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Is It More Time-Consuming To Develope Or Purchase An Information System?

13 Mar

stock-photo-business-clock-isolated-on-white-background-15401869The compeditive nature of modern day business means that time is of the essence. If you are wasting time you are wasting money. It is of vital importance that a business not only gets a suitable information system installed but it is important that the information system is up and running as quickly as possible. I would like to explore which method of installing an information system is the most time consuming.

Purchasing An Information System

  • The information system is already made out and just has to be installed.
  • less time spent ironing out small details about the information system as it’s development is outsourced.
  • Outsourcing the information system leads to the information system being installed quickly.
  • The company making up the information system such as Oracle will have expertes in this area and will therefore be for efficiant .
  • Less likely to be time wasting internal disputes over what type of information system should be installed when the information system is outsourced .

Developing An Information System

  • Time can be wasted with internal staff arguments over small details of the information system.
  • Will take longer to develop and install than an independant outsourcing company.


It is clear that it is more time effective to outsource the development of an information system. This fact makes the idea of outsourcing the development of an information system all the more appealing to companies.


Constantly Updating Your Information Systems Is Like Keeping Up With The Joneses

12 Mar



The nature of technology is that it is constantly evolving and breaking new ground. This puts an added pressure on businesses to keep up with these technological advances in order to be competitive. It is often the case that the most competitive firms in the market are the most up to date with modern technology such as Paddy Power the online gambling firm that has dominated the market share in the UK and Ireland with an income of €450 million in 2010 due to its information system’s making it easier than ever for customers to place bets using the well developed company software. Now companies  try to evolve with the technology in order to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms.



It is now necessary that a company budgets for technology updates to keep up with technology and competitors. Paddy Power invested 20% of their profits in 2011 into developing new software that allows customers to download an app on their smartphones that allows the customer to place bets using their handheld devices. This was a follow on from their launch of online gambling in 2007 which has proved to be a resounding success with profits increasing by 35% in the first 2 years. The success of the software updates of paddy power has transformed the landscape of gambling as the traditional process of going to the bookies has now been outdated by this recent development in information technology. Competitors such as Ladbrokes have followed suit in order to survive keeping in theme with the new keeping up with the Joneses nature of advances in information technology.

Real Life Examples Of Failures In Information Systems

11 Mar

An information system can be extremely beneficial to a company, however when an information system fails the results can be devestating and can even lead to the demise of the company. There have been many examples of companys collapsing due to a failure in an information system. I would like to discuss examples of companies and organisations that have suffered huge financial loss due to the failure of an information system.


Irish Electronic voting Failure 2004   

This information technology failure is perhaps the most famous in irish polotics and is widely regarded as the biggest waste of the tax payers money ever recorded in irish history with the failure causing the irish economy 55 million euro. It was implemented by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who wanted to make the irish voting system more efficient.

Reason For Failure: The implementation of the system was not well  recieved by the general public who worried that it would lead to a lack of transparency and also the elections could be open to manipulation if these electronic voting systems were used. It then transpired that the electronic voting machines could be easily hacked and manipulated. The system was never implemented and lead to 55 million euro of the tax payers money being wasted.

Hilton Hotels Information system failure

Hilton Hotels attempted to implement a system that allowed customers to Confirm reservations  for hotel bookings and Car rentals online. This information system was to be brought in with the intention of making the booking system easier for both the consumers and the company.

Reason For Failure: After 4 years and 125million dollars invested the project crumbled in 1992 when it became clear that the company would miss its deadline by 2 years.


Tri Valley Growers Information System Failure

A giant agricultural co-operative, Tri Valley bought at least $6 million worth of ERP software and services from Oracle in 1996. This lead to a $20 million lawsuit claim by Tri Valley against Oracle.

Reason For Failure: None of the software worked as promised and some of it could not be installed by Tri Valley. Oracle denied any wrong doing. Tri valley lost the court case and was left with a net loss of $30 million.




The Spiral Model

11 Mar

Modern day Information systems used by businesses follow models of development I would like to examine one such model in detail. This is a commonly used model called the Spiral Model.

The spiral model, also known as the spiral lifecycle model, is a systems development lifecycle (SDLC) model used in information technology (IT). This model of development combines the features of the prototyping model and the Waterfall Model. The spiral model is favored for large, expensive, and complicated projects. This model is often used by large multinational companies and is very expensive to implement firms such as KPMG have utilized this model to great effect.

The steps in the spiral model can be generalized as follows:

  • The new system requirements are defined in as much detail as possible. This usually involves interviewing a number of users representing all the external or internal users and other aspects of the existing system.
  • A preliminary design is created for the new system. Based on the requirements of the company.
  • A first prototype of the new system is constructed from the preliminary design. This is usually a scaled-down system, and represents an approximation of the characteristics of the final product. It will take time for all the minor details of the information system to be ironed out, this will be achieved through discussions and company meetings to decide the best design to go with.
  • A second prototype is evolved by a fourfold procedure: (1) evaluating the first prototype in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, and risks; (2) defining the requirements of the second prototype; (3) planning and designing the second prototype; (4) constructing and testing the second prototype. This prototype should be close to the final information system.
  • At the customer’s option, the entire project can be aborted if the risk is deemed too great. Risk factors might involve development cost overruns, operating-cost miscalculation, or any other factor that could, in the customer’s judgment, result in a less-than-satisfactory final product. This is a critical step as if the company goes ahead with the project and it fails it can lead to the firm loosing a large amount of revenue.
  • The existing prototype is evaluated in the same manner as was the previous prototype, and, if necessary, another prototype is developed from it according to the fourfold procedure outlined above.
  • The preceding steps are iterated until the customer is satisfied that the refined prototype represents the final product desired.

The final system is constructed, based on the refined prototype. The Spiral Model is a well regarded method that is used worldwide and has proven to be effective.




Upskilling Staff To Get Maximum Benefit From An Information System

28 Feb

The modern day manager of a business not only has to insure an adequate information system is installed but also has to ensure that the companies employees have the necessary skills and knowlege in order to get the maximum benefit from the information system. An information system can be wasted and underutilized  if the staff who use this system are not well equipped to use the information system, in order to ensure this problem doesn’t arise the manager must up skill his/her employees. Upskilling staff in the workplace is a fundamental strategy for personal and professional growth.

When a company introduces a new information system it is of vital importance that employees understand and can operate the information system in order to gain the maximum benefit that the information system can bring to the company. If staff members are not able to understand or operate the system they will became frustrated and disillusined with the system and this will damage employee productivity and staff moral.

The manager of the company must create an environment within the company that encourages constant learning and development of staff skills. Managers must allow for employee feedback to ensure all members of staff are well equipped to manage and understand the information system. Training of all staff members should commence before and during the introduction of the new system while constant feedback should be given by staff members.


Reasons Behind The Demand For Information Systems

25 Feb

In modern day businesses it is widely accepted that investment in an information system is of vital importance. The advancement in technology in recent times has sparked this urgent need for up to date information systems in businesses. The emergence of the global economy has also transformed the landscape for the business world which has lead to businesses developing information systems in order to keep up with compeditiors and to gain an advantage.

The following are 6 reasons why businesses use information systems.

1. Operational excellence
2. New products, services, and business models
3. Customer and supplier intimacy
4. Improved decision making
5. Competitive advantage
6. Survival

I will now explore the advantage gained by a business for each of the above six benefits.

1. Operational excellence. Business improve the efficiency of their operations by the use of information systems in order to achieve higher profitability. Information systems are important tools available to managers for achieving higher levels of efficiency and productivity in business operations. A good example is Wal-Mart that uses a RetailLink system , which digitally links its suppliers to every one of Wal-Mart’s stores. as soon as a a customer purchase an item , the supplier is monitoring the item , knows to ship a replacement to the shelf.
2. New products, services. Information system is a major tool for firms to create new products and services. An information system can fast track the launch of a new product and also help market the product.

3. Customer/supplier intimacy. When a business serves its customers well, the customers generally respond by returning and purchasing more. this raises revenue and profits. The more a business engage its suppliers, the better the suppliers can provide vital inputs. This lower costs. Example: The use of value club cards in Dunnes Stores tracks the type of products that customers buy and offers savings on these particular items to customers.

4. Improved decision making. Many managers operate in an information bank, never having the right information at the right time to make an informed decision. These poor outcomes raise costs and lose customers. Information system made it possible for the managers to use real time data from the marketplace when making decision. Example: Having an up to date level of stock will help a manager in his decision on what stock to bring in.
5. Competitive advantage. When firms achieve one or more of these business objectives( operational excellence, new products, services, and business models, customer/supplier intimacy, and improved decision making) chances are they have already achieved a competitive advantage. Doing things better than your competitors, charging less for superior products, and responding to customers and suppliers in real time all add up to higher sales, and higher profits. Example: Toyota Production System focuses on organizing work to eliminate waste, making continues improvements, TPS is based on what customers have actually ordered.
6. Day to day survival. Business firms invest in information system and technology because they are necessities of doing business. This necessities are driven by industry level changes. Example: Citibank introduced the first automatic teller machine to attract customers through higher service levels, and its competitors rushed to provide ATM’s to their customers to keep up with Citibank. providing ATMs services to retail banking customers is simply a requirement of being in and surviving in the retail banking business. Firm turn to information system and technology to provide the capability to respond to these.

It is clear for the above six benefits that developing and purchasing an information system is a must in todays business environment.

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