Chapter 8 Understanding the MIS Organization plus an introduction to Extreme Programming Managing and Using Information Systems: A Strategic Approach, 2 nd ed.
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Gartner group definition of the CIO’s role:
“To provide technology vision and leadership for developing and implementing IT initiatives that create and maintain leadership for the enterprise in a constantly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.”
The CIO’s Responsibilities
Championing the organization
Business strategy consultant
Business technology planning
IT infrastructure management
Technology transfer agent
Customer satisfaction management
Business Discontinuity/Disaster Recovery Planning
Nine Essential CIO Skills:
Strong business orientation
Ability to realize benefits & manage costs and risks associated with IT
Ability to bridge gaps between available technologies and business needs
Familiarity with client’s needs
Strong organizational skills
Ability to conceive and build multiple IT projects
Ability to articulate and advocate for a mgmt IT vision
Ability to mesh with existing mgmt structure
Strategic enterprise vision extending beyond IT
Related Job Titles
CKO: Chief Knowledge Officer
CTO: Chief Technology Officer
CTO: Chief Telecommunications Officer
CNO: Chief Network Officer
CRO: Chief Resource Officer
Divisional CIOs/Corporate CIO
Figure 8.1 The CIO’s lieutenants Responsible for processes and practices that insure privacy concerns of customers, employees and vendors are met Chief privacy officer Insures information management practices are consistent with security requirements Chief information security officer Manage outsourcing relationships Chief resource officer Build/maintain internal and external networks Chief network officer Manage phones, networks, and other communications technology across entire enterprise Chief telecommunications officer (CTO) Create knowledge management infrastructure Build a knowledge culture Make corporate knowledge pay off Chief knowledge officer (CKO) Track emerging technologies Advise on technology adoption Design and manage IT architecture to insure consistency and compliance Chief technology officer (CTO) Responsibility Title
Other Information Systems Organizational Roles
Webmaster, Web Designer, Web Developer, etc.
Figure 8.2 IS organization roles Knowledge of interface design Designs interface for web pages Web Designer Knowledge of web trends Responsible for all web activities Webmaster Skills vary depending upon role Help desk, project management and desktop services, etc Developer Monitor and maintain hardware and software Run, monitor and maintain the production applications Support Personnel Knowledge of database management systems, etc Implements/maintains software and hardware needed Operations Personnel Knowledge of database management systems, etc Implements and maintains the software/hardware Database Administrator Understands core business requirements Translates business requirements into implementable IT solutions Business Analyst Programming abilities, cross-technology knowledge, etc Writes new software applications; Upgrades and maintains existing systems System Developer Understands both business and technology Implements strategy; leads systems implementation projects IS Manager Job Description Job Description Job Title
Figure 8.3 Sample IS Organizational Chart CIO CKO CTO CNO Other IS Managers GM System Devs. Bus. Analysts DB Admins. Support Personnel
IS Organization Processes
Data Center Operations
Information Management and Database Administration
Internet Services and Web-based Systems Development
New Technology Introduction
What to Expect from IS
Anticipating New technologies
Architecture and Standards
Human Resource Management
Anticipating New Technologies…
Business and IS staff must work closely to evaluate which technologies can best advance the business strategy.
It is the job of the IS department to scout new technology trends and help the business integrate them into planning and operations in terms of the following
Architecture and Standards
Business Continuity Planning
Human Resource Management
Most IS activities fall within the above categories, however, business managers can also anticipate the user management activities shown in the next slide
Steps in Anticipating New Technologies:
What IS doesn’t do…
There is still a need for management to partner with IS to make sure business goals and needs are met.
General managers generally set the business strategy, not IS professionals.
Since the 1970s, IT managers have turned to outsourcing as an important weapon in the battle to control costs.
Outsourcing means the purchase of a good or service that was previously provided internally – with IT outsourcing an outside vendor provides IT services traditionally provided by the internal MIS department.
Over the years, however, motives for outsourcing have changed.
Factors driving outsourcing
Qualified IT staff are difficult to find and retain
By bringing in outside expertise, management needs to focus less on IS operations and more on the information itself.
Outsourcers are specialists, should understand how to manage IS staff more effectively.
Outsourcers may have larger IS resources that provide greater capacity on demand.
Outsourcing can help a company overcome inertia to consolidate data centers that could not be consolidated by an internal group, or following a merger or acquisition.
Figure 8.6 Drivers and disadvantages of outsourcing Abdication of control High switching costs Lack of tech. innovation Loss of strategic advantage Reliance on outsourcer Problems with security/confidentiality Evaporization of cost savings Offer cost savings Ease transition to new technologies Offer better strategic focus Provide better management of IS staff Handle peaks Consolidate data centers Infuse cash Disadvantages Drivers
Avoiding Outsourcing Pitfalls
Don’t focus solely on price
Use life-cycle service contracts that occur in stages
Establish short-term supplier contracts
Use multiple, best of breed suppliers
Develop skills in contract management
Thoroughly evaluate outsourcers capabilities
Choose an outsourcer whose capabilities complement yours.
Base choice on a cultural fit as well as expertise
Determine if outsourcing relationship produces a net benefit for your company
Centralized vs. Decentralized Organizational Structures
Centralized : reduces duplication since resources under one control and, often, in one location.
Decentralized : creates flexibility because resources not in the same location or control
“ Federalism ” combines centralization with decentralization.
Bethlehem Steel allows major business units (plants) to decentralize and operate independently while
Levi-Strauss centralized to minimize the duplication of resources and save on costs.
Centralized vs. Decentralized Approaches
Bethlehem Steel has taken a decentralized approach, which mirrors their decentralized business strategy as its managers believed that computing power and decision-making should be located within local business units
Levi Strauss adopted a centralized strategy as it wanted to gain better control over strategic IT resources, minimize duplication across its business, and maximize sharing of scarce resources
How does the management of IT differ when the scope is global, rather than local?
Large global MIS organizations face many of the same organizational issues as any other global department.
For IS, a number of issues arise that put the business at risk beyond the typical global considerations. Table 8.12 summarizes how a global IT perspective affects six information management issues.
Figure 8.12 Global Considerations for the MIS Organization For example: Brazil Data, especially private or personal data, is not allowed to cross some borders. Data Flow across Borders Exporting it to some countries, especially those who are not political allies is not possible Some technologies cannot be exported or imported into specific countries Sourcing Using images or artifacts may be insulting to another culture IT systems must not offend or insult those of a different culture Cultural Differences Concern when crossing boarders is will data center be available when/if needed When crossing borders, it is important to make sure that contingency plans are in place Business Continuity Planning SAP-R3 can be used to support production processes but only if installed Domestically, an IT network can be end-to-end with little effort compared to global networks Transparency India, a country that faces conflict with Pakistan How risky is investment in a country with an unstable government ? Political Stability Example Global IT Perspective Issue
Going Offshore for IS Development
Countries such as India, the Philippines, etc, offer “offshoring”, an alternative to in-house systems development
Many Indian enterprises, for example, are well known for their use of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Level 5 software development processes, making them extremely reliable, and ultimately desirable as vendors
The types of tasks that are outsourced are usually those that can be well-specified
It raises the issue of what to send offshore, and what to keep within your enterprise MIS organization.
Companies engaged in or considering offshoring express concern about …
quality of the work performed,
unexpected costs, and
not developing skills in-house
and now for something completely different… Extreme Programming
Extreme Programming (XP)
A disciplined approach to software development
Good for risky projects with dynamic requirements
Emphasizes customer involvement and teamwork
Deliver software to customer asap and implement changes as suggested
When to Use XP
When customer does not have firm idea of requirements
When functionality is expected to change in short-term
When the time-line is compressed and risk is higher
The XP Approach
Set up for small teams of programmers – between 2 and 12
Cannot use XP on a project with a huge staff
Must be able to create automated unit and functional tests
The XP Team
Developers (work in pairs)
XP: User Stories
Customers create stories to describe functionality needed
Drive creation of acceptance tests for verification
Developers estimate how long each story will take to implement
XP: Release Planning Meetings
RPM used to create a release plan
Release plan used to create iteration plans
Project velocity = estimates of user stories completed in the last iteration
XP: Iteration Planning
Each iteration is 1 – 3 weeks long
User stories are broken down into programming tasks
Each task should be 1 – 3 days in duration
Use project velocity to determine if the iteration is overbooked
Adds agility to the process
XP: Lessons Learned
Customer is always available
Move people around
Avoid adding unnecessary functionality
Follow coding standards
SSL – the Web standard
SET – a consortia standard favored by financial institutions
Digital signatures – provide authenticity
Firewalls – come in different flavors
S ecure S ockets L ayer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet .
SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL, and many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers.
By convention, URLs that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http :.
Supports non-repudiation for merchant only!
S ecure E lectronic T ransaction, a standard that will enable secure credit card transactions on the Internet . SET has been endorsed by virtually all the major players in the electronic commerce arena, including Microsoft , Netscape , Visa, and Mastercard.
By employing digital signatures , SET will enable merchants to verify that buyers are who they claim to be. And it will protect buyers by providing a mechanism for their credit card number to be transferred directly to the credit card issuer for verification and billing without the merchant being able to see the number.
Supports non-repudiation for both buyer and merchant