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  • 1. Managing Information: Information Technology Architecture Infsy 540 Dr. R. Ocker
  • 2. Strategy
    • What is a business strategy?
  • 3. Strategy
    • What is the relationship between IT and the business strategy?
  • 4. managers’ dilemma
    • managers’ dilemma:
    • cannot leave important IT decisions to computer professionals to make alone, but managers are not technically competent to make the “right” decisions without technologists
  • 5. managers’ dilemma
    • dilemma resolved by developing an information technology architecture
      • bridge between strategy and technology
      • defines a company’s IT infrastructure
      • includes policies and guidelines that govern the IT resources
        • computers, data, software, communications facilities
  • 6. Link IS plan to business plan
    • Linkage achieved if
      • corporate business plan states information needs
      • IS plan refers to requirements of business plan & is checked against plan
      • non-IS managers participate in IS planning process and vice versa
      • corporate & IS planning calendars are in synch
  • 7. Strategy
    • IT must support the business strategy
    • 3 dimensions of support
      • content
      • timing
      • people involved in planning process
  • 8. Information Technology Architecture
    • provides a structure to facilitate decision making about technology investment and use
  • 9. Architecture is the metaphor
    • Architecture is the metaphor - building IT infrastructure
    • to build a skyscraper:
      • owner starts with vision of building
      • works with architect who translates vision into a plan
  • 10. Architecture is the metaphor
    • builders uses plan to construct building
    • owner does not have expertise in structural engineering, but must have clear ideas of what and how the building will be used.
    • Must understand some basics of design in order to communicate vision to the architect.
  • 11. Architecture is the metaphor
    • to build an IT architecture:
    • executives start with a vision of “doing business”
      • vision has certain implications for information requirements
    • don’t have technical computer expertise
    • do have clear idea of business strategy
    • must communicate this to IT architect/planner
  • 12. Architecture is the metaphor
    • general managers must be able to effectively integrate IT into their vision for the organization’s competitive strategy
  • 13. Components of an IT Architecture
    • 1. Information technology inventory
    • 2. Functional use of the IT
    • 3. Strategic plan for the IT
  • 14. 1. Information technology inventory
    • answers the question “what do we have?”
    • basic building blocks of an IT architecture
      • hardware
      • software
      • data
      • communications links
  • 15. 1.Information technology inventory
    • this level is the “hard” technology from which most general managers are far removed
    • general manager should have a basic familiarity with computer systems to bridge the gap between his/her world and that of the IT architect;
    • IT architect must have a good understanding of the business and the organization
  • 16. 2. Functional use of the IT
    • answers the question “how do we use it?”
    • baseline blueprint - IT components and functions already in place
    • planned blueprint - prescription for future IT investments and designs
    • general manager and IT architect communicate on this conceptual level
    • 3 functional categories: applications, data and communications
  • 17. 3. Strategic plan for the IT
    • past - general managers were unfamiliar with technology and delegated IT architecture decisions to “gurus”
    • however, these experts in technology often had little knowledge of business strategies
    • now - can’t afford this approach; technology too expensive and too important
    • business strategy must drive IT architecture strategy
  • 18. Developing an IT Architecture
    • designing and building an architecture is an ongoing business process
    • goal - to reach consensus between the IS organization and the business leaders - not easy to do
  • 19. Developing an IT Architecture Steps:
    • 1. articulate business strategy and implications for IT architecture
    • start from the top with the overall business strategy and its functional IT requirements
    • 2. baseline the company architecture
    • baseline blueprint - assess existing IT
    • bottom-up approach
  • 20. Developing an IT Architecture Steps:
    • 3. determine key architecture questions
    • outline set of questions to be answered, such as:
      • what technologies do we have?
      • are these the right technologies?
      • how does the current architecture support our business?
      • are we getting a strategic advantage from our architecture?
  • 21. Developing an IT Architecture Steps:
    • then look into the future to the planned blueprint:
      • in what technologies should we invest?
      • how should it be structured?
      • how will it give us a competitive advantage?
      • should we outsource any functions?
      • etc.
  • 22. Developing an IT Architecture Steps:
    • 4. design a planned architecture blueprint
    • decide what the architecture should be
  • 23. Developing an IT Architecture Steps:
    • 5. initiate the architecture plan
    • two approaches - revolutionary vs. evolutionary
    • revolution - radical replacement of old technology
    • evolution - new technology layered on top of existing infrastructure; old systems gradually replaced over time
  • 24. Understand? Questions?