Why IT Management is considered an important research area today?
The management of IT in organizations is now a really challenge due to the process complexity and increase in his importance (McNurlin and Sprague 2006). In support of the arguments why IT management is important, Lucas (2005) has mentioned that “the most significant issues with information technology are managerial in nature, not technological” and according to him “acquiring technology is not enough to provide an advantage” therefore the “organization must manage IT to obtain a return from its technology investments”. On the other hand, we have observed that in many major conferences in IS area that are held in US, Europe and around the world (ICIS, AMCIS, ECIS and others) the research topics related to IT management area are a constant presence. In summary as we could see till now the research in IT management area is increasing in his importance and one key argument regarding this issue is the impact in how the business organizations are gaining values through the use of information technologies. Moreover the IT management research area is considered today as a very important one not only by different scholars but also practitioners too.
At this moment within SYSLAB we are a small group of people that are involved in doing research in the IT management area and which is including me and my doctoral students: Georg Hodosi and Edephonce N. Nfuka and about 14 master students that are working at this moment in doing their master theses under my supervision. On the other hand I would like to mention here that the results of our research in the IT management area from December 2005 till now (the year when I have moved to work in SYSLAB from former IMIT department at KTH) are very good (according to Professor Paul Johannesson opinion) based upon the fact that in this period we had accomplished to have 10 master theses completed and a number of 7 papers published in the proceedings of different international conferences (without mentioning the other 3 papers which are at this moment submitted for publication to a international conference and a journal).
The research topics in IT Management area
In the opinion of McNurlin and Sprague (2006) some of the major trends that are having now an impact on IT management are: governance of IT, systems integration and infrastructure development and outsourcing. In this perspective the research in the IT management area within SYSLAB is following this trend and is mainly in the IT outsourcing and IT governance topics but also in other related topics like IT leadership and Strategic Management of IT. Regarding the research group in IT management area (formed in 2007) this is including the following doctoral students: Georg Hodosi (email@example.com) which is doing his research in “Developing a methodology for assessing the risk and value of IT outsourcing” and Edephonce N. Nfuka (firstname.lastname@example.org) that is working on “A holistic approach for IT Governance in the Public Sector Organizations mainly in a developing country environment/setting”. Moreover, the research in IT management area is also done together with the master students that at this moment I am supervising and their research is focusing on different topics like are for example: IT outsourcing practices in Sweden, How to build successfully relationships in IT outsourcing, Strategic use of IT in a business organization, A strategic approach for small IT businesses, The role of CIO in management of IT resources in global companies, etc. to mention only a few of them.
Potential research topics in the IT Management area
Regarding the potential research topics which I am looking forward to approach with the doctoral students in the near future these it could be in IT leadership like for example: “The Chief Information Officer role and contribution in effectively management of IT resources”, or in IT infrastructure management like for example: “Developing a framework for reliable network design of an IT infrastructure” and sure it could be in other important topics from the IT Management area.
In conclusion I would like to notice here that an important contribution in the research in IT management area within SYSLAB (apart from the results coming from the work with doctoral students or the work with the students on their master theses) has came also from the work done with the students in their group projects in the following courses: Strategic Management of IT, Management of IT-enabled Change and Global IT Management which I have taught in the master programs at KTH and SU in the last four years. In fact the reason in support of having an IT management perspective view both in teaching and research was obvious (most of the master students from EMIS program they had an education background in computer science or related engineering areas) and as Lucas (2005) has mentioned “effective IT management depends on all employees in an organization”. In this context and for a further development of the teaching and research too in the IT Management area I have developed in 2006, two master programs proposals (both submitted to Professor Paul Johannesson), one that has included an IT management track in the EMIS master program and the other one for a new Executive Master in IT Management. The main argument that I had in mind at that time regarding these master programs proposals was in fact to find a way that our research and education in IT management area it could be better linked with the industry needs and it could make possible a further cooperation in different research projects with Swedish or international industry partners.
Finally, in case that you have an interest in finding more about the research work done in the IT management area within SYSLAB please contact me by email.
Henry C. Lucas, Jr. (2005) Information Technology: Strategic Decision Making for Managers, John Wiley & Sons, pp. xii, 2
Barbara C. McNurlin and Ralph H. Sprague, Jr. (2006) Information Systems Management in Practice, 7th ed., Pearson Education, pp. 3