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03/19/2012

XT Books on Line - Quality Systems Case Study


XT Books on Line - Quality Systems

 

Introduction

            The information communication technology has now been considered as one of the most significant parts of the business approach. In this regard, various industries are trying to align information communication technology with their market and business approach and system and TXTBooksOnLine.ie is never an exemption.  Primarily, the main purpose of this report is to provide a case study report regarding the issues and problems faced by the online industry when it comes to their commitment in providing better products and services online.  With the stiff competition, it is essential that the online industry should be able to consider efficient approach to solve information technology problems and issues. The analysis and report will be provided through the 7 steps in identifying and providing solution with the problem.

Problem Definition

From this initial assessment, there are several problems identified within the website of the online industry.  Since the online industry is very dependent on their information technology and system for administering and controlling their services provided which includes orders, inventory, scheduling, invoicing and shipping of their products, and other database in their system, the online industry is facing issues in terms of the inability of the online industry to function and operate efficiently. this is because of the sudden technical problems in their server which made their website crashed and shutdown affecting the order taking as well as scheduling.  The prevalence of this problem continues as this was experienced twice a week although the online industry had attempted to fix the issue.  In addition, the online industry is also having bigger problems since it is the last week before the students return to school which put pressures on the corporate team. The online industry is also being pressure with a lot of cancelled orders because of the malfunctioning of their server and website.

Collect and Analyze the Problem/Data

            In order for the online industry to identify the issues, there are various approaches which the online industry can use to collect and analyze the data.  First, the online industry can consider market research to gather pertinent data which can be used in making final decisions to solve the issue for this firm.  The marketing research study intends to assess the problems and issues faced by TXTBooksOnLine.ie in their server and information system. Herein, the marketing research focused on the root of the problems of the online industry why the server and website are malfunction.  In this internal research, the feasible and plausible methodologies that will be used to be able to gather pertinent data for the research study will be considered. For this problem and issue, the corporate can consider focus group discussion among individuals who are responsible for the operations in their website, this include the marketing manager, information technology department, finance department and human resource department.

One of the methods that can be used in gathering qualitative data is Focus-Group Discussion.  In this manner, the one who handles the information technology projects obtains feasible and plausible ideas by having a group of respondents discussing on an issue to find solutions to a marketing/ information system problem. The purpose of this approach is to be more specific, or more focused. The researcher act as a facilitator and this type of interview is likely to be relatively unstructured and fairly free-flowing (Zikmund, 2000). One of the advantage of this method is it enables the researcher to gather specific data coming from a group of individuals who have knowledge in the subject of the research. Herein, the chosen respondents are encouraged to express their ideas what they thought about the issue of their information system and how this can be solved and react to others’ views. Its advantages can be also seen as the ability to stimulate new ideas from other respondents in the same group which creates challenges and the ability to get a large amount of information within a short time. In addition, one interviewer can conduct many group discussions on one topic without feeling too exhausted. Nevertheless, there are also some disadvantages when using such approach. First, time is restricted for each person in the group to express their ideas. Therefore, the information that may be obtained will not be in depth details. Moreover, if there is any sensitive subject or question, respondents may not feel comfortable to talk in front of others. Some people’s opinions can also contaminate responses in a group. Finally, it is more difficult to set a date and time when every respondent is altogether free.

Through this focus group approach, the online industry may be able to know what causes the issue and how this issue in their website can be solved.

Identify the Root Cause (Chart - information system Systems, Root Cause to be used)

Root Cause Analysis is regarded a planned process which provides highlight on finding the real cause of the problem as well as finding plausible solutions than giving attention on its symptoms. . As mentioned, TxtBooksOnline can be considered an online industry which is operating online and providing services to various clients and students. With this growing industry, there are certain problems that the online industry experience in terms of using their present Information System. 

Figure 1

For this problem the main root is the random system failure which causing website to malfunction.  The feasible and plausible root is that electric supply might have been disconnected or there is a software malfunction.  In addition, it could be cause by the information system staff handling the operation or the operating conditions it. In addition, it can also be said that the issue can be caused by information system deprecation or other causes. Since the online industry is aware that they are in need of a more updated information system, TxtBooksOnline began to utilise solution to solve the issue of sudden crashing and shut down of their website. The plausible solution is to extend the technical innovation as well as expertise which may also  enables the online industry to  expand their business in the future, TxtBooksOnline to serve more students, without having difficulties on their system to crash or stop operating.

Having been able to analyze the internal problems of the online industry which affects the daily operations of the online industry, it shows that the inefficient functions of the IS was caused by the depletion of their IS.  The need of having an up-to date technological solution is the primary solution for this problem.  In this manner, TxtBooksOnline should be able to generate a more updated website server that can hold thousands of data and still operates efficiently to handle more clients.

 Plan and Implement a Solution

            In general, this strategic planning focuses on the development of a new information system for online industry. Aside from its objective of adjusting their information system to prevent problems as the expansion of the online industry occurs, one of the main goals of this new information system development is to allow collaboration with customers, and other stakeholders of the online industry.  In addition, the development of this information system also aims to make the online industry become more competitive.

To be able to make this initiation feasible and plausible, the approach and system that the online industry will use is the concept of strategic alignment.  Strategic Alignment is an original process which will help TxtBooksOnline to secure clarity in their specific business direction, to have an efficient information system through their website and data based corporations to have a resilient operating approach and system, to have internal cohesion and collaboration, to adapt corporate culture/infrastructure as well as to obtain sensitive leadership at all levels (Chan et al, 1997).

Strategic Alignment happens when the information system corporate performance merged with the most essential approach and system and core proficiency of the business enterprise (Niederman et al, 1991).  When both of these are being aligned, the capability of the information system begin to be reliable and amalgamated with the core direction and path of the enterprise, that permits various stakeholders to generate a specific information system linked business forces as well as corporate strategic ways and direction (Luftman et al, 1993).

The concept of the information system has tremendously changed the approach and system and system of an enterprise.  More and more industries are trying to use this concept to make the business more efficient in achieving or attaining business goals.  In line with this, more and more enterprise is trying its best to develop an innovative approach and system to compete in the marketing environment and to be able to sustain the position of the online industry in the online market (Smith & Chaffey, 2001).  Online industry is offering a service which may be demanded by online users and clients from generation to generation, it is significant that the corporate in collaboration with its technical department should be able to consider information system, not only to get information from other online industry but to make the information of their online industry be available to each consumer and competitor at all times.

Consequently, the corporate team and the technical team members and other employees prepared a detailed process that encompasses a wider consideration of knowledge, technical ability, skills and perseverance of all corporate members to be able to establish an extreme focus, realistic, flexible as well as continuous business infrastructure and efficient solution for the problems encountered by the online industry like in the case of TxtBooksOnline. . Herein, the approach and system used by online industry can be distinguished as the process that provides a long-term engagement of their business approach and system and the information system resources of their enterprise (Weill & Broadbent, 1998)

Having a compliant information system development programme needs cohesive project management.  There is a need to use various measurement tools to accomplish and track project of providing efficient solutions for the problems of TxtBooksOnline.  The main points that are most significant to the success of this project are that the website and information system development programme must meet enterprise (customer) requirements, must be under budget and on time. The project will be named as the Information System Development Programme for TxtBooksOnline.

Evaluate & Confirm the Results

In TxtBooksOnline, the utilization of website and information system has played a bigger role in the operation of the online industry By employing technological advancement as well as innovativeness, the online industry may not only become more cost-efficient but Online industry will continuously increase the quality of their services offered to their customers in the region of West Midlands. In addition, the use of information system will probably make the online industry communicate easily with the clients through online computerized networks and enable to online industry minimize time and distance barriers.

In many ways, information system has been able to benefit TxtBooksOnline much in its expanded activities and businesses. However because of the problems aforementioned, the company indeed needs a new system which will enable them to harness the advantages of direct transaction capabilities of the online industry.

The most appropriate technique that the online industry can use to meet its information system requirements is the ability to utilise considers innovation and change management system which covers project planning, project management as well as project evaluation. It can be said that the online industry is in need of an information system/IS system that will handle electronic transactions without having to worry of its depletion.  In addition, the online industry is in need of real-time information so as to provide fast quality service.   Hence, using this new information system infrastructure will enable the online industry to meet its needs of satisfying not only their customers but also the employees who will handle the task.  However, if the online industry does not give emphasis on an in-depth planning and management of the project, the infrastructure may totally ruin the capability of the online industry as well as its business operations. It is also important that the online industry should give attention to the possible risks of information system depreciation and inability of the employee to adapt to the initiation of the new Information system upgrade for server of TxtBooksOnline so as to provide alternative solution for these risks.

Standardized the Solution and Communicate the Solution

For the success of the designing and creating of the information system development programme, the project will perform its project cycle (Archibald, 1976).  The first phase of this project is the study phase wherein the user’s needs or the enterprise needs will be determined by having an initial investigation and user review.

Following this phase will be the design phase which will be having general system review and processing requirements identification. Data base design will also be included in this phase with given control requirements. Likewise, other design like output design, input design and software selection will be performed. Other things to be considered in this phase are the equipment selection/acquisition, reference manual identification, and design specifications preparation.

The third most significant phase of this project is the development phase which performs the initiation planning, computer program design and user review. Installations of the equipment acquisition are included in this phase. Other tasks that will be perform in this phase are coding and debugging, computer program testing as well as the system testing, reference manual preparation, personnel training, changeover plan preparation, development phase report preparation and user acceptance review. In addition, the content of this system development is composed of the following: the system boundaries, infrastructure issues, data model, functionality, user Interface, Reliability, performance and security for protecting the entire system.

After the three phases were completed, it’s time for the final phase that is the operation phase. In this phase, evaluation of the Information system upgrade for server of TxtBooksOnline will be performed which consists of the system changeover, routine operation, system performance evaluation and the system changes or enhancements. Proper initiations of the four phases determine the success of the design and installation of the Information system upgrade for server of TxtBooksOnline. Vital effort is needed to perform these phases to obtain and attain the end objectives of the project.

Completion of this report will be feasible and plausible with the discussions of the management team, its importance and the roles of the personnel, the review of plans and how it endangers the project, the importance of time in the project, and the conclusions for the project in the designing and creating the website development program. For communication process, the management team who are included in the project or upgrade programme should be able to disseminate the information properly and to ensure that communication lines are always open to avoid other issues and problems in the future.

 Learn from the Experience

            Based on the given case, it can be said that the inability of the management to know the latest and upgrade their website and server, information system has lead to the issues that they are facing in terms of website crashing and shut down of their system which leads to major problems. In this regard, it can be said that the management of TxtBooksOnline should always be aware of the changes and improvement needed for their website to accommodate all data and transactions that they have.

The management must learn how to consider the new information system which is highly available in the online market to ensure that this kind of problem will not be encountered again.

Conclusion

Indeed, the use of information system/IS have permitted people to create a world that identifies no limits over time, geography, information processing, communications, as well as decision-making capacities even economic or political boundaries. The industries now and in the future, need information technology in order to become competent in the marketplace just what online industry is imposing. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the information based industry is the speed with which information system and knowledge change almost instantly. This raises an urgent task for human resource training regulations which suppliers both knowledge and technology for people’s application. To do this, investments to consider and modernized and enhanced their Information system upgrade for server of TxtBooksOnline and conditions for free access of all enterprises to the information technology database had become top concerns in the world. It shows that to be competitive in this modern world, information system/IS must also be modern. This is to ensure that the online industry is coping to the needs of its stakeholders. Hence, in order for online industry to continually have competitive position in the construction industry, they should always allow innovation and changes within the technical department of the online industry.

Reference

Brancheau, J.C., Janz, B.D. and Wetherbe, J.C. (1996). Key Issues in Information Systems Management:  A Shift toward Technology          Infrastructure. MIS Quarterly, pp. 225-242.

Burn, J. M. (1993). Information systems strategies and the management of Organizational change - a strategic alignment model. Journal of             Information Technology, Vol. 8: 127-136.

Luftman, J.N., Lewis, P.R, and Oldach, S.H. (1993). Transforming the Enterprise: The Alignment of Business and Information Technology Strategies. IBM       Systems Journal, 32(1): 198-221.

Niederman, F., Brancheau, J., and Wetherbe, J. (1991). Information Systems Management Issues For the 1990s. MIS Quarterly, 15(4): 475-95.

Smith, P.R. and Chaffey, D. (2001). E-Marketing Excellence: at the heart of  E-Business. Butterworth Heinemann: Oxford, UK.

Weill, P. and Broadbent, M. (1998). Leveraging the new Infrastructure. Harvard Business School Press.

 

 

 

 

 

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