Technology is one of the cornerstones for the success of any business organization in the contemporary market. However, technology is dynamic in nature, and changes rapidly from time to time. To keep up with these changes, an organization should keep updating its technology; otherwise, its technology becomes obsolete. This is particularly relevant in the case of publishing companies. In this case, the objective is to assess the implications of hiring a new leader to oversee the transformation of the information technology department in the Penguin Group Publishing Company. The company also intends to implement a reorganization and downsizing strategy in this department, with a change in focus to managing outsourced services. To achieve this objective, involves examining the trends behind the changes within IT management and governance. These trends and the future course of the business form the basis of the qualifications required of the new manager. The new CIO must be able to oversee the currently planned functions and adapt to the changing roles of CIO with regard to the invention of new technologies and strategies.
Penguin Group, initially Penguin Books, is a Canadian publishing company established in 1974. Its head office is located in Toronto, Ontario, but it has various outlets throughout Canada. At its formative stages, the company was a distribution outlet for Penguin International. The company started its publishing operations in 1982, and was known for publishing homegrown Canadian work. The main objective of this company is to publish books that speak to the broad learning public, as well as to address primary issues regarded as socially important. A point to note is that the company frequently produces controversial books, dealing with diverse subjects including health care crisis, Canadian nationalism, the misfortunes of homelessness and mental disorders, and the role of Canada in the economy of the world (Penguin Group).
The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is among the most influential leaders when it comes to Information Systems Leadership. He is responsible for guiding an organization in acquiring and implementing IS that could assist the organization to cope with the ever-changing technology requirements. Nevertheless, intense changes in the industry are influencing the role that the CIO as well as the potential foundations of the value of the CIO (Earl and Feeny, 11). Over the years, roles and responsibilities of CIO have changed, and shifted according to the role that technology plays in an organization. As such, the demand for IT managers has displayed an increasing trend specifically in the United States, and generally in the global market (Ross and Feeny, 389).
IT management underwent considerable change in the past 50 years. Initially, IT management was seen as basic functioning (Elena and Richard 71). Then it evolved with the addition of cost reduction capabilities, before it gained popularity in supporting the decision-making process. Current IT management of plays a pivotal role in an inter-organizational supply chain as well as business eco-system (Preston, 25).
Based on these shifts, IT executives have the responsibility of providing IT vision and leadership. The modern CIO participates in various aspects within the organization. For instance, the CIO takes part in leadership, through developing its vision through understanding its business. He is also expected to give a hand in governing through establishing the structure of IS governance (Enns, Huff and Golden, 14). With regard to investing, the CIO shapes the IT portfolio. Lastly, in the case of the managing role, the CIO is responsible for creating system integrity, IT functions management, and nurturing change within the organization. All these illustrate the changing trend in the roles and responsibilities of the CIO in the modern organizational set-up (Smaltz, Sambamurthy and Agarwal, 213).
Outsourcing is becoming a common phenomenon in IT management. Outsourcing reduces the cost associated with IT management, as it increases efficiency within the IT department. It lets the in house IT personnel focus on what they do best, while the other duties are done by outsourced employees, this contributes to greater efficiency in general performance. Besides, only specialized services are outsourced. Efficiency also increases because outsourcing streamlines operations of business and reducing overhead (Elena and Richard, 79).
Inventory management is at the core of a publishing house. Technology and improved printing methods now allow publishing houses to come closer to point of sale inventory control. It is no longer necessary for a publishing house to “set up the presses” to run off copies in huge numbers. These series of editions are expensive to print and store if the book does not sell and expensive to replicate if the demand exceeds the supply. The current trend in supply side inventory avoids this dilemma as if were custom tailored for the publishing industry; instead of needing to store vast numbers of printed books, the present day publishing house only needs to maintain the necessary materials inventory to respond to immediate demands.
At the core of this business is the IT hub that monitors inventory, sales and reports to corporate leadership. If they are capable of employing modern technology best practices, the company will see a dramatic leap in their profit margin. If this hub is not configured and properly maintained, it creates problems alone every stage of the publishing from price setting to trash pickups. For this reason, the supply side inventory functions and financial reports should remain at the central corporate location and the remainder outsourced whenever possible.
The new manager will need to consolidate and centralize corporate information systems at the central corporate offices. This will cause pain but it is necessary in order to be able to evaluate which functions can ultimately be outsourced. Efficiency requires consistency and this section of the system needs revision. This pain point can be reduced by polling the users and engaging them as part of the revision process. (McKeen, et al., 2007).
The software development itself should be done by in sourced staff working on a semi-permanent basis. This will provide management with both control over project delivery and flexibility as to personnel, engagement and assignments. This will reduce the pain of a new CIO trying to become familiar with a business’s corporate culture and develop new software at the same time.
Once the software system is standardized, the data from all the sources needs to be integrated into the central location. A combination team of in house and in sourced staff best addresses this phase. This can be a painful process or a surprisingly simple one. Team management is important here and it is vital that management takes an active role and remains in control of the process. (McKeen, et al., 2007).
The following step that can also be unpredictably simple or painful, it is that of deciding which functions should remain in house, which should be in sourced, the IT functions destined to be shared with the supply side partners and those functions to be immediately or eventually outsourced that will be completely outsourced. It is clear that the supply side inventory system should be developed with the partner businesses. This is a proven practice in the publishing industry that saves both publishers and suppliers considerable sums and contributes greatly to their bottom lines. It is also clear that software development and maintenance should be addressed by a combination in house and in sourced team that works closely with the CEO and the Board of directors to insure that IT remains true to the corporate direction. The financial planning and that portion of the supply side inventory control that remains with Penguin should also be kept in house. The remainder of the IT functions should be considered for outsourcing.
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