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Altitude Online Case Part A: Outgrowing Systems

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Discuss the following

1. Consider why it is a problem for Altitude Online to use different information systems in its branch locations.

Altitude Company has 12 branches in different locations. Proper management of business activities will require the company to share information among the various branches. Effective decision-making will also require the company activities to be controlled from a centralized point, which can only be achieved when information is shared across the branched. With four different information management systems, the company will be unable to share information across all its branches unless the systems are integrated. This fusion is also problematic because the systems are from different vendors; it is thus a problem for the company to use different kinds of information systems in its various branches.

2. Consider which information Jon should collect from the branch offices to plan the new centralized information system.

Jon should collect information on the requirements of the information system. These include the software and the hardware necessary. He should also make an inquiry on the intended use of the system from all the twelve branches. This data should include the nature of data that will be processed through the system. Jon should also seek information on the costs and resources needed for the installation of the system

3. With Jon’s education and experience, he could design and implement a new information system Altitude Online himself. Consider what would be the benefits and drawbacks of doing the job himself compared to contracting with an information systems contractor.

The benefit of doing the work alone is savings on cost that would have been used for installation. Furthermore, Jon understands the needs and desired opportunities of the company; he is thus able to design a more suitable system that will meet the needs of the organization. On the other hand, Jon lacks the expertise and experience of any contracting firm; as such, he will not develop a better update systems. He does not have access to serves for storage of data, giving the contracting firm an upper hand in the implementation of the system.

 4. Consider while Jon is visiting the branch offices, how he might prepare them for the inevitable upheaval caused by the upcoming overhaul to the information system.

Jon should begin by communicating the unexpected change to both the management and the employees in the different branches. He should identify the drawbacks of the current system so that the company understands the reason for the change. He should then communicate how the system will work and the kind of data that will be processed through it.

Altitude Online Case Part B: Addressing the Needs of the Organization – Discuss the following:

  1. Consider what are the advantages of Altitude Online adopting a new ERP system compared to simply connecting existing corporate systems

A new ERP system enhances the visibility of all the processes and the organization’s data to the management. The system is also cost-effective since it supports the sharing of large volumes of data over a longer period in relation to the other system. An ERP system enhances the planning and reporting of the company since its supports a unified system that controls information from all the company’s departments, including supply chain, human resources, projects, manufacturing, and customer relationship management.

2. Consider whether or how an out-of-the-box ERP system may suit the needs of Altitude Online. Also, consider whether there are additional needs for this company and they are shared by other industries.

An out-of-the-box ERP system can be configured to fit the company’s needs. Contrary to a customized system that is built to specifically meet the needs of the intended organization, an out-of-the-box ERP system can be transformed to accommodate any changing needs. Being a small company that is still growing, the needs of Altitude Online are constantly changing and may not be similar to those of the other companies in the same industry. The implementation of an out-of-the-box ERP system that can be configured will be the most appropriate for the company.

3. Consider the reasons why Jon is taking weeks to directly communicate with stakeholders about the new system.

The company consists of many stakeholders who have an interest in the nature of the information system that is employed by the company. These stakeholders will either use the system or manage its use. As such, their views on the requirements and usage of the system must be incorporated into its design. Jon thus has to give the discussion a sufficient amount of time to ensure he reaches a consensus with all the stakeholders.

4. Consider why Jon and the system administrators decided to outsource the software for this system to an ERP company rather than developing it from scratch them.

Outsourcing the work to an ERP company will ensure the organization saves on time from the design to implementation of the system. The ERP company has expertise and experience and will offer a quality service to those with inadequate expertise. Furthermore, engaging the company will enable them to concentrate on other business issues, cutting the time spent on the design process.

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