Information Systems in Organizations

Class Reader

SDLC vs. The Chaotic Evolution of Technology (System Development Life Cycle)

One of the topics discussed in Chapter 9 of Information Systems Today describes the systems development life cycle and its four primary stages:

  1. Systems planning and selection
  2. Systems analysis
  3. Systems design
  4. Systems implementation and operation

In the article System Development Life Cycle, written by Russel Kay, he mentions a number of system development life cycle (SDLC) models that were developed in order to make it easier to manage todays much larger and complex systems, allowing teams to work more efficiently in parallel.

The oldest and best known of these is the waterfall model, which is very similar to the process described by Valacich.  But even though this model is well understood, Kay argues that it’s not as useful as it used to be.  In a 1991 Information Center Quarterly article, Larry Runge stated that SDLC “works very well when we are automating the activities of clerks and accountants. It doesn’t work nearly as well, if at all, when building systems for knowledge workers — people at help desks, experts trying to solve problems, or executives trying to lead their company into the Fortune 100.”


Another issue is that the waterfall model operates under the assumption that the only role for users is in specifying requirements, and that the requirements can be specified in advance.  The problem here is that requirements grow and change throughout the entire process, which calls for extensive feedback and iterative consolation.

As a result of trying to solve these types of issues, these others SDLC models have been developed: waterfall, fountain, spiral, build and fix, rapid prototyping, incremental, and synchronize and stabilize.





1. Can you recall something you’ve heard or read where a company applied some sort of SDLC?

2.  Do you think more complex models of SDLC will be introduced with technologies fast paced evolution?

3.  Can you think of an example of any positions or industries where the water fall module would not be suitable?

Who’s Really at Risk When it Comes to Cyber Hacking?

This article debunks the notion that large businesses are targets of hackers. Everyday we see the media covering more and more cyber attacks that involve large corporations. This is a huge problem because it insinuates the notion that small businesses are safe from the hacking of their Information systems. The ones that go unnoticed are the small healthcare and financial institutions that get hacked everyday in the United States. The article talks about how 62% of cyber breaches involve small to mid-sized companies. It also goes on to state that 34,529 known computer security incidents happen per day in the U.S.

In a sense, it’s almost a feeding frenzy for these hackers because either the small businesses that they’ve hacked don’t know they’ve got hacked or they try to sweep it under the rug and pretend that it didn’t even happen. Until these businesses start to realize they are the real targets, they will continue to take on the majority of the hacking that goes on in the United States. Once they start implementing the preventative measures needed to mitigate the risks of cyber attacks, I truly believe these staggering numbers will drastically reduce.


1. What do you think Small to mid-sized businesses need to do to mitigate the risk of getting hacked?

2. What can lawmakers do to help contain the ever growing problem of cyber attacks?

3. Do you see cyber risks as an ever-growing problem for corporate America and if so, where does it rank it terms of problems that these companies face?

Using a private cloud to keep the coffee on at Dunkin Donuts

This article discusses how National DCP, a major supplier of Dunkin Donuts, integrated a private cloud system after the company had underwent a large merger.  It all started in 2012, when four regional Dunkin Donuts suppliers merged to create a company called National DCP LLC.  When the company was initially created, each regional operation kept its own system running and the new corporation started its own.  Darrell Riekena, the CIO of National DCP, decided that the company needed to move to the cloud to fix this situation. National DCP wanted not just to integrate their systems but to integrate them all on a private cloud, giving them the security, reliability and scalability they needed without having to build them out and manage all of them on their own.

The Business

National DCP, based in Duluth, Ga., services more than 8,000 Dunkin Donut locations in 51 countries.  When the four businesses merged it left them without a unified IT system.  Riekena was hired in 2013 and began working with 28 members of the company’s IT team on the project, however they would come to learn that the project required a greater work force.

The Team

Riekena decided to use Verizon Communications’s private cloud and also brought in consulting giant Deloitte to serve as their integration partner.

Beginning the Integration

By the end of 2013, the team had an integration plan in place, had assessed all of their applications, and had created a business plan.   In January 2014, they began the project, working on the system configuration and plotting how the implementation of the plan (Project Fresh Start) would go.  In October  2014, National DCP launched the first of four phases of its IT merger, integrating the Southeast region’s system with the corporate system, and it was a big success.  With the success of the first region, the company plans to continue integrating the remaining regions.  The mid-Atlantic region is set to be the last region integrated and is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.

Questions –

1.  If you were the CIO would you have chosen to move to the cloud as well or  would you taken the company in a different direction following the merger?

2.  Do you think it was necessary to bring in Deloitte as a partner or could National DPC have successfully completed the integration process on their own?  What are some of the benefits to bringing in a partner like Deloitte?

3.  In the future, do you see the cloud becoming a popular choice for other companies going through a merger?



Amazon WAAS – Warehouse as a Service

The article “A Rare Peel inside Amazon’s Massive Wish-Fulfilling Machine” demonstrates the efficiency and power that an intelligent warehouse like Amazon’s has. What makes Amazon truly remarkable is that over 40% of their inventory comes from third-party sellers. In 2013, Amazon sold over a billion items on behalf of third party sellers. By creating this selling platform for other sellers, it has allowed Amazon to explore and develop unique solutions in other fields. To name a few: Amazon Prime, Amazon TV, AWS services, amongst others. Amazon’s intelligence in logistics is an advantage that no other tech rival can come close to, as of now. Amazon is increasingly becoming faster and smarter, allowing it to fulfill consumer wishes faster every day. Amazon allows many businesses to save money, due economies of scope. Meaning they can reduce procurement costs for businesses due to their sheer volume of order volume.

Packages slide down chutes, separated by delivery method. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

Discussion Questions:

1.) What do you think Amazon will do next to enable more sales for small businesses?

2.) How do you think Amazon will enter local markets? Perhaps acquire a company like Postmates? Drones?

3.) Do you think that Amazon will develop its own private shipping service? (Ex. UPS, FedEx)

Four Ways Data Quality Solutions Can Better Your Business

The article “Four Ways Data Quality Solutions Can Better Your Business” explains how better data management can help companies boost their business and better serve their customers. In order for businesses to succeed, and to serve their customers with the highest efficiency and effectiveness, it is essential for the data to be accurate and trusted. Businesses spend millions of dollars annually by relying on inaccurate or poor quality data, which causes unnecessary waste and slows down the decision-making and understanding of business problems.

So, effective data management can help companies:

1. Reduce Costs

For example, bad data can interfere with a company’s ability to keep track of their inventory and as a result, the store is out of stock when a customer comes in and thus, loses the sale.

2. Save Time

Accurate data reduces business-processing time and accelerates it. When data is inaccurate, companies waste valuable time and resources searching for that bad data, fixing it and remedying the situation.

3. Increase Response Rates

Data accuracy and timeliness increase returns on business postal or email campaigns and eliminate money and time waste sending mails to outdated addresses. Also, businesses may send the wrong message to a customer and lose that customer for good. For example, if a new customer’s information is not collected accurately, and the information is sent to the wrong individual, the customer never receives the information and is unable to respond.

4. Boost Customer Satisfaction

Bad data quality can lead to critical errors, which can damage a company’s reputation and scare current and future customers away. For example, bad data could cause confusion about a delivery date, and the item arrives after the customer needs it.

  1. What negative impact a dirty data has on business processes? Do you have any real life example when bad/dirty data caused business loss or even failure?
  2.  How business can eliminate a dirty data?
  3. Who is responsible for data quality in an organization?

New Personnel for Supply Chain Management

One of the main areas of focus in chapter 8 is supply chain management, and the strategy, benefits, and organization involved with it. A supply chain is a collection of companies and processes involved in moving a product from the suppliers of raw materials to the suppliers of intermediate components, then to final production, and finally, the customer. This article by Loretta Chao of the Wall Street Journal talks about the massive shift in strategy regarding the management of organization’s supply chains. This area of business is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and is more prominently taking place on a global scale as time goes on. Due to these factors, companies are searching for people with the technological capabilities to consolidate the roles of logistics, procurement, and management all into one position. However, companies are struggling to find the right people with a broad enough background to do this, as 71% of companies are having difficulty recruiting senior leadership for their supply chains, with many believing that the current strategic thinking and problem solving skills of their supply chain managers is not up to par. Cisco Systems Inc. President of Supply Chain Operations John Kern believes that companies that do not invest in cultivating talent in this area now will “get caught flat footed two to three years down the road.”





  1. What do you think are the most important skills and/or qualities to have in managing a supply chain?


  1. In what emerging ways do you think technology will impact supply chain management in the future?


  1. Aside from technology and movement towards a global realm, do you envision any other changes to supply chain management that companies will have to prepare and recruit for?

ERP Software: Highly Social Or Unsophisticated?

The article explain  how ERP needs to change, when the study turned to examine the software’s future effectiveness.This suggests that ERP platforms must become more collaborative and responsive to users’ needs if they are going to meet future demand.However, the ERP systems were recently derided as ‘unsophisticated and ineffective’ by their UK users, suggesting that many organisations are still struggling to get what they need from these pivotal software systems designed for business management.  According to data,  ERP was considered to be ‘state of the art’ by just 11% of them. In contrast, 60% rated their ERP as just adequate, or lower. Moreover, the lowest performing aspects of ERP amongst UK businesses – cited as ‘very simple and basic’ – were finance, accounting and invoicing (by 27%), maintenance and overhaul (by 25%) and HR and payroll (by 24%).

To become more effectiveness in our business, The ERP system still need to change and improve.

1) What is the common issue for company using ERP system ?

2)How to change to be a new ERP system ?

3)How do you think about ERP system in our business?