IT Strategy for Non-IT Managers

IT Strategy for Non-IT Managers

Becoming an Engaged Contributor to Corporate IT Decisions

By Amrit Tiwana

How non-IT managers can turn IT from an expensive liability into a cost-effective competitive tool.
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How non-IT managers can turn IT from an expensive liability into a cost-effective competitive tool.

Firms spend more on information technology (IT) than on all other capital assets combined. And yet despite this significant cash outlay, businesses often end up with IT that is uneconomical and strategically feeble. What is missing in many organizations' IT strategy is the business acumen of managers from non-IT departments. This book presents tools for non-IT managers to turn IT from an expensive liability into a cost-effective competitive tool. It equips readers with the concepts and analytical skills necessary to understand IT needs and opportunities from both sides of the business–IT divide.

Each chapter opens with a jargon decoder–nontechnical explanations of the key ideas in the chapter—and ends with a checklist summarizing non-IT factors to consider in IT decisions. Chapters cover such topics as infusing competitive firepower into IT strategy; amalgamating software and data for a hard-to-duplicate competitive advantage; making choices that meet today's business needs without handicapping future strategy; establishing who decides what about IT strategies; sourcing IT and its challenges; protecting IT assets against disaster in ways that IT professionals cannot; and recognizing the business potential of emerging technologies. Examples are drawn from large corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits around the world.

The book is suitable for use in the MBA core IT course, and is aimed especially at students in professional or executive MBA programs. It will also be a valuable reference for managers.

Instructor Resources

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: slides, case map, and file of figures in the book


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262534154 280 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 93 figures


  • Digital economy requires leaders who are adept at synchronizing digital strategies with business strategies, and can execute those strategies with robust governance. IT Strategy for Non-IT Managers provides rich insights and ways of thinking and acting on these issues based on solid research in a highly engaging and accessible style that should enhance digital intelligence and effectiveness of managers and leaders.

    Sunil Mithas

    Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Information Systems, Robert H. Smith School of Business; author of Dancing Elephants and Leaping Jaguars: How to Excel, Innovate and Transform Your Organization the Tata Way

  • Information Technology often looks like a puzzle filled with jargon to non-IT managers. This book lays out the puzzle piece by piece, providing an easy-to-follow road map to non-IT managers on why, where, and how they can leverage IT strategically to deliver value. A must-read for business managers in this digital era.

    Bin Gu

    Earl and Gladys Davis Distinguished Professor, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

  • An excellent general management survey of a field of vital importance to managers. Great substance and appropriately limited use of jargon.

    Warren McFarlan

    Emeritus Professor, Harvard Business School

  • If you find you are prone to worrying or complaining about your company's IT, it's time to change things. Start by reading this book. The author offers great insights and useful tools on how non-IT managers can take IT from enterprise problem to competitive advantage.

    Jeanne Ross

    Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management; coauthor of IT Governance

  • Today, more than ever, successful digital transformations in organizations of all types and sizes require strong collaboration between business and IT leaders. Lines between these groups are getting blurry as IT and business professionals now must work in harmony to define and execute digital strategies that spur growth, efficiency, and change throughout the organization. IT Strategy for Non-IT Managers offers a detailed look at how non-IT managers can understand the IT business. The book explains effectively how these professionals can contribute to the success of a digital strategy in collaboration with IT.

    Juan R. Perez

    Chief Information and Engineering Officer, UPS

  • Communication between managers in functional areas of business and IT managers has always been the most significant challenge in achieving the full potential of modern information technology in any corporate environment. In this book, Amrit Tiwana provides building blocks to facilitate this conversation by providing a window into the opportunities and directions to the path for successfully exploiting those opportunities through information technology. It is a commendable effort and long needed text!

    Alok Gupta

    editor-in-chief, Information Systems Research; Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

  • The real gap for most companies in harnessing the power of IT lies in the effective use of the technology rather than in the creation of the technology. Business managers play the most important role in the effective use of IT and this book provides an excellent grounding for business managers in the power of IT to transform companies and industries. The coverage is in-depth and insightful, and not overtly technical. It explains the power of IT in a language suitable for business managers. The book is well suited for business and IT managers who need to collaborate, and is perfect for MBA or Executive MBA courses that focus on IT.

    Saby Mitra

    Senior Associate Dean of Programs, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech