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MEIE881 The Management Information Systems Organization MIS Organization

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The Management Information Systems Organization

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MIS Organization

Define CKO, CTO, CIO, CPO, IT GovernanceDiscuss the functions typically performed in the IS organizationDiscuss the advantages, disadvantages and characteristics of centralized, decentralized and federal organizational structuresDiscuss and apply Weill’s framework for IT Governance

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Figure 9.1 The CIO’s lieutenants

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Figure 9.3 Sample IS organization chart

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What IS Does Not Do

  • Does not perform core business functions such as:

    • Selling

    • Manufacturing

    • Accounting

  • Does not set business strategy.

    • General managers must not delegate critical technology decisions.

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Figure 9.7 Organizational continuum

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Global standards

Common data

“One voice” with suppliers

Economies of scale

Access to large capacity

Better recruitment of IT personnel


Technology may not meet local needs

Lack of business unit control

‘Us’ vs. ‘They’

Slow support for strategic initiatives

Centralization: Advantages & Disadvantages

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Better meet local needs

Closer partnership between IT and business units

Greater flexibility

Better match with decentralized enterprise structure

Better unit control over overhead costs


Difficulty in maintaining global standards & consistent data

Higher infrastructure costs

Loss of control

Duplication of staff & data

Harder to negotiate preferential supplier agreements

Decentralization: Advantages & Disadvantages

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Figure 9.10 Federal IT

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  • Structuring approach

  • Distributes power, hardware, software, data and personnel between a central IS group and IS in business units

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IT Governance – Weill (2004)

  • Definition – specifying the framework for decision rights and accountabilities to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT

  • Broad-based input rights

    • Mostly Federal (followed by IT Duopoly)

  • High IT governance performers could describe IT governance

    • (but not low IT governance performers)

    • IT duopolies for IT principles and investments

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IT Governance CSFs

  • Transparency

  • Actively designed

  • Infrequently redesigned

  • Education about IT governance

  • Simplicity (few performance goals)

  • An exception handling process (for new opportunities)

  • Governance designed at multiple organizational levels

  • Aligned incentives

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Discuss the reasons for outsourcing

Discuss disadvantages of outsourcing

Discuss conditions when outsourcing is appropriate

Define backsourcing and describe the reasons for backsoucing

Discuss structuring and managing the outsourcing arrangement

Describe open sourcing and strategies for its use

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Offshore sourcing

  • Define offshore sourcing, captive center, nearshoring

  • Discuss reasons for and challenges of offshore sourcing

  • Describe steps clients take in finding a provider

  • Describe steps providers take in acquiring clients

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Sourcing Decisions




Is This Working

Make or Buy



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  • The purchase of a good or service from another company

  • Farm out data center operations (facilities management)

  • Farm out tasks and services

  • Farm out systems development

  • May transfer IS function to vendor

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Saving $$$: Provider Advantages

  • Tighter overhead cost control

  • More aggressive use of low-cost labor pools

  • More effective bulk purchases and leasing arrangements

  • Better management of excess hardware capacity

  • Better control over software licenses

  • Hustle (Staying alive)

  • Creative and more realistic structuring of leases

  • Leaner management structure because of increased competence and critical mass volumes of work

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Outsourcing Disadvantages

  • Reliance on vendor/partner

  • Loss of control

  • Considerations about security/confidentiality

  • Evaporization of cost savings

  • Loss of competitive advantage

  • Slight of hand with employees

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  • Bringing an outsourcing arrangement back in house

  • Reasons

    • Economic

    • Strategic

    • Relationship

    • Power

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Structuring the Alliance

  • Flexible contract ( a lot can happen over 10 years)

    • Shorten length

    • Termination clause

  • Detailed performance standards

    • Service levels (terminal response times)

    • Baseline period measurement

    • Growth rates

    • Service volume fluctuations

    • Resolution of performance disputes

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Structuring the Alliance

  • Partial vs. complete outsourcing

  • Multiple vendors

  • Cost savings

    • Multiple evaluations

    • Outside consultants

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Structuring the Alliance

  • Supplier stability and quality

    • Conflict of interests

  • Management fit

  • Conversion problems

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Managing the Alliance

  • Strong CIO function

    • Partnership/contract management

    • Architecture planning

    • Emerging technologies

    • Continuous learning

  • Service Oriented Architecture

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Managing the Alliance

  • Performance measurements – continuous

    • Low-structured tasks more difficult to outsource

    • Low-structured task provide higher margins for provider

  • Customer-outsourcer interface

    • Specified account manager in provider company

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Offshore sourcing

  • Captive center – offshore center owned by the client company

  • Offshore sourcing (offshoring) – sourcing to a company outside the home country

  • Nearshoring – sourcing service work to a foreign, lowewr-wage country that is relatively close in distance or time zone (or both).

  • Most common offshore sourcing IT activities

    • Maintenance

    • Testing

    • Coding

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Where do Captive Centers Fit?



Is This Working

Make or Buy



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Captive Centers

  • Hybrid Captive

    • Performs core business processes for parent company

    • Outsources noncore work

  • Shared Captive

    • Performs work for parent company and external customers

  • Divested Captive

  • Terminated Captive

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Estimates on Market SizesCarmel & Tjia, 2006

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Demand for offshore work

  • Most aggressive offshore consumers are in US; Within Europe, UK is most active

  • Most active industries: financial services (banks, investment firms, insurance cos) and technology firms (software, hardware & telecommunications)

  • Motivation: cost savings, flexibility, accessing talent, follow-the-sun

  • 100 nations are now exporting software services and products


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Extra offshore costs (%)Carmel & Tija 2005

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Offshore challenges

  • Communication breakdown

  • Coordination breakdown

  • Control breakdown

  • Cohesion barriers

  • Culture clash

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Offshoring from client Perspective

  • Laying the foundation

  • Identifying providers

  • Assessing and selecting the provider

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Laying the foundation

  • Assess your offshoring readiness (project management maturity, risk assessment, organizational flexibility, offshore experience)

  • Set up powerful launch team

  • Hire external expert

  • Create a strategy and a plan

  • Select right project

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Identifying the providers

  • Locate providers

  • Select country (language, general software skills, government, travel time)

  • Develop criteria for provider selection

  • Write RFI/RFP

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Assessing and selecting the provider

  • Due diligence

    • Check references

    • Set up local meetings to discuss their abilities and your criteria

    • Pay attention to soft elements (i.e., trust, feeling comfortable

  • Offshore visit

  • Make recommendation and contract negotiations

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Marketing offshore services: Provider Perspective

  • Fierce competition: 4000 companies in low cost countries

  • Quality of service can’t be judged until after the service is consumed

  • Many IT services companies founded by technical professionals – not marketeers

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Characteristics: Successful IT Services Exporters International Trade Center

  • A truly international outlook (and desire) for exporting

  • A long-term commitment to exporting

    • May take 2-3 years to generate business

  • Thorough research into new markets and development of export plans

  • An international reputation for quality.

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First Steps

  • Create realistic business plan

    • Types of offshore services required by market

    • Assess competitors and their place in market

    • Best ways to enter target market

  • Seek business intelligence

  • Define target markets

    • Market size

    • Linkages (linguistic, historic, geographic, diaspora)

  • Set up local base (sales office; representative)

  • Conduct SWOT analysis

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Local Marketing Activities

  • Generate client leads

    • “numbers game”

  • Trade fairs

  • Marketing material

  • Seminars

  • Public relations

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Business Discussions with Clients

  • Know client types

    • Know offshoring champions in firm

    • Start with low-risk projects

    • Cultivate long-term relationships

  • Know clients’ cultures

  • Build trust

  • Create country branding (with trade associations and government offices)

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Offshoring Issues

  • Onshore Outsourcing

  • IS Outsourcing Bad for the US?

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Open Sourcing

  • The process of building and improving “free” software by an Internet community

    • Release early and often

    • Delegate as much as possible

    • Archive and manage the versions

    • Be as open as possible

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Free Software

The freedom to run the program for any purpose.

The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

The freedom to distribute copies so that you can help your neighbor.

The freedom to improve and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. Access to source code is a precondition for this GNU Project- Free Software Foundation, “The Free Software Definition,”, Downloaded 4/3/02.

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Open Sourcing Issues

  • Protection of Intellectual Property

  • Updating and maintaining open source code

  • Competitive advantage

  • Tech support

  • Standards