Information Resource Management

Information systems can either maintain the status quo (and thus be considered only as a necessary cost item) or go beyond it to add value to the organization. Considering the rapid evolution in the state of the art and the state of the practice, maintaining the status quo generally results in falling behind the competition. It is important that both computer professionals and computer consumers recognize that information resource management is increasingly important in the success not only of individual information systems but also of the whole organization.

This course will investigate the main aspects necessary for organizational information resource management and creative techniques for profitably managing information resources.


Prof. Jim Carter <>

Text / Recommended Reading:

There is no single published source of information that is up to date with the full range of topics for this course. Rather than purchase a book that is either dated or incomplete, students will be provided with a set of links to various Web based resources.


The role of the lecture sessions is to present important material to the students and to allow discussion of this material by all the class participants. Questions and discussions are highly encouraged. Students will be responsible for all material covered in the class lecture sessions.


Students will be expected to become familiar with the assigned text readings prior to the class in which they will be discussed. Students will be assigned to prepare critiques of particular readings. The number and nature of these critiques will be discussed during the first class.

A major project will encourage students to investigate a related topic in greater detail than is covered in the class. Students will be required to make a short presentation about their project in class.


10% Assignments
30% Term Project
25% Project Report
05% Class Presentation
20% Midterm
40% Final Exam

Course Outline

Week  Topics: Basic Concepts  Reference Materials
- Information as a valuable resource
- Information based business
- Identifying information resources
Information Economics
- Information value volatility
- Influence of time on info value
- Influence of exclusivity on value
  • Speculative Microeconomics for Tomorrow's Economy" provides some useful insights into how the Internet changes traditional economic assumptions. However it is more focused at e-Commerce rather than at the economics of information.
  • The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age, Appendix D: Information Economics, pp. 271-281 (unfortunately to access this chapter for free, you must do so one page at a time) discusses the costs going into the creation of information and some general strategies for obtaining payments to cover these costs.
  • "Versioning Information Goods" provides a discussion of stratified pricing of information goods - where the same information good is sold in various qualities for differing prices.
  • Your Knowledge @ Work
Information Control
- Providing and keeping information
- Intellectual property
- Privacy
IRM in Local Industry - Guest Presentations
- IRM in mass media publishing
- IRM in bioinformatics

Week  Topics: Data & Its Derivatives  
Databases and Data Warehouses
- What databases can do for you
- Database components and tools
- Database design
- Data warehouse issues
Value Added Computing
- OLAP & Data mining
- Finding new value in existing information
- Expanding existing system boundaries
Information Engineering
- Increasing efficiency via reducing redundancy
- Increasing accuracy via centralization
- Increasing accessibility via distribution
- Meta-data, meta-information, and knowledge

Week  Topics: Taking Charge  
Gaining Control
- Identifying and exploiting new trends
- Becoming the gatekeeper to information
- Customer relationship management
Developing New Markets for Information
- Repackaging information
- Similar markets for existing information
- Marketing new information
Long Term Systems Planning
- Managing versions
- Controlling costs
- Tradeoffs between local and corporate efficiency
Information Systems Risk Management
- Identifying risks
- Evaluating risks
- Handling risks


Computer Security
- Intranets, Extranets, and the Internet
- Firewalls
- Encryption and Certification
The Complete Organizational Information Domain
13 Student Presentations  


Date of last revision: Nov. 17, 2003