ISE 5134 Management Information Systems
Real World Case 1: How to Win Friends and Influence Business People: Quantify IT Risks and Value.
1) By changing the way his group talks about IT investments, CIO Tim Schaefer is trying to change the way the rest of the company sees IT. Why do you think this is necessary? What would be the prevailing mindsetabout IT in his company, such that he needs to do something about it? Provide some examples of how IT may be regarded in this organization.
In times when information is as valuable as the mere profit for any business, it is absolutely necessary to change the way companies see IT. This is important not only to highlight the real importance of IT investments during business board committees butalso to reduce the cultural impact of IT project deployments on end-users. If workers are aware of the real value of IT innovation, they will be willing to adopt the change and therefore the time of IT project implementation would be considerable shorter. Considering that end-users represent the majority of the people resources in any kind of information system, the strategy of changing the waythe rest of the company sees IT is a long term action that will benefit the deployment of every IT project in future.
In Northwestern Mutual, IT was regarded as an independent activity with no direct relation with the company business. In companies with this way of thinking, end-users see IT as a tool that can be simply fixed when it fails without considering development or innovation. However,when blackouts of these tools or services occur, the importance of counting on a robust IT infrastructure is recognized by everyone. The value of IT within any organization increases in function of the way every process is hopelessly dependant on it, and this dependence is deeper each year. However, there is a reluctance to understand the growing value of IT. In this sense, applying strategiesfor changing the way IT services are conceived within any organization can influence not only the progress of IT projects but also the progress of the main productive activity of an organization.
2. Chip Gliedman of Forrester Research breaks down IT risks into implementation and impact considerations. Why do you think these are so difficult to manage? What makes IT investments different frominvestments in other areas of a company?
Implementation and impact considerations in IT risk analysis can be difficult to manage considering the scope of the IT investment done. Generally, most of IT upgrades, migration or expansion procedures have to be done simultaneously during regular business operation. Every IT activity has to be deployed with minimal or null effects in business processes.Under these circumstances, the risk associated with the implementation of IT projects increases exponentially in function of the project size, the number of end-users involved, and the amount and nature of processes relying on the IT infrastructure in development. Additionally, reliability on vendor’s support services and the technology acquired itself adds uncontrollable risk variables to the ITproject implementation.
What makes IT investments different from others is that every operational process in a company is linked in some way to the IT infrastructure. In this sense, the impact of changes made as part of an IT investment goes deeper into the operational functionality of an organization which represents a clear risk. In contrast, for marketing investments as an example, theoutcomes can be estimated after an analysis of variables that mostly externals to operational processes of a company, which makes a considerable difference regarding risk analysis. Moreover, the return on IT investments is indirect and long term estimation, and those characteristics are not attractive to business managers as financial investments can be.
3) Do you agree with the notion that IT...