Information Systems Analysis and Design
Answer all the questions. The answer should not exceed one page for each question. Each question is worth 10 points.
The circumstances described reflect situations where the desired sensible processes are not being followed by the participants. The challenge is to analyze the situation, decide what in your view is the best approach, and then describe a method to convince the individual or the organization to follow your suggestion. This will require you to describe the expected benefits of following the correct processes.
- You were invited by the president of an insurance company for a consultation. The president told you that she had the following problem: The head of the life insurance department wanted to provide a new service to their customers. As the life insurance manager explained, this new service would be very beneficial for the customers. He was sure that by providing this service, they would be able to keep their current customers happy, and acquire many new customers as well. If this new service were not provided, their competitors may exploit this opportunity, and the company may lose business and lose their position as the leader in the life insurance industry. In order to provide this service, a new information system would need to be developed and the mobility hardware for processing would need to be provided. The information systems manager’s response to the president was that the required development was expensive and a significant workload. The information systems manager dismissed the request, claiming that the head of the life insurance department did not know what was required and what was needed to maintain a competitive position. He, the information systems manager, had a better view of what is required since he has been an information systems professional for many years. The president, in fact, confirmed that she was very happy so far with the performance and the efficiency of the information systems department. The information systems manager did not spend much money, and kept his costs low. She told you that by and large she trusted her information systems manager. Nevertheless, because of your reputation, she wanted to get your opinion.
What would you recommend to the president? Explain with a rationale.
- The president of a company, called you and asked you to meet with him. At the meeting he told you that his organization needed to conduct a “business systems analysis”, and asked you to undertake it. You told him you would have to meet with him, with his Vice Presidents, all the other managers, and end users in order to perform this job. He told you that he and his Vice Presidents were busy and would not be able to meet with you. He also told you that he had already asked one of the accountants to prepare a sample of all the reports and forms they used. In addition, he said that this accountant would be able to answer every question you may have since he had been working for the company for about twenty years, and he was very familiar with all the processes within the company. The president suggested that you prepare a questionnaire and submit it to all the managers. They would answer your questions in their free time. The president said he would meet with you for a short meeting at the end of the process. At this meeting you could present the results of your analysis. The president also told you that based on your experience and knowledge; he would pay you a substantial amount of money for your analysis.
How will you approach this situation? Obviously you would not do the work as outlined in the request. You need to understand what the president thinks he wants. You need to convince the president to allow you to follow the recognized organized procedures, but you also need to be flexible in this environment. What will you tell the president and what will you do? Explain with rationale.
- A CEO of a company heard about your qualifications as an IS consultant, and approached you for advice. He told you that he is about to install information systems in the company, and he had a good candidate for heading this activity. This candidate was highly recommended by a friend of his. During the process of interviewing the candidate, he was impressed by her skills and personality and was about to offer her the job. At the conclusion of the interviews, the candidate told him that a condition for accepting the offer, she must be appointed CIO and have “a seat at the executive table”.
In thinking through the consequences of appointing the IT manager as the CIO, the CEO realized that there were significant costs involved. The position at the executive level would entitle her to a higher salary, and other benefits which the other executive level executives receive. In the CEO’s view, as he told you, the other executives, (HR, finance, and operation VP’s), deserve the additional compensation since their contribution to the organization and its operation and performance is well defined and has been recognized and appreciated for many years. The contribution of IT is not as tangible. ”IT just provides some reports” he said, and these reports may not justify the cost.
As a consultant that is fully aware of the business perception of IT, and of the difficult economic situation, you realize the importance of cost saving. What will be your advice to the CEO? Explain with rationale.