Analysis of Pirelli's Drive Toward a Global Strategy2
Range of Methods Available4
The Systems Development Life Cycle5
Issues raised by the case study8
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Information System for its Users9 Control9
Health and safety10
Analysis of Pirelli's Drive Toward a Global Strategy
Arrigo Andreoni, Pirelli's corporate director of information, believes that in order to keep up with the erratic nature of the global economy Pirelli's worldwide Information Technology (IT) infrastructure needs to be redesigned and standardized. The Pirelli group initially had not incorporated a global IT infrastructure hence they had not established international standards. The information systems within individual units were developed locally and operated independent of each other. Consequently this decentralization and lack of integration made data sharing across national borders difficult, tainting effective management and strategic decision-making.
This inefficient IT infrastructure may be the reason Pirelli has suffered a dynamic reduction in revenue, other influences may be the consistent rise of competition and the introduction of new technologies (See Appendix A.1). As a result, managements goals are returning the company to its accustomed level of profitability, their objectives; focus on core products, cut costs, improve competitiveness by developing new technologies and improving response to customer demands (See Appendix A.2).
The IT reform is to support the Information Systems at all levels of the company and to allow sufficient information flows among all units regardless of location so corporate management will have immediate access to the information they need to carry out their executive planning and management functions (See Appendix A.3) i.e. Pirelli seeks to promote a multinational strategy, whereby the headquarters in Milan, Italy would act as the central home base that concentrates on financial management and overall control while there would be decentralization of Production, Sales and Marketing operations to the units in the other countries.
To develop this fully-fledged networked a UNIX server would be used to link each unit in each country to the headquarters in Milan. The use of this server should allow the rapid flow of information from one location to the next with a clear connectivity. Pirelli has to take into account the high costs and low quality of European inter-country communication, which leads to poor communication between sites. Pirelli also has to take into account that European standard for networking and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) are very industrial and country specific i.e. banks in Europe use the SWIFT protocol for international fund transfers, whereas the United States use the ANSI standard for EDI. The systems in both locations will be incompatible and hence weak exchange of information. This therefore will not conform to Pirelli's corporate strategy.
To facilitate a standardized infrastructure in which all units would be integrated, SAP's R/3, a client-server-based Enterprise Resource Planning system that includes integrated modules for most business functions would be the projects centerpiece. Andreoni decided that this software would be best effective in responding to the company's corporate strategy. By introducing SAP R/3 in the various countries, the company moves closer to achieving corporate objectives due to the eventual availability of information from all its locations worldwide.
Range of Methods Available
To satisfactorily develop Pirelli's global network Andreoni is responsible for using his expertise to decide on the most appropriate method of development. In doing so, the systems development should undergo a more structured and precise formation.