Posted: October 17th, 2013
Management Integration – ITM491.MOD4.CASE
Management Integration – ITM491.MOD4.CASE
Business has been affected greatly by the introduction of Information Technology management. A big corporation like Alcan has benefited greatly by using IT management system. Alcan has its operations in many different countries; and have employed thousands of people. With the introduction of IT management systems, information that previously took a long time to be delivered from one country to another is now received with the touch of a button. IT management systems have reduced business travel from one country to another as it has enabled business associates different countries communicate to each other. Another advantage of IT management system that Alcan benefited from was the ability to store information in an electronic database that enables faster and efficient communication.
One disadvantage of IT management system is the start up cost. A large corporation like Alcan had to invest heavily in all the countries in order to set up an IT system that could work well for all regions. Apart from the cost incurred while purchasing the hardware and software, technology vendors required Alcan to purchase user licenses for all the employees who will be using the IT system. This slowed down production as some employees’ resisted change and took time before learning the new IT management system. Other costs that were incurred were training of employees who were unfamiliar with the new IT system. The other disadvantage is the maintenance cost of the Information Technology management system. When there is a system malfunction, the company is forced to hire skills of technicians to make the necessary repairs. Alcan has to ensure that there are no security breaches as IT management systems are vulnerable to security breaches especially when they are accessed through the internet. Alcan has to ensure that unauthorized employees do not have access to confidential information as it can be changed or destroyed permanently.
Robert Ouellette encouraged the use of IT management system as it assisted them to ease operations. Information Technology system management assisted Alcan to increase income due to quicker services, which have resulted from the introduction of electronic inventory management and invoice validation. The introduction of IT replaced monotonous tasks that required human operators. This has eliminated errors, which were earlier experienced. IT management systems reduced operation time for tasks, which could take a whole day. IT systems have made it possible for the organization to give better information and this has resulted in an increase of profit. The management of Alcan were able to control operations effectively this has enabled them to make proactive decisions. IT has made it possible for Alcan to have formal managerial processes. Before the introduction of IT systems, Alcan employees would leave the organization and the change could go unreported to the concerned parties. IT has made it possible for Alcan to ensure accountability of their employees (Case Study – Alcan 2010).
Introduction of IT management system has its disadvantages. The introduction of IT systems has resulted to high unemployment rates. These systems have made people change the way they do their work and making their skills become redundant. The introduction of IT has changed the organization’s structure, as employees with IT skills seem to play a bigger role than those who do not have the skills (Clemons, 1991). Another disadvantage of IT systems is that they depend on human operators; they cannot operate on their own. Organizations cannot rely totally on IT systems as they can experience hardware breakdown, which might take a long time to repair. Software do not breakdown, but can give wrong information, which might have originated from the operator (Sommerville, 2010).
Alcan should keep the current IT management system as business productivity has increased. There has also been an improvement in relationship with their foreign companies. With the IT systems in place, Alcan has been able to monitor and budget for all it projects both locally and abroad. Through this system, Alcan was able to create processes and procedures that were able to show the key performance areas. This enabled them to have service level agreement (Alcan Engineered Products, 2012). There has been flexibility when it comes to processing, and communication has been made easier using technology. This has reduced expenses incurred while traveling to all the Alcan foreign subsidiary companies. IT management systems have saved Alcan money, which have resulted to profit, as there has been an increase in production, through efficiency and better planning. There has been some job cuts as some tasks that required personnel are now automated, reducing cost.
Communication to both local and foreign Alcan companies has been made easier using email and computer networks. Information is sent and received instantly, especially in instances where documents and information is needed urgently. Business managers are able to have access and control operations from their laptops and web cams from Personal Computers even when at home or traveling. The IT system has brought Alcan’s local and foreign subsidiaries together through globalization, as information is shared easily regardless of the language barrier that was experienced there before. Information Technology has made employees of Alcan share ideas with their foreign colleagues easily (Ives, 1991). Some software have been translated to French language to make operations easier and faster. The use of video conferencing has assisted Alcan to have face-to-face communication. There were heavy costs that were incurred when setting up the system, and employees were trained so that they are able to operate the system. The issue of lack of privacy has been seen as there are people who hack email and private information is made public. In conclusion, Alcan should continue using IT management system and it has more advantages than disadvantages.
Case Study – Alcan (May 2010) Retrieved from http://www.quickcomm.com/uncategorized/case-study-alcan
Clemons, E. K., & Row, M. C. (September 01, 1991). Sustaining IT Advantage: The Role of Structural Differences. Mis Quarterly, 15, 3.
Sommerville, I. (2010) Socio-technical Systems. Retrieved from http://www.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~ifs/Teaching/MScCritSysEng2010/Lectures(PDF)/L2-SociotechSystems.pdf
Alcan Engineered Products: Infrastructure Separation (2012) Retrieved from http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/success-assist-divestiture-parent-setting-stage.aspx
Ives, B., & Jarvenpaa, S. L. (March 01, 1991). Applications of Global Information Technology: Key Issues for Management. Mis Quarterly, 15, 1, 33-49.
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