*Ensure to have the CORRECT IN-Paragraph Citations

The attached article by K Eisenhardt on agency theory is the second reading for this week. The logic, which I spoke to in the current week discussions, is the struggle between satisfying the interests of the principle (owner, boss, stockholder, corporation) while managing the interests of those who do the biding (agents). An agent can be a contractor or staff.  Jonathan Hujsak’s chapter on “sustainability’ really tails Hugos closely as it does the previous chapter on green.

Many of the arguments in both previous chapters are reincarnate in this chapter. I do not see much value in re-discussing electricity and the carbon footprint. I was struck by several aspects of this chapter. The author writes (187): “Information technology holds the promise of revolutionary improvements in global enterprise sustainability that will dramatically enhance enterprise agility, increase operational efficiency, and even turn cost centers into profit centers.”

Several innovations in data management are reshaping the IT landscape. These are discussed in the chapter: server virtualization, storage virtualization, desktop virtualization, and the near future network virtualization. As an executive, the question raised by the chapter regarding virtualization as a sustainability strategy is less than a yes/no, but a when/how. We will ask ourselves, and discuss, the extent to which the virtualization of processing portends the removal of a dedicated IT staff. We will discuss the extent to which the CIO is no longer the manager of a dedicated expert staff, but fully engaged in vendor management and service oversight.

Finally we should ask ourselves the extent to which bricks and mortar will even define the corporation as an entity. The corporation, or at least its administrative wing, is more of an abstract. Does it matter if the processing engine of your corporate data is in Bangladesh or Nairobi? Does it matter what flag the vendor’s employees salute or what god they worship? Once we have achieved global network infrastructure stability and redundancy, we may find ourselves seriously questioning our understanding of “corporation” or even employment.

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