Information Systems Transformation

This book consists of a little theory which is a touch on the light weight side and a good 300 pages (out of about 420) on ten cases studies. The theory is concise and pithy asking the right sorts of questions to set the context for a transformation project. Given the nature of such projects and their often unique circumstances I don’t think it’s fair to expect much more in this department. The sheer diversity of transformation projects makes it difficult to develop any theory or even  generalize patterns.

The real strength of this work is its case studies they cover a very wide gambit. There are air traffic control systems, higher education systems, military systems and a bit of good old COBOL re engineering.  The case studies include MUMPS, COTS and a 4GL project, in all they’re a pretty eclectic collection which highlight the complexity of this problem space.

If you are involved in a transformation project I’d suggest that you read this book as part of your preparation, you are unlikely to find a perfect fit. However, the depth and variety of these case studies will undoubtedly provoke  some thoughts and prime you with some good questions.

This is a book for the architect leading the transformation. He’ll have to extract the relevant lessons for the planned transformation from the case studies; there’s no cookie cutter here and there are many things to consider.

This is a good book, whose time is now. While it perhaps has only a limited audience it is undoubtedly a useful tomb. It’s surprising how little good literature there is on transformation.

Ulrich, William M., Newcomb, Philp H. 2010, Information Systems Transformation,Morgan Kaufman, Burlington.

ISBN 978-0-12-374913-0

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