Based on the results as tabulated in the Appendix E, the software impression is certainly based on the dealing with the respective vendor that representing their company. In order of popularity against the critical success factors, the software products are derived to be as follows: First choice : MegaLink Systems (overall score of 18282) Second choice : AKNAF Software Inc. (overall score of 11988)
Third choice : CodeQuest Limited (overall score of 10586) The final evaluation sheet against the critical success factors is in Appendix F. Human Resource Issues Representatives from the business units will be appointed Project Champions. Who will work closely with the development team, tasked with setting up the proposed infrastructure. This arrangement is ideal for gathering business unit operation requirements and reconciles any incompatibilities. Once senior management gives the go-no-go decision, HR will look at the overseas trips and plan a timetable for interaction with the technical representatives from MegaLink Systems, the vendor who is likely to get the contract.
The proposed infrastructure targets specific areas of technology in improving IMF’s business operations. Such as reliability and robustness, security and safety, scalability and preventing obsoleteness. The proposed infrastructure offers faster connectivity within and beyond the office thus enhancing communications; reduced need for manpower with online applications; business continuity with disaster recover plans; and finally alignment with current technologies. As such business units’ managers are enthusiastic and support the plan totally.
The proposed implementation bears little impact to the users and most of the implementation work will be on the backbone of IMF’s network connectivity. The primary impact is the learning curve and user resistance of the proposed web-based CRS and the use of corporate websites for information and online bookings. The use of anti-virus and personal firewall applications is expected to be a non-issue as the number of users in this category is small and thus resistance is minimal. These issues are resolved with migration plans and user education. When users become accustomed to the new technology and applications, these will become a vital part of their daily function and productivity will increase correspondingly.
Project Risks The current Chairman is really old school, building the company single handedly without much education. He believes in the personal touch and has resisted previous attempts at adopting email in the company. He has brought in a new management team for the business to survive him and wants a clear business case in investing the money for upgrading the company’s infrastructure. With a clear savings of S$8 Million annually from operating expenses alone, this project costing S$2 Million is makes financial sense and there is little expectation of opposition from the Chairman.
User resistance to change is an observable threat to the successful completion of the project. Understandably the pioneers of the company will feel that their jobs are threatened, given their mental apprehension of using computers. As well as the removal of actual touch, as previously they could see a document as part of a well known process being passed around and worked on. Now they had to contend with email that goes into a computer and they have no idea where it went. Training will be used to mitigate the risks of users’ fear in using a new system. Details of the training will be looked at after senior management has given the go-ahead for the project. As currently staff movement can be fluid and once a clear directive from management goes out to the staff, we can expect them to stay in town longer. Whereby training schedules can be planned and delivered.
Technically, we are quite confident that MegaLink Systems are able to deliver the goods. They have been a systems integrator for the pass 8 years and are fairly experienced. IMF Int’l Corporate Culture Most of the staff of IMF Int’l have been with the company on an average of 18 years and are in their mid fifties, this is especially so for the operational side of the business – namely the logistics business unit of the company. As one can imagine, these groups of individuals are seen as pioneers of the company and are highly resistant to changes to their work processes. Which till now is based on phone calls, faxes and on-site inspections, most have not used a PC previously.
Initially low morale among employees due to changes in their work and possible retrenchments are expected. In the long run, we can expect improved customer service, faster response time, less customer complaints and alignment with industry technologies. As the chairman is very patriarchal in his leadership style, his core management has always looked to him for leadership in terms of setting the direction for the company. We have not noticed and do not expect much of organizational politics to prevent a successful implementation, as the key stakeholders do not feel threatened by this new system. As they are excited about the changes and confident the chairman and the new management team he has put together will bring IMF Int’l into the next lap.
Recommendations and conclusion We propose the adoption of the proposed IT infrastructure. There is a clear business case for the adoption of the proposed infrastructure, as the operational benefits and savings clearly point out. Senior management and end users will be able to clearly envision the tangible benefits of improved efficiency in their work and reduction in equipment downtime. These are translated into increased revenue and profits for IMF Int’l.
Technically it is doable; the technologies are well understood are the applications are fairly common. While this IT infrastructure upgrade can be a major effort, when managed as smaller migrations. It will offset the effects of a big bang approach, where everything is done all at once. Email between users of CRS via that system compromises that systems’ security. Our recommendation is to move the mail server into the DMZ.
The desired outcomes outlined by the senior management can be achieved with the implementation of the eCommerce system. The proposed system is designed with the following in mind; reliability, robustness, security, scalability and is technologically future proof.