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Introduction to Information Systems Strategy

Course description and purpose

Information Systems Strategy [MS2] is the second of two courses in management information systems in
the CGA program of professional studies. Where Managing Information Systems [MS1] provides an
overview of information technology and the process of building systems in organizations, MS2 presents a
more strategic view of the management issues in working with information systems.
MS2 consists of 10 modules structured into four broad content themes. In Modules 1 and 2, the course
begins by providing the strategic context for thinking about information systems, both in alignment with
company goals and in terms of IT governance. In Modules 3 to 5, the focus changes to the relevant
issues of managing the systems development process the larger working issues of projects, system
requirements and design, and choosing between buy (license), subscribe (SaaS), or build system models.
Modules 6 to 8 introduce the key areas of the Internet and e-commerce, investigating both the technical
and managerial issues to be considered in applying these technologies. The course concludes in Modules
9 and 10 by considering operational and security issues as well as the human side of information
systems, such as change management, and user development and training.
Textbook, course module, and case study readings are used to help place todays IS challenges in context
with real business challenges. A combination of theoretical and practical knowledge including course
module scenarios help to provide a full study of current IS management topics and trends.
CGA-Canada has identified a number of competencies that are essential to professional accountants. MS2
is designed to assist you in developing professional competence and skills in the following technology-
related areas:
Acquiring and updating your technical knowledge of information systems
Designing and evaluating strategies to meet the organization's financial reporting, management,
and control requirements
Evaluating and advising on the impact of new technologies on business processes
Contributing to the design, development, and implementation of information systems
You will continue to enhance your problem-solving, communication, and team development skills, as well
as your professional and ethical judgment.
For information on how the MS2 competencies relate to the course topics, see the MS2 Examination
Blueprint under the Exam Preparation tab. For more information regarding CGA-Canadas CGA
Competency Framework, please go to the following link on the CGA-Canada website:
You must have a sound understanding of the basic concepts of management information systems,
obtained through an introductory MIS course such as MS1.
An understanding of the principles of ethics and how ethical issues are addressed in the profession of
accounting is an essential part of the CGA Program of Professional Studies. The Ethics Readings
Handbook [ERH] has been developed as a study resource in this area and is provided electronically
through a link in the Study Resources area. In MS2, it will be assumed that you have become familiar
with the following material from the ERH:
Section A: This section clarifies important concepts and terms used throughout the ERH, and is
necessary background knowledge for ERH readings referred to in this and other courses.
Units C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, and C10 of Section C: These units cover important concepts, issues, and
standards related to professional and accounting ethics, including the CGA Code of Ethical
Principles and Rules of Conduct.
Software skills
When working with MS2, you are expected to have acquired basic competence with the following
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
Course materials
The textbook and reference materials for this course are:
K.C. Laudon, J.P. Laudon, and M.E. Brabston, Management Information Systems: Managing the
Digital Firm, Fifth Canadian Edition (Custom Publication: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013)
MS2 Casebook, Pearson Learning Solutions, 2011
Ethics Readings Handbook [ERH], Fourth Edition, CGA-Canada, 2012 (Available under
Resources/Reference Library.)
The required reading is listed at the beginning of each topic. Most of the readings are from the course
textbook or the Ethics Reading Handbook. A few readings are located on websites.
Some of the required reading from the text may be a review from MS1 or an equivalent introductory MIS
course. If you already have a good understanding of these readings, you may wish to just skim them or
use them for review.
For a list of required computer hardware, operating system, and software for all CGA courses, review the
System requirements under the Support Centre tab.
The course modules serve several purposes:
To provide guidance on and supplement the text readings
To provide guidance with online work
To provide practice and assessment tools to measure learning and achievement
These purposes are achieved through some standard features that are common to all CGA courses, such
as learning objectives and levels of competence.
Practice tools
In MS2, you will find a set of review questions following the module topics to help you prepare for the
assignments and for the final exam.
In some modules, you will link from the topic commentary to Activities. There is a wide range of activities
in the course, which you complete individually. They are directly related to particular topics and may
contain Word/PDF files or website components.
Additional study resources
PD Net

PD Net from CGA-Canada: Online Professional Development for
Students and Financial Professionals

Please see the Resources tab for information on PD Net and to access interactive webcasts, video
seminars, articles, and online courses.
Course assessments
The assessments in this course consist of the following:
Assignments: There are four assignments worth a total of 400 marks (100 marks for each
assignment). You submit one assignment after each of Modules 2, 5, 8, and 9. Each assignment
integrates material from previous modules. You prepare your assignment responses in Word and
submit them to your marker in the MS2 Assignment Submission area. For instructions on accessing
and submitting your assignments, see the FAQs in the MS2 Assignment Submission area.
Online discussions: An additional 100 marks are available for your participation in online
discussions in Modules 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 (20 marks in each discussion). You post answers to
questions about various scenarios and cases, review your groups postings, and discuss issues. The
participation mark is an individual mark based on the quality of your contributions and how much
value you add to the discussion. For more information on how to join and participate in discussion
groups, refer to the instructions in the Module 1 online discussion. All postings should be posted by
noon, local time, on the day they are due.
Course examination: As with other senior-level CGA courses, the final examination is four hours
long and is worth 100% of the final grade. An overall average mark of 65% on assignments
(including online discussions) qualifies you to write the national examination.
Important reminder:
For CGA-Canada's policy regarding original work on assignments and discussions, check out the Academic
integrity policy in your MS2 Assignment Submission area.
Recommended study approach
Here is a recommended study approach for each module. You can develop variations on it to suit your
own learning style.
Check the course schedule for an overview of your required reading and assignment
Read the online discussion and assignment material to get an idea of what is required.
Read the online module material and preview the activities.
Read the assigned pages from the text and make your own notes.
Complete each of the activities and make notes.
Complete the self-test questions and check your responses against the solutions.
Throughout the week, participate fully in the online discussion group (Modules 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7
Complete the assignment (Modules 2, 5, 8, and 9 only).
Once you have completed the course and are preparing for the final examination, there are several
resources available for you in this regard. These resources can be found under the Exam Preparation or
Review and Practice tab:
Two practice examinations, which show you the general form of the final examination,
including the types of questions you can expect.
Examination reviews, in the form of recorded lectures, available approximately two weeks
before the course examination.
An examination blueprint, which outlines the primary content areas covered on the
examination, the related learning objectives, the proportion of marks assigned, and the weighting
for different types of questions.
Four of the most recent past exams are available. However, please be aware that the past exams
are NOT updated to the current course material and, as such, you may encounter differences, but
they do provide additional opportunities for practice.
The following is a list of suggested study strategies that has been used by successful CGA students when
preparing for the final exam:
Develop a study schedule for yourself and stick to it. Do not spend too much time studying
material you know well (a quick review of those areas should be sufficient), but rather focus on
material that you found challenging. The bulk of your studying should be done prior to the day
before the exam. Do what you can to avoid/reduce stress, and try and get a good nights sleep
before writing an exam.
Make time to study. For example, study your notes while eating lunch at work. Carry flash cards
with you, and read them while waiting in line-ups or waiting for others to arrive for a meeting.
Listen to the online lectures while doing other tasks. Get up 15 minutes earlier each day and do a
quick review of your notes.
Review the main concepts. Review the theory in the module notes and module summaries, and
prepare your own notes. Understand the underlying rationale for the theory and its application.
Understand the significance of the results of calculations. (What does the number mean? How
should I advise someone based on this result?) Paraphrase key concepts. Prepare a glossary of
terms. Using your own words will help ensure that you really understand the concepts. The idea is
not to memorize or just repeat material from the course, but to understand the material, be able
to make decisions, and think critically.
Identify areas of weakness by reviewing the feedback you have received from your assignment
marker and the results you achieved on quizzes. Read the examiners comments within the past
exams for areas where students did not do well in the past.
Re-do the self-test and assignment questions that presented difficulties for you, but perform
these in an exam-like situation, without any material to rely on.
Use the other resources available to you, such as the multiple-choice practice questions, in-
person lectures and reviews, and the textbook. The more practice questions you can do, the better
prepared you will be. Connect with fellow students, in person or online.
Complete the practice exams under exam conditions (closed book with a time limit and
remember to budget time per question based on marks allocated per question). Compare your
solution to the one provided in the practice exam to spot any areas of weakness. Have a good
understanding as to what is required to earn maximum marks.
Print the introduction
Information Systems Strategy
11th Edition
Author: V. Joseph Compeau and Deborah R. Compeau
Current edition revised by Ken Dafoe
Curriculum Developer: Mary Sharkey
Curriculum Editor: Cameron Johnson
This course is produced in Canada by:
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
100 4200 North Fraser Way
Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada V5J 5K7
CGA-Canada, 2013
All rights reserved. All CGA-Canada intellectual property (textbooks, CD-ROMs, print or digital readings
books, casebooks, and module/lesson notes) or parts thereof may not be sold, scanned, reproduced,
transmitted, sublicensed, distributed, stored, translated, or used in any form or by any graphic,
electronic, or mechanical means without the prior written permission of the Certified General Accountants
Association of Canada (CGA-Canada).
This includes any borrowed third-party copyrighted materials as stated in the Canadian Copyright Act.
Photocopying, scanning, digitizing, distributing on the World Wide Web, and sharing with any other
person or institution via unprotected information networks or information storage and retrieval systems
are prohibited and therefore constitute copyright infringement.
Every reasonable effort has been made to obtain permissions for all articles and data used in this edition.
If errors or omissions have occurred, they will be corrected in future editions, provided written
notification has been received by the publisher.
Both the curriculum and content of this course have been reviewed by the School of Commerce of
Laurentian University, and have been found to meet acceptable standards.