Managing Information Technology Essay

Question #1: What would be your prioritized list of IT investments? Four IT investments need to be prioritized; 1. 2. 3. 4. Ecommerce & Web sales Aligning the various systems (legacy, SAP, ERP) together. Hire relationship managers Make IT a “partner”

1. After only 3 years, KL’s Web sales have reached $156M, equalizing its in store sales, and now represent 15% of total sales. This is very encouraging and exciting. KL needs to continue to invest in Ecommerce & Web sales in order to continue this great growth. Selling via the Internet should be a priority because it’s cheaper than your ordinary brick and mortar sales points, there is less overhead expense, and this market is growing exponentially. The company should work towards gaining the most market share possible developing an industry leading website, timely and dependable delivery, and customer service. Accomplishing the above means getting all the company sharing information and data more efficiently (see point #2).

2. KL has a complex IT infrastructure with various systems in use around the world. The result is a frustrated bunch of employees upset with the fact that communication data sharing is awful. To remedy this the company needs to invest more in training to get the whole company, including the USA, to use SAP as soon as possible.

3. Assign/hire relationship managers to improve information sharing, facilitate plans, priorities, communications, and relationships, and in turn get the whole system to work together.

4. To avoid such problems in the future, KL needs to make IT a “partner” in the decision making process. In other words, the company needs to better involve IT in company strategy and tactical planning. With the IT team, the company needs to develop and define an Enterprise Operating Model and Architecture that include business strategy, current IT assessment, IT strategy and IT plans.

Question #2: Would your colleagues on the executive committee agree with your selection and prioritization? The above priorities should be well received because they solve or improve many of the frustrating employees around the company. This answer will look at each division (upper management, sales & marketing, order fulfillment and distribution, and ITS) and see why the four IT priorities should be well received by the executive committee. The KL upper management is on record stating that the company has IT challenges “…around coordinating the various, and at times conflicting, business priorities across the enterprise.

We sure could use better IT tools for this as well as ready access to timely performance data.”, CEO Joseph Campbell. In addition, COO Jens McCreary stated that the company needs to improve global supply-chain management and leverage the expertise to outpace out competitors and cut our operating costs…” Considering these quotes it’s safe to assume that the CEO and COO should be accepting of these four IT priorities because will want to see IT provide better services in order to reach their goals. The products, manufacturing and distribution divisions of the company want to see SAP standardized and compatible across the company in order to better share information.

Priorities #2 and 3 should please this division. Sales & marketing hope to see inter-operating unit and communications and coordination issues to be resolved and they need real-time data. Priorities #1, 2 and 3 should encourage the sales and marketing team. The order fulfillment and distribution divisions need capabilities to forecast sales and manage our product and cash flows need to be more competitive.

They want to be able to deliver in a J.I.T. basis (optimize effectiveness) and have data integration between the legacy systems, SAP, Oracle, etc. These issues should improve with priorities #2 and 3 and this making these priorities acceptable to this division. Finally, the information technology services (ITS) claim that not spending enough on IT (more spent on production and sales), and Web and ecommerce should be priority. Priorities 1 to 4 all favor the ITS team, and therefore should be well received.

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