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IT management

In today’s Business environment, many CIO including IT managers have a perception that to achieve significant returns as well as a satisfying performance; there is often a need to focus on the standardization of the technological aspects of a business (San Martín, López-Catalán, & Ramón-Jerónimo, 2012). Standardization defines the management of IT infrastructure which involves different approaches such as the structure, metric, governance, continual process improvement and risk management issues that are often applied in line with the general business goals and objectives (Galitz, 2007). To realize the optimum outputs, many IT managers and CIO are currently opting for different frameworks and standards as tools that can be used to help them integrate, set benchmarks, and monitor performance of the various IT infrastructures as well as performance and also make improvements (Curley, Kenneally, & Dreischmeier, 2011). The proper application of the ITSM standards and frameworks can be used to determine accurate evaluation of an operation of the infrastructure (what is working and what is not), the bottom line value of the standard in to the business and the Cost of the IT (Curley, Kenneally, & Dreischmeier, 2011).To achieve such objectives, many IT managers and CIO consider leveraging on international standards such as the ISO/IEC 20000 alongside other established best practice frameworks such as the ITIL; as a way of ensuring that their business technology delivers the required results (Sahibudin, Sharifi, & Ayat, 2008).

ISO 20000 refers to the international standard for IT Service Management (ITSM), published by the International Electoral Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for standardization (ISO). The main function of the standard is to provide a methodology as well as a set of management procedures that are meant to deliver effective Information Technology practices as well as services (Brenner, Schaaf, & Scherer, 2009). One thing about this framework is that it was developed to help reflect the IT best practices described within the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). To understand the study topic better, the essay include the case of One Australian Company called Tangle Corp which specializes in the sale of widgets to its nationwide clients. The corporation considers pursuing ISO 20000 certification. Before the due process, the initial process refers to the draft of the plan outline regarding the implementation and the adoption of the ISO 20000 framework for the Tangle Corp.The main function of the draft is to respond to some of the challenges presented in the Tangle background document. Some of the areas of concern according to the document include IT staff, management, IT processes and operations staff.

  • Executive management related challenges

Problems related with Implementation and ordering of the decision making pattern and structure

It is often a key requirement that the top leaders possess a distinct understanding of their decision making processes in a way that can be used to promote a conducive organizational environment for different businesses processes (Olszak, & Ziemba, 2007). Sometimes, “effective decision making” may only be limited to the perceptions and views of the relevant manager. (Vercellis, 2011). In the Tangle Corp’s case for example, it is quite evident that most of the company’s key drivers are not in order. The top managements are less inclined at improving or upgrading the organisation technological resources. The bad state of the different Sites is as a result of inadequate management skills by the top management as well as factors such as poor decision making patterns. Other issues related to this section include higher uncertainty levels. Such issues are likely to occur when organizations are increasing in size so that there are uncertainties in the top level management operating strategies and plans (Vercellis, 2011). In this case, the management decision of buying their competitor who was non-compliant to the ISO-9000 framework was not properly executed and planned and it meant that the operations were going to be costly for Tangle Corp. Proper planning and strategy often translates into effective and purposeful leadership without which the top leadership is likely to suffer from issues relating to sequential attention to inputs.

Problems related with aligning of the priorities and the internal core competencies with external requirements

The main issue of concern here is that some of the of the managers do not possess appropriate strategies for integrating sensors for defining internal and support for adaptive actions and plans. This is quite detrimental to the organization development strategies in different domains (Vanderstraeten, & Matthyssens, 2012). Some of the issues associated with this include; perceived inequalities in matters regarding internal resource allocation, Low integration of key organizational weakness and competencies among others. In Tangle’s case, there are instances of inadequate allocation of resources such that there are sites that lack adequate resources to run the organisation’s business operations. Looking at the Singapore Office for example, the office is quite large than necessary. Sydney’s warehouse is quite expensive in terms of rent including the Brisbane ware house whose employees have drastically increased beyond the thresh hold. (Vanderstraeten, & Matthyssens, 2012).

IT staff challenges

Operational Challenges

For most IT service organization, designing different Information Technological services may have become quite easier compared to how it was in the past. However, this has paved way for various operational challenges which sometimes affects the quality of service delivery. Example of the operational challenges may include: Unclear requirements which may lead to the change of certain necessities that are required to keep certain organizational processes and services running (Barney, Aurum, & Wohlin, 2008). The Tangle Corp’s IT staff challenges experience quite a lot of issues which include technical and operational skills, manual operation systems, old software and hardware devices including poor training approaches (minimal training as training is not included in the budget). The main drawback posed by these challenges is that it may lead to additional costs and time of addressing the resultant changes. This may also affect the customer loyalty (Pearson, & Benameur, 2010). Delayed Project delivery as a result of various operational glitches may lead to negative brand awareness in Tangle Corp. It is also likely to affect the achievement of the various project milestones and a potential mar of the intended IT services. Other issues under operational challenges include market pressure, higher additional costs (that accrue from the need to perform software and hardware maintenance for the system and the frequent outages) as a result of added labour and other costs (therefore resulting to less profitable technological services).

Technical challenges

The Tangle Corp IT staff personnel find it quite challenging in addressing some of the potential information technology loop holes during system development and therefore endangering the client as well as the organizational private information (Lee, 2008). System maintenance also present significant challenges to the IT staff (as part of their system implementation routine). They have to perform constant bug fixes as way of fixing logical errors. They also struggle to keep the old software running on old systems. As for Technological know-hows, it is notable that some of the IT staff members do not possess the proper technical competencies to handle certain technical issues related to programme frameworks, algorithm among others (Lee, 2008).

Operational Staff (Customer) Challenges

Poor technological integration

Some of the issues here may involve poor data processing practices especially by the sales team who have resorted to using their own mobile devices as opposed to the desktop PC meant to serve the sales department effectively. The trend has significantly spread to other sites and is causing issues for the help desk staff who have to handle more demands. Other issues such as unstable programs (such as the operational staff admin department unstable EDP program) can sometimes stall certain sales operations or even the entire sales process.

Fear of technology

The team of administrators are afraid of embracing new technology in the organization: they feel as though they are used to the old system. The logistic department is also quite used to the manual system and less willing to try new technologies in tracking and moving boxes in the warehouses. The fear of technology could be the reason why certain warehouses such as those based in New Zealand, Perth and Malaysia are under performing. One of the ways through which Tangle can handle such an issue can be by finding a competent customer experience personnel that can formulate effective strategies towards customer-related technical issues (Heinonen, Laitinen, Bouet, & Zakharia, 2007).

IT Process related Challenges

Some of the IT Process related challenges include inconsistent or inadequate training and lack of support beyond the IT process implementation phase

Inadequate or inconsistent training

Lack of comprehensive, detailed training approach is a major drawback for Tangle IT process implementation. The implementation could stall or delay if clear goals and timelines are not defined from the beginning (Herold, 2010). Some of the staff such as the Tangle sales operation group of admins, the logistics department, and the production office view training as a form of expense rather than an investment. Without proper training, the deliverables of the IT process implementations are likely to become obsolete or inefficient.  However, when utilised effectively training can translate to an effective tool that can be used to establish a platform for positive returns over a given period of time (Eckerson, 2010).

Staff resistance

Staff resistance can sometimes pose significant challenges to certain IT process implementations   (Trkman, 2010). There are higher chances that even the most successful organisations are likely to experience such challenges which is not far from Tangle Corp’s case whose employee are less enthusiastic about the acquisition of the new ITSM framework standard (Davenport, 2013). Significant segment of the staff see the project as being less credible and less viable rather than viewing it as an implementation that could fix the bad state of their organisation. (Trkman, 2010).

  • Other Challenges

Additional challenges that are e likely to be experienced by Tangle Company include inadequate Tactical IT planning and issues regarding change and control.

Lack of a Tactical IT planning

The tangle organisation in its quest to achieve the set organizational goals grapple with this challenge (at the management level). Most of the managers have the required resources and expertise however the main problem is that they have quite poor technological integration approaches into the overall Tangle Corp development framework (Goetsch, & Davis, (2014). Today, the business environment is quite competitive and relies more on technological assistance to stay ahead of the competition. The Tangle Company just like other companies need to plan effectively in matters regarding effective establishment of proper technological frameworks into as a way of addressing different technological loops in different departments of the organization such as effective IT communication infrastructure (To replace the current faulty phone system, updating out-dated web infrastructure, VPN networks and so on), Standard IT and technological infrastructure. The Organisation should consider such measures as a means for mending the broken state of the organisation (Davenport, 2013).

Change and control

The Tangle Company just like many other companies out there may be grappling with the issue of change (Martin, Johnson, & Cullen, 2009).  Every other business regardless of the field is susceptible to changes. While changes are quite necessary for the future of Tangle, they may sometimes present certain challenges and barriers to the organisation’s competitive advantages. In Tangle, the implementation of the ISO 20000 ITSM framework may present new challenges. Such challenges may include the inherent licensing expenses, cooling and new data protection approaches.  As measures for addressing this problem, the tangle company executive management needs to formulate strategic planning approaches. Here, there is need to understand the exact changes that are likely to occur and how to handle them (Martin, Johnson, & Cullen, 2009).

  • Recommendations

This section contains some of the recommendations to Tangle Corp that are meant to help address some of the technological challenges in the organisation.

  • To address some of the executive management issues effectively, the management should consider a new natural organizational step that is etched in continual quality improvement in the ITSM by following the relevant ISO standards (Brenner, Schaaf, & Scherer, 2009). One benefit related to this practice is that it could be used to provide a uniform platform for measuring organizational success. This could be one way of fixing the different IT frameworks in the different organization branches
  • The Tangle executive management also ought to consider proper organizational commitment in different organizational levels (Birth, Illia, Lurati, & Zamparini, 2008). It this could be done by setting and communicating clear objectives, roles of the new system as well as the consequent benefits. This can be one way of managing some of the risks that may mar the business related objectives (Vanderstraeten, & Matthyssens, 2012).  Some of the related benefits to this approach include business continuity, the ability to deliver stakeholder value, resilience and the achievement of the general business strategic objectives (Birth, Illia, Lurati, & Zamparini, 2008).
  • The management need to ensure that the IT staff have clear course; an approach for advancement and growth (Barney, Aurum, & Wohlin, 2008). The management should also include the IT service end-users (the customers) as well as the relevant managers who influence issues such as budget and the direction. Also, the IT staff must ensure that they collaborate appropriately to influence the required Information Technology services. This approach could be one way of addressing the challenges experienced by the Tangle Corp IT staff.
  • Another method through which the Tangle management could use to provide solution to the challenges faced by the Tango Corp include: consider integrating certain challenge identification and definition approaches as a way of addressing similar challenges earlier before the Staff begins working on the intended Information Technological programs or projects. When implemented duly, the approach is likely to result to polished, efficient and optimized programs and IT services with the appropriate business logic (that is well tested and backed by a documented IS development project) (Lee, 2008).
  • The organisation should consider systemizing an effective customer feedback approach as a way of enhancing the operational staff competitive strategies. This is because as the customer experience improves, the organization also improves in one or two areas. In this case, it could be better if Tangle considered a minimum of three client feedback domains from where customer issues can be gathered and analysed (Theoharidou, Papanikolaou, Pearson, & Gritzalis, 2013).
  • The organisation could also consider hiring professionals with existing experience to work in the organisations operational staff department. It could also be appropriate if Tangle engaged third party personnel who can strategize and implement a smooth customer experience solution.
  • In solving issues related to IT process, the Tangle management should consider developing a set of profitable skilled personnel with an effective training mindset. The manager should acknowledge that it takes quality time and money to realise a proficient team of IT specialists, knowledgeable end-user as well as the Tangle IT services goals and objectives (Eckerson, 2010).
  • The organization could also resort to the establishment of a support department or specific help desks (Davenport, 2013). The organization could also consider periodic webinars, online-product documentations or even IT services update (new feature training conferences).
  • The organization should embrace proper communication approaches in the different organizational level as a way of addressing other challenges other than the obvious issues regarding Tangle Corp’s IT infrastructure. It could be better if the Organization considered means for keeping the relevant employees frequently updated regarding the progress and plans concerning a probable IT implementation (Goetsch, & Davis, (2014).
  • Additionally the management should delegate responsibilities to the relevant personnel so that all of the changes are addressed effectively. The company should also acknowledge the importance of the change timeline (Brenner, Schaaf, & Scherer, 2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Barney, S., Aurum, A., & Wohlin, C. (2008). A product management challenge: Creating software product value through requirements selection. Journal of Systems Architecture, 54(6), 576-593.

Birth, G., Illia, L., Lurati, F., & Zamparini, A. (2008). Communicating CSR: practices among Switzerland’s top 300 companies. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 13(2), 182-196.

Brenner, M., Schaaf, T., & Scherer, A. (2009). Towards an information model for ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 processes. In Integrated Network Management, 2009. IM’09. IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 113-116). IEEE.

Crawford, K., & Schultz, J. (2014). Big data and due process: Toward a framework to redress predictive privacy harms. BCL Rev., 55, 93.

Curley, M., Kenneally, J., & Dreischmeier, R. (2011). Creating a New IT Management Framework Using Design Science. In European Design Science Symposium (pp. 96-115). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Davenport, T. H. (2013). Process innovation: reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press.

Eckerson, W. W. (2010). Performance dashboards: measuring, monitoring, and managing your business. John Wiley & Sons.

Galitz, W. O. (2007). The essential guide to user interface design: an introduction to GUI design principles and techniques. John Wiley & Sons.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Heinonen, T., Laitinen, T., Bouet, S., & Zakharia, S. (2007). U.S. Patent No. 7,249,182. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Herold, R. (2010). Managing an information security and privacy awareness and training program. CRC press.

Lee, E. A. (2008). Cyber physical systems: Design challenges. In Object Oriented Real-Time Distributed Computing (ISORC), 2008 11th IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 363-369). IEEE.

Martin, K. D., Johnson, J. L., & Cullen, J. B. (2009). Organizational change, normative control deinstitutionalization, and corruption. Business Ethics Quarterly, 19(01), 105-130.

Olszak, C. M., & Ziemba, E. (2007). Approach to building and implementing business intelligence systems. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 2(1), 135-148.

Pearson, S., & Benameur, A. (2010). Privacy, security and trust issues arising from cloud computing. In Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom), 2010 IEEE Second International Conference on (pp. 693-702). IEEE.

Sahibudin, S., Sharifi, M., & Ayat, M. (2008). Combining ITIL, COBIT and ISO/IEC 27002 in order to design a comprehensive IT framework in organizations. In Modeling & Simulation, 2008. AICMS 08. Second Asia International Conference on (pp. 749-753). IEEE.

San Martín, S., López-Catalán, B., & Ramón-Jerónimo, M. A. (2012). Factors determining firms’ perceived performance of mobile commerce. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 112(6), 946-963.

Theoharidou, M., Papanikolaou, N., Pearson, S., & Gritzalis, D. (2013). Privacy risk, security, accountability in the cloud. In Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom), 2013 IEEE 5th International Conference on (Vol. 1, pp. 177-184). IEEE.

Trkman, P. (2010). The critical success factors of business process management. International journal of information management, 30(2), 125-134.

Vanderstraeten, J., & Matthyssens, P. (2012). Service-based differentiation strategies for business incubators: Exploring external and internal alignment. Technovation, 32(12), 656-670.

Vercellis, C. (2011). Business intelligence: data mining and optimization for decision making. John Wiley & Sons.

 

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