Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Managing a Business with IT

I am teaching Management Information System(MIS) to Business Administration students this semester. I am trying to finalize my syllabus for the subject to keep it updated with the current technology and at the same time find ways to make it more interesting to my students. It is hard to teach a subject to students that feel that the subject is of no interest to them. That is what I discovered in teaching Computer subjects to students taking up non IT courses; it’s hard to keep them motivated and is most of the time not interested in what you are teaching.

MIS is a very demanding subject to begin with and is one of the subjects in school that has a high failure rate. The subject requires an Information System Plan design project with a presentation/panel defense at the end of the semester, besides teaching about the really technical aspect about how to manage an enterprise which include IT facilities.

I was looking for ways that would make the subject more interesting and at the same time present the subject matter relevant/necessary for their course. After reviewing some books on the subject and even reviewing my notes I have while taking up my master’s degree, I decided to present the subject as a crucial aspect of managing a business today with IT playing a major part in its success and approach the subject in the viewpoint of a businessman. That got my students interested and alert during the three-hour lecture period.

My next topic to discuss is Information Technology, detailing the hardware, software, networks and databases needed to be considered in an enterprise. Hardware and software topics would not be a problem but I am having a difficult time in deciding how extensive should I teach computer networking.

I would like them to appreciate the technical side of it as well as make them understand how networks operate. I would also want them to know that aside from investing money in putting up a computer network for a company, this network must always be 100% operational or else the company loses money every time it is down. A Networking monitoring service must be in place so as to prevent or minimize network downtime.

There are so many aspects of networking I would like to discuss in a small amount of time. Maybe sticking to the managerial viewpoint would be wise way to do it.

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