Write a literature review.
1. Identification and discussion of the chosen company’s structure,productsand services under consideration
2. Operations and functionality: Identifyand discuss
b.Anygaps and what is not working properly
c.Which specific issues that the new system will fixd.Criteriathatwill be used to prove the proposed system meets requirements
3.Discuss what constitutes an Information Systems (IS) Strategy and explain why such strategy is needed as part of the overall organisational strategy.
4.Discuss why the organisationmay experience difficulties in developing an Information Systems Strategy. As part of your answer you should suggest solutions to the difficulties you discuss.
5.With reference to your studies on Information Systems failures:
a.Analysethe typical problems that might be expected to arise within Information Systems projects.
b.Illustrateyour answer with reference to literature and any relevant examples.
c.Suggest remedies to the problems you have identified.
Strategic information systems or SIS are implemented by organizations for developing generic strategies and attaining competitive advantages. SIS allows organizations to identify new business opportunities (Altaf and Khalil 2016). It supports the existing strategies of the companies and also assists in changing current structure and strategies. SIS facilitates the organizations to align its business strategies with the information systems. It helps top management team to systematically channelize information for making effective strategic decisions (Arvidsson, Holmström and Lyytinen 2014). Organizations are becoming aware of the significance of SIS and are utilizing its functionalities for resolving the inefficiencies in its existing business processes. Strategic information systems mainly focus on efficient utilization of information for the purpose of enhancing the operational efficiencies of its strategic business departments and units.
This literature review describes the organizational structure of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and gives a brief overview of the products and services provided by this bank. It discusses the current processes of this bank and identifies the gaps in the current working mechanism. The following literature review addresses specific problems that will be fixed by the new system. It describes Information Systems Strategy and outlines the difficulties that Commonwealth Bank might face in implementing this strategy. This literature review analyses the reasons behind the failure of IS projects and suggests remedies for solving the issue.
Commonwealth Bank is a multinational bank based in Australia. It operates business across several countries (Commbank.com.au. 2017). Commonwealth Bank is considered to be one of the leading providers of financial services in Australia. It uses extensive policies and initiatives for meeting customer commitments. Commonwealth Bank is the most recognized brand in the financial industry of Australia. It is the leading bank of Australia that provides effective financial services such as banking, insurance and funds management.
- a) Organizational structure: Commonwealth Bank has a hierarchical or tall organizational structure where employees at different levels have separate responsibilities. Board of commissioners is at the top level of the structure (Commbank.co.id 2017). The top level in the hierarchy requires strategic information for making long term decisions. The middle level requires tactical information for making short term plans. The lower levels in the hierarchy need operational information for effectively carrying out regular activities.
Figure 1: Organizational Structure of Commonwealth Bank
(Source: Commbank.co.id 2017)
b) Products and services: Commonwealth Bank offers several products and services to its customers (Commbank.com.au. 2017). Some of them are discussed below.
i) Business accounts: This bank allows customers to open various types of business accounts such as Business Transaction Account and Business Online Saver. These accounts are useful for business users .
ii) Credit cards: This is one of the most important services provided by Commonwealth Bank. This bank provides business credit cards for facilitating business operations in several organizations.
iii) Business loans: This bank provides loan facilities to businesses for expanding purpose.
iv) Asset finance: This bank offers a range of finance solutions for cars and equipments along with payment plans according to the cash flow of a business.
v) Insurance: Commonwealth Bank provides insurance products such as life insurance, vehicle insurance and income protection plans and packages.
vi) Investment: This bank offers long term, medium term and short term investment options for helping customers to cover up the shortfalls of cash flow, build wealth and expand business.
vii) Superannuation: Employer superannuation options as well as self managed super funds option are provided by Commonwealth Bank. It also provides tailored or customized financial solutions for meeting business needs.
1. Commonwealth Bank- Structure, Products and Services
viii) Merchant services: This bank is known for offering merchant facilities such as EFTPOS machines as well as E-commerce solutions.
a) Current processes in Commonwealth Bank: There are various processes such as loan servicing, business loan delivery, investment service, credit card service, IT process, customer service, human resource and accounting processes. The loan servicing process includes fixed rate and variable rate loan services for vehicles and homes. This process focuses on innovative approaches to satisfy the needs of the customers. The loan delivery process includes web application for enhancing loan funding request (Commbank.com.au. 2017). The investment service process of this bank ensures that a well organized structure is provided to the customers that help the customers to grow and preserve their wealth. The IT process focuses on technological advances and develops computerised program for customer service. Human resource process of Commonwealth Bank focuses on recruitment, hiring and remuneration of employees. The customer service process of this bank is its primary process that handles complaints and carries out transaction processing.
b) Identification of Gaps: Commonwealth Bank has loopholes in its business processes that have led to money laundering issue. There has been illegal money transfer through the accounts of customers due to coding errors in the process. This incident has affected the market share price of the bank. System errors have led to major issues. Customers were unable to access the online banking, EFTPOS and ATM facilities due to system problems. Technical issues are a major concern of this bank. This bank is unable to meet customer expectations due to the faults in its processes. Financial technology or FinTech companies are creating challenge for Commonwealth Bank in terms. Securing financial data is another challenge for this bank.
Figure 2: Fallen share price of Commonwealth Bank
(Source: Commbank.com.au. 2017)
c) Specific issues that will be resolved by the new system: The technical challenges of Commonwealth Bank can be overcome by implementing the new system or strategic information system. This system will help in improving the performance of the bank by making significant contribution to the business strategic goals (Kirchmer 2012). The new system will enable this bank to gain competitive advantages over other financial institutes that make use of advanced technologies. The share price of this bank will increase by developing the new system as it will overcome the technical issues of the organization. Secured SIS will be able to solve the problem of cyber security threats and risks. There will be less technical or system failures and customer experience will get enhanced after implementing the new system. Business processes will get streamlined and gaps in the current processes will get minimized by using the new system (Nambisan 2013). The new system will support the strategies of the bank and help in preventing any money laundering issue in future.
d) Criteria that can be used for proving that the new or proposed system meets its requirements: System validation as well as verification procedures can be used for checking whether the system requirements are met. One of the main criteria is the performance of the new system. The hardware as well as software functioning of the new system will play a significant role in proving whether the new system is meeting its requirements. Satisfying the operational needs of users is another criterion for the new system (Lloyd 2017). The performance criterion can be checked by carrying out system testing and system evaluation. System reliability and throughput are considered to be the main criteria for determining whether the proposed system meets the given requirements. Vendor support, system scalability and documentation quality are also included in the criteria for checking whether the system requirements are met.
2. Operations and Functionality
Organizations are developing information systems or IS strategy for supporting IS development in alignment with organizational strategies (Whittington 2014). Commonwealth Bank requires IS strategy for supporting its IS structure and ensuring that the current information systems remain relevant in order to achieve its business and organizational goals. This bank will be able to deliver strategic information by developing IS strategy. IS strategy will promote synchronization of the current technology platforms as well as systems of an organization. Alignment of information system with business strategies plays a major role in directing organizational goals and objectives (Laudon and Laudon 2016). IS of Commonwealth Bank needs to be integrated with its business strategies for gaining competitive advantage in the market and delivering strategic information (Sakas, Vlachos and Nasiopoulos 2014). IS strategy is capable of providing insights into the issues of business strategies. IS strategy can determine the information need of at various organizational levels such as strategic, operation and tactical levels (Pearlson, Saunders and Galletta 2016). This strategy is known for providing correct directions to businesses for optimal utilization of informational resources. It helps organizations to find new business opportunities (Stair and Reynolds 2013).
Commonwealth Bank needs IS strategy to be a part of its entire organizational strategy for the above mentioned benefits. Incorporation of IS strategy into organizational strategy is required for the enhancement of its overall performance, productivity as well as operational efficiency. IS strategy has the capability to help any financial institute such as Commonwealth Bank to establish appropriate relations with its customers as well as suppliers. This will improve the effectiveness of organizations by providing quick and real time response (Schwalbe 2015). The senior executives of this bank will get access to strategic and critical information by implementing IS strategy and this will enable them to make better decisions (Peppard and Ward 2016). Information system strategy will help Commonwealth Bank to improve its financial products by optimal utilization of strategic information.
Commonwealth Bank might face the following issues while developing information systems strategy:
a) Top management challenges: The senior management executives might not understand the need and importance of IS strategy (Wise and Debons 2012). They might not be willing to support this decision. This is a barrier in case of successful implementation of IS strategy. Gap in the internal communication process might be a factor that weakens the support and motivation from senior management.
b) Human resource challenges: Commonwealth Bank considers its employees to be its valuable assets. If the employees lack technical competencies then it will cause issues in the development process of the IS strategy. Lack of technical knowledge will cause failure of the IS strategy. Few existing employees who are not flexible and do not support the implementation of IS strategy might create problems in the development process (Galliers and Leidner 2014). Organizational culture, structure and poor coordination will affect the development of IS strategy.
c) Time related and technical challenges: Software as well as hardware related failure can affect the implementation of IS strategy in Commonwealth Bank. This bank might face issues in the migration of its legacy system to the new system. If any intermediate plans and processes are extended then it might cancel the implementation or development of the IS strategy.
3. Information Systems (IS) Strategy
Solutions to overcome the mentioned challenges are:
a) Solution for the issue regarding top management: The need and importance of IS strategy must be effectively communicated to the senior management team for gaining their support (Boonstra 2013). Proper presentation and documentation can be prepared for outlining the role of IS strategy in business.
b) Solution for the human resource challenge: Technical training programs can be conducted to enhance the technical competencies of the current employees. Hiring of employees with technical knowledge will enable the bank to efficiently develop the information system strategy. Staffs having experience and expertise in technical domain can facilitate the development of IS strategy. They must understand their individual benefits after the deployment of IS strategy. Commonwealth Bank can dismantle its tall organizational structure for overcoming the issue of poor coordination. This will help in developing the IS strategy in an effective manner.
c) Solution for the technical issue: Proper determination of technical specifications and effective planning can resolve the technical issues. A system specialist can be hired for the purpose of system maintenance on a regular basis. All the activities must be carried out without any delay for successful development of IS strategy.
a) Problems that might arise within information system projects: The most crucial problem within IS projects are failure of the systems. Unclear definition of project objectives can lead to IS failures (Cecez-Kecmanovic, Kautz and Abrahall 2014). If the information needs of the businesses are unclear then it might affect the implementation of information system strategies as well as projects (Wise and Debons 2012). Support of the IS staffs, end users and top management play a major role in the successful development of IS (Petter, DeLone and McLean 2013). When the responsibilities of project staffs are unclear and there is gap in communication then it lead to IS project failures. If the technical specifications are not correctly determined then it can cause failure of IS projects. The next major problem within IS projects is software crisis that leads to low productivity. Lack of proper maintenance is the reason behind this issue. The organizational technical capability is less than the demand for developing IS. Another problem within IS projects are the improper or incorrect alignment of IS with the business needs. Lack of competent project management staffs who can develop proper project charter and budget is the main reason behind this issue (Mir and Pinnington 2014). Business requirement changes causes problem in the development process of IS.
b) Recommendations for resolving the problems
i) The system failure can be avoided by gaining the support of the top management team. General meeting must be conducted before starting the project for understanding the goals of the project. Technical specifications must be determined by technical experts so that there is no issue during the implementation of the IS. Participative decision making and group discussions must be held for overcoming the communication gap and properly defining the roles of the project staffs.
ii) The software crisis problem can be resolved by carrying out regular maintenance. Hiring more number of software specialists and experts can be done for overcoming this issue.
4. Challenges in Implementing IS Strategy
iii) Enhancement of technical competencies of the employees will help the organization in carrying out proper alignment of the IS with the business objectives, strategies and needs.
This literature review concludes that strategic information system will enhance the productivity and operational efficiency of Commonwealth Bank. This bank will gain competitive advantage by developing information systems strategy. Therefore, it can be said from the above discussion that information system strategy will help the bank to align its business needs and strategies with the existing IS structure. Commonwealth Bank will be able to mitigate the issues in its current processes and resolve the technical errors by developing the new system. According to this literature review, incorporation of IS strategy with the organizational strategy is required for achieving business objectives in an effective manner. Management, human resource and technical challenges can be faced by Commonwealth Bank while developing IS strategy. Effective communication, technical training and correct determination of technical specifications will be able to overcome these challenges. This literature review said that the problems within IS projects are system failure, software crisis as well as incorrect alignment of IS with the business strategies. It can be said from the above discussion that these problems can be solved by gaining senior management support, enhancing technical competencies and carrying out regular maintenance of the information system.
Altaf, M. and Khalil, M., 2016. Strategic Information System: A source of Competitive Advantage.
Arvidsson, V., Holmström, J. and Lyytinen, K., 2014. Information systems use as strategy practice: A multi-dimensional view of strategic information system implementation and use. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 23(1), pp.45-61.
Boonstra, A., 2013. How do top managers support strategic information system projects and why do they sometimes withhold this support?. International Journal of Project Management, 31(4), pp.498-512.
Cecez-Kecmanovic, D., Kautz, K. and Abrahall, R., 2014. Reframing Success and Failure of Information Systems: A Performative Perspective. Mis Quarterly, 38(2).
Commbank.co.id. , 2017. Commonwealth Bank :: | Organization Structure. [online] Available at: https://www.commbank.co.id/upublic/mod_home/default_content.aspx?code=pr_strorg [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].
Commbank.com.au., 2017. About Us - Learn more about Shareholders, Careers - CommBank. [online] Available at: https://www.commbank.com.au/about-us.html?ei=bc1 [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].
Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E. eds., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.
Kirchmer, M., 2012. Business process oriented implementation of standard software: how to achieve competitive advantage efficiently and effectively. Springer Science & Business Media.
Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P., 2016. Management information system. Pearson Education India.
Lloyd, I., 2017. Information technology law. Oxford University Press.
Mir, F.A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2014. Exploring the value of project management: linking project management performance and project success. International journal of project management, 32(2), pp.202-217.
Nambisan, S., 2013. Information technology and product/service innovation: A brief assessment and some suggestions for future research. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14(4), p.215.
Pearlson, K.E., Saunders, C.S. and Galletta, D.F., 2016. Managing and Using Information Systems, Binder Ready Version: A Strategic Approach. John Wiley & Sons.
Peppard, J. and Ward, J., 2016. The strategic management of information systems: Building a digital strategy. John Wiley & Sons.
Petter, S., DeLone, W. and McLean, E.R., 2013. Information systems success: The quest for the independent variables. Journal of Management Information Systems, 29(4), pp.7-62.
Sakas, D., Vlachos, D. and Nasiopoulos, D., 2014. Modelling strategic management for the development of competitive advantage, based on technology. Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 16(3), pp.187-209.
Schwalbe, K., 2015. Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.
Stair, R. and Reynolds, G., 2013. Principles of information systems. Cengage Learning.
Whittington, R., 2014. Information systems strategy and strategy-as-practice: a joint agenda. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 23(1), pp.87-91.
Wise, J.A. and Debons, A. eds., 2012. Information systems: failure analysis (Vol. 32). Springer Science & Business Media.
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