Managing Global Systems
After reading this chapter, you will be able to answer the following questions: 1. What major factors are driving the internationalization of business? 2. What are the alternative strategies for developing global businesses? 3. How can information systems support different global business strategies? 4. What are the challenges posed by global information systems and management solutions for these challenges? 5. What are the issues and technical alternatives to be considered when developing international information systems?
15.1 THE GROWTH OF INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS Developing an International Information Systems Architecture The Global Environment: Business Drivers and Challenges State of the Art 15.2 ORGANIZING INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS Global Strategies and Business Organization Global Systems to Fit the Strategy Reorganizing the Business 15.3 MANAGING GLOBAL SYSTEMS A Typical Scenario: Disorganization on a Global Scale Global Systems Strategy The Management Solution: Implementation 15.4 TECHNOLOGY ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS Computing Platforms and Systems Integration Connectivity Software Localization 15.5 HANDS-ON MIS PROJECTS Management Decision Problems Achieving Operational Excellence: Building a Job Database and Web Page for an International Consulting Firm Improving Decision Making: Conducting International Marketing and Pricing Research
Fonterra: Managing the World’s Milk Trade How Cell Phones Support Economic Development
STICKY FILM AND SCRATCHY THINGS THAT SELL AROUND THE WORLD
M is a diversified technology company with a global presence. Its products are available in 200 countries, it has operations in 62 counties, and it produces over 55,000 products. In 2009, the company generated $23.1 billion in revenue, down from $25.6 billion (8 percent) in 2008 as the global recession slowed business activity. The company employs 76,000 people. 3M, headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the poster-child for global American firms: 63 percent of its revenue comes from offshore sales (14.6 billion), and 58 percent of its employees are international. 3M’s core competencies historically have been sticky films and scratchy papers (sandpaper), and, since its founding in 1902, has continuously demonstrated through new products just how much the world depends on these competencies. 3M is organized into six largely independent divisions: Industrial and Transportation (tapes, abrasives, and adhesives); Health Care (surgical tapes to dental inserts); Consumer and Office (furnace filters to Post-it notes and Scotchbrite pads); Safety, Security, and Protection Services (respirators to Thinsulite insulation and RFD equipment); Display and Graphics (LCD monitors to highway reflective tape) ; and Electro and Communications (insulating materials to disk drive lubricants). 3M is among the leading manufacturers of products for many of the markets it serves. With such a large global presence, with many of its foreign operations the results of purchases, the company was until recently a collection of legacy applications spread across the globe. 3M inherited the hardware and software of acquired companies, from the shop floor, to supply chain, sales, office, and reporting systems. Even where 3M expanded organically by moving into new countries, each of the six divisions, and thousands of their smaller operations, developed their own information and reporting systems with very little corporate, global oversight. As one manager noted, if 3M continued to operate its business with an accumulation of disaggregated solutions, the company would not be able to efficiently operate in the current recession, or support future growth. In 2008, 3M began a series of restructurings of its operations, including a review of its global systems. In 2010, 3M adopted SAP’s Business Suite Applications...