As before, the Case for this module asks you to prepare an essay using the writing style, format and referencing methods described in the course Graded Activities and Writing Guides (see the Module 1 Supplemental Reading).
This Case is about how organizations can promote operational success while assimilating emerging technologies and e-commerce. The design of effective IT infrastructure has enabled organizations to accomplish their goals and strategies but remains a challenging task for IT management. The ability to execute IT operations requires a set of policies, procedures, and regulations that are critical for survival. While the IT infrastructure deals with technical aspects, IT architecture focuses on IT governance.
As an IT manager, you must continually question the process to understand what parts of IT operations are well-managed or, conversely, lacking effective control. Some of the main issues include:
IT Infrastructure: Define the computing and network platforms. Has the organization adopted industry standards? Is the necessary technical expertise and talent residing internally? Is there a formal system to acquire technology and track project development? Who leads the IT function and what is the reporting structure?
IT Architecture: What role does IT play within the organization? Are IT performance matrices in place? Is data properly stored and secured? Are IT platforms designed to enable the evolution of products and services and new development? Is there an information policy? Is information available for timely management reporting?
IT Governance: Does the CIO attend the technology governance board meetings? What are the accountabilities and system controls in place for internal auditing and regulation compliance? Are IT and organizational strategy properly aligned? In general, what are the security mechanisms in place to guard company information and assets
These concerns run through the required readings for this Case. They are:
Cantor, M., & Sanders, J. D. (2007, May 15). Operational IT governance. Retrieved from https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/may07/cantor_sanders/
Zurich Help Point. (2010). The liability of technology companies for data breaches. Retrieved from https://www.advisen.com/downloads/Emerging_Cyber_Tech.pdf
Huhta, S. (2011). IT architecture for small & mid-sized organizations. Business Forum Journal. Retrieved from http://www.bizforum.org/Journal/www_journalSH002.htm
SlideShare. (2009). IT infrastructure (Part I). [Power Point slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/soetam/1-mis-it-infrastructure-part-i
Schwartz, K. D. (2007, May 22). IT governance definitions and solutions. CIO. Retrieved February 15, 2011, from http://www.cio.com/article/111700/IT_Governance_Definition_and_Solutions
Musthaler, L., & Musthaler, B. (2008, March 26). IT governance best practices are critical for business success. NetworkWorld. Retrieved from http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/2008/052608techexec1.html?page=1
Kadivar, S. (2011, February 15). Green memories accelerate ROI for data centers. CIO. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/665167/Green_Memories_Accelerate_ROI_for_Data_Centers?taxonomyId=3028
In addition, the optional readings expand on many of the central points; you may also want to do some independent research to clarify any issues.
Once you have read through the articles and related material, compose a 4- to 6-page critical analysis on the following topic:
What dynamic role do IT managers play in IT governance? Why is IT governance necessary? What is the exposure if a company ignores IT governance? Illustrate the Case with the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) federal regulations for compliance. What is the connection between regulations and IT?
Carefully explain and justify your conclusions.