In today’s successful
organizations information systems and technology have become indispensable
in the way managers define and execute corporate strategy, manage
resources, and formulate their organization’s unique value proposition. The IST Portfolio equips IT-capable managers and consultants for a variety of
functional areas including Finance, Marketing, Operations, Supply Chain, and
Human Resources who are able to leverage IST resources for competitive
advantage. The IST Portfolio also develops leaders for the MIS organization
who conduct systems and technology planning and analysis, software project
management, and technology-based support for business operations and
Some of the
typical job descriptions are:
Consultants work in teams with clients to design and implement a wide
assortment of IT and system applications. Enterprise systems
applications, customer relationship management tools, and e-business
platforms are some of the projects consultants implement for clients.
These positions demand an eclectic set of technical knowledge,
cross-functional business understanding, and strong leadership and
communications skills. Consultants typically become well versed with
vendor-specific platforms and must work to integrate these systems with
the client’s existing systems and the business strategy of the firm.
Project management requires coordination of various teams to achieve
timely and economical development and procurement of new software
solutions, and successful implementation of new systems in organizations.
Strong leadership and communication skills, project management skills, an
understanding of the functional areas of the business and the industry
context for the system, and the ability to evaluate/justify new
technologies are all important prerequisites.
Initiating and implementing new systems applications requires an
understanding of user requirements, the affected business processes in
their industry contexts, and logical modeling of the proposed system.
Since analysts bridge the gap between application users and developers,
they need business and technical expertise, strong analytical modeling
capabilities, and effective communication skills. Analysts apply
cutting-edge modeling methodologies such as use case scenarios, UML,
object-oriented analysis and modeling, and computer-aided systems
engineering tools, along with other evaluative approaches from capital
budgeting and managerial accounting, and strategic management.
Line Management in Other
Functional Area of Business:
By combining IST expertise with knowledge of a functional area of business
such as Finance, Marketing, or Operations, future senior managers will be
able to recognize and apply new technology solutions to problems in their
organization early in their careers. IT-capable product managers,
financial analysts, supply chain analysts, and plant managers can become
effective in the information economy by utilizing strong analytical
skills, understanding technology evolution and adoption, and accurately
estimating the costs, benefits and risks associated with new applications.
in the IST career path create strategic and technical solutions to enhance
business processes. They recognize emerging technology trends, conceive and
design new business applications, and support the development and
installation of new technical solutions for business problems—transforming
the competitive capabilities of the firm in the process. All managers and
consultants in this area must develop strong leadership skills, communicate
effectively, possess analytical problem solving skills, be able to build and
lead cooperative teams and partnerships, and understand the organizational
Consultant skills include the
ability to define and analyze business, technical and strategic problems.
They should also be able to develop and install creative process and
technology solutions, lead and work within teams, communicate effectively,
perform financial analysis and capital budgeting, and interface with
diverse functional areas.
Project management skills
include evaluation of new technology solutions, cost/risk estimation,
management of the systems development life cycle, IT outsourcing, systems
implementation, and effective project-related communication with senior
Business process and systems
analysis skills include modeling user requirements, process modeling,
analytical skills, use of CASE tools, and enough of an understanding of
programming to be able to do some of the work that others in a software
development team actually do full time.
Line managers in functional
areas of business are able to leverage IST resources when they develop
skills in the strategic use of IT, decision analysis, databases, systems
development, applications integration, and technology architecture.