Education, MBA

6 Min Read

MBA Update: Strategic Information Systems (IT)

A few weeks ago I finished another MBA class. Here’s an overview of the class, to help me remember what I’ve learned, as well as let you know what I’ve been studying lately.

Strategic Information Systems was a course about Information Technology (IT) used in businesses. Instead of a textbook, the class used a lot of internet resources which I’ll include here, besides the usual Harvard case studies and lecture videos which I can’t share.

Week 1 covered why IT matters (Read “The World is Flat” and watch a video on defining the economic value of digital tech). It also was an overview of emerging technologies (Read about disruptive innovation and Crossing the Chasm) with a class discussion on outsourcing.

Week 2 was about team dynamics, such as working in virtual teams, including an online conflict resolution assessment.

Week 3 was the beginning of our group assignment on the 1-800-Junk-Van Case Analysis about choosing a new IT system to run its entire operation, upgrading from a bits and pieces approach of spreadsheets emailed to employees every day. The lecture lesson was about IT Strategy and IT investment analysis.

Week 4 taught us Systems Development and Analysis  (Watch a video intro on Scrum) and Database Systems.

Week 5 was about IT platforms and the Cloud, as well as Enterprise systems such as Saas (Software as a Service), ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management) and supply chain management software.

Week 6 covered IT project management and Change Management, which discussed how to organize and implement IT systems and help the employees accept the changes that come with any new system or process.

Week 7 was about digital commerce and data analytics…big data.

The final week covered IT security and putting it all together (Read about workforce automation and future tech trends).

For the term paper, we were given a list of emerging technology choices to write about and asked to predict the likelihood that these technologies would emerge and “cross the chasm” as well as if the tech would impact our jobs. The choices were:

  • Self-driving cars
  • The blockchain
  • Augmented reality
  • Internet of Things
  • Machine learning
  • Brain-Computer interface

I chose the Internet of Things (IoT) and since I didn’t exactly have a job at the time, I chose to act like I worked at a large, tech-savvy beauty company – L’Oreal. Did you know this company has already introduced a “smart” hairbrush as well as a UV sunscreen sensor patch for your skin? The paper was 10 pages long so I don’t think I can condense it into a blog post, but it was very interesting to learn more about IoT as well as the tech and research behind L’Oreal. If you’d like to read the paper as a PDF on Dropbox: here is part one (an in-depth IoT discussion) and the final paper (all parts of the paper combined as a memo to management, including a shorter IoT overview).

I started the online MBA program at Montclair State University in January 2017.

Topics:   Education, MBA