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BUS237- Chp 10 Summary.pdf

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Business Administration
BUS 237
Kamal Masri

Chapter 10 Summary Understanding the IT Department: Operations and Projects Q1: Why do you need to know about the IT department? • Two reasons to make friends with the IT department: o To be more effective o To be more of an effective manager or executive Q2: What should you know about IT operations and IT projects • IT department is responsible for providing IT services to organization • Two basic activities required to provide these services: • Maintaining current IT infrastructure • Renewing and adapting infrastructure to keep IT working effectively in future IT operations – the accomplishment of the delivery of service, maintenance, protection, and management of IT infrastructure IT projects – renewal and adaptation of IT infrastructure; comes in all shapes and sizes Operations vs. projects • Tend to attract different types of IT professionals • Note: always a natural balance between the two • IT pros in operations o Maintain production systems o Want to specialize in particular technologies o Networking specialists, operating systems specialists, database administrators, and hardware technicians o Continually seek ways to improve efficiency and security of entire set of systems that support operations (production systems) o Key words: stability, predictability, accountability, reliability, and security Production systems – entire set of systems that support operations • IT pros in projects o Change production systems o Projects are temporary and often change existing infrastructure o Require broad skills – need to be able to multitask (multiple projects simultaneously) o Exciting, hectic, chaotic workdays o Can provided opportunities for contact w/ project stakeholders (users, mangers, sponsors) Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – well-recognized collection of books that provide a framework of best-practice approaches to IT operations Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) – developed by Project Management Institute (PMI), provides project managers, sponsors, and team leaders with an array of accepted project management techniques and practices What about the Web? • Large and small IT departments use web as first step in man internal service requests • I.e. when a new employee joins a company, reads an intranet website with FAQs to help introduce new employee to all the IT protocols of company (signing onto network, VPN connection, etc.) • Support for external customers also available on company website • FAQs • Customer-support info • Company director/contact info MIS in Use: From Lemons to Lemonade (page 291) • Chantelle was a help-desk employee at a market research company • Often asked the same questions by peers • Used MIS knowledge to build a knowledge base answering the top asked Q’s • Improved productivity led to senior management noticing her • Chantelle was able to commit to more interesting projects after • Gained another job offer at a diff. company as a result of her reputable success in this company • Realized MIS is applicable in every business model Q3: What are the IT department responsibilities? IT department has two basic functions: 1. Managing the IT infrastructure to provide IT services, which requires a. Managing and protecting the IT b. Managing and protecting data resource c. Managing and protecting the system apps 2. Developing and adapting IS and IT infrastructure Managing Information Technology Infrastructure • IS exists to further organization’s competitive strategy • IT departments exist to facilitate business processes and improve decisions making within organization • IT departments align activities and services with primary goals and objectives of organization • IT services support the goals of IT departments • Chief information officer (CIO) and MIS director = responsible for managing IT infrastructure and services in large organizations • Often consider impact on IT (hardware, software, and network), data resource, and system apps Managing and Protecting Information Technology • IT infrastructure must be installed and maintained Tuned – adjusting IS from time to time to changes in the workload • Business stops when there are troubles with the IT • IS personnel are esp. sensitive to any possible threats to IT – b/c system outages are high costs and serious disruptions Managing and Protecting Data Resources • IT department also responsible for protecting data from threats • Threats to data arise from 3 sources: o Human error and mistakes o Malicious activity o Natural events and disasters • IT helps organizations manage risk • Helps to decide which safeguards (because can be costly) to implement to reduce risk Managing and Protecting System Applications • IT also responsible for system applications – ERP, CRM, SCM • If an organization buys the system, then IT not responsible for fixing bugs • IT responsible for • Managing system upgrades • Performing basic system maintenance • Monitoring installation of systems Service licensing agreements (SLAs) – ensure all agreements are met and that legal copies of software are in use Renewing the IT Infrastructure • IT department also creates, develops, and adapts IT infrastructure to enable business projects to be completed • Might include developing or modifying new system apps or adapting infrastructure (computer networks, servers, data centers, data warehouses, data marts, and other IT resources) Q4: How do IT departments decide what to adopt, and when? • IS and IT are expensive • Final decision to invest in any project is made by business part of organization, not by IT pros Business value – Benefits of adopting technology Tangible benefits – those for which a dollar value can be computed Intangible benefits – those for which it is impossible to compute a dollar value • Common method for justifying IS/IT projects is compute costs and tangible benefits and then perform a financial analysis • If that doesn’t work, consideration of intangible benefits takes place Innovation characteristics – Rogers’ five characteristics: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability • Relative advantage – the larger the relative advantage, the more likely the company will adopt the innovation • Compatibility – i.e. if system needs wireless access, organization needs to be able to support that • Complexibility – If too difficult to understand/use, then company won’t likely adopt it • Trialability – characteristic of being able to use innovation before purchasing it • Observability – the extent to which an innovation can be seen or demonstrated to others Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) – suggested by Fred Davis, closely related to idea of innovation characteristics b/c considers 2 primary factors: Perceived Ease of Use and Perceived Usefulness Q5: How is the IT department organized? Typical Senior-Level Reporting Relationships Chief
(CEO)/ Chief
 • Organizational structures will vary from organization to organization • Chief information officer (CIO) – title of principal manager of IT department Also called: o Vice-president of IS o Director of IS o Director of computer services (least common) Typical IT department has 4 groups and a data-administration staff function: Technology Chief technology officer (CTO) – often heads technology group, sorts through new ideas and products to find those most relevant to organization Operations • Manages computing infrastructure, including PC’s, computer centres, networks, and communications media • Group includes system and network administrators • Important function: monitor user experience and respond to user concerns/problems Development • Manages projects that acquire new IS • Maintain existing IS (either removing problems or adapting existing IS to support new features/functions) Business analysts – normally involved in developing business case for newly proposed system and developing requirements for the system System analysts – normally involved in designing and implementing the new system; includes programmers, project managers, test engineers, technical writers, etc. Outsourcing relations • Exists to negotiate outsourcing agreements with other companies to prov
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