Sample Case Study on Consolidating IT Operations

Consolidating IT Operations

Question 1: Seeking to stretch their budgets in a tough economic environment, IT managers are subjecting every technology purchase to rigorous scrutiny and looking for every opportunity to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). Given this mandate, how important is it for an enterprise to keep up with version changes in desktop operating systems? If most employees of a large company were using Windows 2000 or Windows 7, for example, would you recommend upgrading everyone to Window 8.1? Why? Why not? Would you answer differently for a small business as opposed to a large one?

Answer: Total cost of ownership is the overall price in terms of money, time and resources that are used in the ownership and usage of software. Decision makers scrutinize every software before eventually buying it. Windows operating systems are usually upgraded to encompass some features that maybe are not present in the previous softwares.their prices are usually higher than the preceding operating systems (Feria & Nunn, 2006).

The preceding software maybe cheap and easy to maintain in terms of training, outsourcing and staffing, but in discussing the TCO (Feria & Nunn, 2006), one is not only tied to the cost of that software to the business but also on how that particular software is going to enhance productivity, improve customer service. In short, the decision makers would want to consider return on investment and the internal rate of return of that software.

Since upgrading everyone in a large company would require extra money to fund their training, it is not advisable to upgrade every employee from windows 2000 or window7 to window 8.1.Windows 8.1 can be left to the few employees who are assigned specialized jobs. It is advisable for the small firms with few employees to upgrade to window 8.1 as it would not require a lot of money in training of staff and would be more efficient (Feria & Nunn, 2006).

Question 2: Think about the following: Governors in some states may be moving away from centralizing information technology functions, which can endanger the integrity of IT investments, according to the National Governors Association (NGA) in the summer of 2005. Several current and former CIOs interviewed said states are no longer using consolidated IT management strategies. For example, Connecticut announced it would scrub a previous administration’s plan to centralize IT operation under the state’s technology department. Are the CIO’s managing the Governors’ expectations? What is your take on centralizing or consolidating IT functions for entities as large as a state government? What are the advantages or disadvantages? Would your answer be different for smaller enterprises?

Answer: The chief information officers are not managing Governors expectations as none of these operations can be done without the support of the public. The future of IT operations is after all, headed towards consolidation of information. Consolidation of IT operations would lead to streamlined, more efficient state operations. The state would be able to save money that would have been used in setting up and managing the decentralized unit (Bloomfield & Coombs, 1992).consolidation of information was the idea behind computer usage. Any organization that uses computer, no matter its size should strive to consolidate its IT operations, as this would improve efficiency within the organization.

Question 3: IT strategic management policies and procedures are meant to ensure that critical systems stay current, reliable, secure, and that they perform as needed. Within the large corporate enterprise, the road to structured IT management is littered with challenges and roadblocks. Organizations are increasingly dependent upon IT to sustain and improve the business. To meet these objectives, it is critical that IT delivers operational excellence by simultaneously demonstrating added value. Has the organization in which you work experienced challenges or roadblocks to the goal of maintaining critical systems? Why or why not? Are the issues usually economic, political, and security-related?

Answer: In the modern times, CIOs are faced with the challenges of keeping up with the ever-emerging technologies, which interfere with the laid down strategies. The CIOs are also faced with the challenge of balancing the strategic priorities and the demands of regulation in the information sector. Another challenge is where and how to find the right talents who will inspire innovations within an organization (Emily, 2014).

Another challenge in the IT operations is the lack of enough time. There are so many emerging technologies and no time to test all of them to be able to find the most suitable one (Emily, 2014).Most of these challenges cut across political, economical and security related dimensions.

Question 4: COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology), the latest ISO 17799:2005, which focuses on security and effective security planning, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, now required by the SEC for all publicly traded companies, has impacted the way CIOs modify their strategic plans. Has the IT environment in your organization been impacted by these or similar regulatory events? What role do you think the government should play in regulating the IT environment of private enterprise?

Answer: COBIT has helped organizations to keep the their objectives on track as it has ensured a controlled IT system environment (Lainhart IV, 2000).it has also provided tools to enable communication with management and has bridged the gap among the technical needs and business risks. Organizations use COBIT as the benchmark document. The government should therefore ensure that even the private entities; use COBIT as the framework policy for information technology (Lainhart IV, 2000).

Question 5: As IT systems become an important competitive element in many industries, technology projects are getting larger, touching more parts of the organization, and posing a risk to the company if something goes wrong. Please discuss following questions. IT projects are what is the relationship between the systems development process and IT project management? How do managers fit into the systems development and project management processes?

Answer: For any project management to succeed, the system developed must lead to improved functionality, improve quality, decrease the cost of maintenance, and lead to improved documentation. The system must also improve the morale of staff within the IT department and lastly, it must help the Project in achieving its goals (Jiang, Klein, Hwang, Huang, & Hung, 2004). Role of managers would include decision making on the best system that would be of huge benefit to an organizations project (Jiang, Klein, Hwang, Huang, & Hung, 2004).The managers have the role of assessing the progress and quality of development of systems that would be used in various projects within an organization. Managers also evaluate the outcomes of using a particular system in any organization’s project

 

 

References

Bloomfield, B. P., & Coombs, R. (1992). Information technology, control, and power: the centralization and decentralization debate revisited. Journal of Management Studies, 29(4), 459-459.

Emily, M. (2014, June 6).Top CIOs reveal their biggest information technology issues. Searchtarget. Retrieved from

http://searchcio.techtarget.com/photostory/2240222217/Top-CIOs-reveal-their-biggest-information-technology-issues/5/So-much-promising-technology-so-little-time#contentCompress

Feria, J., & Nunn, S. (2006). U.S. Patent No. 7,020,621. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Jiang, J. J., Klein, G., Hwang, H. G., Huang, J., & Hung, S. Y. (2004). An exploration of the relationship between software development process maturity and project performance. Information & Management, 41(3), 279-288

Lainhart IV, J. W. (2000). COBIT™: A methodology for managing and controlling information and information technology risks and vulnerabilities. Journal of Information Systems, 14(s-1), 21-25.