Module 2 Technology Coursework Case Hardware (Coursework Sample)
The case that you will use for this is a case that is coincidentally also Canadian in origin but in a very different business environment—the aluminum business (spelled here "aluminium" in the British fashion—you may use whichever spelling you choose.) It describes the analysis of the company's IT systems and management performed by a new vice president of corporate information technologies, in all its complexity and magnificent variety. Throughout this case, issues of hardware, software, and management are intertwined, just as they are in real corporate life. One of your tasks will be to disentangle some of these issues for separate consideration in light of what you know and need to know. As we noted in our course overview, it's taken for granted that hardware, software, and management (sometimes referred to as "wetware") are all involved in a complex sociotechnical dance in which changes in any one element inevitably call forth changes in the others—preferably planned, but often unplanned, and not infrequently unanticipated. Thus, while your focus in this module will be primarily on hardware and networking, you will inevitably find yourself thinking about other dimensions of the problems as well. That is all to the good, but try to keep a focus on the primary issues in each of these three modules. There is plenty of time to concentrate on issues of integration as the course wraps up.
Please read the Alcan case; it is in two parts:
Dube, L., Bernier, C. and Roy, V. (2009) Taking on the Challenge of IT Management in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case – Part A. International Journal of Case Studies in Management. 7(2):May. HEC020.
Dube, L., Bernier, C. and Roy, V. (2009) Taking on the Challenge of IT Management in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case – Part B. International Journal of Case Studies in Management. 7(2):May. HEC021.
Use information from the course background readings as well as any good quality resource you can find. Please cite all sources and provide a reference list (use APA format) at the end of your paper.
Your answer to the following will be assessed:
What are the pros and cons of the current Alcan technology infrastructure?
What are the pros and cons of the new Alcan technology infrastructure proposed by Robert Ouelette?
Please suggest additional improvements of infrastructure for this case and justify your suggestions.
Length: Minimum 3–5 pages excluding cover page and references (since a page is about 300 words, this is approximately 900 –1,500 words).
Assignment-driven criteria (25 points): Demonstrates clear understanding of the subject and addresses all key elements of the assignment.
Critical thinking (10 points): Demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem. Shows analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of required material.
Scholarly writing (5 points): Demonstrates writing proficiency at the academic level of the course; addresses the Learning Outcomes of the assignment.
Quality of references (4 points) and assignment organization (3 points): Uses relevant and credible sources to support assertions. Assignment is well organized and follows the structure of a well-written paper.
Citing sources (3 points): Uses in-text citations and properly formats references in APA style.
The challenges that Alcan is trying to overcome to achieve a profitable growth are common in all organizations that have grown through various mechanisms such as mergers, acquisitions and lacking strong Information Technology strategic plan. The outcome has always been a disorganized IT architecture that does not integrate all other systems and levels, this weakens the efforts of the organization to achieve its overall objectives. Like other businesses, Alcan has these characteristics; it has a disorganized Information Technology architecture, diversified business model, a divisional organizational structure that hinders a smooth coordination of IT strategies. From the analysis of the case studies, it is evident that the decentralized IT architecture limits the abilities of achieving its overall objectives. The improper integration of all systems and business units reduces Alcan's ability to share knowledge that will help in the accomplishment of complex tasks. The objective of this paper is to analyze the pros and cons of both the existing IT architecture and the proposed one by Robert Oulette at Alcan.
The lack of integrated strategies and processes in Alcan be associated to the inefficient IT infrastructure that is being utilized by the company. Although, the decentralized IT infrastructure that Alcan has in place makes sense from a business strategy perspective, it cripples the ability of information sharing across the entire company. Therefore, not having a unified IT infrastructure, prevented it from competing with its competitors in an effective manner. The greatest advantage of having a decentralized IT architecture in an organization is the accuracy and speed of information being shared within the unit or operation. But, the opposite was occurring at Alcan since most tasks were not getting completed. Therefore, strategically, Alcan was faced with the risk of winning against its competitors who have implemented a unified IT architecture.
The Pros and Cons of the existing IT Infrastructure
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