IS 535 Information Technology Investment Financial Analysis

Ellis Confer

Spring 2019-2020
Class number: 30515
Section number: 901
Tu 5:45PM - 9:00PM


This course focuses on the application of financial analysis and decision-making approaches to aid information technology investment decision-making at the operational, project, tactical and strategic levels.  Students will learn how to apply a variety of financial analysis methods as decision support tools when applied to various IT investment scenarios. The analytic decision support techniques to be examined will include breakeven analysis, present value analysis, internal rate of return (IRR), and return on investment (ROI). The course will also cover additional decision support processes, methods, and practices such as cost-benefit analysis, outsourcing, balanced scorecard, multi-factor scoring, and benchmarking.


Reading and other reference materials will be posted on the course website on D2L at No textbooks are required.


The student's final grade will be based on a weighted average of the exam score, the project (including the project report and final presentation), the paper, class projects and class participation. Weights are as follows:

HW/Project Assignments 35%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%
Class Participation 5%

Grades will be determined as follows:
92% - 100% A;
90% - 91% A-;
87% - 89% B+;
80% - 86% B;
77% - 79% B-;
70% - 76% C;
67% - 69% C-;
60% - 66% D;
0 % - 60% F.

Specific class participation activities for DL students will be outlined during each relevant session.

Learning Outcomes

The following are the minimum course objectives and expected outcomes from the course.

  • Students will be able to articulate and explain IT investment objectives and associated value propositions.
  • Students will be able to assess and evaluate the various decision analysis techniques used to determine the cost-effective investment decisions and their anticipated quantitative return on investment.
  • Students will learn various investment analysis techniques that will better prepare them to understand the rudiments of managing IT capital budgets, acquiring system and application technology, building a cost-effective team of skilled personnel, and procuring professional service resources that may be required to support expansion of business enterprise and IT capabilities.


Class Policies

1. No makeup exams will be given.

2. Homework assignments must be turned in on time on the day of class when the assignment is due via D2L or as instructed per the assignment's posted requirements. Late assignments will be docked two letter grades if turned in during the first week after the initial due date. Thereafter, late homework responses will be docked an additional letter grade for each week that the assignment response is turned in late.

For example, an assignment response that was turned in within the first week beyond the initial due date will receive a grade of 'C'if the on-time response had been appraised to have garnered a grade of 'A'. For each week thereafter when the assignment was turned in, the 'C' grade will be reduced by another letter grade.

- Introduction to IT Investment Financial Analysis
- Class Policies, Administration & Syllabus Review
- IT Finance Defined & IT Investment Decision Options
- Calculating IT Costs & Cost Management Fundamentals

For the remainder of the sessions, please refer to the syllabus made available at the first class session and subsequently available via the class website.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296