If you are a decision maker that will be making recommendations, advising, consulting or even making the final and actual decision on a new computer or IT system then you need to understand the best process. Today’s IT systems are costly and understanding this process will keep your organization from making mistakes. Thus, I’d like to recommend a very good book to you:
“Computers for Jumping Profits; Understanding, Selecting, Evaluating and Implementing Computer Systems” by David C. Dykstra; 1983.
This book tells you how to set up a computer system for any small, medium or large business or any organization or government agency. Although the book is older and the technology has changed over the years, the fundamental principles of planning, budgeting, ratios and accounting remain the same.
The author discusses the various folks involved and who their different motivations cause conflict in the implementation phase if a more analytical approach is not taken in the decision making process. For instance the author uses the example of implementing IBM Mainframes and micro-computers and how the advisors and salespeople with different objectives have very different perspectives.
This creates a false reality when doing strategic planning and asset allocations, cost analysis and estimates of return on investment through productivity and efficiency. The author also discusses employee training costs, temporary slow down until the users are up to speed and other human factors to be considered.
Since this book has to do with IT systems, it also discusses issues with feature creep, challenges with speed, configuration and potential failure. Sometimes IT professionals and definitely their superiors get too caught up in the newest and latest technology and not the reality, functionality or cost.
This book is of value to all those decision makers along the way, the information in it is timeless and it hardly matters the time period or the actual technology involved. It is the decision making process that is important and that is why I highly recommend this book.