Info I-303 Organizational Informatics
June 10, 2009
Project # 2
This is the project report from evaluating the ModMeters mini-case (Textbook pages 55-57) 1. Synopsis
This case is about a company at the very beginning of some huge expansion initiatives. A feasibility analysis from all departments is just starting to get under way. We will be looking at IT’s role in the analysis, which will include all department’s participation. The departmental executives meet to take account of their current budget needs and to see what departmental initiatives to be instituted to adopt the new strategic plans. 2. Key Issues
1. The company has grown before do meet demand.
2. Strategic initiative 1: Go from North American operations to global operations. 3. The plan involves opening new plants in Asia and Eastern Europe. 4. Some proposed countries lack the infrastructure the operations will require. 5. IT funding within the organization is tightly controlled and hard to get. 6. Strategic initiative 2: Set up direct-to-customer sales. 7. This will place new web driven demands on the company. 8. The current architecture is a large range of technologies, layered on top of each other, that do not work together well. 9. Outside auditors are given new authority and will be demanding new information. 10. The IT budget is cut up with 50% going to support current operations and 30% towards maintenance. The rest of the budget is based on the ROI of the individual departments. Most of which is allotted to manufacturing. 11. For the most part infrastructure and IT architecture needs are ignored with new projects. They are maintained but little else is done for them. 12. The new strategy is focused on growth in new markets and supplying markets quicker with offshore operations. 13. Marketing’s budget will need an increase with the second initiative. 14. A new process of IT planning and budgeting is required. 3. Case Evaluation Strategy that was used
This report looks at a “horizontal” slice of many corresponding issues (refer to Section 5 – later in the report – for further explanation of these issues). Mixing the details of the case with the general issues into a relevant and cogent analysis was the main concern and involved various methods.
a. Setting the Context
The organization does not have enterprise architecture or common vision; IT is departmentalized. Senior management is invited into the board room discussions but only to test the feasibility of the strategies that were decided upon by higher level executives. IT is not integrated into the departments fully instead the departments bring their projects to IT staff for completion. There is recognition of the system’s shortcomings and it is being addressed by the executive team. b. IT Planning Process
After looking at the key points and horizontal slice of the case I prepared a plan that included best practices from the Textbook. Additionally I did some further research to examine the way organizations reached their IT plans. SWOT analysis from my other business course seemed to be an appropriate tool for this kind of task. This case had a lot of issues to sort through and put into order. One major aspect was that the organization as it currently exists lacks many of the fundamental elements that need to be employed before growth can be planned. c. Looking Forward
After finding the major themes I decided to look at aspects that would need to be examined before taking any steps toward the new strategic initiatives. Specifically implementing a GAP analysis is a strong first action towards “putting the house in order”. By looking forward and taking the current IT investments into perspective the organization is better suited to put into operation a better IT architecture and infrastructure. Also linking the projects to business metrics is important. For this I looked at the textbook examples and role-played...