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Information Technology: What Is It and Strategies for IT Management Architecture Adele Edwards Database Development Officer Needs Assessment Database Management (NADM) Member Digital Libraries Initiative Group (DLIG) Member 4/10/01. Do We Have the Capabilities We Need?.

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Information Technology: What Is It and Strategies for IT Management ArchitectureAdele EdwardsDatabase Development OfficerNeeds Assessment Database Management (NADM) MemberDigital Libraries Initiative Group (DLIG) Member4/10/01

do we have the capabilities we need
Do We Have the Capabilities We Need?
  • SOURCE: Association of American Colleges QUOTE:We have become a people unable to comprehend the technology we invent.
what we are going to discuss
What We Are Going to Discuss
  • What we mean by Information Technology
  • What skills are included in IT
  • What are IT Management Processes
  • History of Organizing IT
  • Strategies to Discuss Organizing IT
  • What is needed for IT to succeed in the Library
  • References
also important but not covered
Also Important but Not Covered
  • the best use of IT
  • the cost and value of IT
  • the strategic direction we should take IT except as it relates to where those decisions should be made
  • whether we have all the IT resources we need
  • need for new IT resources
  • what new applications/systems we need
  • what old systems we need to improve
  • how we could better utilize IT
  • project management within IT, etc.
what we mean by information technology
What We Mean by Information Technology
  • Hardware – Servers, PCs, Printers, Scanners
    • purchasing, installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, updating, replacing, training
  • Software - Access, Netscape, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Operating Systems (Windows (NT, 9x), Linux, MacOS)
    • purchasing, installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, upgrading, solving configuration problems, training
what we mean by information technology1
What We Mean by Information Technology
  • Networks - Cables, PC Network Cards, Hubs, Routers, Ports, Network OS
    • purchasing, hardware, software, setup, maintenance, troubleshooting
  • Databases - III’s Innopac, Atlas (FAST db), SIS, FRS, Access DB, Oracle DB
    • design, programming, maintaining (changing, updating), admittance, troubleshooting, conversion, training
what we mean by information technology2
What We Mean by Information Technology
  • Web Applications-static pages, forms, links, interactive (Sabio), e-journals
    • hardware, software, networks, databases
    • design, programming, maintaining, updating, permissions, troubleshooting, training
  • Security – networks, OS, software, hardware
    • backups, firewalls, encryption, authentication and validation, locking devices
what we mean by information technology3
What We Mean by Information Technology
  • User Support - help desk, telephone support, user training, automated help, troubleshooting, tech. availability
  • Management–equipment, software and people, planning, research and development
    • vendor relationship, scheduling, technology refresh, personnel, communication with rest of Library, University and IT community, budgeting, marketing, tech. staff training
what skills are included in it
What Skills Are Included in IT
  • Technical
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Training
  • Team Work
  • Management (Project and People)
what are it management processes
What Are IT Management Processes
  • Setting Strategic Directions – DLIG, LIST, SLRP, Cabinet, other cross functional teams
    • Facilitation broad planning efforts regarding IT strategy and development of technology platforms
  • Establishing Infrastructure Systems – LIST, DLIG
    • Establishing and communicating hardware and software standards; planning, building, and running network highways with data access and delivery capabilities; and coordinating development of shared applications
what are it management processes1
What Are IT Management Processes
  • Searching for New Technology – DLIG, LIST, other teams/cross-functional teams
    • Identifying, assessing and experimenting with emerging IT
  • Developing Business Systems – NADM, FAST/LIST, and others (small systems)
    • Planning, building, and running specific application systems
what are it management processes2
What Are IT Management Processes
  • Access and Support of Technology Use – whole library
    • Diffusing IT throughout the organization through education, specialized consulting, access to IT utilities and services (e.g., data centers, desktop publishing, and high-resolution graphics), and by establishing and maintaining vendor relationships (e.g., negotiating service contracts, getting volume discounts)
understanding it management processes

“what” is done

strategic planning

central IS (Information Systems) or CIO (Chief Information Officer) type position/group


the actual “doing”

implementing details

organizational unit – team, dept.

Understanding IT Management Processes

When viewing IT management processes we need to be careful to separate the information

history of organizing it
History of Organizing IT
  • 1960’s to early 1980’s only large mainframes
  • Centralized management of resources, including
    • Data entry
    • Computer operations – keeping it running
  • The small set of users saw only reports
history of organizing it1
History of Organizing IT
  • Mid 1980 to late 1980’s, PC’s being used as well as large mainframes or mid-range
  • Decentralized
    • branch offices
    • large organizations with lots of PC use
  • Users start creating own data on PCs
    • Spreadsheets
    • Word processing
history of organizing it2
History of Organizing IT
  • Late 1980’s to mid 1990’s fewer mainframes bought, mainly servers or networked PCs
  • End-user had been ostracized as their needs grew. Now more effort to support small groups of users equally with entire organization.
  • Users were main creators and users of systems
    • Databases, graphics and images
    • E-mail, collaborative software
history of organizing it3
History of Organizing IT
  • Mid 1990’s to now, very complex collaborative systems using servers, PCs and the Internet.
  • CIO and/or CTO positioned high in organization to provide strategic planning of IT with organization’s goals.
  • Users have plethora of options to use, create and understand:
    • Internet – web systems, e-journals, portals
    • Database systems for all aspects of work
    • Communication devices – cell phones, chat rooms, electronic conferencing, palm computers
strategies to discuss organizing it
Strategies to Discuss Organizing IT

Two questions to help design the appropriate IT management architecture

  • How should IT responsibilities and resources be apportioned among teams?
  • What are the management processes central to effective IT management ?
strategies to discuss organizing it1
Strategies to Discuss Organizing IT

Factors that affect IT management responsibilities and thus the apportioning of them

  • The extent of the organization’s need for networking resources to exchange information among multiple teams or with external organizations
  • The organization-specific requirements to share data elements among teams or with external groups
  • The extent to which applying common application systems across the organization is desirable
  • The requirements for specialized human resources related to IT
questions for initiating dialogue
Questions for InitiatingDialogue

Networking resources

To what degree do our teams require networking capabilities?

  • Do we need to transport information in the form of data, voice, video, text, graphics, and/or images? Internally or externally?
  • Do we need to connect teams internally for electronic mail, access to data, and so forth?
  • Do the business units need to connect externally with business partners (i.e. via electronic data interchange)?
  • Do we need to reduce costs by sharing networking resources?

High ---------------------------------- low current situation high ---------------------------------- low strategic time frame (3-5 years)

questions for initiating dialogue1
Questions for Initiating Dialogue

Shared data

To what extent is data (e.g., Services, outcomes, instruction) shared across any of our teams?

  • Do we need standardized subject databases?
  • Do the functional areas need to share more than financial data?
  • Do the teams need to share data with other teams, customers,consortia partners, and other University units?

High ---------------------------------- low current situation high ---------------------------------- low strategic time frame (3-5 years)

questions for initiating dialogue2
Questions for Initiating Dialogue

Common Application Systems

To what extent do the business units have common application systems requirements?

  • Do we need consistent application architecture (e.g., consistent office automation or electronic mail across the teams)?
  • Should we have a standardized presence/image with customers?
  • Do the functional areas need high levels of integration and coordination?
  • Do the functional areas need business process integration (e.g., order entry, billing, or customer service)?High ---------------------------------- Low Current situation High ---------------------------------- Low Strategic Time Frame (3-5 years)
questions for initiating dialogue3
Questions for Initiating Dialogue

Human Resources

To what extent are the people required to run critical systems becoming more difficult to find and more expensive to hire and retain?

  • Do we need to increase productivity by building information systems?
  • Do we need to maximize critical skills?
  • Are critical skills in short supply? Should we have backup people with these skills?High ---------------------------------- Low Current situation High ---------------------------------- Low Strategic Time Frame (3-5 years)
interpreting answers
Interpreting Answers

If requirements for sharing across all factors are extremely high, then it is likely that a centralized IS (Information Systems) group should manage IT.

If most requirements are extremely low, then dispersing most IT management responsibilities to teams is the best architecture.

Usually, it is a combination of both.

what is needed for it to succeed in the library or anywhere
What Is Needed for IT to Succeed in the Library (or Anywhere)
  • Good Communication and Collaboration
    • Within the IT resources
    • Within the Library
  • Procedures and Policies
    • Help to know who does what and how
    • Eliminates guessing or unanswered questions
  • Vision for the future of IT in the Library
    • Must always look ahead and plan, not just react
  • Work in Progress – things will change over time
  • “Bridging the GAP between IT and Business Management: A Strategist’s Approach.” Effective Utilization and Management of Emerging Information Technologies – HD 30.2 I54 1998
  • “Changing Organizational Structure to Accommodate Information Management Strategy: An Examination of 3 Gov. Dept. in Queensland.” Effective Utilization and Management of Emerging Information Technologies – HD 30.2 I54 1998
  • Khosrowpour, Mehdi. Managing Information Technology Investments with Outsourcing – HD 30.2 M364 1995
  • Khosrowpour, Mehdi. “Reorganizing Information Technology Services in an Academic Environment.” Organizational Achievement and Failure in Information Technology Management HD 30.2 0739 2000
  • “Look at the Journey to IS Organizational Maturity: A Case Study of a CMM Level 3 IS Organization.” Challenges of Information Technology Management in the 21st Century – T 58.64 I533 2000
  • “Monitoring the IT Process Through a Balanced Score Card.” Effective Utilization and Management of Emerging Information Technologies – HD 30.2 I54 1998
  • Stephens,Charlotte S. “The Nature of Information Technology Managerial Work.” The Work Life of Five Chief Information Officers - HD 30.2 S783 1995
  • Thierauf, Robert.Effective Management and Evaluation of Information Technology HD 30.2 T48 1994