What is Information Systems Management (ISM)?

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Information Systems Management (ISM) is the application of information technology to support the major functions and activities of either a private sector business or public sector institution. In the past, organizations recognized the importance of managing resources such as labor, capital, and raw materials. Today, it is widely accepted that managing the information resource is very often equally important. ISM supports the process of collection, manipulation, storage, distribution and utilization of an organization's information resources.

The Information Systems Management undergraduate major is a multi-disciplinary major that focuses on the fusion of information systems, technology, and business management for two purposes: the use of information systems to solve business problems and the management of technology, which includes new product development and enterprise management.

The vast majority of information systems are developed for and used by people in functional areas (e.g., manufacturing, human resources, accounting, finance and marketing). To develop information systems that address the needs of the organization, ISM professionals must possess a solid mix of business and technical knowledge. They must understand organizational structures, objectives, operations (including processes and the flows of data between processes) and the financial implications related to these factors. Only by understanding these factors can an ISM professional communicate effectively with users and then design systems that support their needs.

ISM managers and professionals must stay up-to-date with evolving information technologies and have a solid foundation of technical skills to select appropriate technologies and to implement computer-based information systems. Thus, ISM people must be well versed in topics such as systems development tools and techniques, information architecture, network configurations, databases, and systems integration.

The ISM Program of Study

The ISM program combines the fundamental intellectual content of both Computer Science and Business Management Economics. It will be a rigorous, challenging major for those students that want to pursue a career of solving business problems through the use of information technology. The ISM program is structured to enable students to accomplish this. To do so, they must gain the math and science fundamentals of computer science and an understanding of the environment in which information technology (IT) solutions will be applied through economics and business courses.

It is the integration of the two disciplines of Computer Science and Business Management Economics that is the essence of the ISM program. This also adds to the challenge of successfully completing the requirements of the major. ISM is a timely topic and the current demand for students is strong. The long term demand for students with these skills will continue to grow. An increasingly larger number of companies and institutions have concluded that their daily operations have an indispensable reliance on computer-based systems.