Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Case Study on Chapter 15

3- The strategy of Avnet for creating the CookBook and keeping the local ERP systems can provide some ease on local operations. Howoever, it can also reduce efficiency and effectiveness of data transfer from local systems to the CookBook. Causing delays in transfer of information or disconnects between sources.
The offsetting benefits can be such as ease of use for local employees, use of local language etc. Keeping local systems can also help comply with local regulation for which the system is designed. Things that can’t be incorporated in CookBook and implemented globally.

4-A transnational strategy may be more practical for market of electronic equipments and parts in respect to cost, but it can also compromise reliability and quality.
A multinational strategy can create more centralized financial management to the business and in the meantime use the resources from other locations with less compromise in quality and management.

Chart 15-3 was not available for comparison.

WTO mission statement

WTO mission.
The World Trade Organization — the WTO — is the international organization whose primary purpose is to open trade for the benefit of all.

About WTO.
"The WTO provides a forum for negotiating agreements aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade and ensuring a level playing field for all, thus contributing to economic growth and development. The WTO also provides a legal and institutional framework for the implementation and monitoring of these agreements, as well as for settling disputes arising from their interpretation and application. The current body of trade agreements comprising the WTO consists of 16 different multilateral agreements (to which all WTO members are parties) and two different plurilateral agreements (to which only some WTO members are parties).

Over the past 60 years, the WTO, which was established in 1995, and its predecessor organization the GATT have helped to create a strong and prosperous international trading system, thereby contributing to unprecedented global economic growth. The WTO currently has 153 members, of which 117 are developing countries or separate customs territories. WTO activities are supported by a Secretariat of some 700 staff, led by the WTO Director-General. The Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an annual budget of approximately CHF 200 million ($180 million, €130 million). The three official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish.

Decisions in the WTO are generally taken by consensus of the entire membership. The highest institutional body is the Ministerial Conference, which meets roughly every two years. A General Council conducts the organization's business in the intervals between Ministerial Conferences. Both of these bodies comprise all members. Specialised subsidiary bodies (Councils, Committees, Sub-committees), also comprising all members, administer and monitor the implementation by members of the various WTO agreements."

In a globalized world role of WTO works like the role of the U.N. in a commercial sense, or at least that is my impression. It appears that "The end result of easy trad for all" has increased the standards of life even in cheap countries that were sources of providing inexpensive labor.for the rest of the consumers in the world. Now the expectations in most of those countries like (India, China, Indonesia etc) has increased dramatically that makes them not very economical anymore.

One would wonder what would next generation of World Trade Organization focus on? Where are we going to look for the next inexpensive labor? Other planets? Or should we change our expectations from the commercial world, and demand less.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Case Study on Chapter 13

Q1: ALCS was outdated, cumbersome, unreliable, and not compliant with the current IT security requirements. ALCS actually was not a loan control system handling all the details of the loan, it was just a tracking system that interfaced with the agency’s mainframe that ran a program that actually funded and dispersed loans. Applications should be generated and followed up all in paper form. The physical files were sent back and forth, and there were chances of them being lost, duplicate entries were made, calculations were mistaken, and this all causes delays. The agency required 200 people to control the files, and over 3000 people on staff to feed the paper monster.
Q2: At some point in history it would make sense to have multiple regional locations to assist the file generation and follow up, but today this is very much outdated. Each center was a duplicate of the other, and in addition each had its own IT infrastructure. Therefore, there was a need to consolidate the centers to create a single point of contact and base of command for IT support. By creating a single call center, all calls now go through one place rather than being routed based on geography. Plus, by centralization, one office could handle the loans and legal staffs and disburse loans. Same software could be used by all people involved without need of any mail courier, therefore cutting the time needed for communication and significantly reducing the cost.
Q3: Self-service applications should be implemented. Staff management tools can keep track of work hours of the employee. In addition, personalized profiles can be made for applicants to track the process of their claims, and see the balance sheets on their loan, and/or make direct transaction online, eliminating the waiting time on claimed checks, money orders, etc.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Obama's Information Technology Priority

Obama's Information Technology Priority
Global coverage of business intelligence ecosystem

This article seems interesting and relevant to our class and current state of economy and government:
As Obama administration noted ” Barack Obama understands that we must use all available technologies and methods to open up the federal government, creating a new level of transparency to change the way business is conducted in Washington and giving Americans the chance to participate in government deliberations and decision making in ways that were not possible only a few years ago. To achieve this vision, Barack Obama will encourage the deployment of the most modern communications infrastructure. In turn, that infrastructure can be used by government and business to reduce the costs of health care, help solve our energy crisis, create new jobs, and fuel our economic growth.”

This article suggest some solutions and comments on this policy and points to some of the related issues that government needs to tackle.
1- Such as state of Federal IT projects that are in trouble;
2 -much higher indirect cost of IT project for the government
As an example, consider the IRS mission critical information system, the Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS). Between 1994 and 2005, the IRS spent $185 million on EFDS. This system had multiple problems and was abandoned in 2006.
Approximately $185 million was lost on this project in direct costs.
3- There have been two major initiatives to help the federal government improve its ability to manage IT. The first is accounting. The second is architectural.

Now Obama is adding National Health Service and VA system in the list for IT upgrades.

To help this process Obama promised to appoint a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the federal government. This person will work “with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices
This article suggest the highest priority for the new federal CTO is to declare a War on Complexity of IT projects is .

  • Drive a consensus on the need to control complexity.
  • Identify candidate methodologies that show promise in helping control complexity.
  • Test the candidate methodologies in real life scenarios.
  • Choose the one that does the best job of controlling complexity.
  • Train project managers throughout the federal government in the use of that methodology.
  • Require the use of that methodology on all new IT projects.
  • Continuously reevaluate and refine the methodology.

Perspectives of the International Association of Software Architects, Issue #7, January, 2009 Copyright 2009, IASA,
global coverage of business intelligence ecosystem