Long S Essays Example
– In today’s day and age Information technology is considered to be a fundamental and imperative part of almost every aspect of a business venture and it is this association with every feature of the business that makes it different from all other functions. IT has long evolved from the idea of a nerd sitting in front of a computer to a full-fledged force to be reckoned with; its many roles include marketing, production, communication, data and inventory management, managing relationships with both customers and sellers and decision support.
– As CIO of such a large company, my numberone priority would be the ability to keep a close check on the workings of my organization. To achieve this end, I would choose the hybrid form of organization, which as the name suggests combines both the centralized and decentralized forms. The advantage of this hybrid form is that it promotes strategic and business alignment in the company and allows for widespread control and interaction between the various departments of the organization. My alternative choice would have been the decentralized type of organization. However, I did not choose this form because allowing every part of the organization to work independently can produce rifts between workers and departments and promote localized union and loyalties formation.
– Strategic alignment refers quite simply to bringing in line the company’s business strategy and infrastructure with that of its IT department. This alignment is extremely important and necessary for the survival of any business venture as it promotes effective communication and understanding amongst personnel of these separate departments. Both the departments understand what is required of each other thereby allowing the business to deliver its best.
– IT personnel at the start of their career require more or less only their technical skills as they are usually only responsible for the management of their equipment, its operation, and well-being. However, as is the case with any career, as an IT officer climbs the ladder of success his job description evolves and becomes more administrative. He is expected to acquire interpersonal skills to act as a representative of his department. When he attains an executive post his role becomes both managerial and administrative as he is now responsible for the technical workers under his domain and also for effective communication between different departments and companies.
– The recruitment of IT talent involves both conventional methods such as advertisements in the newspaper, job scouts conducting interviews in highly ranked universities and listings. A more modern approach is using the internet to send out job availabilities to quite literally the entire world so as to employ the best possible contenders for the job.
– IT governance is a division of corporate governance and refers to the process of making decisions regarding the acquisition and then deployment of IT resources based on the use of organizational processes of the business it is a part of. It is important as it allows for decision making and strategic alignment amongst an organization, two key essentials for success. Other types of governance include those based on organization structure, on human relationships and on processes.
– Communication is essential between any department to ensure the smooth running of business organizations. It becomes even more important between the business and its IT department as they are involved in almost every facet of the organization. Effective communication results in better understanding and a congenial working atmosphere thereby ensuring quality delivery while any miscommunication can have disastrous consequences for the business. All efforts should be made to keep said communication between the two parties simple and understandable for all. Heads of each department should be involved directly thereby setting a model for their juniors.
– Measuring IT is an extremely important part of running systems smoothly as they allow not only maximum efficiency and effectivity of said systems, but also help in identifying any areas for improvement. Qualified IT professionals should be involved in this checking process, which should include measurement of all technical equipment and programming. This will help in reducing losses and improving outcome.
– The term Chief Information Officer (CIO) is self-explanatory and refers to the highest executive of the Information Technology firm or department. The position evolved in the 1980’s when IT became a leading force to be reckoned with and began to describe the world of tomorrow. As IT became more firmly entrenched in the roots of all businesses and departments, this role became more managerial and administrative. Today his responsibilities are much more far reaching and include not only technical support but also decision making with other heads of departments and communication with the outside world in the form of clients and associates.
The CIO is an executive who needs to have utter command over all facets of the organization. His skills should include not only the knowledge and supervision of technical equipment or staff; he is also required to have firm command over communication skills, interpersonal relations, leadership roles, marketing, management and the know-how of the business itself.
The job is mainly leadership oriented as he is responsible for a large network of technical support and staff who require delegation of tasks and proper supervision by an experienced and firm leader. The CIO must also enjoy a relationship of respect and confidence with other executives and the CEO himself as his job is interconnected with the smooth running of all the departments in general and the business in particular.
As stated, the roles of the CIO are widespread, and similarly so are the expectations associated with him. To be able to fulfill all these jobs both effectively and with success, the CIO should be able to delegate these tasks to responsible personnel, which are then constantly monitored . To achieve his tasks he must be a man of vision and honesty, who can recognize his junior’s worth. He must enjoy a good working relationship with his peers and those working under him.
CIO’s today are an integral part of any organization and so must be chosen with care as a good CIO will guarantee the success of his IT department and ultimately of the business.
– Strategic alignment refers to the process of bringing in line the company’s business strategy and infrastructure with that of its IT department. The strategic alignment maturity model is the framework according to which this alignment takes place. This framework allows the enterprise to assess the harmony or lack thereof between the business and its IT department, thereby allowing room for improvement and fixing any faults at hand. A lack of strategic alignment or improper application of the maturity model can lead to widespread failure of the business.
The Luftman model is based on 5 levels which, have to be climbed or achieved ‘maturity’ of the alignment. These levels are 1) initial process 2) committed process 3) established process 4) improved process and 5) optimized process.
The model addresses six principal areas which, all have to be addressed to achieve optimum business efficiency and strategic alignment. The areas addressed include communication between and within departments, competency and skill level of employees, governance, partnership, and scope and value measurement of the business itself.
Tesco is a leading supermarket with branches all over Europe. Its image has always been simple; selling products at a lesser cost than other brands. To achieve this end and provide discounted prices to its customers Tesco introduced the concept of self-checkouts and online grocery thereby successfully aligning the use of IT with its business strategy. These changes led to a huge increase in annual profits. The areas mentioned by Luftman have all more or less been employed by Tesco. Communication between departments is evident by the smooth efficiency of the system with the IT backing up decisions of the company. Competency and skill level of the employees is again visible as self-checkout counters and the website have been huge successes with minimal to no hiccoughs. Value measurement of the business is self-evident by the introduction of the program “step change” which is responsible for both IT and general business improvements.
– Technology is ever changing, on a day to day basis so that what is trending today may be virtually extinct within the next few years. The aims of any successful business organization are simple enough: cut costs, make more money and deliver the best. To achieve these aims, it is essential to keep at par with the changing technology and implement as soon as possible. The primary responsibility for this task falls on the CIO as he is the leader responsible for bringing any such changes into order.
The CIO must himself be aware of all new changes taking place in the technological world and should also know what benefits it will bring to the company and what it will cost the company is terms of installation. He must also then be able to sell his product to the CEO in terms that will make it appealing for him for e.g. The CEO is most probably not a technical person and must be explained in terms of money and profits garnered what new technology can do for his business.
However, no new technology should be brought in blindly as every new venture is a gamble in the business world. Alternatives have to be assessed for e.g. is the old technology bringing in lesser profits than this new will bring, and risks vs. cost have to be determined; if the cost of the technology is more than what the company is making in a year will bringing it in be worth it. Different types of systems have to be considered. Also, any new introductions should be made on a small scale so that glitches in the system can be identified, and its efficiency determined before large amounts of money are spent on it.
Above all of these measures, it is most important, to be honest and truthful. Expectations should not be raised beyond reality, and it should be explained that even new systems can sometimes bring failure.
– The change curve is a representation of human behavior in response to change. It was designed in 1975 by renowned psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in order to explain the different stages of grief or change the human experiences following personal bereavement and loss. It has been adapted by companies today to explain the attitude of employees in the face of change in their working environment.
Change is an every evolving facet of human life. Change has evolved man to come out of the Stone Age to this technologically advanced age of today and history has proved time and again that whoever adapts to change will be successful. In this day and age change becomes even more important, as the world is advancing at an unbelievable rate, and in order to achieve any degree of success it is imperative to keep in line with it.
Understanding the change curve, helps companies in realizing that their employees will react in a certain way to new introductions and lets them make allowances for decreased productivity times.
The change curve consists of seven steps:
– Denial: The employee refuses to accept the change and acts as if it does not exist. He refuses to believe that the change can bring any good to his work.
– Anger: At this point the employee not only resists change but also shows his displeasure at the new venture.
– Bargaining: The employee realizes that the change will be enforced at all costs and as a saving gesture tries to bargain for some advantages for himself.
– Depression: Once an employee starts using the new change, depression sets in and he thinks that he will never be able to achieve goals or be good at this new job.
– Testing: This is the beginning of acceptance when he starts thinking that he might end up liking this new change after all.
– Acceptance: The employee begins to understand the new system fully and can now not do without it.
– Integration: The new change becomes fully entrenched in the employees’ lives, and maximum productivity is achieved.
– This class has been full of surprises. At the beginning of the session, it did not seem even remotely possible that I would enjoy this course work as much as I did.
There is no doubt that the course has opened my eyes to a very interesting subject, which I am confident will be of use to me in my professional life. The book was extremely well-written, interesting and surprisingly easy to assimilate. The assignment while long was an interesting journey of thought work and research which, helped me understanding so many subjects I was unfamiliar with.
The classes themselves were a pleasure to attend with us learning so much by our teacher’s real life experiences. Experiences that no amount of book reading or research can replace.
However, it has taught me most importantly more than business and IT the value of communications and alignment. How nothing can flourish without teamwork and close association of all departments. I believe these are lessons to take home, no matter what your course of life may be.
Leadership in the Information Age by Jerry N. Luftman. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004