International Machine and Tool Inc. is a well known customized production machines manufacturer in United States of America. The organization is located in Hendersonville's Industrial Park. These heavy machines are used to make big components like automobile parts. June page was the division manager and vice president of IMT-USA (Hernandez, Viveros and Rubio, 2013). He is only responsible for 2 companies as a division manager, which produces approximately 150 machines every year and the third company produces smaller parts of machine for other two companies. Charles Browning- an experienced engineer, was asked to learn about Information System (IS), investigate all the problems and to develop some options and recommendations to get IS back on the right track in upcoming years.
June page was appointed as a vice president of the International Machine Tool Custom Machine Company Inc. in 1999. cited organization had established eight international plants of custom machines. In this report, we will study about the advantages and disadvantages of the options presented to June Page.
An experienced and engaged employee of the IMT named Charles Browning completes his research to get Information system on a better track over the time. After receiving authority from June Page, he began the investigation on information system. It is divided into two main parts: one is Engineering Systems (ES) and other one is Management Information System (MIS). After the completion of research, he gave four options to the division manager and vice president of the company to improve IS of the organization. Page will implement the best suitable option for the betterment of the comapany.
Underneath are the four options given by Browning:
- Centralized Computer Environment.
- Workstation Computing ( IBM and SUN)
- Linux Powered Environment
- Wait and Watch
There are various advantages and disadvantages of the suggestions which are provided to the higher authorities, are as follows:
1. Centralized Computer Environment
In this option, Browning suggests to move towards the centralization of the whole computer environment in the company as in IBM. By doing this, complete system can be control and monitor from one location (Bharadwaj, 2000). For important application, organization commits to stay with mainframe. Intimidate the adoption of IBM and Sun workstations and also eliminates AS/400.
- Many users or employees are familiar with the mainframe as it is operating applications of CMCI from 1999.
- Management and the maintenance of the system will be become more easier because of centralization.
- IBM and Sun workstations will be decrease, which were used for works of CAD.
- Linux is uses by many organizations or vendors, since it is flexible and easy to operate.
- Usage of energy efficient, lower cost mainframe will increase.
- New system will run on our present operating system as well as on AIX.
- Some trouble will occur in between Chicago and mainframe's connection link.
- In mainframe, only some important applications will run, which further increases the process of manual transfer.
- There are many security issues which are related to it.
2. Workstation Computing ( IBM and SUN)
In this strategy mainframe is completely phased out over the time. Company would have to do investments in running IBM and Sun workstations PCs, LANs, UNIX and big UNIX servers. All the applications are migrated to some other environment i.e. UNIX. To link all the computers in the organization, high-speed network will be required (Davenport, 2013). Application and data servers are distributed according to the profit centres and functional areas such as development engineering, testing, marketing and human resources.
- Whole UNIX system can be served by only one database server, local database can also remain necessary.
- This workstations are simple and less complex as compared to mainframe.
- During transitions of mainframes, they are accessible form all the workstations.
- Practical implementation of this option is very expensive.
- As there are lots of workstations in use, therefore it is difficult to maintain and manage them.
- This process will take longer time i.e. 10 years approximately.
3. Linux Powered Environment
In this option, whole computing platform is converts into an environment which is Linux powered. As operating system, the Linux is very much similar and more user friendly than UNIX. Solutions offered by many of the companies are Linux based. This environment is adopted by many organizations to fulfil their needs of computing (Andrew, 2007). Amerada Hess, has proved the durability of this platform by some exploration activities.
- There is no requirement of the new hardware, so the capital cost will be minimum.
- Linux is a flexible operating system and also offered by many vendors like IBM, Corel, Red Hat, etc.
- As server is operated by others, CMCI will require few technical staff members.
- Solutions given by Linux can be used for various purposes such as managing, tracking and monitoring.
- The servers which are based on Linux have more than 99.7 percent uptime guaranteed
- New virtual machines are setup and maintenance will increase the operation cost, since this require payment on monthly basis.
- Linux is new for the staff members, so they do not have any experience or knowledge about it.
4. Wait and Watch
This option tells that just wait and watch what is developing and at present time do not do any fundamental thing. If situations forces the organization to make decisions then only they will take some specific action for a system. Each and every decision is made according to the immediate demands. As the people claims that Linux is the future wave, best option is to wait and make commitments later. Everyone is not sure that Linux is future ready or not, but after some years of observations and experiments one can ensure whether it is a short term or long term solution for an organization.
- No additional costs are required for the consideration at any moment as there is no any requirement of new hardware or software.
- Staff members can gain more experience and knowledge about Linux operating system as they have lots of time.
- System will run in sensitive mode, since decision are made according to immediate demands.
- Improvement plan is not so clear i.e. no one can guarantee the results.
- It runs the business as it was running earlier and does not get the organization on correct path.
Conclusion And Recommendation
International Machine and Tools company requires to come back on the right path and improve, stabilize and automate the process of manufacturing. For information system, clear mission, vision and objective statements are necessary for the guidance of any decision. Charles Browning had done excellent research for his organization and provided various options to implement.
In my recommendation mixture of option 1 and option 3 will be the most suitable option. For important applications, mainframe will act as centralized computing environment, other applications would setup and govern virtual machines. It is easy to manage and maintain the computer environment which is centralized. Mix option requires less capital cost. Linux is offered by many of the companies and it also has user friendly interface. Since server is operated by others, therefore few technical staff members are required. Also, the security of whole system will improve.
- Hernandez, I. M. T., Viveros, A. M., & Rubio, E. H. (2013). Analysis for the design of open applications on mobile devices. In Electronics, Communications and Computing (CONIELECOMP), 2013 International Conference on (pp. 126-131). IEEE.
- Bharadwaj, A. S. (2000). A resource-based perspective on information technology capability and firm performance: an empirical investigation.MIS quarterly, 169-196.
- Davenport, T. H. (2013). Process innovation: reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press.