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MIS: MANAGING THE DIGITAL FIRM

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    Learning Objectives

    • How does building new systems produce organizational change?
    • What are the core activities in the systems development process?
    •  What are the principal methodologies for modeling and designing systems?
    • What are the alternative methods for building information systems?
    • What are new approaches for system building in the digital firm era?

    Structural organizational changes enabled by IT

    1.  Automation:
      Increases efficiency
      Replaces manual tasks
    2. Rationalization of procedures
    3. Streamlines standard operating procedures
      Often found in programs for making continuous quality improvements
      Total quality management (TQM)
      Six sigma
    4. Systems as Planned Organizational Change
    5. Structural organizational changes enabled by IT
    6. Business process redesign
      Analyze, simplify, and redesign business
      processes
      Reorganize workflow, combine steps, eliminate
      repetition
      Paradigm shifts
    7.  Rethink nature of business
      Define new business model
      Change nature of organizations most common forms of
      organizational change is
      automation and rationalization.
      These relatively slow-moving
      and slow-changing strategies
      present modest returns but
      little risk. Faster and more
      comprehensive change—such
      as redesign and paradigm
      shifts—carries high rewards
      but offers substantial chances
      of failure.

    Systems as Planned Organizational Change

    •  Business process management (BPM)
    • Variety of tools, methodologies to analyze, design, optimize processes
    • Used by firms to manage business process redesign

    Steps in BPM

    1.  Identify processes for change

    2.  Analyze existing processes

    3  . Design the new process

    4. Implement the new process

    5. Continuous measurement

    AS-IS BUSINESS PROCESS FOR PURCHASING A BOOK FROM A PHYSICAL BOOKSTORE

    Purchasing a book from a physical bookstore requires many steps to be performed by both the seller and the customer.

    REDESIGNED PROCESS FOR PURCHASING A BOOK ONLINE

    Using Internet technology makes it possible to redesign the process for purchasing a book so that it requires fewer steps and consumes fewer resources.

    • Variety of tools for BPM, to Identify and document existing processes
    •  Identify inefficiencies
    • Create models of improved processes
    • Capture and enforce business rules for performing processes
    • Integrate existing systems to support process improvements
    • Verify that new processes have improved
    • Measure impact of process changes on key business performance indicators

    Overview of Systems Development

    Systems development: Activities that go into producing an information system solution to an organizational problem or opportunity

    1. Systems analysis
    2. Systems design
    3. Programming
    4. Testing
    5. Conversion
    6. Production and maintenance

    THE SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

    • Building a system can be
    • broken down into six core activities.
    • Systems analysis
    • Analysis of problem to be solved by the new system
    • Defining the problem and identifying causes
    • Specifying solutions
    • Systems proposal report identifies and examines alternative solutions
    • Identifying information requirements
    • Includes feasibility study
    • Is the solution feasible and a good investment?
    • Is required technology, skill available?

    System analysis (cont.)

    • Establishing information requirements
    • Who needs what information, where, when, and how
    • Define objectives of new/modified system
    • Detail the functions the new system must perform
    • Faulty requirements analysis is the leading cause of systems failure and high systems development cost

    Systems design

    1. Describes system specifications that will deliver functions identified during systems analysis
    2. Should address all managerial, organizational, and technological components of system solution

    Role of end-users

    • User information requirements drive system building
    •  Users must have sufficient control over the design process to ensure the system reflects their business priorities and information needs
    • Insufficient user involvement in design effort is a major cause of system failure

    Programming:

    System specifications from the design stage are translated into software program code

    Testing

    • Ensures system produces right results
    • Unit testing: Tests each program in the system separately
    • System testing: Test functioning of the system as a whole
    • Acceptance testing: Makes sure the system is ready to be used in a production setting
    • Test plan: All preparations for a series of tests

     Conversion

    •  Process of changing from old system to new system
    •  Four main strategies
    1. Parallel strategy
    2. Direct cutover
    3. Pilot study
    4. Phased approach
    • Requires end-user training
    • Finalization of detailed documentation showing how the system works from a technical and end-user standpoint

     Production and maintenance

    • System reviewed to determine if revisions needed
    • May include post-implementation audit document
    • Maintenance
    • Changes in hardware, software, documentation, or procedures to a production system to correct errors,
    • meet new requirements, or improve processing efficiency
    1. 20% debugging, emergency work
    2. 20% changes to hardware, software, data, reporting
    3. 60% of work: User enhancements, improving documentation, recoding for greater processing efficiency

    CORE ACTIVITY

    • Identify the problem(s)
    • Specify solutions
    • Establish information requirements
    • Systems design
    • Create design specifications
    • Programming
    • Translate design specifications into
      code
    • Testing
    • Unit test
    • Systems test
    • Acceptance test
    • Conversion
    • Plan conversion
    • Prepare documentation
    • Train users and technical staff
    • Production a maintenance

    DESCRIPTION

    Systems analysis

    • Operate the system
    • Evaluate the system
    • Modify the system

    Most prominent methodologies for modeling and designing systems:

    1. Structured methodologies
    2.  Object-oriented development

    Structured methodologies

    • Structured: Techniques are step-by-step, progressive
    •  Process-oriented: Focusing on modeling processes or actions that manipulate data
    • Separate data from processes

     Data flow diagram:

    1. The primary tool for representing the system’s component processes and flow of data between them
    2. Offers a logical graphic model of information flow
    3. High-level and lower-level diagrams can be used to break processes down into successive layers of detail
    •  Data dictionary: Defines contents of data flows and data stores
    • Process specifications: Describe transformation occurring within the st level of data flow diagrams
    • Structure chart: Top-down chart, showing each level of design, relationship to other levels, and place in overall design structure 20

    The system has three processes: Verify availability (1.0), Enroll student (2.0), and Confirm registration (3.0). The name and content of each of the data flows appear adjacent to each arrow. There is one external entity in this system: the student. There are two data stores: the student master file and the course file.

    HIGH-LEVEL STRUCTURE CHART FOR A PAYROLL SYSTEM

    This structure chart shows the highest or most abstract level of design for a payroll system, providing an overview of the entire system.

    Object-oriented development

    The object is the basic unit of systems analysis and design

    Object:

    •  Combines data and the processes that operate on those data – Data encapsulated in an object can be accessed and modified only by operations, or methods, associated with that object
    • Object-oriented modeling based on concepts of class and inheritance
    • Objects belong to a certain class and have features of that class
    • May inherit structures and behaviors of a more general, ancestor class

    More iterative and incremental than traditional structured development

    Systems analysis: Interactions between system and users analyzed to identify objects

    Design phase: Describes how objects will behave and interact; grouped into classes, subclasses, and hierarchies

     Implementation: Some classes may be reused from the existing library of classes, others created or inherited

    Because objects are reusable, object-oriented development can potentially reduce the time and cost of development

    Computer-aided software engineering (CASE)

    Software tools to automate development and reduce repetitive work, including

    • Graphics facilities for producing charts and diagrams
    • Screen and report generators reporting facilities
    • Analysis and checking tools
    • Data dictionaries
    • Code and documentation generators
    1.  Support iterative design by automating revisions and changes and providing prototyping facilities
    2. Require organizational discipline to be used effectively

    Alternative Systems-Building Methods

    • Traditional systems life-cycle
    • Prototyping
    •  End-user development
    •  Application software packages
    •  Outsourcing

     Traditional systems lifecycle:

    •  The oldest method for building information systems
    • The phased approach divides development into formal stages
    • Follows “waterfall” approach: Tasks in one stage finish before another stage begins
    • Maintains formal division of labor between end-users and information systems specialists
    • Emphasizes formal specifications and paperwork
    • Still used for building large complex systems

    Prototyping

    • Building experimental systems rapidly and inexpensively for end-users to evaluate
    •  Prototype: Working but the  preliminary version of the rmation system
    • The approved prototype serves as template for final system

    Steps in prototyping

    1. Identify user requirements
    2. Develop initial prototyp
    3. Use prototype
    4. Revise and enhance prPROCESS

    THE PROTOTYPING PROCESS

    The process of developing a prototype
    can be broken down into four steps.
    Because a prototype can be developed
    quickly and inexpensively, systems
    builders can go through several
    iterations, repeating steps 3 and 4, to
    refine and enhance the prototype before
    arriving at the final operational one.

     Advantages of prototyping

    • Useful if some uncertainty in requirements or design solutions
    • Often used for end-user interface designn
    • More likely to fulfill end-user requirements

     Disadvantages

    • May gloss over essential steps
    • May not accommodate large quantities of data or large number of users
    • May not undergo full testing or documentation

    End-user development:

    1. Uses fourth-generation languages to allow end-users to develop systems with little or no help from technical specialists
    2. Fourth generation languages: Less procedural than conventional programming languages
    • PC software tools
    • Query languages
    • Report generators
    • Graphics languages
    • Application generators
    • Application software packages
    • Very high-level programming languages

    End-user development (cont.):

     Advantages:

    •  More rapid completion of projects
    • High-level of user involvement and satisfaction

     Disadvantages:

    •  Not designed for processing-intensive applications
    • Inadequate management and control, testing, documentation
    • Loss of control over data

    Managing end-user development

    •  Require cost-justification of end-user system projects
    • Establish hardware, software, and quality standards

     Application software packages

    • Save time and money
    • Many offer customization features:

    Software can be modified to meet unique requirements without destroying integrity of package software 

    Evaluation criteria for systems analysis include:

    1. Functions provided by the package, flexibility, user friendliness, hardware and software resources, database requirements, installation and maintenance efforts, documentation, vendor quality, and cost
    2. Request for Proposal (RFP)
    • Detailed list of questions submitted to packaged-software vendors
    • Used to evaluate alternative software packages

    Outsourcing

    • Several types

     Cloud and SaaS providers

    • Subscribing companies use software and computer hardware provided by vendors

     External vendors

    • Hired to design, create softwaree
    • Domestic outsourcing
    • Driven by firms need for additional skills, resourcees, assets
    •  Offshore outsourcing
    •  Driven by cost-savings

    Outsourcing (cont.)

     Advantages

    Allows organization flexibility in IT needs

     Disadvantages

     Hidden costs, e.g.

    1.  Identifying and selecting vendor
    2.  Transitioning to vendor

    Opening up proprietary business processes to third party

    Application Development for the Digital Firm

    •  Rapid application development (RAD)
    •  Process of creating workable systems in a very short period of time
    •  Utilizes techniques such as:
    •  Visual programming and other tools for building graphical user interfaces
    •  Iterative prototyping of key system elements
    • Automation of program code generation
    •  Close teamwork among end users and information systems specialists

     Joint application design (JAD)

    •  Used to accelerate generation of information requirements and to develop initial systems design
    • Brings end users and information systems specialists together in interactive session to discuss system’s design
    •  Can significantly speed up design phase and involve users at intense level

     Agile development

     Focuses on rapid delivery of working software by breaking large project into several small sub-projects

     Subprojects

    •  Treated as separate, complete projects
    • Completed in short periods of time using iteration and continuous feedback
    • Emphasizes face-to-face communication over written documents, allowing collaboration and faster decision making

     Component-based development

    Groups of objects that provide software for commonfunctions (e.g., online ordering) and can be combined to create large-scale business applications

    Web services

    •  Reusable software components that use XML and open Internet standards (platform independent)
    •  Enable applications to communicate with no custom programming required to share data and services
    •  Can engage other Web services for more complex transactions
    •  Using platform and device-independent standards can result in significant cost-savings and opportunities for collaboration with other companies

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    MIS: MANAGING THE DIGITAL FIRM. (2016, May 05). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/mis-managing-the-digital-firm/

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