Chapter 8 understanding the mis organization plus an introduction to extreme programming
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Chapter 8 Understanding the MIS Organization plus an introduction to Extreme Programming. Managing and Using Information Systems: A Strategic Approach, 2 nd ed. Chief Information Officer (CIO). Gartner group definition of the CIO’s role:

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Chapter 8 understanding the mis organization plus an introduction to extreme programming l.jpg

Chapter 8 Understanding the MIS Organizationplus an introduction to Extreme Programming

Managing and Using Information Systems: A Strategic Approach, 2nd ed.

Chief information officer cio l.jpg
Chief Information Officer (CIO)

  • Gartner group definition of the CIO’s role:

    “To provide technology vision and leadership for developing and implementing IT initiatives that create and maintain leadership for the enterprise in a constantly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.”

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The CIO’s Responsibilities

  • Championing the organization

  • Architecture management

  • Business strategy consultant

  • Business technology planning

  • Applications development

  • IT infrastructure management

  • Sourcing

  • Partnership developer

  • Technology transfer agent

  • Customer satisfaction management

  • Training

  • Business Discontinuity/Disaster Recovery Planning

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Nine Essential CIO Skills:

  • Strong business orientation

  • Ability to realize benefits & manage costs and risks associated with IT

  • Ability to bridge gaps between available technologies and business needs

  • Familiarity with client’s needs

  • Strong organizational skills

  • Ability to conceive and build multiple IT projects

  • Ability to articulate and advocate for a mgmt IT vision

  • Ability to mesh with existing mgmt structure

  • Strategic enterprise vision extending beyond IT

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Related Job Titles

  • CKO: Chief Knowledge Officer

  • CTO: Chief Technology Officer

  • CTO: Chief Telecommunications Officer

  • CNO: Chief Network Officer

  • CRO: Chief Resource Officer

  • Divisional CIOs/Corporate CIO

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Figure 8.1 The CIO’s lieutenants

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Other Information Systems Organizational Roles

  • IS Managers

  • Systems Developers

  • Business Analysts

  • Database Administrators

  • Operations Personnel

  • Support Personnel

  • Developers

  • Webmaster, Web Designer, Web Developer, etc.

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Figure 8.2 IS organization roles

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Figure 8.3 Sample IS Organizational Chart






IS Managers










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IS Organization Processes

  • Systems Development

  • Systems Maintenance

  • Data Center Operations

  • Information Management and Database Administration

  • Internet Services and Web-based Systems Development

  • Networking Services

  • New Technology Introduction

  • Resource Management

  • General Support

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What to Expect from IS

  • Anticipating New technologies

  • Strategic Direction

  • Process Innovation

  • Internal Partnerships

  • Supplier Management

  • Architecture and Standards

  • Human Resource Management

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Anticipating New Technologies…

  • Business and IS staff must work closely to evaluate which technologies can best advance the business strategy.

  • It is the job of the IS department to scout new technology trends and help the business integrate them into planning and operations in terms of the following 

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What IS doesn’t do…

  • There is still a need for management to partner with IS to make sure business goals and needs are met.

  • General managers generally set the business strategy, not IS professionals.

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  • Since the 1970s, IT managers have turned to outsourcing as an important weapon in the battle to control costs.

  • Outsourcing means the purchase of a good or service that was previously provided internally – with IT outsourcing an outside vendor provides IT services traditionally provided by the internal MIS department.

  • Over the years, however, motives for outsourcing have changed.

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Factors driving outsourcing

  • Cost savings

  • Qualified IT staff are difficult to find and retain

  • By bringing in outside expertise, management needs to focus less on IS operations and more on the information itself.

  • Outsourcers are specialists, should understand how to manage IS staff more effectively.

  • Outsourcers may have larger IS resources that provide greater capacity on demand.

  • Outsourcing can help a company overcome inertia to consolidate data centers that could not be consolidated by an internal group, or following a merger or acquisition.

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Figure 8.6 Drivers and disadvantages of outsourcing

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Avoiding Outsourcing Pitfalls

  • Don’t focus solely on price

  • Use life-cycle service contracts that occur in stages

  • Establish short-term supplier contracts

  • Use multiple, best of breed suppliers

  • Develop skills in contract management

  • Thoroughly evaluate outsourcers capabilities

  • Choose an outsourcer whose capabilities complement yours.

  • Base choice on a cultural fit as well as expertise

  • Determine if outsourcing relationship produces a net benefit for your company

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Centralized vs. Decentralized Organizational Structures

  • Centralized: reduces duplication since resources under one control and, often, in one location.

  • Decentralized: creates flexibility because resources not in the same location or control

  • “Federalism” combines centralization with decentralization.

  • For example:

    • Bethlehem Steel allows major business units (plants) to decentralize and operate independently while

    • Levi-Strauss centralized to minimize the duplication of resources and save on costs.

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Centralized vs. Decentralized Approaches

  • Bethlehem Steel has taken a decentralized approach, which mirrors their decentralized business strategy as its managers believed that computing power and decision-making should be located within local business units

  • Levi Strauss adopted a centralized strategy as it wanted to gain better control over strategic IT resources, minimize duplication across its business, and maximize sharing of scarce resources

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How does the management of IT differ when the scope is global, rather than local?

  • Large global MIS organizations face many of the same organizational issues as any other global department.

  • For IS, a number of issues arise that put the business at risk beyond the typical global considerations. Table 8.12 summarizes how a global IT perspective affects six information management issues.

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Figure 8.12 global, rather than local?Global Considerations for the MIS Organization

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Going Offshore for IS Development global, rather than local?

  • Countries such as India, the Philippines, etc, offer “offshoring”,an alternative to in-house systems development

  • Many Indian enterprises, for example, are well known for their use of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Level 5 software development processes, making them extremely reliable, and ultimately desirable as vendors

  • The types of tasks that are outsourced are usually those that can be well-specified

  • It raises the issue of what to send offshore, and what to keep within your enterprise MIS organization.

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Offshoring Problems global, rather than local?

Companies engaged in or considering offshoring express concern about …

  • quality of the work performed,

  • unexpected costs, and

  • project delays

  • future maintenance

  • not developing skills in-house

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and now for something completely different… global, rather than local?

Extreme Programming

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Extreme Programming (XP) global, rather than local?

  • A disciplined approach to software development

  • Good for risky projects with dynamic requirements

  • Emphasizes customer involvement and teamwork

  • Deliver software to customer asap and implement changes as suggested

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When to Use XP global, rather than local?

  • When customer does not have firm idea of requirements

  • When functionality is expected to change in short-term

  • When the time-line is compressed and risk is higher

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The XP Approach global, rather than local?

  • Set up for small teams of programmers – between 2 and 12

  • Cannot use XP on a project with a huge staff

  • Must be able to create automated unit and functional tests

  • User stories

  • Paired-programming

  • Small releases

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The XP Team global, rather than local?

  • Developers (work in pairs)

  • Managers

  • Customers

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XP: User Stories global, rather than local?

  • Customers create stories to describe functionality needed

  • Drive creation of acceptance tests for verification

  • Developers estimate how long each story will take to implement

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XP: Release Planning Meetings global, rather than local?

  • RPM used to create a release plan

  • Release plan used to create iteration plans

  • Project velocity = estimates of user stories completed in the last iteration

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XP: Iteration Planning global, rather than local?

  • Each iteration is 1 – 3 weeks long

  • User stories are broken down into programming tasks

  • Each task should be 1 – 3 days in duration

  • Use project velocity to determine if the iteration is overbooked

  • Adds agility to the process

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XP: Lessons Learned global, rather than local?

  • Customer is always available

  • Move people around

  • Avoid adding unnecessary functionality

  • Follow coding standards

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Network Security global, rather than local?

  • SSL – the Web standard

  • SET – a consortia standard favored by financial institutions

  • Digital signatures – provide authenticity

  • Firewalls – come in different flavors

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SSL global, rather than local?

  • Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet.

  • SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL, and many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers.

  • By convention, URLs that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http:.

  • Supports non-repudiation for merchant only!

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SET global, rather than local?

  • Secure Electronic Transaction, a standard that will enable secure credit card transactions on the Internet. SET has been endorsed by virtually all the major players in the electronic commerce arena, including Microsoft, Netscape, Visa, and Mastercard.

  • By employing digital signatures, SET will enable merchants to verify that buyers are who they claim to be. And it will protect buyers by providing a mechanism for their credit card number to be transferred directly to the credit card issuer for verification and billing without the merchant being able to see the number.

  • Supports non-repudiation for both buyer and merchant

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Firewalls global, rather than local?

  • Combine software and hardware

  • Normally between LANs and WANs

  • Can reside between LANs

  • May only check header information

  • May check content

  • Can take time to configure

  • Can slow down network

  • Can be assigned to one or multiple ports

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END OF CHAPTER 8 global, rather than local?