Technology in Business Organization
The world is fast becoming a global village as more and more organizations are using modern technology to transact and monitor their businesses all over the world. As a result, more and more organizations are going for the latest and fast technology that fits the functions of their organizations. Many consulting firms are introducing new products into the market daily that will assist firms conducting businesses all over the world run their businesses comfortably without having to visit and see how the business chains are performing in the different parts of the world.
Australia has not been left behind as more and more consulting firms are coming up, one such consulting firm is InvAus. The firm was established in the year 2009, over the years the firm has become widely known for providing services for firms wanting to do their business abroad. In the last three years, there has been a significant need for not consultancy services that cut across all cultures but legal as well. In that aspect, Invictus was able to develop and eventually implement a system known as the (CRM) Customer Relation Management. The system is yet to achieve the desired potential.
The company went ahead and acquired another rival company by the name of OBIACO, although the company was established much later that InvAus it had more connections with major stakeholders overseas in places such as Asia and even the Americas. OBIACO had also implemented a (CRM) system which was proving to be a success. After the acquisition, the management decided to integrate the two organizations under the banner of Invictus with complete integration of all the sectors in the two organizations expected to become one after about two years.
So as to cash in on the rich clientele that OBIACO was bringing in, the CEO by the name of Karin Kettle decided to merge the Customer Relation Management systems. After the acquisition deal was finalized the CEO gave a directive to the Chief Information Officer to take “take the best of both CRM systems and create a new one by next month”. This idea is not being taken lightly by the CIO who sees it as being very ambitious and the time frame of one month is too short. Both the CEO and the CIO might have various reasons why they are for or against the creating of a new system in a month. This report will bring out the reasons as to why InvAus should not integrate the two systems.
From the history of the two consulting firms, it is clear that whereas one firm is small it has the right connection, OBIACO initially was a rival firm producing the same system as InvAus. The system implemented by OBIACO proved successful while the system by InvAus is yet to produce the desired results. From that merging, the two systems would not be advisable as one is a complete success while the other is still struggling. Bringing them together might scare away some clients who have confidence in the OBIACO system than the InvAus system.
The best way for the merging is gradual integration; this can be achieved by first looking at the reasons why the InvAus system is not achieving the desired results. After finding out the weakness of the system the results can be used to make the successful system more appealing. In any system development, there are various steps that are to be followed in order to achieve the desired results, some steps might even take years thus the time frame given by the CEO is very short. One month cannot even be sufficient to finish even one step in system development let alone finish the whole project.
The software development life cycle (SDLC) or at times known as the system can be referred to as the steps that should be followed in creating or even making changes to system softwares. In the life cycle, the people, as well as the processes all, play a crucial role in making the project a success. Each and every phase of software is important as it gives rise to the next phase; the code of the system can only be achieved after the design has been ascertained. Testing can only be done after the coding is done thus it will be very difficult to develop a system without following the life cycle.
In the Software Development Life cycle there are six phases or steps that have to be followed so as to ensure the success of any software development, the steps to be followed are:
- Requirement gathering and analysis
- Implementation or coding
Requirement gathering and analysis:
In this phase the focus mainly on the project managers and also the stakeholders. The phase is crucial as it is the potential users of the system needs and wants are analyzed so as to ascertain their requirements. The potential users are also determined at this phase as well as how they are likely to use the system. The data to be input into the system, as well as the output, is decided in this phase. In regards to the above case, the time frame will be too short that all the stakeholders if any will be reached so as to ascertain what their requirements are. The system might be implemented but the questions that remain are who will use it and for what purpose?.
Under this phase the design of the software is done or prepared, this is usually done by taking into consideration the requirement specification which was got from the first phase. The design helps in determining the hardware needed as well as the overall appearance of the system. With that in mind and in relation to the InvAus situation is clear that it will be very difficult to come up with a design without knowing how the stakeholders will use the system or what their requirements are. The system specifications design is then used for the next phase.
Implementation / Coding:
This is the third phase in the system development cycle; it is the longest of all the phases in the system development cycle. In this phase, the work is divided into small units and coding is eventually done as per the requirement of the developer. This phase gives way to another very significant phase of the development cycle.
In this phase, the code is tested to determine if the product is really doing what it was intended to achieve. It is in this stage that it is determined if the system is really addressing the needs of the stakeholders and the potential users as gathered in the first phase of the development cycle. It is at this stage that other tests such as acceptance, unit, system, and integration are done. In the case involving InvAus sufficient time will not be there to test if the system is really addressing the problems of the clients, which can lead to a disaster as no client will use a system that is of no use to them.
In this stage, the product is released to the customer so that they can use it to carry out their different activities as per the organization or business. However, it should be noted that this can only be done after successful tests of the product. This phase gives way to the last step and a very crucial stage.
All systems are prone to problems and from time to time some maintenance has to be carried out when such problems come up can the problem be solved or rectified by the persons or firm that developed the system. This stage is crucial as the firm should be able to deal with any problems that arise from their systems this it to prevent their clients from being inconvenienced. Some inconvenience might lead to huge losses to the clients. In relation to the InvAus maintenance of the system will not be easy as the firm would not have carried out enough tests so as to know how to deal with problems that are likely to arise.
3. Alternative Methodology
In order to be able to successfully merge the two systems without following the SDLC model is the Rapid Application Development or commonly known as (RAD). AS the name suggests it is a system development structure that is very fast. In this model the components of the system are developed at the same time after it is complete it is delivered to the client who later gives feedback about the system.
The (RAD) model is very convenient in producing systems that are needed in a hurry in the shortest time possible. Another advantage of the model is that enhanced reuse of components, the model also increases or encourages clients feedback which is very crucial as the system can be altered if found not to be delivering the desired results.
4. Risks and Mitigations
4.1 Risk Assessment
Like any other model (RAD) to has some risk that arises from using the model however the risks can be dealt with. Some of the risks of using the (RAD) model is that it requires developers and designers with immense skills and expertise, the system relies on the development team as well as individual effort so a to be able to identify the needs of the business. The model is also very expensive and is inapplicable to low-cost projects.
4.2 Mitigation Measures
The risk that comes with the RAD model can be mitigated in two ways; the first is ensuring that all the designers are experienced, team players and most of all committed. Secondly, the firm must have sufficient finance that can be able to cover all the financial needs of the project.
5. Determining Success
The success of Invictus is not pegged on the success of the integration of the CRM systems. Whether the integration takes place immediately or later the firm will still be considered as successful. The following reasons will attest to that;
Having already acquired OBIACO which has a successful CRM system is itself a success as it covers up for their system that is not doing so well. The CRM system may be integrated but end up being a failure as it may not meet the needs of the clients. The firm has other projects other than CRM projects thus failing to integrate the two systems cannot be considered as a failure. Even if the firm manages to integrate the CRM systems it does not guarantee success as other areas also need to be integrated for the firm to succeed. If the integration of the CRM systems is the only thing that succeeds and the rest of the operations of the firm fails then it can not be considered as a success.
Whether a system takes a short time or a long time to come to the market, the most important aspect is that it should be able to address the different needs of the clients. It will be in vain for a firm to spend a lot of money to implement a system in the shortest time possible and the project becomes a failure. It will not also be wise to spend a lot of time and energy and eventually come up with a system that is not addressing the needs of the customers.
Dennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Tegarden, D. P. (2005). Systems analysis and design with UML version 2.0: an object-oriented approach (2nd ed.). New York: J. Wiley.
Langer, A. M. (2008). Analysis and design of information systems (3rd ed.). London: Springer
Buttle, F. (2009). Customer relationship management: concepts and technologies. (2. ed.). New York: Elsevier.
Rad, P. F., & Levin, G. (2003). Achieving project management success using virtual teams. London: J. Ross Pub.
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