Part 1: Intermediate Strategic IS Plan
For this assignment, you will construct a 4-page intermediate strategic IS plan for Reynolds Tool & Die. You will create an outline detailing a comprehensive IT strategy (not just purchases) to support the upcoming merger and acquisition planned by the company. Your plan must address timelines, systems integration, and change management.
In this assignment, you will be leading the IT transition team and once the merger and acquisition are completed, you will serve as the senior IT manager for the new organization that has absorbed the aircraft part manufacturer. You will also be the person working with your counterpart in the joint venture with the company from Mexico, but you will not have any managerial or supervisory role there. Assume the merger/transition announcement is made in the first quarter. Systems integration needs to start in the second quarter and then must finish by November 30 to be prepared for the year-end accounting procedures.
Headings for your intermediate strategic information systems plan should include:
I. Current Assessment of the Merger/Acquired Organization
You’ll need to assess and analyze the IT operations and infrastructure of the organization you are about to merge with and/or acquire. This assessment should include hardware, software, and IT personnel.
II. IT Intermediate Strategic Plan
Based on your assessment, you are to propose an intermediate strategic plan for systems and IT organization integrations. Address these questions:
- Which organization’s IT assets will become the primary enterprise IT solution, and why? Will you integrate the merger/acquisition target into your systems, or will the merger/acquisition IT platform become the primary solution? Your assessment should guide you in this decision.
- What will you need to perform the successful integration by the end of the third business quarter? Will you need outside integrators to assist? Will you need a supplemental budget for new hardware and software, as this merger probably wasn’t included in the annual budget? How involved will the merger/acquisition IT organization be involved in the integration, and will you retain their present IT management structure to lead them?
III. End of Plan and Change Management
- An intermediate strategic plan is analogous to a project in that it has a finite life span. Address how you will wrap up the integration; specifically, what your new IT organization structure will look like, how you will deliver services to the new company, and what change management processes you will employ to deliver those services and address cultural changes and potential conflict within the new organization. Remember, there will be new users who will need to learn entirely new processes and tools as the new company moves forward.
Include at least one additional reference in addition to the class text for this assignment.
Part 2: Long-range IT Plan Focusing on Innovation
For this assignment, you’re a senior IT manager at Reynolds Tool & Die. You have been asked to write a 4-page plan detailing how you will create a culture of innovation in IT operations and integrate IT innovation into long-range strategic planning. Your proposal should include recommendations for specific technology innovations and explain how you expect these innovations to drive business success over time.
This assignment requires you to analyze the company’s goals; analyze how IT innovation can contribute to those goals and how the current environment might be able to support innovation. After you have completed your analyses, you will synthesize all of this information into a long-range IT plan focusing on innovation. Specifically, your plan needs to address two things:
- What IS innovations can you propose that align with the strategic long-range plans of both IT and the organization?
- How can you create a culture of innovation within your IT organization?
Headings should be as follows:
I. Long-range, Innovative Solutions Planning
Consider this a wish list. What innovative technologies will you propose to help Reynolds accomplish its long-range goals? For example, does artificial intelligence have a place in the organization? Big Data? What about next-generation cloud technologies? How will mobility (related to mobile devices) fit into your planning?
II. Creating a Culture of Innovation in the IT Organization
To implement creative solutions, you need an innovative team. Going forward, you’ll want to hire the right people and train them the right way. You already have staff who have been doing things a specific way, and you need to create a culture of innovation throughout the organization. How will you do that? Some areas to address are:
i. IT Staffing and Training
Does your current staff have the right skill sets? What skill sets will they need to add to be innovative? What are the potential budget considerations for ongoing training?
Can you make the case for research and development (R&D) within Reynolds’ IT organization? R&D isn’t synonymous with product development; it’s a function tasked with pursuing forward-thinking, innovative strategies, even strategies that the business doesn’t expect to pay off in the short term but hopes will pay off eventually in the long term.
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