International Strategic Management

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Introduction:

A better Information System Acquisition will give a company an edge over competitors in a various different departments. It reduces cost and time to deliver. Information Technology helps the organisation in selecting of software, that what kind of software they need to fulfil the needs and requirement. The four options for Information System Acquisition are:

In house bespoke development by the IT function: when an information system is developed internally by an organisation. It is developed to meet business requirements of different clients.

Outsourcing: It is contracting the required Information System from another company. The outside firms that are providing the outsourcing services are third party providers or as they are more commonly called service providers.

Commercial Off the Shelf: COTS is a term for software or hardware, technology or computer products, that are ready make and available for sale, lease or license to the general public.

End User Computing: End user applications were created to optimize workplace performance for individual, groups and departments. End user applications are used to apply information technology solution to solve organisational and business problems or improve workplace productivity.

Knowledge management: Knowledge management is a concept in which organisation gathers, organizes, shares and analysis its knowledge in terms of resources, documents, people and skills.

In-house bespoke developments by IT function:

In-house bespoke development is designed to enable organisation to reduce expenses, boost performance and achieve organisation goals. In-house development is a professional approach to client demands. It is developed to meet business requirements of different clients. It improves functionality thereby reducing the cost and time to deliver. It enhances the ability to monitor the entire organisation operation. Sometimes commercial off the shelf solution are not effective to meet the unique business needs of customers that's where in-house development provide high quality, cost effective and modified to suit business requirements.

In-house development helps organisation to beat their competitors with innovative technologies and products. It helps to achieve operational excellence without compromising the quality of the products.

"Software development approaches have moved away from the rigid "signing-off" of requirements that cast these requirements in stone over lengthy delivery tie scales. Modern software development projects that generate costs far in excess of potential benefits and, what is more important for many organisation, the delay mean that IS supported competitive opportunity are lost".(Wendy Robson 1994, Strategic management and IS).

Outsourcing:

Outsourcing is contracting with another company or person to a particular function. The outside firms that are providing the outsourcing services are third party providers or as they are more commonly called service providers. The decision to outsource is made in the interest of lowering cost or making better use of time and energy or to make more efficient use of land, labour, capital, technology and resources. Many companies outsource customer service support, manufacturing, market research, engineering, designing and accounting. Dell outsource their customer services in India so it is beneficial but there is a language barrier, a person in India might not be able to explain the problem to an English person than the way an English person will explain it to customer.

"The process of outsourcing generally encompasses four stages: 1) strategic thinking, to develop the organization's philosophy about the role of outsourcing in its activities; 2) evaluation and selection, to decide on the appropriate outsourcing projects and potential locations for the work to be done and service providers to do it; 3) contract development, to work out the legal, pricing and service level agreement (SLA) terms; and 4) outsourcing management or governance, to refine the ongoing working relationship between the client and outsourcing service providers". (http://www.sourcingmag.com/content/what_is_outsourcing.asp)

Organisations those outsourcings are seeking to realize benefits or address the following issues:

Cost saving: The lowering of the overall cost of the service to the business. This will involve reducing the scope, defining quality levels, re-pricing, re-negotiation, cost re-structuring. Access to lower cost economies through offshoring called "labour arbitrage" generated by the wage gap between industrialised and developing nations.

Capacity management: An improved method of capacity management of services and technology where the risk in providing the excess capacity is borne by the supplier.

Improve Quality: Achieve a step change in quality through contracting out the service with a new service level agreement.

Access to talent: Access to a larger talent pool and a sustainable source of skills, in particular in science and engineering.

Knowledge: Access to intellectual property and wider experience and knowledge.

Commercial off the Shelf (COTS):

COTS is a term for software or hardware, technology or computer products, that are ready make and available for sale, lease or license to the general public. For example Microsoft Office is a COTS product that is a packaged software solution for businesses. COTS products are designed to be implemented easily into existing systems without the need for customization. The use of COTS is being mandated across many government and business programs as they may offer significant savings in procurement and maintenance. The COTS using, reduces the overall finance and maintenance costs. The systems has less chance of errors and easy to use for end users that they can achieve the organisation's goals easily.

Defence Application: "The Department of Defence has found great potential in COTS products. As technology advances are driven by the commercial market, COTS purchases allow the Department of Defence to entice new companies and capture new innovations. By referring its COTS acquisition process the DoD can facilitated the entry of new companies into the defence industry, thus ensuring continued innovation (Jamie O'Brien)".

Advantages:

Faster system development time

Lower development cost

Continual product improvement

The cost of which can be shared by many users

More time to concentrate on the company goals

Disadvantages:

Lack of managerial control

No confidentiality

End User Computing:

End user applications were created to optimize workplace performance for individual, groups and departments. End user computing included "the use of computers by knowledge workers without the direct interference of professional systems analysts and programmers" (Regan & O'Connor, 2004). End user applications are used to apply information technology solution to solve organisational and business problems or improve workplace productivity. It is distinguished from other forms of computing because of the emphasis placed on the application of information technology to the need of individuals, groups and departments. EUC's goal is to allow unskilled staff to use expensive and highly skilled knowledge in their jobs by putting the knowledge and expertise into the computer and teaching the end user how to access it.

In order to control end user application development organisation must consider restricting the selection and acquisition of hardware and software usage policies, authorise the IS department to oversee the acquisition of new technology and determine the conditions under which end user applications can access corporate data. "Computing can be labelled black box where trust will be an essential part".

"The historical view regarding end users is being eroded by the internet and wireless communication where the traditional end user is able to actively contribute and add value to the computer system. Wikis are one example where end users provide the content and free webmaster to manage the site. Another example within the computer field is free software where end users can engage is all aspects of software development from feature requests through testing and reviews, to usability, documentation and distribution (Jamie O'Brien)". End user computing can have a range of forms and values.

Knowledge Management:

The sharing and integrating of expertise within and between functions and divisions through real time interconnected IT. Knowledge management is a concept in which organisation gathers, organizes, shares and analysis its knowledge in terms of resources, documents, people and skills. Knowledge management involves data mining and some method of operation to push information to users. Some vendors are offering products to help an organisation stock and access knowledge resources.

Majorprocess

Activities

Gathering

Dataentry

OCRandscanning

Voiceinput

Pullinginformationfromvarioussources

Searchingforinformationtoinclude

Organising

Cataloguing

Indexing

Filtering

Linking

Refining

Contextualising

Collaborating

Compacting

Projecting

Mining

Disseminating

Flow

Sharing

Alert

Push

(Jeff Angus and Jeetu Patel)

A knowledge management plan involves a survey of corporate goals and a close examination of the tools both traditional and technical that is for addressing the need of the company. The challenge is to select or build software that fits the context of the overall plan and encourage employees to share information.

Knowledge management (KM) refers to a range of practices used by organisations to identify, create, represent and distribute knowledge for reuse and learning across organisation. Knowledge management tools are used to tie organisational objectives to the achievement of specific business outcomes such as improved performance, competitive advantage and higher levels of innovation.

There are a few organisation essentials of knowledge that organisation must know about them:

Customer

Knowledge in processes

Products and services

Organisational memory

Knowledge in people

Knowledge in relationship

Assets

Conclusion:

In my point of view In-house development is good for organisation. It is more reliable from any other source. In-house development will not require high technology training. There is high security control over confidential of the company.

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