Database management is an important aspect of any modern organization given the massive growth of data volumes as a result of regulations on data storage as well as the increase in transactions and communication channels. This paper presents issues arising form the task of managing information through its lifecycle; specifically for companies based on PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel, CRM, Oracle E-business suite, supplier relationship management (SRM) or ERP applications which are increasingly being affected by expanding data volumes within them.
The article brings into perspective, ILM; which seeks to optimize on data by employing processes, policies tools and practices essential in linking the information’s business value with the most cost effective and appropriate IT systems from its conception to the time its disposed. While the current processes of defining, managing and storing data lack emphasis on its management, ILM provides a solution for effectively managing organization data applications.
It is imperative to emphasize on the now prevalent decline in business agility as a result of problems with data volumes so as to keep data management cost down by taking an enterprise approach in managing data as records. ILM supports this. The findings that 56 percent lack interest in implementing ILM strategies or that they do not know of any ILM efforts within their organizations is biased considering that the enterprise approach is a relatively new approach to organizational information management.
It is the current data systems that have failed as they only allow firms to handle problems as they occur and not that firms are reactive or else undisciplined about their data challenges. The finding that most firms either do not know or allocate minimal ILM strategy budgets ought to have outlined a parallel study of efforts made in alternative data management approaches.
ILM introduces a cohesive strategy for the management of information across the organization which is exactly what is needed in modern business environments. Although ILM is promising, the author ought to have compared the findings with firms’ preference for alternative systems or even priorities as well as its fit with the current technology levels. The study also does not highlight the relative costs of implementing ILM with respect to the firms’ profit margins while outlining the implementation levels for ILM.
However, ILM is an important strategy for data that need to meet certain legal storage mandates although it does not assess relative cost maintaining such information as opposed to frequency of events requiring this information. While the author addresses the issues of difficulties in determining information’s life cycle, he does not address the limitations of legal determinants which could jeopardize the gains from ILM. Nolan, R. & McFarlan, W. (2005). Information Technology and the Board of Directors: Building an IT Governance Committee.
Harvard Business Review, 83 (10), In such a digital age as this, it is imperative that any organization invest in a strong governance committee on IT that can oversee the formulation and integration of IT policies into the company’s competitive advantage strategy. Warren McFarlan and Richard Nolan detail the basics of establishing and maintaining an IT governance committee. An IT governance committee is paramount in developing a custom framework on which an organization’s IT policies are founded thus enabling a firm to avoid applying other companies’ best strategies which may not fit into the modern nature business strategy.
The authors elaborate on the three key approaches that are essential in guiding any company in building an effective IT governance committee: appointing the suitable personnel as well as their chairman; assessing how the committee would link to the audit committee; and the preparation of the committee’s charter. The first two are particularly more important. Independence is vital for any modern-day committee effectiveness just as the authors recommend the independence of the IT committee.
Noting the importance of the importance of mentorship and expertise, McFarlan and Nolan emphasize on a chairman who’s either an IT professional (for strategic mode firms) or has past experience (for factory, turn around and support mode firms) in a successful IT-strategy based firm. In all cases, being IT-savvy, understanding an organization and its business needs as well as the systems architecture is paramount in addressing the bigger picture; technology’s potential to change the outlook of the business economy and this supports the characterization of the modern-day business leaders.
In this regard, the authors emphasize on selecting a chairman or at least an IT professional who can successfully balance the short-term needs of the firm with its long-term IT investments. Since distraction by difficulties stifle IT integration, the importance of the committee and especially IT experts is addressed as they understand the important dynamics governing technological advancement both at the board and senior management level and thus can appropriately criticize all in-house entrenched thinking. The current scarcity of such experts explains the reason for the increase in number of IT consultants.
The article addresses the current issues relating to accountability to the regulatory and economic objectives through alignment with the audit department. However, drastic changes characterizing the advancement in IT would necessitate a considerable number of the committee be composed of IT professionals rather the one or a few suggested by McFarlan and Nolan. Gary, S. , Alice, G. & Alexis, F. Risk Management Guide for Information Technology Systems. Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-30.
Gaithersburg, MD. Risk management has become an important aspect of the information technology management system. Gary, Alice and Alexis emphasize on the role of IT-risk management amidst the increasingly growing use of automated information systems aimed at protecting organization’s information assets from IT based risks. IT risk management is largely a management function as this IT guides confirms through focus on the companies mission rather than the IT experts only as the firm’s capacity to perform its mission is affected by these risks.
The guide outlines the practical guidelines and the available cost-effective security systems essential in protecting the mission information which is an imperative in the modern world. This guide is literary applicable in every angle of every firm as it can be easily expanded or abbreviated to tailor it to fit specific organizational situations. Apart from enabling firms’ IT departments to be accountable for IT budgets, the guide is also helpful in guiding the accreditation of the IT systems.
This guide is an important resource for a wide rage of IT users: the non-technical and technical staff as well as the experienced and the non-experienced ones. Therefore this guide does not only provide an overview of IT risk management but also evaluates how such a process would rhyme with the all the phases of the system development lifecycle (SLDC) as well as detailing the obligations of individuals who usually support and apply this process. In this regard, the guide provides a clear methodology for IT risk management as well as its relation to the system accreditation.
This is made simpler by the provision of system-based information essential in defining the IT system as well as its operating environment. For such a process, it is important that supporting material such as the samples for the documentation of the results for risk assessment, as well as samples of a security implementation plan be addressed more keenly as they are essential in improving the effectiveness of the guide. It also focuses on modern-day needs such as enabling IT individuals to customize their IT systems to fit into effective control systems.
The authors address the importance of assessing the knowledge gap within the organization as relates to process of implementing information technology management systems. Although not related to the topic at hand, the example on electric power and railroads does address the key idea of being aware of the knowledge gap in the appropriate way so as to make the most out of IT systems’ opportunities.
While it may be true that IT technologies’ cost performance had changed to the magnitude of about 107 in at the time of this study, it is no guarantee that it is going to evolve at this same as the author suggests given the tremendous growth in technology and educational advancement. The authors focus on cost effectiveness and the ability to do things differently through the transformational opportunities offered by IT integration as with the examples of American Hospital Supply’s and American Airlines SABRE. In this regard, they emphasize on the knowledge about IT’s associated economics.
Strategic implementation and management of IT networks in organizations has made organizations capable of extending their scope globally to take strategic advantage of IT integration. This is because the authors address specifically the fast changing pace of business operations with regards to assumptions and rules of business competition and this an important resource for modern-day senior management and CEOs who are charged with the responsibility of diversifying into intangible services that are information based.
While its clear that technology is increasingly growing, it implies that the opportunities due to IT integration are bound to increase; it also implies that companies venturing into IT management can differentiate their services and cost and product features not only for sometime to come as the author puts it but for an indefinite time provided there is follow up.
However, the author provides a two lenses approach that provides a holistic approach towards IT integration. However, the authors do not note the likely challenges that the highly dynamic and drastically changing IT infrastructure as driven by competition may cost. In this regard, the article emphasize on roles of CIO and CTO.
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