Archive for July, 2009

Transnational information technology – IT – and transnational corporations

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Transnational is a term that has been around for a long period of time. Corporate society defines transnational as being registered to perform business functions in other countries in addition to the organization’s home country. Information technology views transnational as providing technology services in other countries for conducting business activities. However, the corporate and information technology views digress in regard to strategic planning.
Corporations will engage in transnational business for various reasons. Two reasons are legal and resource considerations. Legal considerations include tax advantages, legislation and trade agreements. Resource considerations include human and product. Here is an example.

Corporation “A” manufactures tires. Strategic planning indicated the price of rubber will increase over the next few years, thus placing a upward pressures on the cost-per-unit. By placing a factory in India, the tire company will be able to secure the rubber required for the product and also incur lower costs-of-labor. Procuring the human and material resources will offset the additional finished goods transportation, local labor taxes and tariff costs. So, by engaging in transnational corporate practices, the organization can maintain and potential increase profit margins.

Transnational information technology in regard to strategic planning is involuntary. Strategic planning indicates the organization requires specific software to perform enterprise resource planning (ERP). The organization purchases the software based upon price and organizational requirements. The software vendor may provide transnational resources and services. Here is an example.

Company “A” requires enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for continuing operations. The software provider presents a requirements list to the organization for deploying the software. The hardware and software may be distributed by a transnational company; however, the only concern of company “A” is that the software performs according to specifications.

I do not consider transnational outsourcing of information technology services as beneficial to strategic planning. Any manager who has actually researched transnational outsourcing of information technology understands it actually weakens the organizations ability to respond to emerging markets. Just speak to the numerous organizations who engaged in transnational IT outsourcing about the capital lost through the outsourcing project and moving the services back “in-house.”

Transnational corporations and information technology digress in regard to strategic planning. The digression is in regard to voluntary vs. involuntary actions. Corporations engage in transnational activities due to legal and resource considerations. Transnational information technology is due to vendor supply lines and software support. The ability to identify the digression between the two should be on every manager’s mind while engaging in strategic planning.
Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS

Stop wasting business capital because your organization does not create proper documentation

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Documentation keeps progressive organization on the leading edge. Strategic planning requires documentation. Organizations need to know where and how current assets are allocated to prevent wasting capital. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software depicts capital resources; however, ERP falls short with detailed analysis of software and hardware specifics. Documentation will provide the necessary component to maximize the organizations strategic planning.

Strategic planning starts at the Chief Information Officer (CIO) level. The CIO makes a broad mission statement in conjuncture with business initiatives. As the initiative transcends the management structure, details are provided and the strategic initiative starts to take shape. Transcending the management tiers often results in middle and lower management not knowing what resources are available for projects.

New technologies are introduced into the progressive organization annually. Surprisingly many organizations entrust all the knowledge to one person. Even more surprising is how many organization do not require documentation from the knowledge sources. THIS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!!

Documentation is a task within the project plan. Project Managers are taught to include documentation within the project plan; however, many organizations cannot expend the capital resources to acquire a properly trained Project Manager. Instead, the project is introduced by a member of the organization as a solution without formulating a proper project plan. When the originator or the solution either leaves the organization or is reassigned to another project, all support for the original solution is put on-hold until free time is found by the software originator.

Documentation is a contiguous process starting with accountability and a defined standard. I recommend using the American Psychological Association (APA) format, since the format is designed for academic writing. Documentation needs to be structured and not just a bunch of notes placed in an e-text. The document structure should be directed towards the intended level of readers, like System Administrators or end users. If no one within the organization is trained to write proper documentation, I recommend outsourcing the task of documentation to a freelance writer.

Documentation is required for both continued success and strategic planning within the organization. Documentation should adequately describe the who, what, when, where and why of the software and or process. Enterprises should not be integrating software that is not documented and a task assigned within the project plan. Failure to document will result in thousands of dollars in wasted capital implementing new hardware and software to fulfill business requirements that exist.