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IT Management, Essay Example

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Business Intelligence (BI) is the ability to answer customer’s questions on growth, inventories, profitability, pricing, and supply chains among other. Therefore, it is a technology and not a business solution that gathers, stores, analyses and provides access to data. This in turn, helps users gain insight and thus, they make better business decisions in fact-basis. It also improves on performance and cuts on costs and identifies new opportunities in business. Some of the common BI vendors include SAS, Microsoft, IBM Cognos, Oracle, Information Builders, and SAP among others. Emphasis laid on BI is on the ability to analyze the data that is stored in various ways and on alternative platforms. Today, BI is more on the descriptive and not prescriptive and thus, looks into organizing and data sorting rather than planning or making decisions. In order for companies to exploit on their BI, they need to invest heavily on their data architecture and infrastructure in order to exhaust on their resources.

Master (Reference) Data Management (MDM), an IT discipline, gives focus on management of master or reference data shared by several disparate groups and systems of IT. In order to warrant consistent computing between diverse architecture systems and functions of business, MDM is required. MDM is also important to companies that want to share data across corporate boundaries. As a result, MDM becomes an issue of the industry like the finance industry and the Straight Through Processing (STP) is required or T+1. Under the Y computing model, MDM is among the three types, and it is required in order to coordinate different systems of ERP. In addition, it supplies metadata for integrating and aggregating transactional data. In today’s industry, MDM is emerging as the newest information or knowledge discipline inside and outside the firewall. Hence, it is operational and strategic, which means that companies that want to expand on their chain of supply need to invest in shared master data.

BI and MDM are part technology, governance, and philosophy. Philosophy is vital in the exploitation of BI, MDM, and customer analytics and thus, process investments needs to precede the investment of technology. This will enable BI to be effective, and this will mean that a commitment should be made in order for data to be accessible. To investments, this is good because it will mean that data will be made ready and data infrastructure for analysis. Nevertheless, MDM and BI commitments are shallow and thus, companies that want to upgrade their capabilities of BI should invest in MDM, BI, infrastructure, governance, and architecture. It is worth noting that BI fuels monitoring and analysis. Furthermore, the internal and external distinction existing between operational and strategic applications is vital to the planning and execution of BI. Therefore, BI is an all-encompassing strategy, and it matures when the insight into what’s happening is real-time, embedded rules of what is good and bad of happenings, and automated and quasi-automated ability to do something concerning the happenings.

Strategic alliance, a formal relationship, formed among two or more parties that are in pursuit of agreed set of goals; or in order to meet critical business need as they remain in an organization that is independent. Partners benefit from strategic alliances because they can access capital. In addition, they have access to their partner’s channels of distribution and international market presence. These partners also access intellectual property, products and technology. Furthermore, they have an increased awareness of brands through their partner’s channel of their customers. In the end, new markets for products and services emerge and this enables them achieve rapid scales, momentum, and critical mass or economies of scale. Management skills, utilization of by-product are enhanced, reduced costs of R&D and those risks associated to the products are also minimized. Lastly, technological standards are established for the industry and those early products that meet the standards.

The stages of formation of strategic alliance include strategy development, which involves studying the feasibility of alliances, rationale and objectives, focusing on major challenges and issues. This requires the aligning of alliance objectives with the overall; strategy of the corporation. Secondly, partner assessment where analysis is on potential strengths and weaknesses of partner’s, addressing capability of resource gaps in existence for a partner, defining each of the partner’s rewards and contributions, and being able to understand the motive of partner’s in joining the alliance among others. Thirdly, contract negotiation is all about determining whether all involved parties have objectives that are realistic, any proprietary information, addressing clauses of termination, and forming teams of high calibre negotiating among others. Fourth, alliance operation looks into addressing the commitments of senior management’s, linking strategic priorities with resources and budgets, and assessing alliance performance and results. Lastly, alliance termination involves alliance winding down. For example, when a partner adjusts or relocates priorities and resources elsewhere.

Reference

Andriole, S. J. (2009). Best practices in business technology management. Boca Raton: Auerbach Publications.

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