The acquisition of information systems: Issues, choices, activities

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23 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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The acquisition of information
systems: Issues, choices, activities

MBA 501

Week 5


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Objectives of today’s class...



To distinguish between the typical stages
involved in the development of a BIS (the
SDLC) and explain their purpose and main
deliverables


To examine the management issues related to
how BIS are acquired


To examine some of the management issues
related to the use of open source software


To examine some of the management issues
related to the “real time enterprise”

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Stages of the Systems Development Life Cycle

Initiation

Input: evaluation of
IT problems/needs

Output: Ideas for
new system

Requirement
(systems)
analysis

Input: Terms of
reference from
feasibility report

Output: Detailed
requirements /
system specification.
DFDs, ERDs etc


System design

Input: Requirements
specification

Output: Detailed
design specification
(database, interface,
data capture and
storage etc)


System build

Input: Requirements
and design
specifications

Output: working
software, manuals,
documentation


Feasibility
study

Input: Ideas for
new system

Output: feasibility
report and go/no
go
recommendation



Implementation

Input: Working system not
tested by users

Output: signed
-
off
operational system
installed in all locations




Maintenance

Post implementation
review

System improvement


Kill

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

The sequence of phases in the

SDLC


Structured analysis and design provides a systematic approach
to developing systems:


The model indicates that each step should be satisfactorily
completed before the next begins


Each step also has a link back to the previous stage, to correct
errors/problems (eg. at the build stage, design errors or
oversights may need to be corrected


Analysis and design errors detected in the later phases of the
SDLC cost more to fix than if detected in earlier phases


Problems with highly structured methodologies has given rise
to alternative models of systems development eg.


Rapid Application Development and Extreme Programming

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Failure points for traditional “structured”
methods of systems development



Gap of understanding between users and developers


Tendency of developers to isolate themselves from
users


Quality measured by closeness of product to
specification rather than comparing deliverables to
requirements


Long development times


Business needs change during the development
process


What users get isn’t necessarily what they want

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Reasons for the development of Rapid
Application Development (RAD)


RAD was launched in the early 90’s in response to 2
conditions


increased speed and turbulence of doing business


the ready availability of high
-
powered, computer
-
based
tools to support systems development and maintenance


Problems with traditional waterfall method


long cycles
-

system may be obsolete before it is built


RAD and similar systems based on prototyping
became increasingly legitimate and are widely used in
the mainstream


“Flavours” of RAD: Agile, Extreme Programming (XP), Joint
Application Development (JAD), Scrum, Lean Software
Development

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005


Initiation

Feasibility analysis, project planning,

Change and Risk Management


PROTOTYPING (analysis and design)

ANALYSIS

DESIGN

DEVELOP

TEST AND

REVIEW

Design, test,

specification

Prototype
produced

Requirements
specification

Change requests

Final implementation

System and acceptance testing

Data migration and changeover

Maintenance

Monitoring and enhancing

The role of
prototyping
within the
SDLC

MANAGEMENT ISSUES RELATED TO
HOW BUSINESS INFORMATION
SYSTEMS ARE ACQUIRED


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

So you need some new software?

Drivers for information systems acquisition

Information system needs
(requirements)

Business
strategy
and
policies

External
business
environment

Internal
business
processes

Business Information Systems.
Bocij

et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Typical software acquisition
alternatives that must be evaluated

Bespoke

development

In
-
house

Outsourced

Off
-
the
-
shelf

(packaged)

Standard

Tailored

User
-
developed

Business Information Systems.
Bocij

et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Bespoke development


Where an information system is developed from scratch
by an IS professional (or team) to suit the business
requirements of the application


Can be either in
-
house or outsourced


Benefits


Can be tailored to the precise business need


Proprietary system


may be a core business asset that
competitors cannot match


Difficulties


Cost
-

the most expensive way to develop a new BIS


Time
-

notorious for time overruns, especially when using formal
structured methodologies


Quality


may be buggy (insufficient testing) or may not meet
business requirements
-

often due to poor analysis of system
requirements

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Purchasing ‘off
-
the
-
shelf’ (packaged)
software


Direct purchase of a pre
-
written application used by
more than one company


written to offer broad functionality to suit a wide range of
businesses


Fewer bugs because software developed for commercial
market


Cheaper than bespoke


Difficulties


May offer features not needed


Requires business processes to be organized in a particular
way


May have inflexible/unsuitable features (
eg
. specified # of
characters for customer code)


Some packaged software can be tailored to suit


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

End
-
user developed software


Written by non
-
IS professionals
-

ie. the business users
themselves for “end
-
user applications”


These apps are personal or departmental in nature and tend to
be output or report
-
oriented


Examples: spreadsheets, small databases, websites


Advantage is that there will be good fit between the user’s
requirements and the system


Disadvantages


there may be the use of inappropriate software tools


hard to maintain (didn’t work to standards)


buggy software because of


lack of knowledge


little or no design, planning or documentation


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Factors affecting software acquisition: evaluation of
alternatives

Acquisition
option

Delivery
time

Cost

Quality:
Bugs

Quality: Fits
business
need

Bespoke in
-
house

Poor

Poor

Poor

Good

Bespoke
software
house

Good

Very poor

Medium

Medium

End
-
user
development

Poor

Medium

Poor

Good

Tailored
-

off
the shelf

Good

Good

Good

Medium

Standard
-

off
the shelf

Very good

Very good

Very good

Poor

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Other factors affecting software acquisition


Where the software is generic (such as office productivity
packages) organizations will purchase off
-
the
-
shelf


Where niche software is needed for particular purposes or
to create business advantage, then the bespoke approach
is more common


Organization size


In
-
house IS/IT expertise


IS/IT expertise among end
-
users


Linkages with existing applications software
-

amount of
integration required


Complexity of the required system


Uniqueness of the required system


Application complexity versus uniqueness

HIGH

HIGH

LOW

LOW

Complexity of
application

Off
-
the
-
shelf

package

Bespoke

development

Off
-
the
-
shelf package or
end
-
user development

Bespoke or end
-
user

development

Uniqueness of application

High complexity

Low uniqueness

Low complexity

Low uniqueness

High complexity

High uniqueness

Low complexity

High uniqueness

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

In
-
class exercise: Decision model
for selecting a method of
information system acquisition


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005



Software trends that impact the
acquisition decision


Open source software



“Real
-
time” enterprise software



Software is becoming much more network
-
centric.


“Cloud computing” and “Software
-
as
-
a
-
Service” (We will look at these next week)


OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE

Open source software


A definition (from the Open Source Initiative (OSI))


"Open source promotes software reliability and quality by
supporting independent peer review and rapid evolution of
source code. To be OSI certified, the software must be
distributed under a license that guarantees the right to read,
redistribute, modify, and use the software freely."


Open source software is developed through public
collaboration between programmers

Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Open Source Software


Open Source is about how software is developed,
enhanced, and managed


The detailed
Open Source definition
(Open Source Initiative)


The complete (uncompiled) source code must be
distributed with any and all distributions


Anyone can modify and redistribute the code for anyone
else to use


Licensed

for these purposes (eg. under a
GPL
)


It is the opposite of proprietary software, which is sold
only in its compiled state


that is indecipherable by
humans


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

So, is it free?


It depends……


Definition of free software


The license is free


Customization, integration, installation,
support, maintenance, training


Definitely not free


Red Hat’s
revenue stream
comes from subscriptions to services that support
the use of Linux (Open Source OS)


Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

Drivers towards Open Source adoption


Report
from
The Standish Group

(registration needed)

1.
Fashion

2.
Community

3.
Security

4.
Quality and reliability

5.
Initial cost

6.
Development speed

7.
Vendor initiative

8.
Support

9.
Skills

10.
Ongoing costs


Business issues re Open Source


Now seen as “disruptive technology”


Viability was underestimated


Stats showing Server OS
(
Netcraft
, January 2013 survey)


Stats for browsers and desktop OS
(W3Counter, December 2012)


Microsoft underestimated the threat


normal rules of competition don’t
apply


Not possible to undercut the price


Not possible to “buy the company” to get rid of competition


Probably not possible to “buy the people”


Negotiations / arguments are all done in public forums


Better way is to find ways to work together and co
-
operate


IBM

is a prime example of an established company working within the open source
movement


Forrester’s 5 stages of open source adoption (
Video of
CodePlex

panel
) 6m



Business Information Systems. Bocij et al.
Prentice Hall. 2005

THE REAL
-
TIME ENTERPRISE

The Real
-
Time Enterprise


“The essence of the “real
-
time enterprise” is
that organizations can know what they are
doing at the moment, rather than waiting
days, weeks or months for the information, as
has been the case”



Without a real
-
time feedback loop it is like
driving a car without being able to see the
road

McNurlin
, Sprague & Bui. Information
Systems Management in Practice. Pearson.
2008

Some uses of real
-
time technology


Enterprise nervous systems: to coordinate company
operations eg. A car arrives on a dealer’s lot


data is
instantly available


Straight
-
through processing: to reduce distortion in
supply chains


Communicating objects: to gain real
-
time data about
the physical world (rg. RFID)


Vigilant information systems: to move to a sense
-
and
-
respond culture (not just receiving, but acting)


Real time customer relationship management: to
automate decision making about customers


McNurlin
, Sprague & Bui. Information
Systems Management in Practice. Pearson.
2008

Real
-
time CRM


Real
-
time response between a firm and its
customer eg.


Via web site


Collaborative filtering (automated)


amazon.com


Sense and respond (automated)


Customer service (two
-
way, always
-
on)


Advertising networks


Via call centre


Information needs to be available in real
-
time to call
-
centre workers (HUDS etc)

McNurlin
, Sprague & Bui. Information
Systems Management in Practice. Pearson.
2008

So why don’t all organization go
“real
-
time”?


Getting closer...


But not so easy to achieve


Expensive: sophisticated technology and a seamless
integrated platform needed


Assessment needed to decide what really needs to be real
-
time and what metrics should be used to help make
automated decisions


Needs care and attention from employees


“real
-
time
expectations”


Privacy considerations

McNurlin
, Sprague & Bui. Information
Systems Management in Practice. Pearson.
2008