Project Plan Inception
With a workforce of 20 employees, this company has an ambitious plan for expansion. In essence, this firm specializes in the collection and analysis of data. In order to enhance these operations, the company uses the latest software systems. As a result of the ambitious expansion plan, the company intends to move from one floor to three floors. Additionally, the current technological framework for the company is in dire need of upgrades. Through such upgrades, the overall standards of efficiency in the company will improve.
In view of the high level of competition in this sector, the company’s technological systems must incorporate industry best practices. In order to implement the expansion program successfully, it is essential to harness the human and financial resources that are at the company’s disposal. The integration of effective security protocols within the company’s technological framework is another critical aspect of consideration with regard to the company’s design. Through such protocols, it will be possible to avoid potential lapse in security for the company. Additionally, it is also essential to overhaul the current operating system framework (Jackson, 2008).
The Type of Business
Data analysis is among demanding industries in the world. It is not essential for research purposes but also for policy formulation and implementation. It is crucial to note that data analysis takes place after the completion of data collection. Most organizations lack the capacity to collect and analyze data concerning different aspects. For instance, a financial organization requires sufficient statistical analysis on the prevailing trends in terms of interest rates and inflation. Such trends are critical in the company’s formulation of issuance rates. Government agencies also require data collection and analysis for different purposes.
For instance, the government must consider the prevailing demographics while developing policies for resource allocation. The government’s development plans are also dependent on data collection and analysis. Additionally, individuals also comprise the company’s client base. Such clients usually require data analysis for research purposes. As a result of these perspectives, it is thus essential to develop the company’s information systems in accordance with the different categories of clients. Through such categories, it will be easier to improve the company’s efficiency. All the company’s transactions take place online through its website. This results into a global market reach for the company. Through the website, it is easier for the company to deal with clients. Consequently, geographical distance is not a stumbling block for the company’s operations.
Current Outsourcing and Off-shoring Activities
The company’s outsourcing framework mainly consists of partners from the United States. The outsourcing activities mainly comprises of purchases for software and hardware as well as other technological inputs. While outsourcing for these products and services, the company not only focuses on price issues but also on quality assurance. It would be impractical for the company to purchase faulty hardware at cheap prices (Fortune, 2005). Such an approach might easily result into losses for the company.
Another important element of consideration with regard to the company’s outsourcing services pertains to the verification of credibility. Some technology firms lack the capacity to produce reliable software. It is thus essential to verify the credibility of such companies prior to outsourcing.
Information Systems Personnel and Responsibilities
Currently, this company has a team of 4 employees in the information systems department. Firstly, as the chief information officer, I have numerous responsibilities. This includes the development and implementation of effective frameworks for the company’s information systems. Information systems are the most essential components of the company’s framework. All the operations in this firm are dependent on the information systems. This extends from web analytics to database management. Without enhancing the efficiency of the information systems, it becomes difficult to streamline the company’s performance (Shelly, 2009).
Another responsibility of the chief information officer is to develop a comprehensive information technology strategy. This strategy should incorporate the company’s current platforms with future objectives and goals for expansion. The information technology strategy must always have the right mechanism for implementation. The chief information officer is also in-charge of managing the company’s information technology resources. The management of such resources should conform to the company’s commercial goals and objectives. Without managing these resources effectively, it becomes difficult for the organization to improve the efficiency of information systems. Another crucial responsibility for the chief information officer is the development of efficient information technology architecture (Patel, 2005).
The architecture involves aspects like servers, networking systems and operating systems among others. It is challenging to enhance the efficiency of information systems without harmonizing the different components of the architectural framework. The CIO also has the mandate to update the chief executive officer about the strides made through the company’s information systems. Apart from the CIO, another member of the information systems staff is the software development officer. The software developer is responsible for designing and implementing the right software applications for the company. However, he always works closely with the chief information officer.
The software development officer is also responsible for verifying the compatibility of external technology systems with the company’s IT architecture. The other member of the information systems personnel is deputy-CIO. The responsibility of deputy-CIO is to assist the chief information officer. In essence, the deputy CIO takes the mantle in the absence of the chief information officer (Shelly, 2009).
Types of Data
This company specializes in the collection of different types of data. However, it is essential to note that web analytics is an essential analytical tool in the company. The company collects data about consumer trends for different products and services. Such data might encompass the prevailing tastes and preferences among consumers. Such data is essential in developing appropriate marketing plans for business entities (Jackson, 2008).
Such data is also essential for companies prior to the introduction of new products into the market. Apart from consumer information, this company also collects data on the prevailing competition trends in different sectors. Business entities would not be successful without evaluating the prevailing trends in terms of competition. Through this type of data, companies have the capacity to develop sufficient strategies for competition. The company also collects data on demographics. This helps in demystifying the potential number of people in each age group in the population. Such data is not only essential for business entities but also government agencies. For instance, government agencies might use this data to formulate policies and determine the most suitable approaches for resource allocation (Fortune, 2005).
Description Of Information Systems
Operational Systems and Databases
The company uses Windows 7 as the operating system in the entire technology framework. This operating system has high levels of reliability and efficiency. Through an excellent graphic user interface, the company’s staff has no problem using the operating system. As a result of acquiring the operating system from the Microsoft Corporation, the company’s information systems are stable. In terms of the database, the company uses unique programs such as Microsoft Excel and Access. These applications are available within Microsoft’s operating system. It is thus easier to collect and analyze different types of data.
Analytics and Interfaces
Apart from operating systems and databases, the company’s information systems also comprise of analytics and interfaces. The analytical framework encompasses the various applications and software for data analysis. Among the most notable components of the company’s analytical framework is the RATS. This package can perform different types of analyses of different types of data. Through this tool, the company analyzes data in accordance with the client’s expectations. STATISTICA is also another platform for data analysis in this company. Through this platform, it is easier to analyze any form of data and obtain accurate results (Shelly, 2009).
Infrastructure and Security
The current infrastructural system of the company consists of only one server. This server does not have the capacity to meet the high demands from the company’s clients. Additionally, it is also essential to highlight that this server is prone to numerous security issues such as illegal access. This is because the server does not have sufficient mechanisms for averting computer attacks. A local area network is currently in use at the company’s office. However, this system has a weak dynamic host configuration protocol. It is thus essential to upgrade the company’s networking system in order to avert such weaknesses (Jackson, 2008).
Section 2: Project Plan
The upgrading and expansion of the company’s information systems will occur in different phases. In essence, each phase will comprise of different tasks. Following is a breakdown of the various tasks for the project:
It is crucial to examine the current status of the company with regard to information systems. It would be impractical to formulate an expansion plan without understanding the current status of the organization. The second task involves the identification of key stakeholders for the project. The human resource framework is equally important as the framework for financial resources. The technical team for the project will comprise the chief information officer and his team. Additionally, the team will also include representatives from the company’s management in order to enhance the decision making process. The other task is the formulation of the initial outline of the project. This draft will serve as the reference point for the final project. Each task will only commence after the successful completion of the preceding task (Patel, 2005),
The company needs to allocate adequate resources for the successful implementation of the project plan. All phases of the project require sufficient financial resources. This extends from planning to review. In order to determine the actual amount of financial resources, it will be crucial to develop a budget. Such a budget must comprehensively address all the tasks. The company’s financial department must cooperate in order to make the project a success.
The Systems Development Life-Cycle
Expansion is inevitable if the company is to achieve the highest standards of profitability. Currently, the company has the challenge of inadequate staff in the information systems department. Human resource is a crucial component of the performance of any company. In addition to the human resource framework, the company’s operational systems are in need of an upgrade. Upgrading will help in the enhancement of data processing as well as averting security. Through these strategies, the company will easily attract more clients. This will result from the high quality of service delivery (Fortune, 2005).
It is crucial for the project plan to align with the organizational values and goals. For instance, the affordability of data analysis services must be taken into consideration. This strategic approach will help in enhancing competitiveness. Among the most notable weaknesses of the system concern the security and efficiency of operating systems. Through the analysis, it is clear that the company requires a comprehensive upgrade of the information system.
This is the third component of the SLDC framework and encompasses the actual implementation plan of the plan. During this phase, there will be an overhaul of the existing information systems in the company. However, the efficient components of the current information systems framework will be left intact. The various subsystems of the information systems framework such as the networks and security applications will be harmonized. This design will help in boosting the efficacy of the entire information system (Shelly, 2009).
This is the last phase of the SLDC and encompasses the review of the gains made from the implementation phase. Additionally, the review also helps in assessing the potential drawbacks of the new IT framework. Consequently, this forms the basis of developing the appropriate mechanisms for dealing with the challenges (Jackson, 2008).
Fortune, J. & Peters, G. (2005). Information systems: Achieving success by avoiding failure, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
Jackson, R. B. & Burd, S. D. (2008). Systems analysis, Mason, OH: Cengage Learning
Patel, N. (2005). Critical systems analysis and design, New York, NY: Routledge
Shelly, G. B. & Cashman, T. J. (2009). Systems analysis and design, Boston, MA: Course Technology