Strategic role of information systems and supporting it infrastructure in the automobile industry: a case study of toyota vs. Ford




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НазваниеStrategic role of information systems and supporting it infrastructure in the automobile industry: a case study of toyota vs. Ford
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STRATEGIC ROLE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
AND SUPPORTING IT INFRASTRUCTURE
IN THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY:
A CASE STUDY OF TOYOTA VS. FORD


Submitted: 24 May 20XX

Prepared by:

John Smith (Student No: 0050099999)
john.smith@gmail.com

Kate Citizen (Student No: 005008888)
kate.citizen @hotmail.com

Word Count: 3,987 words



  • This mock-up report is a mishmash of excerpts from past student assignment reports and journal articles, and also includes the course leader’s comments. Its purpose is purely to illustrate an acceptable report format for CIS8000 Assignment 3. Most of its content will therefore not make sense when you read them.

  • Other report formats can also be used provided they conform to the guidelines described in Chapter 3 (Report writing) of the Communication Skills Handbook 3ed by Summers & Smith.

  • The first-named student will be contacted if there is a need for the course leader to do so e.g. the marker is unable to open the file. Hence, please provide your personal email address in the report to enable the course leader to quickly reach you. Note that if the student can’t be contacted or fail to respond within 24 hours the assignment will not be marked.

  • Word count should NOT include the executive summary, letter of transmittal, table of contents, figures, tables, references or appendices.



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

ABC IT Consulting Pty Ltd

21/11 Technology Street
Toowoomba QLD 4350


24 May 20XX


CEO

Ford Australia Corporation

……

……


Dear Mr Ford,


Further to your request of 1 August 2098, I hereby attach my report …. ……..


The report provides a detailed analysis of the ……. The following aspects were analysed:

  • ……

  • ……..



We have investigated the …….


Conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made with regard to …..…… add value to the business and to derive competitive advantage to your organisation and ensure business continuity, enhanced productivity and being proactive to have a competitive advantage to drive the organization forward and enhance its position in the market place.


We thank your esteemed organisation for affording us this opportunity to work with you and your colleagues …... We will be glad to discuss any questions you may have at our next meeting.


Yours sincerely


ABC IT Consulting Pty Ltd


Refer to p.48 in the Comm Skills Handbook 3ed for a sample letter of transmittal.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report has been produced to examine the current challenges faced by Utility Corporation with regard to ……….

Faced with mounting and significant annual losses the organisation is now looking at ways to restructure to reduce costs moving from the current organisational structure to a more efficient structure. An investigation was commissioned and undertaken ……...

The investigation uncovered a range of problem areas ……..

Analysis of the investigation has enabled grouping of these problems into four distinct areas; leadership, environmental pressures, IT architecture & infrastructure and knowledge management. Recommended actions to correct the identified issues are provided, together with an implementation plan including timeframes …...

These recommendations are:–

  • Leadership; the immediate formation of an IT steering committee with a long term strategic view to …….. to realise significant business value from information systems.

  • Environmental pressures; EUC control enforced through line management not IT personnel, produce a standards manual and implement training programmes for IT to ………..

  • IT architecture & infrastructure; requirements to be clearly defined by IT steering committee, reduce system numbers and update hardware to a consistent standard all of …………. during which time IT investment levels should be assessed, a competitive forces model is suggested for this assessment.

  • Knowledge management; develop a culture where the acquisition, discovery, sharing and application of knowledge is esteemed and rewarded, implement a knowledge management system to ………..

  • Until these issues are resolved it will not be possible for information technology to contribute to any sustainable competitive advantage that may otherwise be enjoyed by the company ………….




  • “The executive summary provides the reader with the report’s major purpose, the analytical processes, the findings and the recommendations” – Communication Skills Handbook 3ed.

  • The executive summary should not exceed more than one page in length.

  • Write the executive summary LAST.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY i

1. Introduction 1

2. Strategic role of information systems 3

2.1 Competitive strategies of Toyota and Ford 3

2.2 Strategic role of information systems 5

3. Support for organisation, management and business processes 7

3.1 Information systems supporting internal organisation processes 7

3.2 Information systems supporting management processes 9

3.3 ……

4. Ethical and social issues 13

4.1 Ethical and social issues in information systems implementation 13

4.2 …..

5. Current and future IT infrastructure 17

5.1 Comparison of IT infrastructure 17

5.2 Deployment of leading edge technology 19

5.3 …..

6. Cloud computing strategy 25

6.1 Current trends and directions 25

6.2 Existing cloud computing applications 23

6.3 …..

7. Conclusions and recommendations 27

7.1 Summary of findings 27

7.2 Recommendations 28

7.3 …...

LIST OF REFERENCES 33

APPENDICES

Appendix 1 – Journal 36

Appendix 2 – 37

Appendix 3 – 38

1. INTRODUCTION

Utility Corporation is part of a large investor owned utility providing electricity to over 11 million people in the United States. Increasing costs of production have outstripped income rates that have been frozen by regulators since 2000. Faced with mounting and significant annual losses (US$2.1 billion in 2008 alone) The Utility Company is now looking at ways to restructure to reduce costs.

The current organisational structure has been assumed to appear as shown in Appendix 2 ……………which in turn is part of the housing loan division, one of three line divisions and three support divisions as shown on the organisational chart.

………

………

………


The homepage URL of the Utility Corporation is: http//www.utilitycorp.com/.


The rest of the report is organised as follows:

  • Section 2: Strategic role of information systems. Explains the strategic role of ..…...

  • Section 3: Support for organisation, management and business processes. Explains how the company can benefit from a ….. …



………


2. Strategic role of information systems

A wide range of issues have been identified within the organisation and between the NIS and CEG groups in particular. The origin of these problems may be traced back to when personal computers were first brought on site for use with business systems ……….. However engineering quickly found new and innovative ways to apply these computers in support of plant activities…….

This initial difference in group focus has been allowed to continue over the years leading to the current schism between the two groups. One result of this schism has been the uneven application of IT due to the lack of an overall IT strategy within the engineering group. These problems have been identified as leadership issues, and as stated by ………..

………

2.1 Competitive strategies of Toyota and Ford

McNurlin and Sprague (2006, p. 264) state that “knowledge is information with direction or intent, where intent is derived from strategies or objectives ………………….”…… with operational and support knowledge residing only in the heads of the engineers, there are obviously very few, if any, processes to store and transfer this system knowledge. Without creation and storage processes and facilities, the transfer and application of knowledge must be ad-hoc at best. This ongoing loss of knowledge diverts resources from productive activities as they work to rediscover or recreate that which has been lost. .

2.2 …………

………

………


3. Support for organisation, management and business processes

End-user computing (EUC), where responsibility and resources for information systems move away from traditional IT departments into user departments has been associated with the ‘duplication of computer applications, incompatibility and lack of integration and low quality systems’ (Taylor et al. 1998 in McBride & Wood-Harper 2002, p. 33). …...

3.1 Information systems supporting internal organisation processes

The information presented on the engineering group shows very little evidence of senior management providing adequate leadership to guide the organisation in the desired direction. No mention is made of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) ……………….. responsible for leading, governing, investing and managing the business use of IT. By not providing the over-arching direction and strategy this lack of leadership has directly contributed to ……………...

3.1.1 HR systems

According to Laudon and Laudon (2006, p. 186), “IT infrastructure is the shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific information system applications including hardware, software and services …….” …..

3.1.2 Purchasing systems

The IT infrastructure is the shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific information system applications including hardware, software and services (Laudon & Laudon 2006, p. 186). …….

3.1.3 ………

………

3.2 Information systems supporting management

The IT architecture shows how the overall system looks and interrelates and defines a set of guidelines and standards to which to adhere. As this system should support how the organisation operates it should reflect the business strategy ………..

………

3.3 …………….

………

………


Refer to section 2.6 (In-text references, pp.26-32) in the Communication Skills Handbook 3ed on how to insert references in the body of your report
using the Harvard referencing scheme.

7. CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

7.1 Summary of findings

The ‘ultimate responsibility for IT strategy setting and implementation should rest with the business leadership’ (IT Governance Institute 2005a, p. 8) and this responsibility should immediately be taken up by that leadership group. One way to exercise this responsibility is through an IT steering committee. The involvement of the CEO on the IT steering committee will improve alignment with organisational objectives, the perceived importance of IT and the effectiveness of the committee. Such a committee should then continue to provide strategy and direction for the business application of IT on an ongoing basis.

………

7.2 Recommendations

Recognising that ‘over control of EUC by the IT department leads to alienation of end-users and conflict’ (Beheshtian & Van Wert, 1987 in McBride & Wood-Harper 2002, p. 33) trying to impose further control by IT should not be considered as a viable option. Any problem with EUC must first be recognised and treated as an organisational problem, not an IT problem, with control enforced through line management and not by IT personnel ……….…

7.3 ………

………


“(The conclusion section) should essentially summarise the main points of findings of the assignment. It should be based on the information presented in the body. It is essential that you do not introduce any new information or ideas at this stage and the use of direct quotations should be avoided. The conclusion should answer the questions: what do the findings mean? It is important to ensure that your conclusions are consistent with the outline given in the introduction. For this reason, it is generally recommended that the introduction be written after the main report. The conclusion should answer the following questions. Was the purpose of the report fulfilled? Have the specified sources of information been used? Have the areas stated been adequately tackled?” – Communication Skills Handbook 3ed.

LIST OF REFERENCES


Dodson, WR 1995, Harnessing end-user computing within the enterprise, viewed 25 March 2009, <http://www.theic.com/dodson.html>.

Greene, T 2005, ‘Uncooperative end users’, Network World, vol.22, issue 7, p.64.

Jennex, ME n.d., ‘End-user system development: Lessons from a case study of IT usage in an engineering organization’ adapted from Khosrow-Pour, M 2006, Cases on information technology: lessons learned, vol.7, IGI Publishing.

Laudon, KC & Laudon, JP 2006, Management information systems: managing the digital firm, 9th edn, Pearson Prentice-Hall, USA.

McBride, N & Wood-Harper, AT 2002, ‘Towards user-oriented control of end-user computing in large organizations’, Journal of End User Computing, vol.14, no.1, pp.33-41.

McNurlin, BC & Sprague, RH 2006, Information systems management in practice, 7th edn, Pearson Prentice-Hall, USA.

Montgomery, CA 2008, ‘Putting leadership back into strategy’, Harvard Business Review, vol.86, January, pp. 54-60.

………

………

………


Refer to Chapter 2 (Referencing) of the Communication Skills Handbook 3ed
for specific rules on how to list your paper- and electronic-based references
according to the Harvard referencing format.


APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Journal

Appendix 2: Organisational Chart of Utility Corporation

Appendix 3: ……..


Appendix 1: Journal (word count: 488 words)

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