on 2 April 2010
This book helps to bring most of what's known so far about the economic value of IT, to managers and practitioners in business. It is not a typical airport paperback management 'how to' cook-book. If you only like the newspaper smooth writers-craft style of business book, this may not be for you. However if you are a CIO or other senior IT leader in a larger company it is very useful background. It reminds us what is really known, and not known about the value IT creates and the way that can be measured. It shows you how that has been researched and demonstrated by economists so far - and where there is still work to do. If you operate towards the leading edge, trying to make business cases for multiyear investment programmes in new areas of technology enabled business capability; this will help you think straight.
Other reviewers (on the US Amazon website) point out that it has a fairly academic style - with lots of references to studies and papers. That is true, but for the most part they don't get in the way of a fairly brisk read. One reviewer points out that the title is not helpful - I have some sympathy with that. 'The Economics of IT' would be a simpler statement of its contents - and it doesn't sit so well alongside the typical fodder found under the innovation management category.
If the information age really matters, then understanding how it works to create wealth is important. Erik Brynjolfsson's research in this area, for over two decades, has been outstanding. Together with Adam Saunders he does nice job of summarising the story so far. This reader looks forward to the next instalment.