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Post  andrew on Mon May 02, 2011 9:14 am

I will break the ice. Suppose BZCS's IT system is not working. What are the possible alternative options?
And advantages and disadvantages of each option?
Please share! Very Happy


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Post  Claire McGovern on Sun May 08, 2011 12:22 pm

I will have a go but forgive me if I ramble.
I think we may be given some data that may conflict with my first impression of their IT systems.
They report by the third day after month end. This suggests to me that the current systems are very good.
If their IT fails, then the knock on effect could have long term implications to their reputation as they will not know if x materials have been ordered, manpower directed to x etc. This could lead to delays on the projects and a loss of control on costs. Itcould also mean that they have no idea what their exposure to risks are on x projects in x country.
As with all IT systems, there should be an off site back up system that could restore the data if it is just lost.
If the data is corrupted in some way by innocent error or by manipulation by a disgruntled employee, pressure groups, industrial espinage (very James Bond I know), then some sort of data cleaning will be required. I am not IT expert but I have experienced losing six weeks of data when it was discovered that our back ups were not working, in this case, BZCS would be at the mercy of the IT professionals who try to clean up lost or corrupted data.
We may be presented with a situation where we need to argue that prevention is better than cure.
If we are asked to cure a loss of IT, then the only thing that I can think of is to invest in the best at retriving and fixing our problems. I can think of loads of preventive controls but cannot imagine suggesting that they consider going to a paper based system. In the short term, managers may be given authority to order x resources and go outside budgets in this emmergency situation. I would also suggest that contengency planning is updated and reviewed.
Staff may use their own private e-mail addreses to get things moving along with mobile phones for texting the latest updates. I am thinking of a situation where no one in the organisation can see what is going on.
In this situation, I would suggest that IT gets full backing from management to resolve their problems and that project managers work outside the current system but share activities through an emmergency site that should be set up for infomation shareing.
I cannot think of advantages and disadvantages as if you have a complete shut down, BZCS would be in an emmergency situation and must react now. The possible disadvantage to not reacting as an emmergency is long term damage to teh whole business. I don't think I have answered your question but let me know what you were after.

Claire McGovern

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Post  Moderator1 on Thu May 12, 2011 7:39 pm

Good analysis and thanks!
In your exam you need to come up with alternative solutions and discuss under them. Possible options would be
1. Repair the system - This has the risk that the system would again break
2. Invest in a new system - BZCS can get a new system, an off the shelf package or a bespoke package
Either of the options should be adopted. Till BZCS finds a solution, they need to communicate using e mail, phone etc
What do others think?


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Post  gazb on Tue May 24, 2011 3:18 am

In an emergency IT situation there should be a Disaster Recovery Plan that can spring into action.

The emergency could be anything:-
1. Computer Room Fire.
2. All Building out of Action.
3. Crashed Servers
4. Even if nothing wrong, what would happen say if the police blocked off the road to work and
everyone was forced to keep out of work for 3 or 4 days for say a Ralph Mote situation or
as happened in Manchester a few years ago and BT had a massive underground fire.

Different emergencies will have a different reation. If the Computer fails suddenly a company the size of BZCS could not by a quick off the shelf system. They would need to have off site insurance such as being "in the cloud" or have backups that can be installed quickly and servers up and running. The other thing they could do is re-direct through different parts of BeeZed who probably have the same systems. Workers could work at home if (as most people do) have internet connection and given passwords to emergency servers.
The list is endless and the real answer is about keeping the wheels turning and work on contracts carrying on as normal. If a set of Monthly accounts cannot be processed, so be it. There is always the month after.


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