Communications of the Association for Information Systems


EDITOR'S FOREWORD: This article differs from the articles CAIS published previously in that it is a debate on the nature of IT written by practitioners from three different points of view. It deals with IT Doesn't Matter, a polemic written by Nicholas Carr, then editor of the Harvard Business Review in which he argued that the days when IT offered strategic advantage are long since gone and that managers therefore should undertake a different approach to IT. The paper, obviously, became notorious in the IS community. On December 3, 2003, the Southern California Chapter of the Society for Information Management, at its regular meeting invited three of its members with long experience as chief information officers to debate the issue. The title of the meeting was: "I.T. Doesn't Matter or Does It? How to Improve the Value and Perception of I.T." The three debaters were assigned a position to argue: favorable to Carr (Laskey), neutral (DeJarnett), and unfavorable to Carr (Trainor). Edited versions of their remarks are presented below.