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Does It Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/4


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   情報技術についての大胆な声明書。

   この10年間というもの、テクノロジーのバブルが崩壊してからでさえ、専門家やコンサルタントや思想的リーダーたちは、情報技術はビジネスの成功の決め手であると主張してきた。

   しかし、ITのエキスパートであるニコラス・G・カーは、雄弁で挑発的な本書のなかで、こうした従来の説を真っ向から否定する。彼によれば、ITはパワーが増すにつれ、戦略の手段としての重要度が低くなる。かつてはビジネスで優位に立つための手段だったITが、今やビジネス・マネジメントと深く関わる「ビジネスコスト」となったというのである。

   カーのこの見解はすでに「ハーバード・ビジネス・レビュー」誌上で発表され、激しい議論を巻き起こした。その記事をさらに発展させた形の本書は、ビジネスにおけるITの役割は変化し、その影響は均一化しているのだと説明。説得力のある語り口が読者を圧倒する。

   カーは歴史上の事実と現代の事例とを鋭く分析し、IT革命が鉄道革命や電力革命といった過去のテクノロジー革命と類似していることを証明。そのうえでこれからのITマネジメントのあり方について述べ、重要なのは革新や投資よりもむしろコストコントロールとリスクマネジメントであると主張する。さらにより広い視点に立ち、ITとビジネスの戦略や組織化、テクノロジー産業との関わりを考察する。

   現代のきわめて重要なビジネス現象の常識を根本から覆す本書は、「ITの未来」論争における重大な指標となるだろう。

著者について

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

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Amazon.com: 44 件のカスタマーレビュー
44 人中、39人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A Landmark in IT Thinking 2004/5/30
投稿者 "bertknowles" - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
Just reading through the reviews already posted here shows how big a stir Carr's ideas have caused. Because of vested interests or emotional ties, some people have a deep fear of any criticism of IT, and it blinds them to the reality of the situation. In my humble opinion, as someone who's worked in the IT field for nearly two decades, I think Carr has it exactly right. It's best to treat the technology as a fairly boring necessity - be frugal, buy standardised components, don't believe the hype. The book is carefully argued, and it makes for quite compelling reading. Ignore it at your own risk.
39 人中、34人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Useless except as a catalyst to get you to do your own thinking 2005/7/6
投稿者 Anonymous Reader - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
This book, as Nicholas Carr has claimed about IT, "doesn't matter". As one reviewer stated, Carr is a good writer but should have kept his assertion to a short article.

Carr claims that IT (hardware and software technologies) is becoming a commodity and therefore that by itself it does not provide competitive advantage. This is eye-opening and insightful only if one believes all the claims of the dot-com era (some of which are still turning out to be true after all) and if one does not understand that the economy is getting more competitive all the time. So what? Isn't everything becoming commoditized? What is left after the Information Age and outsourcing of everything? Some say it is the Creative Age, in which creativity and innovation are what confer true advantage - human mental processes, some of which have to do with using or applying technology differently.

Carr readily admits good USE of IT does confer an advantage - but again, isn't this true with any input or tool? It is management and innovative use of the input rather than the input itself that confers some advantage.

One needs a much more sophisticated hands-on understanding of IT besides the superficial observation that hardware and software technologies are becoming commodities available to all -- besides, this argument is only true in a 30,000 foot view of the world.

When one looks closer, in most cases the "free" open source software that is theoretically available to all is not truly available to all because the expertise needed to use it is very limited. Can all organizations use Linux, Perl, MySQL, etc. equally well? If not, are they really "available to all", or only to those who can actually use them? That everyone can "buy" them does not equate with them being "commodity inputs" -- they are just "technologies" not actual "INPUTS" if they are bought and not used. These questions are intertwined and more complex than they at first seem. For better or worse, one needs an experiential, not an academic or theoretical understanding, of IT in order to arrive at an answer.

In the last chapter, Carr backs off somewhat, saying it is too early to tell the impact of IT - but if it is too early to tell the impact, how can he already conclude it doesn't matter? I suppose that is why he modified his title from the article title of "IT Doesn't Matter" to the book title of "Does IT Matter?". This question seems to be unanswered despite agreement that many information technologies (just as other technologies, products, inputs, processes, and so on) become commodities very quickly, and at an ever increasing rate.

Bottom line: you do not need to bother reading the book. If you wish to understand Carr's argument, read his original article.

As with so many popular "management books", Peter Drucker had already summed up what a manager should know and think about in a more concise way -- for example, that it is the "I" in "IT", not the "T", that matters. Organizations need INFORMATION not TECHNOLOGY and in particular INFORMATION about the OUTSIDE. For better guidance on strategy and IT, see Drucker's Management Challenges of the 21st Century.
35 人中、31人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
verbose 2006/2/24
投稿者 Carol M. Meerschaert - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
This is just an article from Harvard Business Review blown up into a book. Get the article reprint and save yourself time and money.
33 人中、28人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Well worth reading 2004/5/30
投稿者 "rogkburns" - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
I'm not a technologist and have no particularly strong feelings about information technology one way or the other. In my own experience, computers have good points and bad points. The reason I bought this book in the first place is because I read an interesting review of it in the New York Times. Now having read the book itself, I can say that I think it's really as much about how competition and strategy as about information technology per se. It's a very illuminating and thought-provoking book. It weaves together discussions of history, economics, and technology in an engaging way. The discussion gets complicated at times but it's always clearly written, even when the author's describing fairly esoteric aspects of software production. Unlike just about every other business book I've read, there's little jargon and few wasted words. It moves fast and covers a lot of ground. The book ends with a broader discussion of some of the the social and political consequences of computerization, which is also fascinating. So I can't say whether all Carr's recommendations are valid or not, and I guess that doesn't really matter to me. I enjoyed the book, and I learned a lot from it. I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in business or business history.
21 人中、18人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A valuable guide 2004/5/17
投稿者 "khulse6" - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
When I saw the hysterical reaction of some big wigs in the tech industry to Carr's argument (Steve Ballmer called it "hogwash"), it made it seem like the author was an anti-technology extremist. So I was surprised to find this book to be so calmly written and so knowledgeable about the history of information technology. Carr isn't saying that IT is unimportant or that technological progress won't continue but that most companies won't be able to use IT itself to provide a strategic advantage. He shows that companies like American Airlines and Reuters used to be able to use their systems to block competitors, but that's not possible anymore. In fact, he says, trying to get an advantage by creating a customized system will probably backfire by being too costly and complicated. It's better to just find a standardized solution that does what you want it to do at the lowest cost possible. This seems to me fairly sensible advice, and Carr provides a lot of evidence to support it. The book puts IT into a broader context which I found very helpful.
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