Information Technology: Panacea or Poison?by Peter Gardner, Southampton Inst of Higher Education, Southampton, United Kingdom,
Abstract: Consulting engineering is entering a period of dramatic change which will provide opportunities and threats. Pressure on fee levels and changing markets are necessitating a greater emphasis on business planning. One major development is the increasing use of Information Technology which, because of its power and complexity, presents many challenges. New technology provides the means to produce efficiency gains and will ultimately change working practices. This may lead to a restructuring in the industry. The paper explores various strategic issues that should be considered when contemplating investment in Information Technology, and gives examples of successful and unsuccessful projects drawn from other industries. It concludes that information systems can provide great benefits but can also become a constraining factor.
Subject Headings: Consulting services | Industries | Information systems | Fees | Investments | Information management
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