Does IT Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage

Does IT Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage


By (author) Nicholas G. Carr

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  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 212mm x 30mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 18 May 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Boston, MA
  • ISBN 10: 1591394449
  • ISBN 13: 9781591394440
  • Sales rank: 517,451

Product description

Over the last decade, and even since the bursting of the technology bubble, pundits, consultants, and thought leaders have argued that information technology provides the edge necessary for business success. IT expert Nicholas G. Carr offers a radically different view in this eloquent and explosive book. As IT's power and presence have grown, he argues, its strategic relevance has actually decreased. IT has been transformed from a source of advantage into a commoditized "cost of doing business"--with huge implications for business management. Expanding on Carr's seminal Harvard Business Review article that generated a storm of controversy, Does IT Matter? provides a truly compelling--and unsettling--account of IT's changing business role and its leveling influence on competition. Through astute analysis of historical and contemporary examples, Carr shows that the evolution of IT closely parallels that of earlier technologies such as railroads and electric power. He goes on to lay out a new agenda for IT management, stressing cost control and risk management over innovation and investment. And he examines the broader implications for business strategy and organization as well as for the technology industry. A frame-changing statement on one of the most important business phenomena of our time, Does IT Matter? marks a crucial milepost in the debate about IT's future. An acclaimed business writer and thinker, Nicholas G. Carr is a former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review.

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Author information

Nicholas G. Carr is a former Executive Editor and Editor-at-Large for Harvard Business Review.

Table of contents

Preface The Great Debate ONE Technological Transformations The Rise of a New Business Infrastructure TWO Laying Tracks The Nature and Evolution of Infrastructural Technologies THREE An Almost Perfect Commodity The Fate of Computer Hardware and Software FOUR Vanishing Advantage Information Technology's Changing Role in Business FIVE The Universal Strategy Solvent The IT Infrastructure's Corrosive Effect on Traditional Advantages SIX Managing the Money Pit New Imperatives for IT Investment and Management SEVEN A Dream of Wonderful Machines The Reading, and Misreading, of Technological Change Notes and Bibliography Index