Information system planning
Planning a job or a project before launching is logical and practical. Individuals and companies realize the worth of planning specific tasks and projects. The application planning of a major and complex function of a business is also equally important. Project usually has a one or two year time horizon, usually in three to five years range. Planning has gone through a stage evolution consistent with the stages theory concept of information system growth within most companies. It is not just an IS (Information System) issue but a corporate one as well. Managers have always been doubtful of planning. Planning is a hard work, not so much fun, defined not easily, rewarding and can detract from time devoted to day-to-day operations of the business.
System development is the entire set of activities needs to construct information systems solutions to a business problem or opportunities. The strategic plans states the firms overall mission, the goal that follow from the mission, and the broad steps necessary to reach these goals. The organizational strategic plan and the existing IT architecture provide the inputs in developing the IT strategic plans. The IT architecture delineates the way an organization’s information resources should be accomplish it mission.
Evolution of Information System planning
In the early stages of Information System, application were initiated and implemented as separate entities without much attention to integration. That was to get specific application up and running to satisfy a particular user’s need. The first emergence of planning was project planning. It was found that many of the earlier application did not really satisfy user’s needs once the implementation was completed.
The increase in computer resources, management became alarmed over the sharply rising cost of Information System services. This led to a third type of planning, resource or budgetary planning. Information System managers began developing annual operation plans, which necessitated looking ahead at least a year to projects what hardware, software, people, and facilities were required to run the operation and handle the growth portfolio of computer applications.
Structure of Information System planning
The information system strategic plan: IS planning must meet the following objectives:
1. It must be aligned with the organizational strategic plan.
2. It must provide an IT architecture that enables users, applications and database to be networked and integrated.
3. It must efficiently allocate IS development resources among all projects, so the projects can be completed on time.
The IS Operational plan: A typical Information System operational plan contains the following elements:
2. Information System environment
3. Objectives of Information System function
4. Constraints on the Information System function
5. Long term systems needs
6. Short range plan
Pragmatic planning: Executives and planners who address the key business direction of the company jointly conduct planning. This is followed and modified as market changes. The plan is the basis for action, not a book that’s put on the shelf for review by the intelligentsia.
Roles of Information System and user department
Information workers, those who earn their living by creating, using, processing, managing, or exchanging information are sometimes termed white-collar workers to distinguish them from the so called blue – workers in industry and agriculture. Although accurate information worker is too abstract a term and is not normally used in business and in the information system industry. The more common name for information worker is user, a term referring to those who actually use the information and information system.
Types of Users: The term end-user is widely used by system analysis to refer to people who are not professional information system specialist’s jobs. The various types of user and their characteristics are:
(a)Hands on end user- Operates the system. It directs interaction through system requirement.
(b) Indirect End user- Uses reports or information produced by system but doesn’t operate equipment
(c) User management- oversees investment in development or use of the system. Has organizational responsibility for control of system activities.
(d) Senior Management- Incorporates competitive and strategic uses of information system with corporate plans and strategic. It evaluates organizations exposure to risk from information system failure.
The role of Information systems Department (ISD) has been changing from technical to more managerial and strategic. The role of the director of the ISD is changing from technical manager to senior executives, referred to as the chief information officer (CIO). The Important structure of the ISD is changing to reflect its new role; the ISD emphasizes vendor relations over software programming as outsourcing becomes more efficient than internal development of systems. The ISD must frequently work closely with external organizations such as business partners, research institutions, universities and consultancies.
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