ITM501 - Mgt. Info. Syst. and Bus. Strategy Module 5 - Case - 10009

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The core of the case for this module involves your careful assessment of the sources of strategic enterprise information.  But before you’re ready to tackle it, you need to get somewhat up to speed on the underlying issues and dynamics.  The following two articles are highly suggested as briefing material:

 

Nobel, C. (2010) How IT Shapes Top-Down and Bottom-Up Decision Making.  Working Knowledge: Harvard Business School.  November 1.  Retrieved November 25, 2010, from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6504.html?wknews=110110

 

Hayles, R.A., (2007) Planning and Executing IT Strategy.IT Professional Magazine. Sep/Oct. 9(5):12-20.    Retrieved March 8, 2011, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1382579171&Fmt=6&clientId=29440&RQT=309&VName=PQD

 

Now, one of the hottest trends in current enterprise information systems is what's often referred to as "big data" -- that is, giant databases of stuff gathered from customers (e.g., all the information about your supermarket purchases automatically entered each time you swipe your Von's or Safeway card through the checkout to get al those cool discounts), websurfing, suppliers, internal monitoring, etc.  Big Data was first enabled through the enormous increases in the availability of low-cost data storage (down to $30 per terabyte at Fry's Electronics, as of today's paper), but it took the development of good data analytic tools to really spark the trend.  Here are two interesting summaries of issues involved in Big Data at the moment:

 

LaValle, S., Lesser, E., Shockley, R., Hopkins, M. and Kruschwitz, N. (2010) Big Data, Analytics and the Path From Insights to Value. MIT Sloan Management Review.December. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/2011-winter/52205/big-data-analytics-and-the-path-from-insights-to-value/  [The ptional Readings contains a link to the full report, if you're interested.]

 

Webster, J. (2011) Understanding Big Data Analytics. SeaRchStorage.com.  Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/feature/Understanding-Big-Data-analytics

 

There's a lot more out there in the optional and supplemental readings as well as the wide wonderful world of the Internet to give you a feel for whether or not this all makes any sense; the more widely you can spread your own information gathering net, the more effective your analysis is likely to be.

 

So the question for discussion basically is to what degree ought organizational decision making be driven by "evidence" derived from analysis of trends in Big Data? Are such data reliable?  How much power might the analyst have over the results?  What other kinds of information, if any, might be used for decision making?  Big Data's not going away -- in fact, "Huge Data" may be just around the corner -- so how can we best harness this new horse to the enterprise so that it doesn't run away with everything? 

 

Your task is pretty simple: write an effective short paper on the topic:

 

"To what degree should organizations depend on the analysis of large databases and other IT resources to formulate basic strategy?"

 

This could even be fun!

 

 

 

Case assignment expectations:

 

Your paper should be short (5-7 pages, not including cover sheet and references) and to the point. It is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner. You are expected to:

 

·         Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely -- take one or the other position (either for or against formality), but not both!

 

·         Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can.

 

·         Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position -- that is, establish what counterarguments can be made in response to your original position.

 

·         Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement.

 

By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position.

 

 

 

The following features of your paper will be assessed in particular:

 

·         Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly. In this case, there isn’t a single right or wrong, yes-or-no answer – either perspective can be justified. Your task is to construct a logical, well-reasoned, and persuasive argument for your conclusions. Be sure that you take a defined position on the question, and construct your paper to support that position with suitable arguments and evidence.

 

·         Your focus on the question as presented, and your ability to use the language of the module convincingly. Here, this means your ability to differentiate between what constitutes the "technical system" of an organization and what constitutes its "social system", to define possible changes that could be made to either system and their probably consequences, and to explain how a "socio-technical" perspective involving joint consideration of both systems together may be better than dealing with either system by itself.

 

·         Your ability to consolidate ideas from reading materials and your understanding of the materials. Select your illustrative cases to prove your point; don’t just dump a bunch of illustrations onto the page just to fill space. Use information from as many sources as you can, as long as it’s of good quality. At the least, you are expected to show evidence of having read and understood the required readings.

 

·         Your informed commentary and analysis -- simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.

 

·         Some in-text references to your readings, with citations in proper academic format. For assistance with proper paper formats, reference lists, and citation procedures, please consult the TUI Course Guidelines and/or the Purdue University manual listed in the Background Material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution Description

 

The core of the case for this module involves your careful assessment of the sources of strategic enterprise information.  But before you’re ready to tackle it, you need to get somewhat up to speed on the underlying issues and dynamics.  The following two articles are highly suggested as briefing material:

 

Nobel, C. (2010) How IT Shapes Top-Down and Bottom-Up Decision Making.  Working Knowledge: Harvard Business School.  November 1.  Retrieved November 25, 2010, from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6504.html?wknews=110110

 

Hayles, R.A., (2007) Planning and Executing IT Strategy.IT Professional Magazine. Sep/Oct. 9(5):12-20.    Retrieved March 8, 2011, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1382579171&Fmt=6&clientId=29440&RQT=309&VName=PQD

 

Now, one of the hottest trends in current enterprise information systems is what's often referred to as "big data" -- that is, giant databases of stuff gathered from customers (e.g., all the information about your supermarket purchases automatically entered each time you swipe your Von's or Safeway card through the checkout to get al those cool discounts), websurfing, suppliers, internal monitoring, etc.  Big Data was first enabled through the enormous increases in the availability of low-cost data storage (down to $30 per terabyte at Fry's Electronics, as of today's paper), but it took the development of good data analytic tools to really spark the trend.  Here are two interesting summaries of issues involved in Big Data at the moment:

 

LaValle, S., Lesser, E., Shockley, R., Hopkins, M. and Kruschwitz, N. (2010) Big Data, Analytics and the Path From Insights to Value. MIT Sloan Management Review.December. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from

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