IT management is an important function for any organization. The way the IT services are managed will affect the outcome of the IT strategy and the role of the strategy to the overall management of an organization. This paper will focus on the management of IT services at Alcan Company. It will assess the current and new IT services management.
Advantages of the current IT management system
One of the advantages of the current IT management system is that each business function will invest for their IT systems. Changes will be easy to implement in the current management. This is because the business units are small when compared to the whole Alcan Company. The company spans a wide geographical area. The budget will also be approved according to the urgency of the changes in the IT departments. Analysis will be easily done with the current system. This is because the budget will be directly linked with a given area which needs improvement in the business unit where the changes will be effected. Unlike the whole organization, the budget might be unnecessarily enormous with little impact that the IT service will have on a given business unit (Rice, 2013).
Another advantage is that it will be easy to manage the implementations of additional information systems to business units. This is seen in the way SAP projects are implemented. The need to approve some projects will not take a lot of time and the time that will be taken to get such approvals will be less when compared to when the company is managed from the central view. There are three SAP projects that are being undertaken at Alcan Company in parallel. This is to the advantage of the business groups which wants such systems.
Another advantage is that there will be customization of information systems for the company. This is because some business units might not want to implement a certain system because it does not suit them. In such cases, they will implement the systems that they feel will suit their needs. An example is that SAP modules might not help some business units. The units would be forced to implement such systems and yet they feel the systems will not suit their needs. These business units will instead look for information systems that will suit their needs (Matthes, Buckl, Leitel, & Schweda, 2008).
Disadvantages of the current management system
There are disadvantages with this management system for Alcan. One disadvantage is that the different implementations will make accountability of the systems hard. In the end, the total costs of implementations of IT systems will be hard. This is because the company will not benefit from the economies of scale that would have been achieved if the systems would have been implemented as a whole organization.
Another disadvantage is that there will be incompatibility with many information systems that the company runs. In the end, the different systems which have been implemented in the organization will be hard to be integrated because of the different platforms with which they have been developed. If there was central management, there would be change of the core infrastructure of the company so that it could accommodate the new implementations of the new systems. Advantages of the new management system
With the centralization of the management of services, there would be better integration of the IT services with the corporate strategies. This is an important concept for IT management. It is important to understand the strategic management of the IT services should be aligned with the goals of the organization.
The new structure will reduce the diversity, and the complexity of IT services. This is because there will be unified management of IT services and infrastructure. There will be central planning of all system implementation; this will reduce the disparate implementation of systems within the company. All the IT services, systems, and upgrades will be managed from a central location. The planning and the management of these processes will be easier than the current management system in place (Čudanov, Jaško, & Jevtić, 2009).
Another advantage is that standardization of IT services will be achieved in the new system. This is because services will be integrated in a uniform and as a whole. The changes that are proposed will affect the whole organization. This means that all the business units will make use of the same information systems. This is an important process and concept for the business. There will be no disparity of services and systems.
One disadvantage of the new system is that system implementation and improvement might take a lot of time because the changes will affect the whole organization. If there are some systems which are to be implemented quickly in a certain department, it might take time because of the long process of seeking approval for the whole organization. In the current structure, the business units would undertake their system implementation without any consultations (Bishop, & Hoover, 2011).
I would support moving to the new Alcan It enterprise architecture. This is because it would be easier to manage IT services than in the current structure. The proposals of improvements would be in tandem with the corporate strategy.
Čudanov, M., Jaško, O., & Jevtić, M. (2009). Influence of information and communication technologies on decentralization of organizational structure.Computer Science and Information Systems, 6(1), 93-109.
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.
Bishop, D. A., & Hoover, K. M. (2011). U.S. Patent No. 7,873,719. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Matthes, F., Buckl, S., Leitel, J., & Schweda, C. M. (2008). Enterprise Architecture Management Tool Survey 2008. Techn. Univ. München.
Rice, A. L. (Ed.). (2013). The enterprise and its environment: A system theory of management organization (Vol. 10). Routledge.