Title Infrastructure Modernization Review 2. Introduction The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Largo Corporation is responsible for information technology (IT) that supports the company goals. More specifically, the CTO plays a key role in defining the strategy and approach for effectively applying information technology to enable the goals and objectives of the organization to be carried out.
Largo Corporation is a multinational conglomerate corporation that serves a broad range of clients and their needs. Think in terms of a large company like General Electric which is involved in a wide range of businesses. Largo Corporation is a high energy organization in an extremely competitive environment that strives for high quality and timely delivery of products and services to its clients. Ms. Tara Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is a driven leader who has high expectations on her managers and employees.
Ms. Johnson has been disappointed with the poor company performance last quarter. Her personal opinion is that the organization is underutilizing information technology (IT). She feels that there are state-of-the-art and emerging technologies that can be applied to the company that can immediately address current user issues and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.
She asked the CTO to form an IT modernization team to conduct an analysis to determine where the company’s current IT infrastructure is misaligned with the company’s business needs and to identify recommendations. In addition, the team must prepare a presentation describing a proposal to modernize the IT infrastructure and report to the CEO and other corporate executives.
It is common for organizations to have modernization projects. Reasons for these projects include a new set of business requirements being introduced, the emergence of new technologies that can be leveraged and past political and budget issues that have slowed down the infusion of technology into the organization over time.
You will learn about infrastructure components such as hardware; software; and networks and telecommunications. You will also learn how to evaluate these technologies to meet business requirements with consideration to the corporate mission and culture. In addition you will be developing communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills.
Understanding system capabilities provided by the infrastructure components and the application of this knowledge to enable an organization’s strategic goals and objectives to encompass core knowledge, skills, and abilities are a knowledge base that IT personnel are expected to possess. Effective IT professionals are expected to be up-to-date on trends in technology, current IT innovations, and which technologies will provide a competitive advantage for an organization. Most importantly, IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively (orally and written) to executive level management in a non-jargon, executive level manner that convincingly justifies the need to invest in IT improvements and modernization. This learning demonstration is designed to strengthen these essential knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by IT professionals.
3. Steps to Completion Your instructor will form the teams. Each member is expected to contribute to the team agreement which documents the members’ contact information and sets goals and expectations for the team. 1) Review the Setting Largo Corporation is a major multinational conglomerate corporation which specializes in a wide array of products and services. These products and services include healthcare, finance, retail, government services, and many more. The annual revenue is about $750 million and it has about 1,000 employees. The parent company is located in Largo, Maryland and its subsidiaries are headquartered throughout the United States. The mission of the corporation is to bring the best products and services to people and businesses throughout the world so they can then realize their full potential. The corporate vision guides every aspect of their business to achieve sustainable, quality growth: • Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization. • People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to achieve their maximum potential. • Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value. • Responsible: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference through ethical behavior. • Revenue: Maximize long-term return while being mindful of our overall responsibilities. The company’s culture is reflected in their corporate values: • Leadership: Courage to shape a better future. • Collaboration: Leverage collective intelligence. • Accountability: Own up to your responsibility. • Passion: Committed to excellence. • Diversity: Provide new perspectives into our business. • Quality: We will want quality as part of our brand. The corporation consists of the parent company and the following subsidiaries: • Healthcare – Suburban Independent Clinic, Inc. (medical services) • Finance – Largo Capital (financial services) • Retail – Rustic Americana (arts and crafts), Super-Mart (office products) • Government Services – Government Security Consultants (information security) • Automotive – New Breed (electric cars) • Systems Integration – Solutions Delivery, Inc. (communications) • Media Design – Largo Media (website and app design) The organization is headed by CEO Tara Johnson who completed her Master’s degree at UMUC and eager to make worthwhile improvements to the corporation. She rose through the ranks of Largo Corporation starting with systems integration, then retail and her last position before becoming CEO was in finance. The corporation is in a highly competitive environment so the CEO wants savvy employees at many levels to make wise judgments and take an aggressive approach and deliver results towards improving the bottom line yet maintaining corporate social responsibility. 2) Gauging the Current Situation One area CEO Tara Johnson is most concerned about is the IT infrastructure of her company. Some of the subsidiaries of the corporation underperformed last quarter and she has the opinion that existing IT infrastructure contributed to the decline. Ms. Johnson set up interviews with various stakeholders both internal and external to the corporation to gain some insight into the IT concerns. They were asked “What is the most problematic issue facing you with regard to information technology.” These were the responses: “It was difficult to implement new government regulatory requirements due to outdated software systems.” (Chief Counsel, Largo Corporation) “Our computer workload varies greatly day to day and sometimes our network just cannot keep up the demand.” (Retail Operations Manager, Rustic Americana) “The organization was not able to properly analyze its data and get the information to make quality decisions quickly.” (Department Head, Largo Capital) “The networks are often slow and unreliable. It was built in the 1980’s!” (Web Designer, Largo Media) “It seems that our people who do field work could use IT to improve their operations.” (Communications Field Manager, Solutions Delivery, Inc.) “Each business unit could not exchange information easily with another business unit. For example, the financial personnel could not send budget information to the operation people without a lengthy period to convert and massage the data”. (Financial analyst, Largo Capital) “I am concerned that we do not encrypt our corporate wireless networks.” (Security specialist, Government Security Consultants) “Our employees are creating gigabytes and gigabytes of data. Our hard disks are running out of space!” (Call Center Manager, Rustic Americana) “We are getting virus and other malware all the time. What should we do?” (Operations analyst, Super-Mart) “I am worried about the possibility of privacy intrusions in our medical operations.” (Doctor, Suburban Independent Clinic) “Employees want to bring in their own personal devices but the network people won’t let them connect with our systems.” (Branch Manager, New Breed) “We business managers think that the IT personnel often fail to listen and understand our specific needs, always want to use cutting edge but unproven tools, do not ask the right questions and lack vision.” (Department Head, Largo Corporation) “As an IT professional, it seems to me that business people are unclear about their needs, constantly changing their requirements and do not understand the cost and time issues associated with technology implementation.” (Systems Developer, Largo Corporation) “Many of our younger employees see security as an interference and actually know how to successfully work around security protocols.” (Operational manager, Super-Mart) “When we call the Helpdesk for support, we never know how soon they will assist us. We have to do our jobs and have no idea what the priority is and when our issue will be addressed.” (Administrative Assistant, Largo Corporation) 3) Analyze the Issues Your work begins now. As the part of the IT modernization team, this step requires you to study and analyze these IT issues. As a first step you can group these issues into different categories such as software, hardware, networks/telecommunications, management issues, and others. In analyzing each issue, consider asking these questions: • Do I understand the meaning and nature of the issue? • Should we care about this issue? • What does literature say about this issue? • Who is affected by the issue? How so? • Which issues are most important? Least important? • How does this issue relate to corporate strategy and goals? • Why do you think this issue occurred? Do not jump the gun and identify solutions. That step comes later. Deliverable: Prepare a narrative and a summary table that would capture the results of your analysis in this step. Minimum length = 600 words. Be sure to state your assumptions. 4) Research Technologies and Technology Trends Investigate and evaluate the current and emerging technologies that have the potential of addressing the identified issues. Review your textbook, library resources and other peer-reviewed references. Evaluate the relevance of the following technology trends: cloud computing, virtualization, mobile computing, Big Data and other contemporary IT cross-functional approaches. Review and evaluate the relevancy of these trends to the current situation. Again, review your textbook, library resources and other peer-reviewed references. Deliverable: Provide a technical briefing that examines different relevant technologies and technology trends and include a short description of each. Also, explain why these technologies are applicable to Largo Corporation. Minimum length = 1,000 words. 5) Communicate the Overall Findings and Recommendations Provide a presentation that addresses a set of recommendations on the technologies and trends needed to address the current situation. A suggested agenda is as follows: • Purpose of the Briefing • Description of the Overall Environment • Analysis of the Issues • Relevant Technologies that Address the Issues including Rationale • Relevant Trends that Potentially Address the Issues including Rationale • Overall Recommendations • Conclusions The audience consists of the CEO and executives representing all of Largo Corporation subsidiaries. The presentation should consist of 15-20 slides. It should include audio narration (directions are found at: https://support.office.com/en-au/article/Add-narration-to-a-presentation-0b9502c6-5f6c-40ae-b1e7-e47d8741161c). The narration should also be captured in the slide notes. As an alternate method of delivery, you can create a video using YouTube Capture (https://www.youtube.com/capture) or a similar tool. Prepare a peer evaluation report. 4. Deliverables 1) Issue analysis table (from Step 3) 2) Technology briefing (from Step 4) 3) Final presentation (from Step 5) Create a folder to hold all of your deliverables. Title your files using this protocol: GroupNumber_G-1_AssignmentName_Date. Please zip (compress) the folder containing all of the files and the team leader is to submit the zipped file in the Assignments area. In lieu of submitting the presentation, the team leader may provide a link to the presentation file. NOTE: At the end of the project, each member of the team should email a completed Peer Evaluation form to your instructor. 5. Rubrics Criteria Weight Score
Analyze technical and non-technical issues that are evident in a given IT infrastructure 20 Identify the appropriate technology solutions to address identified issues 50 Identify the appropriate management solutions to address identified issues 20 Exhibit communication skills 10 Total 100at strategic changes can your company implement as a result of the SWOT analysis?