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Global Management of Information Technology
Transcript of Global Management of Information Technology
- As the 21st century unfolds, many companies throughout the world are intent on transforming themselves into global business powerhouses via major investments in global e-business, e-commerce, and other IT initiatives.
- Thus, there is a real need for business managers and professionals to understand how to manage this vital organizational function. Managing Information Technology Information technology is an essential component of business success for companies today. But information technology is also a vital business resource that must be properly managed. Managing the information systems and technologies that support he modern business processes of companies today is a major challenge for both business and IT managers and professionals. Global IT Platforms
This figure illustrates the business/IT planning process, which focuses on discovering innovative approaches to satisfying a company’s customer value and business value goals. This planning process leads to development of strategies and business models for new business applications, processes, products, and services. Then a company can develop IT strategies and an IT architecture that supports building and implementing their newly planning business applications Both the CEO and the CIO of a company must manage the development of complementary business and IT strategies to meet its customer value and business value vision. This co-adaptation process is necessary because as we have seen so often in this text, information technologies are a fast changing, but vital component in many strategic business initiatives. International Dimension: International dimensions have become a vital part of managing a business enterprise in the internet worked global economies and markets of today. Properly designed and managed information systems using appropriate information technologies are a key ingredient in international business, providing vital information resources needed to support business activities in global markets. Organizing IT Modern computer-based information systems can support either the centralization or decentralization
of information systems operations and decision-making within computer-using organizations Managing IS Operations Managing Application Development The Business/IT planning process has three major components Making strategic IT choices that reflect an information technology architecture designed to support a company’s business/IT initiatives Cultural, Political, and Geoeconomic Challenges Global IT management does not exist in a vacuum. Global IT management must focus on developing global e- business IT strategies and managing global e-business application portfolios, Internet technologies, platforms,databases, and systems development projects. Managers must also take into account the cultural, political, and geographic differences that exist when doing business internationally. Technology Platform: The Internet, intranets, extranets, and other networks, computer systems, system software, and integrated enterprise application software provide a computing and communications infrastructure, or platform, that supports the strategic use of information technology for e-business and e-commerce Business applications of information technology are designed as an integrated portfolio of information systems that support strategic e-business initiatives, as well as cross-functional business processes The organizational structure of the IS function within a company and the distribution of IS specialists is designed to meet the changing strategies of a business. The form of the IT organization dependson the managerial philosophy, e-business vision, and business/IT strategies formulated during the strategic planning process. Managing the IS function in organizations has become a very complex task. Organizations have moved from having a centralized structure towards a decentralized structure, back towards more centralization control over the management of the IS resources of a company. Managing the IS Function: Data Resources: Many types of operational and specialized databases, including data warehouses and Internet/intranet databases store and provide data and information for business processes and decision support. Information Technology Architecture The IT architecture that is created by the strategic e-business planning process is a conceptual design, or blueprint, that includes the following major components Managing the joint development and implementation of business/IT strategies. Managing the development and implementation of new business/IT applications and technologies. Managing the IT organization and the IT infrastructure. Strategy Development Developing e-business and e-commerce strategies that support a company’s e- business vision, use information technology to create innovative e-business systems that focus on customer and business value. Resource Management Developing strategic plans for managing or outsourcing a company’s IT resources,including IS personnel, hardware, software, data, and network resources Technology Architecture Applications Portfolio: IT Organization: Three things have influenced these shifts in structure:
The Internet boom
Development of company intranets
Maintaining PC’s on a network is very expensive. Application development management involves managing activities such as systems analysis and design, prototyping, applications programming, project management, quality assurance, and system maintenance for all major e-business/IT development projects. Managing application development requires managing the activities of teams of systems analysts, software developers, and other IS professionals working on a variety of information systems development projects. In addition, some systems development groups have established development centers, staffed with IS professionals IS operations management is concerned with the use of hardware, software, network, and personnel resources in the corporate or business unit data centers (computer centers) of an organization. Operational activities that must be managed include computer system operations, network management, production control, and production support. These system performance monitors: > Monitor the process of computer jobs.
> Help develop a planned schedule of computer operations that can optimize computer system performance.
> Produce detailed statistics that are invaluable for effective planning and control of computer capacity.
> Supply information needed by charge back systems that allocate costs to users based on the information services rendered.
> Process control capabilities which monitor and control computer operations at large data centers Technology Management Changes in information technology, like the rise of the PC, client/server networks, and the Internet and intranets,have come swiftly and dramatically and are expected to continue into the future. Developments in information technology have had, and will continue to have, a major impact on the operations, costs, management work environment and competitive position of many organizations. All information technologies must be managed as a technology platform for integrated e-business and e-commerce systems. Such technologies include: > Internet
> Variety of electronic commerce and collaboration technologies
> Integrated enterprise software for customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and supply chain management. Managing User Services The number of end users in organizations who use computers to help them do their jobs has outstripped the capacity of many information services departments. As a result, teams and workgroups of end users must use PC workstations, software packages, and the Internet, intranets, and other networks to develop and apply information technology to their work activities. Organizations have responded by: > Creating user services, or client services, functions to support and manage end users and workgroup computing.
> Establishing information centers staffed with user liaison specialists, or web-enabled intranet “help desks,”with user “hot-lines”.
> Establishing and enforcing policies concerning the acquisition of hardware and software by end-users and business units. This ensures their compatibility with company standards for hardware, software, and network connectivity. Policies ensure that proper controls are enforced to correct performance and safeguard the integrity of corporate and departmental networks and databases. SECTION I SECTION 2 Failures in IT Management Managing information technology is not an easy task. The information systems function has performance problems in many organizations. The promised benefits of information technology have not occurred in many documented cases. Studies by management consulting firms and university researchers have shown that many businesses have not been successful in managing their use of information technology Management Involvement and Governance What is the solution to failures in the information systems function? There are no quick and easy answers.However, the experiences of successful organizations reveal that extensive and meaningful managerial and end user involvement is the key ingredient of high-quality information systems performance.Involving managers in the management of IT requires the development of
governance structures that encourage their active participation in planning and controlling the business uses of IT. Thus, many organizations have policies that require managers to be involves in IT decision that affect their business units. This helps managers avoid IS performance problems in their business units and development projects. With this high degree of involvement, managers can improve the strategic business value of information technology. Managing Information Technology Managing Global IT Political Challenge Geoeconomic Challenge Cultural Challenges Global Data Access Issues Managing Information Technology Managing IT can be viewed as having three major components: (1)managing the joint development and implementation of e-business and IT strategies, (2) managing the development of e-business applications and the research and implementation of new information technologies, and(3) managing IT processes, professionals, and subunits within a company’s IT organization and IS function. Failures in IT Management Information systems are not being used effectively or efficiently by many organizations. The experiences of successful organization reveal that the basic ingredient of high-quality information system performance is extensive and meaningful management and user involvement in the governance and development of IT applications. Thus, managers may serve on executive IT groups and create IS management functions within their business units. Managing Global IT The international dimensions of managing global information technologies include dealing with cultural, political, and geoeconomic challenges posed by various countries; developing appropriate business and IT strategies for the global marketplace; and developing a portfolio of global e-business and e-commerce applications and an Internet-based technology platform to support them. In addition, data access methods have to be developed and systems development projects managed to produce the global e-business applications that are required to compete successfully in the global marketplace. Global Business and
IT Strategies and Issues Many businesses are becoming global companies and moving toward trans-national business strategies in which they integrate the global business activities of their subsidiaries and headquarters. This requires that they develop a global IT platform, that is, an integrated worldwide hardware,software, and Internet-based network architecture. Global companies are increasingly using the Internet and related technologies as a major component of this IT platform to develop and deliver global IT applications that meet their unique global business requirements. Global IT and end user managers must deal with limitations on the availability of hardware and software, restrictions on trans-border data flows, Internet access, and movement of personal data, and difficulties with developing common data definitions and system requirements. The major dimensions of the job of managing
global information technology
include: e-business / IT strategies e-business applications portfolios Internet-based technology platforms Data Resource management Systems development All global IT activities must be adjusted to take into account the cultural, political, and geoeconomic challenges that exists in the international business community. Developing appropriate e-business and IT strategies for the global marketplace should be the first step in
global e-business technology management
. Once that is done, end user and IS managers can move on to developing: The portfolio of applications needed to support e-business/IT strategies The hardware, software, and internet-based technology platforms to support those applications the data resource management methods to provide necessary databases the systems development projects that will produce the global information systems required. 1. Many countries have rules regulating or prohibiting transfer of data across their national boundaries(transborder data flows), especially information such as personnel records.
2.Restrict, tax, or prohibit imports of hardware and software.
3.Local content laws that specify the portion of the value of a product that must be added in that country if it is to be sold there.
4. Reciprocal trade agreements that require a business to spend part of the revenue they earn in the country in that nation’s economy. 1.Physical distances involved are still a major problem
2.World’s 24 time zones contribute to communications problems
3.Lack of telecommunications capabilities in some countries
4.Lack of specialized job skills in some countries, or enticing specialists from other countries to live and work there
5.Cost of living and labor costs in various countries. 1.Differences in languages, cultural interests, religions, customs, social attitudes, and political philosophies.
2.Differences in work styles and business relationships. Many firms are moving toward transnational strategies in which they integrate their global e-business activities through close cooperation and interdependence between their international subsidiaries and their corporate headquarters. Businesses are moving away from:
•Multinational strategies where foreign subsidiaries operate autonomously.
•International strategies in which foreign subsidiaries are autonomous but are dependent on headquarters for new processes, products, and ideas.
•Global strategies, where a company’s worldwide operations are closely managed by corporate headquarters. The applications of information technology developed by global companies depend on their e-business and IT strategies and their expertise and experience in IT. However, their IT applications also depend on a variety of global business drivers
, that is, business requirements (business drivers) caused by the nature of the industry and its competitive or environmental forces. Technology platforms required to support a global business operation must consider:
•Internet, intranet, extranet sites
•Computing facilities that support global e-business operations The Internet as a Global IT Platform:
The Internet and the World Wide Web are both vital components in international business and commerce. The Internet, with its interconnected network of thousands of networks of computers and databases, has established itself as a technology platform free of many traditional international boundaries and limits.
By connecting their businesses to this online global infrastructure, companies can:
•Expand their markets
•Reduce communications and distribution costs
•Improve their profit margins without massive cost outlays for new telecommunication facilities. The Internet, along with its related intranet and extranet technologies, provides a low-cost interactive channel for communications and data exchange with:
•Information providers, and so on. Global data access issues have been a subject of political controversy and technology barriers in global business operations for many years. Important global data issues involve:
•Transborder data flows (TDF), in which business data flows across international borders over the telecommunications networks of global information systems.
•Many countries view transborder data flows as violating their national sovereignty because TDF avoids custom duties and regulations for the import and export of goods and services.
•Other countries may view TDF as a violation of privacy legislation when data about individuals is moved out of a country without stringent privacy safeguards.
•Others view TDF as violating local laws made to protect local IT industry from competition, or labor regulations for protecting local jobs.
•Other important data issues are concerned with global data management and standardization of data.Common data definitions are necessary for sharing data among the parts of an international business.Differences in language, culture, and technology platforms can make global data standardization quite difficult. Internet Access Issues: The Internet has become a global battleground over public access to data and information at business and private sites on the World Wide Web. This has become a business issue because restrictive access policies severely inhibit the growth of e-commerce with countries that restrict or forbid Internet access by their citizens. Most countries of the world have decided that restricting Internet access is not a viable policy, and in fact, would hurt their countries’opportunities for economic growth and prosperity. Global System Development Some of these issues involve:
•Conflicts over local versus global system requirements, and difficulties in agreeing on common features such as multilingual user interfaces and flexible design standards.
•Agreements on global systems must take place in an environment that promotes involvement and “ownership”of a system by local end users.
•Disturbances can arise from systems implementation and maintenance activities.
•Trade-offs must be made between developing one system that can run on multiple computer and operating platforms, by letting each local site customize the software for its own platform. Systems Development Strategies Strategies to solve some of the problems of global systems development include: •Transforming an application used by the home office into a global application.
•Setting up a multinational development team
with key people from several subsidiaries to ensure that the system design meets the needs of the local sites as well as corporate headquarters.
• Parallel development. Parts of a system are assigned to different subsidiaries and the home office to develop at the same time, based on the expertise and experiences at each site.
•Centers of excellence. An entire system may be assigned for development to a particular subsidiary based on their expertise in the business or technical dimensions needed for successful development.