision making that are available. A focus on decision making in complex environments is then introduced in response to the increasingly complex business environments within which much of the IT Governance decisions are now being taken. The Cynefin decision making framework (Snowden & Boone, 2007) is used to identify approaches to governance decision making dependent on the relative complexity of the decision making environment. The concept of a cooperative approach to IT Governance is introduced to contrast with the existing compliance based approaches.