Technology Management Plan

Published: 2017-11-20 09:19:24
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Vanderbilt University
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Essay
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Situation analysis

Largo Corporation referred to as Rustic Americana is an organization that is mainly concern with the production of arts and crafts that reflect the geography, history, folklore as well as the cultural heritage of the US. The organization specializes in direct marketing strategy through it call center. It promotes, communicates and sales its products via a web, brick and mortar store and direct mail catalog. The company provides numerous services under a single roof that includes order fulfillment, warehousing, shipping, call center as well as operation and corporate management. The company utilizes the approach of product differentiation as well as a different direct mail catalog to achieve its sale goals.

The organization conducts its operations through call center operations, which responds to a call for product and conducts effective data management, the warehouse personnel utilizes bar code scanners to track merchandise. However, the call center operation faces some setbacks, for instance, they use an old UNIX system to manage their inventory which has a slow refresh rate on the expansive list. The customer could not get the correct information regarding the shipping of the product. The CFO did not consider increasing the company’s expenditure on computer systems as well as the un-strategic and stereotypical view of customers. Secondly, the company’s call center was not able to handle large volume calls as the number of lines exceeded the number of agents. The company utilizes Cisco Voice instead of the Internet Protocol phone system, with two free servers. One for call routing and one other for voicemails. Thirdly, insufficient efforts to track downtimes and a lot of revenue were lost during the downtimes. Lastly, the challenge of bandwidth as many employees was allowed to stream movies during their free time and misused this opportunity by disclosing sensitive comments regarding the company.

For IT operation, the company deploys the CIO at the high rank and ten other staff members, including a network engineer, system analyst, four desktop support technicians and a web server programmer. The call center uses a Cisco Voice( CV) over Internet protocol phones system. The call center is equipped with an application server; Microsoft Outlook emails a typical complement of router and switches as well as a web server. The performance of workers has not been recommendable.

The company works to eliminate the challenge of the cable company, with efforts to track downtimes and to improve the web services. To enable a better working environment, the company aims at creating a culture of trust and dependence, develop a strategic plan to avoid a setback in the future and to inform staff about their activities.

The company’s technology strategy is aimed at aligning its technology with the business needs. The CFO plans on increasing expenditure on both hardware and software, to avoid mismanagement of IT systems, IT operations, and resources to improve the call center operations for instance delayed shipping and providing information when the product is depleted. The phones systems require a coaxial cable Internet service to supply broadband

A good contract ensures that both parties fully meet their obligation. The former CIO depended on two vendors for the provision of a variety of hardware. This reduced reliability as deflates in some hardware could not be traced to an individual provider.

As a new CIO, I plan to establish a reliable feedback mechanism at all levels of IT interface, which includes the discovery of technology issues, timely restoration of technology related problems and creating a safe working environment through improved communication and reducing future setbacks.

 

Issues matrix

Probable effect on corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probability

Of

occurrence

 

High

Medium

Low

High

No chief information officer

Decline in annual sales

Delayed call responses, hence the need for training and system upgrade

Medium

Downtime

Change in working culture to promote trust and independence

Too many hardware supplies

Low

Increase funding on hardware and software

Unclear job responsibilities

Modern UNIX system for effective inventory management

 Identification of best practices

Best practices related to technological management

GAO has established essential aspects that provide a sound foundation for IT management. The company can also utilize these set of plans to effectively manage technical setbacks. The first is to institute a process that accounts for all expenses and results related to IT, next is the integration of the information security management processes and operation planning process. The other plans include to establish a broad strategic information resource master plan, to document the agency’s IT strategic planning process, integrate IT management processes with its decisions regarding budget, planning, financial management, program decisions and human resource management. Lastly, the company should benchmark IT management process against other well-performing organizations (Gao.gov, 2016).

Key management bests practices

Key management best practices are necessary for the achievement of the organization’s goals. They include monitoring the development of managers, evolving their skills and ensuring the skills are effectively put into practice. Establishing sound strategies for achieving the company’s goals. For instance, the goal to provide quality or increase sales, utilize team-building skills to ensure shared efforts to a common goal. Lastly, is to apply the approach of the five building blocks, which include leadership, problem-solving, negotiation, communication, and influence. These are the key management issues that Rustic Americana Company should implement to counter the company’s internal problems and to boost its performance (Google Books, 2016).

People management skills for efficient operation

It is essential for the management to understand effective means of managing worker with a diverse background, skills, education, rank and work style. The first step is to deal with conflicts with constructive resolutions and not ignoring them. The next step is to understand why some workers behave the way they do. This will need the ideas of organizational behavior. The next is to set reasonable goals and commit every employee. Last, is to ensure that all worker are handled equally and see the significance of problematic employees determine the value they add to the operation of the company (Forbes.com, 2016).

Ethical requirements for individuals in an organization

Ethics are standards for evaluating conduct, which requires workers to do the right thing. Ethics standards can be achieved by defending conclusions by what is good or bad and understanding various arguments since ethics is mainly based on human actions. For instance, it the articles reveals that one employee disclosed sensitive comments regarding the company, which indicates the need to address ethical issues among the management and workers. The former CIO was also suspected of sharing crucial information about the company to his personal client. These actions can damage the company’s reputation and morale among its workers. The company should distinguish between legal facts and moral facts. This is essential for the determination of a full moral code. Workers should also be guided on the best ways of communicating and interacting among themselves to ensure that sound professional relationships have been established. Lastly, employees should mind their integrity, competence, welfare and professional responsibility (Aitp.org, 2016).  

Selecting an applicable improvement plan

Call center operations

Rustic Americana’s call center operation requires several different technologies to maximize the use of information and streamline call center activities. The company’s call center integrated computer, telephones and software technology as convenient tools for conducting their operations. However, as a new CIO, I shall concentrate on technological, strategic changes that can boost the call operations and strategic management changes to enhance the productivity of IT operators.

The use of CTI to amalgamate the interlocking technologies and combine hardware and software information as well as voice and data trough standards-based systems, these changes will improve our interactions with clients through an informative communication environment and avoid delayed responses and failure to give the correct information regarding stock availability.

Another significant move is encouraging the CFO to increase investment in hardware and software tools. These changes will equip the call center with the right software tools to manage queues, retrieve customer information, providing product information, offering sale scripts and to backup office application to avoid fraud cases. These changes along with an efficient working environment will ensure timely access to information, sharing of emerging ideas, providing timely responses to customers and effective communication. The human resource will also need to work towards ensuring customer satisfaction before and after sales, appropriately managing customer data, mobilizing resources towards efforts towards customer retention.

Another important change will include call management and handling of the website. To prevent the need for more call service representatives, I will include crucial information and the frequently asked questions to ease the load of callers. Moreover, emails can serve as alternative communication lines, and hence the need for quick response to customers’ emails, an automated response for the general question can serve the purpose of easing the number of callers. The call center representatives will also need to be skilled in responding to complex questions comprehensively to avoid repeated calls.

The company’s call center will also need to utilize the option of integrated call centers to reduce the customer’s waiting time, offer alternative access to information, and enhance call routing and customer access.  

Improving the client's relation will also be a key strategy, this can be achieved through monitoring performance regarding the number of calls and response times to correct any deflate promptly.

The use of ITIL’s information technology services enables practitioners to demonstrate their potential to address their specific needs. Rustic Americana will achieve more business outcomes as it will allow workers to utilize their IT skills for task fulfillment. It helps in identification of business opportunities as it allows employees to identify potential risks, challenges and critical success factors and to achieve a competitive advantage.

The following are specific issues that affect the operations of the company some of which relate to the ethical conduct of the management. No chief information officer, which results in a communication breakdown between the management and the employees causing a decline in annual sales. The next challenge is wrong to call responses due to congestions on the available call lines, non-strategic downtimes, reliance on too many hardware suppliers, unclear job responsibilities, lack of frequent system upgrade, unskilled personnel, using traditional working stations and too high volume on call centers  

Key recommendations

In my opinion, the following recommendations can help to restore the performance of Largo Corporation. Prisha Khan should ensure that she effectively troubleshoots issues to promote the quality of call services to achieve customer satisfaction. This can be attained through agent training to boost workers and customer relations. Keeping an open communication with the customer in cases of delayed delivery or changes, call center representatives should also be able to withstand the influx of calls during peak hours. On technical changes, the Microsoft SQL server should be removed and replaced with the Oracle database. Ethical principles should also be boosted to ensure a conducive working environment.

Regarding ethical issues, Largo Corporation should perform its activities within the states’ rules and regulations, improve competence in human welfare and integrity to improve their services. Another ethical issue is responsibility. Workers should provide timely responses and be responsible for any action that does not comply with the ethical policies of the Largo Corporation.

Conclusion

The analysis was able to identify the weakness of Largo corporations, which resulted in the decline in its revenues. Among the gaps identified were poor customer responses, no chief information officer, non-strategic downtimes, reliance on too many hardware suppliers, unclear job responsibilities, lack of regular system upgrade, unskilled personnel, using traditional working stations and too high volume on call centers. As new CIO, will focus on strategic changes in technical operation as well as proper management of human resources, I will as well address the ethical gaps among the employees.


References

Forbes Welcome. (2016). Forbes.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2014/06/09/6-tips-for-managing-people-who-are-hard-to-manage/#e83e28f796d1

How Ethical Theories Apply to IT Professionals - Association of Information Technology Professionals. (2016). Aitp.org. Retrieved 14 October 2016, from https://www.aitp.org/news/93013/How-Ethical-Theories-Apply-to-IT-Professionals.htm

IT Best Practices. (2016). Google Books. Retrieved 14 October 2016, from https://books.google.com/books?id=49OC_fPnOhcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=management+best+practices&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Nz5FVZWOGsengwShlIDQBA&ved=0CF8Q6AEwCTge#v=onepage&q=management%20best%20practices&f=false

Key Issues: Best Practices and Leading Practices in Information Technology Management. (2016).Gao.gov. Retrieved 14 October 2016, from http://www.gao.gov/key_issues/leading_practices_information_technology_management/issue_summary

sheldon

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