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Student ID: 09242681
Module Code: 3COM0100/130
University of Hertfordshire Faculty of Science, Technology and Creative Arts
ASSIGNMENT BRIEFING FRONT SHEET (2002/10 Academic Year)
Assignment D1 ± µDeveloping Information Title Systems/Information Technology (IS/IT)
26 April 2010
Module Module Title
Strategic Information Systems Planning and Management (SISPM On-line)
Sandra Folgate/Mike Pickup
GROUP or INDIVIDUAL Assignment
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organisations will be encouraged to be more innovative with value added products and services. This strategy is usually underpinned by an organisation¶s strategic business objective as this defines the actions that would be taken to assure competitive advantage and ensure future sustainability (Ward and Peppard. This paper aims to discuss the possible reasons for this and the purpose for organisations adopting some form of methodology for IS/IT strategy development. One such reason is that. This in itself is vital to the future existence of the business. 1 . Some strategies are successfully implemented while others are not. 2002). If they are unable to adapt to change via an IT/IS strategy.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 Developing Information Systems / Information Technology (IS/IT) Strategies Introduction Information Systems and Information Technology have now become a central and pertinent driving force in the business world of today. µan IS/IT Strategy is a structured framework designed to bring together the information systems needs and the enabling technologies to satisfy those needs¶. The business environment is continuously evolving and with it brings new challenges and opportunities that organisations must be prepared to face. organisations aim to create and maintain competitive advantage within their relevant market through the leveraging of IS/IT (Ward and Peppard. 2002). organisations within all sectors decide to develop an IS/IT strategy for various reasons. Support for this strategy should come from all facets of an organisation. Reasons for IS/IT Strategy Development According to SM Thacker & Associates (2008). This would be beneficial not only on their end in terms of profit potential but also on the customer side in terms of new products and services. There are various reasons as to why and what type of IS/IT strategy may be developed by an organisation. the continued existence of the organisation could be threatened. In an aim to be µmarket agile¶. In light of this. Virtually all forward thinking organisations have some form of long term survival strategy in place.
2002). This can be exemplified by Schneider National¶s implementation of a robust GPS tracking and scheduling systems allowing them to manage their fleet more efficiently. Further evaluation of these strategies can then be used to finalise the best course of action to carry an organisation forward. with this flexible system. their full support is crucial to any strategy development and implementation. Barriers to Successful IS/IT Development and Adoption As hinted previously. not all IS/IT strategies succeed. This can be due to a number of reasons. Their support is also usually required in order for other staff members within the organisation to come on board with the plan. They effectively used risk management coupled with a team of skilled individuals on the steering committee. bring the business any value strategically. to them. Important information pertaining to the proposed strategic system at hand may not be properly 2 . Teo and Ang (2001) who also subscribed to this view went further to add that lack of communication and resistance to incoming change can also be another major barrier. emanated from top management. organisations desire to streamline work processes through the use of cost effective yet scalable technology and systems that are ready for future developments (Ward and Peppard. It was found in Lederer and Mendelow¶s (1987) study that the primary problem preventing IS strategy development and implementation. This could not have been achieved without them first identifying and understanding their core competencies and business processes. Upper management sometimes see IS/IT as being just another cost area that may not.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 Organisations may also wish to systematically leverage the relevant resources and skills required to successfully implement IS/IT within the organisation (Ward and Peppard. Additionally. Since they are the ones who are responsible for delegating time and resources. This could be done through the analysis of accurate company information which can be used to identify the potential strategies to follow. during the planning and development process. a chemical manufacturer successfully implemented the SAP R/3 ERP solution in order to better manage their resources and processes. 2002). Dead Sea Works. This therefore allowed them to successfully implement their ERP system ahead of schedule.
In order for an organisation to begin developing their collection of CSFs it is important for them to observe the CSFs that already exist within the industry in which they operate. This was one of the problems faced by The London Stock Exchange¶s Taurus project. Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and the IS/IT Strategy Development Process During the IS/IT development process. This along with other issues resulted in the project¶s failure. Doing so will provide any developing organisation with some base on which to develop upon. the decision makers lost sight of the true purpose of the system and began changing requirements to have a system to do everything for everybody. During its course. if they are satisfactory. CSFs refer to ³the limited number of areas in which results. their resistance to change will result in the IS strategy failing as well. As defined by Rockhart (1979). These industry standard CSFs would then be used as a guide to engineer the relevant organisational objectives for a business. One should note that an organisation¶s CSFs should only be defined when the overall organisational objectives have been determined and set (Ward and Peppard. Once 3 . Since operational staff will be the users of the new system. the use of a critical success factor approach during this period can be extremely beneficial to organisations. It should be noted that IT/IS strategies usually fail to materialise not by just any one of these barriers alone. Another main barrier is that the strategy in itself may become misaligned with the business objectives. will ensure successful competitive performance for the organisation.´ Additionally. CSFs can be used for defining business objectives and for identifying the actions or lower level CSFs that must be met to ensure that the larger objectives are achieved. This will result in the implementation of the wrong system that does not meet the business requirements. that there may be some commonality in terms of what these CSFs may be. 2002).Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 communicated to relevant parties. but rather as a result of these and other barriers that may be faced. since the systems will not be used as intended. It should be noted though. Organisations within all industries have their own set of defined CSFs.
and discussing ways in which they can be improved. 4 . A common understanding of these areas among members.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 done. Each manager will have their units¶ mandated objectives and it will be their responsibility to develop their own managerial CSFs. these newly set objectives can then be used to develop the organisation¶s custom tailored organisational CSFs. there will be cases where CSF consolidation will be required as there will be instances where the CSFs will repeat themselves in the objectives of the various SBUs (Ward and Peppard. 2002). will allow them to identify the information requirements and information systems that would be needed. The CSFs of each functional unit needs be aligned to the organisation¶s overall objectives. it is vital that each functional manager come to a consensus as to the CSFs for the IS/IT strategy. Adopting a IS/IT strategy development framework involves gaining support from both management and staff with regards to the proposed framework and plan at hand. Additionally. There will be a need to prioritise CSFs so that more energy can be placed upon the more important factors first. It should be noted that successfully following this or any other relevant framework is in itself a CSF. They will need to ensure that their CSFs are still aligned to the overall organisational objective and business strategy. in order to support and fulfil the organisation¶s strategic business objectives. In order to develop an effective IS/IT strategy it is necessary to apply a framework during the development process for example. This will involve identifying critical business processes. the Business Critical Computing Decisions (BCCD) framework. (See appendix A) The newly formed organisational CSFs will then become the basis for setting the functional objectives for each strategic business unit (SBU) within the organisation. In the context of the IS/IT strategy. Organisations can incorporate CSFs within this BCCD framework. These success factors will go towards defining the managers¶ objectives for each business unit. The IS/IT strategy amongst other business unit strategies are determined at this level. The aim of this discussion is to gain a sound understanding of the organisation¶s core competencies and critical functional areas of the business processes. This support can be gained via group discussions among management and staff of the functional units pertaining to the organisation¶s direction.
This means members from all functional hierarchical levels (Ward and Peppard 2002). SBU objectives and more importantly.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 The CSFs that were formulated as a result of defining the SBU objectives. Their influence can also be used to win support from the other staff throughout the organisation (Ward and Peppard. will also serve as part of the guiding force in determining the direction in which the IS/IT strategy must go in order to remain aligned to these objectives. With the functional managers being able to review these activities against the CSFs they will be in a better position to assess whether the activities are still aligned to the newly defined IS/IT strategy. All the activities that need to be carried out to ensure the IS/IT strategy¶s success. It can be seen that it is vital for any forward thinking organisation to have some form of direction when it comes to IS/IT strategy development. as well as function as a guide towards the realisation of the overall IS/IT strategy. can assist in defining core IS requirements further. all levels of management. They are the ones with the power to approve budgets & plans as well as allocate resources to proposed strategies. from initial concept to implementation. This encompasses firstly. would now be carried out with the CSFs in mind. This constant review will allow organisations to reevaluate their situation and effectively modify their IS/IT requirements as needed to ensure constant alignment. They are the primary group of individuals that will need to agree or come to the conclusion that an IS/IT strategy should be developed to ensure sustained future survival. They are the ones that will be defining the strategic business objectives and as such. 2002). Aside from this. it should be noted from the outset that everyone within the organisation should be involved in the IS/IT strategy development process. Involvement in the IS/IT Strategy Development Process The IS strategy team is responsible for guiding the whole IS/IT strategy development process. 5 . the overall business objectives. The application of a relevant framework and incorporating critical success factors with it would ensure that a superior IS/IT strategy can be envisioned that is truly aligned to the business objectives.
this could even be considered as a form of CSF to IS/IT strategy development. They are heavily influenced many external forces. the general direction that the organisation should pursue in the long term.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 The aforementioned sentence provides the backdrop for the second group that should be involved in the strategy process. It is due to this fact that external stakeholders could also be involved in this strategy development process. The information and insight gleaned could then be amalgamated with the internal stakeholders mentioned earlier so that an effective strategy framework could be developed and followed. Staff being on board with the strategy will make the process of change management easier. 6 . Staff input will foster a greater sense of ownership since they will be responsible in some way for developing a IS/IT strategy framework. These groups would be the ones to define in some way. Their view could be ascertained by various means such as market analysis. It is important that they be involved in the strategy process since they are the ones that will make it happen. surveys. AGMs etc. Their input at strategy planning discussions can give other members a clearer idea of how things are truly operated at their level as well as the ways in which business processes could be improved. This would mean a work environment that encourages free communication from all levels and a smoother transitional process. Organisations do not exist within a corporate bubble. Employees of the organisation encompass those that fulfil business objectives on the operational level. suppliers and even external shareholders. These individuals may include customers. Once done successfully.
2002. p.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 Appendix A Figure 1.0 Objectives and their relationship to CSFs (Ward and Peppard.210) 7 .
value chain analysis³[Online] http://tutor2u.htm [Accessed 4 April 2010] Cortex. (200-) ³Examples of IT Project failure´ [Online] http://www.smthacker.) ³Strategy . T. 1987. Wood-Harper.practicallaw. Ang (2001) ³An examination of major IS planning problems´.org/server.co.H.com.457-470 M.htm [Accessed 4 April 2010] 8 .com/Examples_f. ³Chief executives define their own information needs´.S. MIS Quarterly. Vol. No. p. (200. Mendelow (1987) ³Information Resource Planning: Overcoming difficulties in identifying top management objectives´. 21.19584 [Accessed 5 April 2010] tutor2u. p. ³Cases on Information Technology Planning. Rockart (1979). 3. Lederer. A. 3rd Edition. J. John Wiley & Sons Ltd J.uk/IS_IT_strategy_software_selection. Teo. International Journal of Information Management.F.com/1-100-3790 [Accessed 5 April 2010] J.com. McManus.L. Ward and J.net. 11. Vol. Idea Group Publishing SM Thacker and Associates.K.htm [Accessed 4 April 2010] practicallaw. 2001.389-399 T. (1993) ³Taurus: Learning lessons from failure´ [Online] http://www.bcs. Peppard (2002). Havard Business Review. ³Strategic Planning for Information Systems´. (2008) ³Determining your IT needs selecting software and implementing it´ [Online] http://www. (2010) ³A Study in Project failure´ [Online] http://www. Khosrow-Pour (2006). Design and Implementation (Cases on Information Technology Series)´.php?show=ConWebDoc.itcortex.L.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 Bibliography J. March-April 1979.net/business/strategy/value_chain_analysis.S. 81-92 A.
anu.Name: Wesley Gervais Student ID: 09242681 Module Code: 3COM0100/130 D. Hart.edu.fec. (2006) ³The Downside of Strategic Information Systems´ [Online] http://teaching.au/BUSN8205/Wk7-DownsideOfSISs.pdf [Accessed 6 April 2010] 9 .