(from Professor Moll)

Why did I write this book?

In the past thirty years information technology has changed the industrial world like no other technology. Humans have been replaced by robots on the production lines, staff in banks and railways by machines, and entire libraries by Compact-Disc. This process has not come to an end, but will proceed at an ever faster pace in the future.

The commercial success of many large corporations is dependant upon IT. For firms such as car manufacturers, banks and insurance companies, the efficient use of IT systems, and also the underlying management of IT specific tasks, is critical.  Despite this, there are few companies where both employees and management are satisfied with the performance of their IT department. Typical comments are that IT is too expensive, requests are dealt with slowly and inflexibly and there is far too much downtime. Above all there are no recognised standards or solutions for the question of "efficient management of IT-specific disciplines". The existing publications on this subject are limited to specific topics, i.e. application development management, despite the fact that all IT tasks are dependent on each other.

After more than twenty years of work in the IT field, ten of which were in research and teaching and more than ten with senior management responsibilities in industry, I hope to bridge this shortcoming with this book. I place most emphasis upon the operational tasks of the management. I also consider communicative as well as political issues important, yet they are not addressed in detail.

Who should read this book?

This book is concerned with the management of information technology in large firms. The people I would recommend to read this book are:

  • Anyone who has an interest in management of large firms or comes in contact with them
  • Students that wish to know about IT-specific workplaces and the roles and tasks involved in such
  • Employees and management of IT departments, who wish to critically assess the processes used in their firm or those who would like to get an overview of job-areas outside of their speciality. This should allow them to get a better understanding of the overall interdependencies in their firm
  • Academics and their colleagues who have an interest in the practical uses of their research and teaching areas, and keep abreast of new developments

How is this book structured?

This book is divided into the fundamental disciplines of IT management that large scale IT users must cope with. For each discipline the major tasks including goals are identified and then the solution path is described. For every goal there is a list of success factors which must be fulfilled. The solution path is described by presenting the fundamental design characteristics of processes rather than going through all the fine details like, e.g. software development. For the latter there are many other specialist books. In addition key figures are developed to support the controlling of the discipline. In every discipline the tasks together with the goals, success factors and controlling figures can be used as a summary. Despite the interdependency of all the various disciplines, chapters 2 through 6 can be read separately.

What does this book offer?

For every major task tackled there is at least one solution provided, adhering to the current industrial standards. This book is not a scientific treatise that examines and evaluates all and every possibility. With the current state of IT this would only give us a snapshot at a given time. On the one hand even for classical areas of informatics like, e.g. operating systems and application development, there is no widely accepted theoretical background. On the other hand, the technological possiblilities are rapidly changing with severe implications on processes. This can be seen in emerging processes such as Performance-Management and Object-Oriented software development which are yet only in their infancy.

Those who have helped me in producing this book.

This book is a culmination of my experiences over more than 10 years in working for the "Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechsel-Bank AG" (HYPO-BANK for short). The frankness and vitality of this company allowed for constant company-wide dialog over existing structures and procedures which in turn was the catalysist for this company's continuous growth. To encourage dialog within the company various activities were supported, above all arts but also technical areas, even when it did not provide any direct tangiable return.

Practically all employees of the IT department of the HYPO-BANK have contributed to this book; implicitly through their readiness and initiative shown in helping the development of the company; explicitly through open discussions and suggestions.

That is especially the case for management and staff who have constructivly contributed to my manuscript. I would especially like to single out Romy Helferich, Maxi Staunau, Dr. Reiner Knizia,  Michael Lödige, Gero Schlör, Stephan Spannagl und Gerhard Winkler for special thanks, who have helped me in various ways with my lectures at the Technische Universität München.

I thank Professor Dr. Ernst Denert, Dr. Thomas Noth and Dr. Johannes Siedersleben for trudging through the proof copies of the manuscript. I also thank Dr. Werner Marx, Dr. Bernd Hayler and Georg Osner who have helped me in the chapter on legal issues. They are responsible through their constructive criticism for numerous creative and content related improvements. Their support has motivated and encouraged me to publish this book.

Berndt Schramka, journalist and head of the Hamburg School of Journalism has critically revised my text. The readability of my book has been greatly enhanced by him.

Gerhard Winkler who with much patience, care and self-initiative helped craft and record over fifty versions of my manuscript. Without his input this book would not have been possible.

Springer-Publishing has supported me in the creation of this book through their co-operation and trust.

Munich, Spring 1994            Karl-Rudolf Moll