Sunday, April 14, 2019

The System that Couldnt Deliver Essay Example for Free

The System that Couldnt Deliver EssayThree years ago, Diana Sullivan, was recruited by Lenox from a major competitor to work as its capitulum Information Officer. Sullivan, a 20-year veteran selective breeding systems executive, k sunrise(prenominal) going into this job that computers had neer been one of Lenoxs strengths. James Bennett, Lenoxs Chief Executive Officer told Sullivan that they simply select a tool that would help their agents provide fast and reliable information needed to close a sale.After years of hard work, Sullivan thought she had done her job well by delivering Lifexpress on clipping and on bud decease. Lifexpress is a sophisticated computer-aided system that enabled Lenoxs 10,000-plus agents to do everything from establishing a prospects financial profile, to selecting the further about appropriate products from the companys unnumberable policies and generating all the paperwork needed to close a sale.Lifexpress, however, wasnt boosting sales produ ctivity as much as focus had expected. Two of Lenoxs competitors had launched similar systems and are already running ahead of them. Sullivans Boss, Chief Financial Officer cadaver Fontana seems to be blaming Sullivan for the problem. Bennett appeared to correspond with Fontana. They believe that since Lifexpress is Sullivans system then she should be accountable non only for its asylum and implementation but for realizing the commerce oddments that goes with it as well. Yet Sullivan believes that had already taken what the necessary steps to deal the company up to speed.STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMHow can information technology projects help Lenox achieve its business goals?OBJECTIVES1.To describe the companys attitude towards information technology2.To destine how Lenox can achieve radical performance improvements through the exercising of information technologyTHEORETICAL FRAMEWORKDecisions on investings in IT are both critical and contentious. With a thorough understanding of a companys strategical context, managers can identify business and IT maxims that can help determine the IT foot capabilities necessary to achieve their business goals.Management by MaximsThe framework is made up of four components.1.Considering strategical Context. To clarify infrastructure requirements, companies also need to understand the current strategies and strategic intents of each business unit, the synergies surrounded by units and the firms experiences and beliefs in the value of leveraging those synergies.2.Articulating Business Maxims. Business Maxims capture the essence of a firms future direction. It is sorted into six categories cost focus value differentiation as perceived by customers flexibility and carefreeness growth human resources and management orientation. It is therefore important for managers to prioritize the relative importance of maxims to ensure that the most important messages are understood. Business Maxims form a base from which business a nd IT executives can work unitedly to identify IT maxims.3.Identifying IT Maxims. IT Maxims describe how a firm needs to connect, share, and structure information and deploy IT across the firm. It is grouped into five categories expectations for IT investments in the firm data access and use hardware and software resources communications capabilities and go and architecture standards approach.4.Clarifying a Firms View of IT Infrastructure. IT Infrastructure has four depends none, utility, dependent and enabling. Firms take on one view. in that location is no one best view but rather one is more appropriate for a particular firm, according to its strategic context and business and IT Maxims. A firms view of infrastructure should change in concert with its strategic context and business maxims.a.None View. It is when a firm decides to do without IT economies among its businesses. It does non invest in IT infrastructures at the firmwide level.b.Utility View. IT infrastructure is viewed as a right smart to reduce costs through economies of scale and sharing.c.Dependent View. IT infrastructure is viewed as a response to specific strategies.d.Enabling View. IT infrastructure is viewed as a core competence that provides competitive advantage. Firms with this view are industry breathers in terms of infrastructure investment levels and provide extensive infrastructure services in a highly centralized way.CASE ANALYSISLenox indemnification Company admits that computers were never their strength and with the way they are going, it will never be. Bringing in new technologies, updating chance on applications and the reorganizing and streamlining of the information services organization should never be seen as a cure all to the problems plaguing the organization. An information services overhaul is not a feel-good pill. New technologies should be met with fresh attitudes and ideas. Information Services is just one of Lenoxs many problems. In fact, it is not one of its biggest problems when Lifexpress became operational. It is that its top people, its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer have no idea about the concepts of product strategy and increased productivity.The way the Chief Executive Officer and the CFO understand increased productivity is how Lifexpress translates into increased sales. Lifexpress effect on Lenoxs productivity is that it cut the processing of all the necessary paperwork from four weeks minimum to a matter of hours. If thats not an increased in productivity, I do not know what is. Lifexpress should be assessed on its own merits and not on comparisons to competitor systems. Lifexpress was received positively by Lenoxs technologically challenged agents. This could only mean that the agents will get the hang of using the Lifexpress system assumption time. It is just that Lenoxs agents have a heavy learning edit out having a handicap of technological incompetence. Ease of use is relative Lenox insuranc e company should take the steeper learning curve into consideration.The completion of the Lifexpress project in itself was a success and credit should be given to Sullivan. The project was made operational on time and in budget. It is hard to argue with these facts. It is given that Lenox Insurance Company has more product offerings than its competition so LenoxsLifexpress project should be expected to be more complicated and therefore will take more time to cover all of its services.The Lenox Insurance slip-up resonates with the parable of the mustard seed. As it is now, the proverbial mustard seed, the Lifexpress system cannot be brought into fruition with Lenox Insurance Companys initial technological shock. But it should not lose hope. Lenox Insurance Company can still cultivate its faller to be fertile, given time.Using the management by Maxim Framework, Lenox does have a return strategic context improve productivity and help the sales force close on more new policies using information services. But it did not have a clear articulation of its business IT maxims. For one, Lenox confuses the goal of increased sales with Lifexpress effect of increased productivity.Starting from a technological handicap relative to competition, Lenoxs investment in Lifexpress was a big leap enough. It is time for them to get back to the drawing board and reevaluate their business strategies that need to be saved from the quicksand of confusion. The clear articulation of an guardd position in a form that executives understand and act on is sorely lacking in Lenox. Because of this, accountability is muddled and could lead as it is to Lenoxs case to endless and pointless finger pointing. To this end, Sullivan is partly to blame, she should have discussed her role in clear detail with Lenoxs top executives. She could have been spared of all the accusations being thrown at her.CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONin one case and for all, Lenoxs top people should sit down and reassess their strategies using the 4-point Management by Maxim framework. They should agree on courses of action and execute them accordingly.BibliographyByron Reimus, The IT system that couldnt deliver, Harvard Business Review (May-June 1997)

No comments:

Post a Comment