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ch01_v8_notes - Essentials of Business Information Systems...

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Essentials of Business Information Systems, 8E Chapter 1 Business Information Systems in Your Career Computers are changing every aspect of our lives from entertainment to shopping, from the work we do and where we do it, to how we communicate with friends and relatives. As you can see from the opening vignette in the text, many businesses are remodeling their products and services to take advantage of expanded channel outlets such as the Internet, cell phones, and even iPod devices. This chapter gives you an overview of many of the subjects we’ll touch on in this course. It will help you understand how information technology is being used by many businesses worldwide to increase efficiency, save money, and create better relationships with suppliers and customers. 1.1 The Role of Information Systems in Today’s Business Ask managers to describe their most important resources and they’ll list money, equipment, materials, and people–not necessarily in that order. It’s very unusual for managers to consider information an important resource, and yet it is. As electronic business and electronic commerce grow in popularity and more firms digitize their operations, having useful information is becoming even more important to the global business community. This chapter will begin to explain why you need to manage your information resources as closely as any other in your organization. How Information Systems Are Transforming Business The next time you’re in your workplace or on your school’s campus, even walking down the street, take a closer look at the people around you and observe what they’re doing. Most likely someone will be using a computer or a handheld personal digital assistant. Someone will be using a cell phone, perhaps taking pictures with it. Another person will probably have an iPod device, listening to music or a podcast. Chances are most people around you will be engaged in some sort of electronic information gathering or dissemination. Such is our world in the twenty-first century. Businesses must adapt to this new world of digitization or stand to lose thousands of customers and millions of dollars. Technology, to a large extent, has driven organizations to change the way they operate and that includes the way they manage. We’re going to take an in-depth look at how organizations work and how they’ve been transformed by technology. Globalization Challenges and Opportunities: A Flattened World Thanks to the Internet, businesses can operate around the corner or around the world. While that may pose new challenges, it also brings new opportunities. A few years ago, your main competition was likely another local company. Or at least one located in the 1-1
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same country as you. Now your competition may be located half a world away. On the other hand, a few years ago it’s likely most of your customers were local. Now you can sell to customers all over the world, opening up new markets much more easily than was ever before possible.
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