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Chapter 1

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University of Ottawa

Chapter 1 Information Systems in Global Business TodayThe Role of Information Systems in Business TodayIn 2006 North American Businesses will spend more than 19 trillion on information systems hardware software and telecommunications equipment They will spend another 18 trillion on business and management consulting and services much of which involves redesigning firms business operations to take advantage of these new technologiesBetween 19971996 investment in the information and communication technology ICT sector consisting hardware software and communications equipment grew from 45 to 59 of all invested capitalHow Information Systems are Transforming BusinessGlobalization Opportunities A growing percentage of the North American economyand other advanced industrial economies in Europe and Asiadepend on imports and exports Foreign trade both exports and imports accounts for more than 25 of the goods and services produced in North America and even a higher portion of products and services in countries such as Japan and Germany The emergence of the Internet into a fullblown international communications system has drastically reduced the costs of operating on a global scaleThe Emerging Digital Firm All the changes we have just described coupled with equally significant organizational redesign have created the conditions for a fully digital firmDigital Firm can be defined along several dimensions A digital firm is one in which nearly all the organizations significant business relationships with customers suppliers and employees are digitally enabled and mediated Its core business processes are accomplished through digital networks spanning the entire organization or linking multiple organizationsoKey aspect its corporate assets intellectual property core competencies and financial and human assetsare managed through digital meansoIn a digital firm any piece of key information required to support key business decisions is available at any time and any place in the firm
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