Design of an organization is an important facilitator of strategic information systems schemes. Yet ancient IS structures are not aligned with the age of information systems since they cannot cope with the ever increasing change and the fast horizontal indulge and usage of expansive information technologies (Boar, 2001). A design of an organization that takes into account the ideas of internal marketplace and the mini-businesses can present a rapidly changing balance between productivity and stability and innovation and flexibility which eventually, replaces an age of misguided and episodic redesigning with continuous redesigning, and position Task Information Systems to unleash its strategic potential.
Question 1: Objectives of Task Information Systems
It is virtually not possible for an IS director or manager to carry out a strategy if at all the IT organizational structure stands contrary to the firm’s strategy. It is clear that in Task Information Systems, strategy is not a barrier to managing a big and executable technology plan but a barrier to orchestrating beneficial coordination across the company. It is not amazing, therefore, that the organizational design of Task Information Systems is a strategic attribute of power. To enable the company fully embrace IT enabled strategic plans, the following key business objectives are worth noting;
i. Heightened collaboration- Task Information Systems aims at ensuring sustainable development through maintaining collaborations with existing firms in the industry.
ii. Speed-The design of the company should allow the firm to execute all activities with swiftness. This will allow systematic logistics of delivering services.
iii. Innovation- The design of the company should allow room for employees to innovate while solving customer related problems.
Question 2: Centers of competency improve value for buyers by integrating products and services across centers.
This refers to a group of workers with interrelated set of skills. Often this is also termed as a center of excellence or a center for knowledge exchange. Such a center provides an administrative structure for employees, a level to learn skills and attain area of expertise mentoring, and competence to look into and create best practices (Boar, 2001). A center of excellence/competency is a mini-business or just boutique service providers. It provides package consisting of a group of services to other IS centers of excellence/competency. Its leader or manager is the company manager responsible for promoting the center of excellence/competency such that the company’s employees are able to get work. In this case, the leader/coach, like any other effective business man, reserves capabilities and must therefore utilize the opportunities for such centers. On the other hand, a center of competency is a mini-business: implying that it has products available to sell, a unique marketplace, the necessity to earn revenue, and the necessity to improve continually its services and products to develop and sustain a huge customer base.
Internal marketplace idea incorporates an IT organizational structure that runs on the model of an internal market-place. The working of the market place is as shown below;
i. Senior management negotiates financial budgets with marketing/sales department, product managers, and process owners.
ii. Centers of excellence/competency are mini-businesses that are revenue oriented. This implies that they do not receive a budget, and they have earning projection and cost.
iii. The center of competency runs the economy with budgeted cash, purchasing products and services from the centers of competency. It calls for hiring a project manager responsible for shopping required services and products in the internal marketplace. These centers in turn purchase products from other centers of excellence/competency.
An internal marketplace built on boutique centers of excellence/competency is a desirable organizational design for the Task Information Systems because of the reasons indicated below.
i. The IT company organization is no longer shielded from market-place realities. It also undergoes the day-to-day pressures to improve consistently its products and services. For the center of competence to remain in business, then it must enhance continually its services and products to other centers of competency,
ii. The core organizational structure allows for horizontal execution team which formed by way of market-place mechanism, and
iii. The company structure allows for rapid reorganization and is able to accommodate new technologies in the industry. The IT structure adjusts naturally to new realities when spending trends shift or competency centers develop new products. Also in internal market-place, re-organization occurs in a dynamic way since some services and products win and others lose value simultaneously.
Question 3: Problems associated with macro and micro design
The macro IT organizational design problem addresses the number of information technology firms and their duties, placement in relation to business units the Task Information System serve, and management relations to other IT companies within the industry. The basic managing unit of the present-day IT firm is the strategic business unit. As the fundamental building block of a global business structure, a strategic business unit has the following problems:
i. It is a portfolio of other related business,
ii. It embraces a defined mission and vision,
iii. The market it serves is limited,
iv. There is presence of well defined competitors,
v. Sometimes lacks resources and opportunities to deliver quality to its market, and
vi. It bears all the loss in every day operations.
On the other hand, micro-problem of IT organizational design begins where the macro-problem ends. For any IT entity to exist, there is need of an internal design that allows the company to deliver operations and developments in a more amicable, flexible and frictionless way. If the micro-design does not function like a strategic source of authority, then all efforts to make Task Information Systems accessible will fail since it is not possible to mobilize its resources effectively and efficiently. The micro design does allow interactive multi-media across distributed and heterogeneous computing business environment which calls for elaborate horizontal coordination and collaboration across active specialties. Also micro-design is usually made to maximize, through economies of scale, vertical IT product and service delivery, and also its design is not to change but to preserve (Boar, 2001).
Generally the biggest problem facing Task Information Systems is to define a design that settles conflicting requirements. Although formality and stability are required for short-lived efficiencies, spontaneity and flexibility are required for company to cope with the prevailing dynamics typical with present-day businesses. It is recommended that the company adopts organic instead of bureaucratic structure.