IS vision • The development of an overall management system for information technology for an organization is not complete without a technical and managerial framework for future decisions that are business driven • Information technology vision and architectıre is a shared understanding on how computer technology has to be used and managed in the business
Information technology vision and architecture • must be specific enough to guide planning and decision making but flexible enough to withstand restatement each time a new information system is developed • should provide the long term goal for the IS planning effort-vision and architecture represent the overall design target
Vision and architecture • an ideal view of the future and not the plan on how to get there • must be flexible enough to provide a context for individual decisions but more than just fluff • must focus on long term, but usually exact dates are not specified
Vision and architecture Information vision is a written expression of the desired future for information use and management in the organization The information technology architecture depicts the way information resources should be deployed to deliver that vision
An information vision and an information vision architecture together translate a mental image of the desired future state of information use and management into a comprehensive set of written guidelines, policies, pictures, or mandates within which an organization should operate and make decisions. • Regardless of the form, vision and architecture should provide the business, managerial and technical platform for planning and executing IS operations in the firm.
Vision and architecture • A vision and architecture adds more value to an organization when it is comprehensive rather than detailed and when it is clearly communicated. • Vision creation starts with speculating how the competitive environment of the business will change in the future and how the company should take advantage of it. Once the business vision is specified, the information vision for the organization may then be written.
IT Architecture • When a vision for future information use has been formulated, the IS organization, often in co-operation with user-managers, must design an information technology architecture. • This architecture specifies how the resources available to users and the IS organization must be deployed to meet the information vision.
Stefferud, Farber, and Dement (1982) postulate that the design of a computing architecture consists of four elements-processors, networks, services, and standards. Their architecture is known as SUMURU. • Nolan divides an information technology architecture into data, applications, and communications components. He also suggests that the process of building an architecture starts by assessing current hardware, software, data, communications, management controls, personnel, and user elements of the system.
IT Architecture An information technology architecture should specify a structure in two categories: • Managerial • Technical
Managerial category: • People - their values and beliefs • Management systems used for guiding information resources Technical category: • Hardware and network • Data architecture for the organization • A design for the software or applications architecture Decisions about these 5 areas collectively specify the information technology architecture for an organization.
Values This module states basic human beliefs that should guide IS decision making. • Role of the user-manager • Technological leadership role • Productivity and quality emphasis • Service orientation and professionalism • Supporting diversity versus achieving integration
Management Systems • Role of the IS Organization • Breadth of media and application • Linking mechanism with the business plan • Corporate versus division IS responsibilities • Strategic and commodity vendors • Funding • Mechanisms for IS planning and control
Network infrastructure • Location • The Workstation • General-Purpose vs Single-Purpose Nodes • Supported Operating Systems • Path and Node Redundancy • Hierarchical vs Peer-to-Peer • Supported Communications Protocols • Public vs Private Networks • Bandwidth
Data • Ownership and Sharing • Stewardship • Security vs ease of access • Breadth of Data Access • Access to External Data Services
Application • Assumed User • Application Location • Process-Driven or Data-Driven Design
Steps in Developing a Vision and Architecture • Review of the Current Situation • Analysis of the Strategic Direction of the Business • Recognition of General Technology Trends • Identification of a Vision for the Role for Information • Determining the Architecture • Communication of the Visison and Architecture • Migration plan
Benefits of a Vision and Architecture • Better IS Planning • Communicating with Top Management • Helping Vendors • Creating a Context for Decision • Achieving Integration and Decentralization • Evaluating Options • Meeting Expectations of Management
Why levels? • Globalisation of construction, general competitive pressure of market economy... National level IT strategy • Deregulation, threats from outside the industry, increasing demands for quality... Strategy for construction profession
Why levels? • Competition, threat of new entrants, free trade of services & foreign competition ..... Enterprise level strategy (strategic mgt.) • Fundamental operation level of construction is the project, better project management Project level strategy • Focus on core competencies, construction process Product level strategy
BPR • Change is one of the most important elements of succesful business management today. Continous improvement is through change. This applies also to construction. • Business process reengineering (BPR) is a methodology for implementing change • IT plays an essential role in BPR
BPR methodology steps • Identifying processes for redesign • Identifying change tools (levers) • Developing vision • Understanding existing processes • Designing new processes (Betts 1999)
Main change levers • IT can help improving information flow • Human resources and structural change: New types of teams (cross-functional), empowerment and advancement policies, etc.
Process analysis • To understand existing processes, detailed process maps must be drawn up with some choice of flowcharting method: Fish-bone Mind map Etc.
Process change • Typically, high-impact processes must be addressed first • Resistance to change will occur in organisation (especially radical changes) especially because BPR may cause downsizing
Process change Example: (‘Airline ticketing process’, Juran 1998)
BPR&IT Case 1: Kodak • Fuji’s launch of a single-use camera had a significant market impact which caused Kodak to take up concurrent engineering to speed up product development. This was facilitated through the use of a shared database with which remote design teams could interact parallel, independent designs from engineering specialists but with dynamic status-checking of the work of others through the shared database.
BPR&IT Case 2: DEC • Digital Equipment Corporation built an expert system XCON building on the accumulated knowledge of their design and field service engineers reduced cost of rework, reduced installation delays. • XCON is also used by sales personnel for specifying alternative configurations. XCON represents a radically new approach to internal logistics management.
Famous BPR cases • Xerox/Canon: Canon could sell photocopiers cheaper than Xerox’s manufacturing costs Major process restructuring at Xerox. • Ford/Mazda: Mazda’s Orders Payable mechanism worked satisfactorily with 5 employees whereas Ford had problems with 500 employees (1986) By 1990 only 125 Ford staff were needed, by learning from Mazda process.
BPR in construction • More effective IT support of improved construction processes possible, but IT implementation must be rationalized (not technology oriented)