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Part 1: Intermediate Strategic IS Plan

For this assignment, you will construct a 4-page intermediate strategic IS plan for Reynolds Tool & Die. You will create an outline detailing a comprehensive IT strategy (not just purchases) to support the upcoming merger and acquisition planned by the company. Your plan must address timelines, systems integration, and change management.

In this assignment, you will be leading the IT transition team and once the merger and acquisition are completed, you will serve as the senior IT manager for the new organization that has absorbed the aircraft part manufacturer. You will also be the person working with your counterpart in the joint venture with the company from Mexico, but you will not have any managerial or supervisory role there. Assume the merger/transition announcement is made in the first quarter. Systems integration needs to start in the second quarter and then must finish by November 30 to be prepared for the year-end accounting procedures.

Headings for your intermediate strategic information systems plan should include:

I. Current Assessment of the Merger/Acquired Organization

You’ll need to assess and analyze the IT operations and infrastructure of the organization you are about to merge with and/or acquire. This assessment should include hardware, software, and IT personnel.

II. IT Intermediate Strategic Plan

Based on your assessment, you are to propose an intermediate strategic plan for systems and IT organization integrations. Address these questions:

  • Which organization’s IT assets      will become the primary enterprise IT solution, and why?  Will you      integrate the merger/acquisition target into your systems, or will the      merger/acquisition IT platform become the primary solution? Your      assessment should guide you in this decision.
  • What will you need to perform      the successful integration by the end of the third business quarter? Will      you need outside integrators to assist? Will you need a supplemental      budget for new hardware and software, as this merger probably wasn’t      included in the annual budget? How involved will the merger/acquisition IT      organization be involved in the integration, and will you retain their      present IT management structure to lead them?

III. End of Plan and Change Management

  • An intermediate strategic plan      is analogous to a project in that it has a finite life span. Address how      you will wrap up the integration; specifically, what your new IT      organization structure will look like, how you will deliver services to      the new company, and what change management processes you will employ to      deliver those services and address cultural changes and potential conflict      within the new organization. Remember, there will be new users who will      need to learn entirely new processes and tools as the new company moves      forward.

Include at least one additional reference in addition to the class text for this assignment.

Part 2: Long-range IT Plan Focusing on Innovation

For this assignment, you’re a senior IT manager at Reynolds Tool & Die. You have been asked to write a 4-page plan detailing how you will create a culture of innovation in IT operations and integrate IT innovation into long-range strategic planning. Your proposal should include recommendations for specific technology innovations and explain how you expect these innovations to drive business success over time.

This assignment requires you to analyze the company’s goals; analyze how IT innovation can contribute to those goals and how the current environment might be able to support innovation. After you have completed your analyses, you will synthesize all of this information into a long-range IT plan focusing on innovation. Specifically, your plan needs to address two things:

  1. What IS innovations can you      propose that align with the strategic long-range plans of both IT and the      organization?
  2. How can you create a culture of      innovation within your IT organization?

Headings should be as follows:

I. Long-range, Innovative Solutions Planning

Consider this a wish list. What innovative technologies will you propose to help Reynolds accomplish its long-range goals? For example, does artificial intelligence have a place in the organization? Big Data? What about next-generation cloud technologies? How will mobility (related to mobile devices) fit into your planning?

II. Creating a Culture of Innovation in the IT Organization

To implement creative solutions, you need an innovative team. Going forward, you’ll want to hire the right people and train them the right way. You already have staff who have been doing things a specific way, and you need to create a culture of innovation throughout the organization. How will you do that? Some areas to address are:

i. IT Staffing and Training

Does your current staff have the right skill sets? What skill sets will they need to add to be innovative? What are the potential budget considerations for ongoing training?

ii. R&D

Can you make the case for research and development (R&D) within Reynolds’ IT organization? R&D isn’t synonymous with product development; it’s a function tasked with pursuing forward-thinking, innovative strategies, even strategies that the business doesn’t expect to pay off in the short term but hopes will pay off eventually in the long term.

The following scenario will be used for all assessments in this course:

Reynolds Tool & Die

Reynolds Mission Statement

“We are committed to providing our customers quality products with the highest engineering standards.”

Reynolds Vision Statement

“We are committed to achieving our goal of being a market leader for engineering solutions and will invest in technical innovation. We desire to continue to expand our markets, our technical competence, and our intellectual curiosity to serve our customers.”

Additional Information

Reynolds Tool & Die is an automotive component manufacturer supplying suspension pieces and technology to both other suppliers and major U.S. and foreign manufacturers. Annual revenue is around $50 million, and the company is profitable.

Reynolds has production facilities at their headquarters in Akron, OH; in Bloomington, IN; and in Memphis, TN. Approximately 300 people work for Reynolds, including 7 in IT. The IT staff is broken down as follows:

·  IT Director

· 2 Help Desk personnel

· 3 Network Engineers

· 1 Software Engineer, primarily supporting the company’s ERP system

One network engineer works in Bloomington, one in Memphis, and the rest of the IT staff is located in Akron.

The three sites are networked via an MPLS circuit. In addition to SAP® software, the company uses Microsoft® Office 2010 for administrative work along with several specialized CAD programs for design. The SAP software is two versions behind, but not at end of its life. A data center is in Akron, while the other two sites have smaller hardware footprints consisting of Microsoft Exchange servers for email, a small file and print server, and redundant Active Directory servers. EMC Storage Area Network (SAN) devices are at each site. Redundant backup appliances are in Akron and Bloomington, and data can be cycled among the SANS for further redundancy. While some server virtualization has been achieved, only about 20 percent of all servers have been virtualized with the help of VMWare. All sites use Cisco® switches, routers, and firewalls.  Servers, desktops, laptops, and printers are all HP® and are between 3 and 5 years old and the desktops and Laptops use Windows® 7 as the operating system. All servers are on Microsoft Server 2012.

There are no cloud applications. There has been a demand by administrative personnel and engineers for integrating mobile devices with Microsoft Exchange and other apps but to date, the company has not implemented a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or an MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution.

The IT budget typically is between $1.2 and $1.5 million annually, depending on capital expense. Note that this budget ONLY covers hardware, software, services, and licensing. Personnel costs are not included, nor do you need to include them for the Competency budget assignment.

This year the company is embarking on significant expansion. A joint venture has been signed with a firm from Mexico Peraltada LLC to gain access to a new supplier market. Both companies will remain independent, but Reynolds will exchange engineering expertise for a percentage of sales in Mexico and there will be joint development of intellectual property.

Peraltada uses Microsoft Office 2016 and Oracle as their ERP solution. Desktop and laptops are HP, and they are running Microsoft Server 2016. They employ around 200 people with 5 in IT. The company provides key employees with iPhones for mobile access to their network.

To diversify, the company has purchased a small company in Vancouver, Canada that makes light aircraft landing gear components. P.T. Tracy, LLC employs about 80 people, with 3 in IT. They also use SAP for an ERP solution but one version newer than Reynolds. They use Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows 10 for their desktop OS. Their firewall solution is Palo Alto and they use Cisco routing and switching equipment. Servers, desktops, and laptops are all Dell®. They also have implemented a BYOD policy, using the MDM solution VMWare AirWatch®, supporting both Apple® and Samsung® Galaxy phones. They are running Microsoft Server 2016.

All three companies in the scenario have a Microsoft Enterprise License in various stages of life; none will be up for renewal at the same time.