Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the case study organization that are related to its present information systems environment.
Assess the forces that are presently governing competition for the case study organization.
Using Wiseman’s framework of strategy development, define the strategic thrusts (and related advantages) that the case study organization should use to build a business case for implementing an information systems management plan.
Add this section to the Strategic Information Systems Assessment section of your Business Strategy and Management Plan .
Name the document œyourname_IT600__IP2.doc.
IT management is definitely different from the management of other functions; to start with, Nicholas Carr actually equates staff management in IT to being a coach who has good players, in that it is made up of staff that is not only talented but equally difficult to manage. In addition, there are a number of external factors that influence the operation of IT, as it operates within a constantly changing environment. These changes usually come in the form of new software, new technologies or even new business priorities or initiatives, not to mention others like budget cuts, or even changes in legal requirements. Other aspects that might further complicate a CIO’s ability to effectively manage the IT department include a meddling CEO or CFO if the CIO reports to them. Further, IT management is actually quite different from the management of other functions due to the central role it plays in an organization and therefore the additional pressure it is put under. The IT department is usually charged with ensuring greater efficiency through automation, meaning in a way even the pressure to generate more revenues is passed to the IT department.
Barton learnt that indeed it was not possible to manage an IT department without the help of IT experts. Barton had taken the trip to the bookstore in order to be able to study a bit of IT to enable him understand IT better and put him in a position to manage the department on his own therefore disproving the theory that managing an IT department had to be a collaborative process. However after studying a number of books and consuming a lot of information, he found himself reaching the end of the night with no clear picture of how the information could actually help him better manage his department. The fact that he could not relate the different bits of information actually made him realize that he was wrong, and it was not really possible to know everything. This therefore meant that managing alone without the help of experts was not really an option.
Barton’s meetings with senior IT operations staff did not go as planned because Barton had not done sufficient research to know the kind of questions to ask. Due to the fact that he was new to the CIO position, he needed to have carried out some research to establish how the department was operating as well as who was in charge of what. This would have ensured he was prepared for the meetings, resulting in questions that elicited the exact responses he wanted. A good example was his meeting with Geisler, which did not go as planned because he had no clue how the IT department operated when it came to dealing with other departments within IVK, making it very difficult for him to understand the overall cost of IT.
The IT organization is structured the way it is because of the complicated nature of managing IT departments. As such, the organization attempts to spread the roles to different individuals who then deal with the various challenges that usually accompany managing that particular facet of the department. As the bookstore experience illustrates, Barton cannot manage efficiently without the help of the other senior IT operations staff, as each of them plays an integral role in overall management. The organization is therefore aimed at pooling the individual brilliance of the various senior staff to result in a synergistic and smoothly running department under the CIO. This delegation process would also allow the CIO to manage aspects of the department such as strategy and resources.
Barton learnt a lesson that it was important to accept that it is not possible to know everything. The hospital CIO was a very well read man and yet even he was unable to foresee the network problem that occurred. Even though this motivated Barton to want to know more about IT, he should have realized the importance of having IT experts to help him run the department.