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INF80014-Contemporary Issues In Business Analysis

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  • Course Code: INF80014
  • University: Swinburne University Of Techology
  • Country: Australia

Question:

Case Study: Integrated Library System

Let's consider the example of an integrated library system (ILS), which is much like the library community's equivalent of an enterprise resource planning system. An ILS is a large enterprise software that drives a lot of the library's business operations. In this example, a public library system was migrating to a new ILS from its previous administrative system, which combined a vendor-supported and customized system with the library's original homegrown system.

The library's acquisitions staff was responsible for purchasing and acquiring books, movies, periodicals, and other items that constituted the collections, as well as entering all of that information into the ILS and establishing a unique barcode for each item. Under the old system, the staff members would barcode all copies of a single item, such as all copies of a particular book, at the same time, with each copy receiving a sequentially numbered barcode. For example, 12 copies of the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird might be numbered 101–112.

During implementation of its brand-new ILS, the library discovered a significant and showstopping difference in how the ILS handled the process for barcoding multiple copies of the same item. The Acquisitions module of the new ILS required the information for each unique item to be entered individually—meaning that the information for the library's collection of To Kill a Mockingbird would have to be entered 12 times—once for each copy of the book. If the library staff had to enter all the information for each acquisition one at a time, coding all the countless newly acquired items per year would simply be unachievable.

According to the ILS vendor, reworking the Acquisitions module to allow multiple items to be barcoded collectively—like the way that the library's old system worked—would necessitate customizing the module.

You (as an experienced business analyst) have been asked to facilitate the customization of ILS module. As a part of this assignment, your task is to present an abstract level view of activities that should be performed in six of the Core Knowledge Areas of Business Analysis - as listed below. You are also required to highlight the underlaying competencies and tools appropriate for conducting each of the knowledge areas.
 

 

Answer:

Introduction

An integrated library system is an automated system,whereby the functional modules  form a part of a shared referential database.The term  Integrated means that a  system in which  the automatic library functions are administered against a master referential file(Fu.and Fitzgerald 2014). An ILS is essentially an electronic program that helps librarians and users of data to track the movement of items as well as interact with databases from other libraries.An ILS is meant to surge the output and efficiency of a library , and improve  the resource access for its patrons, thereby automating the system that was previosly employed manually. Use of an ILS provides a massive benefit and its impact is obvious.The use of an automatic system exponentially increases the productivity of the labour.Use of module such as copy cataloguing means a librarian can simply import existing MARC records from other institutions in their database, instead of doing the whole process from scratch((Fu.and Fitzgerald 2014).Circulating items involves only scanning barcodes , rather than manually writing on library cards and data stamps.

Discussion

As part of customizing the ILS module, it is important to switch to a reliable ILS  that would allow the acquisitions module to collectively barcode the  multiple items.Koha is an integrated LMS that is intended to manage physical collection of items.It provides a host of functions including cataloguing, searching member/patron management, an acquisition systems ,and circulation(Ahammad 2014). Its user interface is very configurable and adaptable and is easy to use. It can systematically help in printing barcodes , without any manual help( Kumar and Jayapradeep 2015).This makes Koha the perfect integrated library software  to be applied in this case and customized as per needed.

Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring

This analysis is done with a view to determine what kinds of activities that should be performed with view to the ILS.. Koha software system is attaining favor over other solution sin information management solutons.It offers a variety of benefits  that include economical benefits, compact base of customers and effective online support(Ahammad 2014).Koha software allows automatic information and knowledge management operations that include administration, acquisitions, cataloguing, circulation and OPAC.Further, this software augments and advances services delivery to the customers(Adesola et al.2015).This software makes tracking information resource and service possible starting from the point when the order is done and received in the acquisitons,  then processed , next circulated and eventually disposed off.Supplementary analysis proved that the integrated software evades repetition of multiple entries of referential records in the system.This facility offers a single entry only(Yeh and Walter 2016.). The inference of Koha on library systems and technical  staffing models  is related to two  main facets , with number one being software architecture and number two being workflows and functionality.While the previous vendor supported and customer system represented a  more manual style of servicing this software is completely automated and delivers multiple benefits that includes no purchasing costs, low cost setups, frequent upgrades and updates and high scalability benefit(Adesola et al.2015).With the help of this model,the providers of service can distribute services to their contributing associate establishments on an exceedingly accessible platform where wholly relevant updates and required augmentations happen in an automatic fashion through the net.The diverse participating establishments can use this service to organize and tailor  their views of the applications with their own brand ideas, colour subjects and navigation reins(Yeh and Walter 2016).Web scaling services lessen the proprietorship cost by distributing set-up costs across all contributing member establishments(Henry 2017). The  providers of service have a far-reaching control  over all hardware and software for all contributing member establishments , thereby eradicating investments of a capital nature on local  hardware, software and other outlying services(Adesola et al.2015).Service provides can implement applications and make upgradations centrally . They can also integrate across all types of services and make system extensive structure requirements like reliability, safety, privacy and dismissal(Yeh and Walter 2016). 

 

Elicitation and Collaboration

The ILS are no longer bleeding edge- but managing dozens of library sytems all on the same system .There is a need to collaborate to facilitate free flow of information .Shared qualities are found in open source development communities that include unselfishness, persistence and clear obligation of accountability. There is a growing prevalence that librarians are self sacrificing and persistant.They are noticeably engrossed about information sharing (Corby,  Jeffries and Nichols 2017). Hierarchal association is clearly an essential feature of library management.The meeting of qualities estimates that there is a sound professional match between ILS specialists and open source developers. These two groupshow a similarity in attitude.

The arrangement of these two groups will assist both small and big libraries. The improvements in library management  include better secutity reports that fix bug errors and feature needs  that only benefit the software company and indirectly the  customers(Walter 2017). On the other hand, new open ended systems benefit all types of users. Code or documentation  from small ,one branch libraries will be applicable to bigger libraries. Instead of keeping hold of developments,  the company should  share them with other communities(Corby,  Jeffries and Nichols 2017). This is a completely dissimilar pattern from that of proprietary ILS. The removal of developing idleness generates an extra savings in cost. As soon as the initial conversion and installation period is finalized, continuing upgrades will save a lot of funds(Henry 2017).

Also there is a growing advantage when it comes to pursuing necessary rights. People have the fundamental right to access  any type of information and libraries help get that access.There is  a question that needs to be asked about the relationship with that of proprietary software(Corby,  Jeffries and Nichols 2017). Libraries need to ponder whether they should be subjected to external change or should they grow and develop through self-growth and learning. The open ended software, through collaboration urges library systems to grow and evolve benefitting a whole host of users(Henry 2017).There is a philosophical correctness to libraries that enables the sharing of various library organizations. In hindsight, software is an alternative type of information. Libraries warrant  learning and growing just as patrons do(Walter 2017)

Solidifiying the group of libraries is essential to ensure the capability to reinforce the attentions of patrons universally. That is a vibrant assistance that mutually benefits all parties, all possible through collaboration practices(Corby,  Jeffries and Nichols 2017). 

 

Requirements of life cycle management

An  ILS, like Koha usually encompasses of a rational database, a software that can interact and relate with that database and two graphical user interfaces .Koha uses distinct software tasks  that can be converted into isolated programs called modules where they are  individually assimilated with a combined interface. (Ptak and Schragenheim 2016). 

The integrated library systems , bring an automatic software upgradation falls under the purview of system development  life cycle .This process is applicable to information development projects safeguarding that all practical and user necessites can be done with the help of an organized and homogeneous process through all stages of a system’s life cycle(Le Blanc 2015).The systems developed under this system provide reliable and long term performance.

The various phases of SDLC include:

  • Phase 1:Requirement and analysis- This phase begin with going through the structure of the project group and conducting  alterations that are required.
  • Phase 2: Design- This phase converts thorough requirements descriptions into wide-ranging , comprehensive system stipulations. It emphases on  the  way that the system will distribute the necessary functionalities that were determined in phase one(Ptak and Schragenheim 2016).
  • Phase 3- System development- The proposal is transformed into a comprehensive information technology system. In this phase, the software is designed and tested. This will  ultimately effect in the software being commercially viable and ready ito sell in the market(Le Blanc 2015).
  • Phase 4- Testing- Validating whether the intended system meets the system requirements  or not and  is ready to be installed.  There are three tests  that are used for this purpose – 1)- System Qualification Test 2) Security Test and Evaluation and 3) System acceptance Test(Plevin, Delucchi, and Creutzig 2014).
  • Phase 5- Implementation- The tested configuration is brought live for operative use .This system can either be a pilot or transferred into production depending on the methodology engaged on the project(Ptak and Schragenheim 2016).
  • Phase 6:operations- This phase designates tasks for maintenaning and operating systems in a creative atmosphere. The operating activities include assisting  the users in functioning adequately the created software product while the maintenance phase entails  maintenance jobs that  keep the product smooth and functioning(Le Blanc 2015).
  • Phase 7: Dispositions- The phase describes  the finish of system functions. Stress is given here to properly preserve the data and dispose off the system in a liable way(Plevin, Delucchi, and Creutzig  2014).

Strategy Analysis

Koha is an automatic system that serves the needs of the whole community and has a stake or interest in the library as well.it will immensely help in improving the quality of education and research  and will help both patrons and staff as well(Grant 2016).The four basic reasons that explain the need to incorporate this system in the development of an information strategic plan are:

  • It helps in the printing of barcodes automatically, without involving any manual labour
  • It allows the public in pursuing the catalog in the library and at home(Smith and Wong 2016)
  • It has multilingual features and a multi user support.
  • It is web based, which means that it can be fully integrated into the library website(Grant 2016).

Finally, in term of a strategic plan for the incorporation of an ILS  in the library, this system would also help in:

  • Providing well-timed access to information resources
  • Promoting and facilitating the usage of prevailing and latest information services and products(Morse 2015).
  • Providing well-organized consultation mechanisms to determine information needs, govern priorities and adopt services to exact groups and disciplines(Grant 2016).
  • Developing and inspiring a highly skilled and driven staff  to  commit to achieve the goals of the library(Morse 2015).
  • Maintaining highly security because these systems are frequently updated and sustained to make sure that the user databases are kept confidential and secure all the time. It is also very reliable and has a low chance of crashing since they experience maintenance on a fixed basis(Smith and Wong 2016).

Requirements analysis and design definitions

While contemplating over which ILS can be chosen  for the library, it is vital to ponder over numerous influences including scope, capital and compatibility with each other. It is also vital to get an overall feel of the system.Therefore it is necessary to do an all-encompassing research before implementing what kind of an ILS best suits for a particular library(Thüm et al.2014).In this case we have taken Koha to be the integrated library software for the library, which best alleviates the barcoding issue and enable a better working acquisition model(Beich et al.2017).

An efficient ILS software should have a no vendor lock in , thereby denotating that the program will have a free rein and will enable libraries to download and install that software by their own. (Ericson  2015 ).It should have a lot of modules that is totally inclusive in the cataloguing function.It should be operable in the MARC records which helps in acquisitions. This happens in improving the workflow of operations. This creates a smooth transition into a free system(Thüm et al.2014). 

 


It should also allow libraries to smoothly transit into a platform that has an ndependent solution which  can integrate the concepts of OPAC, circulation and standards based on XHTML,CSS and JavaScript.This involves that any existing software can be effortlessly reassigned into the system since it is compatible with the net.The system should have added aptitudes and differences that recognises the ability to modify items, batch  delete items , enabling RSS feeds and SOPAC integration(Thüm et al.2014).It should have the capability to combine different records and also have features of accumulating a metadata  storage format system that can be  effortlessly integrated into a home library.

Solution Evaluation

While evaluating the solution the following criteria should be observed:

  • MARC should be supported
  • There should be no scalability issue as there is no risk of exceeding  database size or activity levels surpassing the capability of the software.
  • Present source code and technical documentation should be downloadable.
  • Whether the cataloging, circulation and cataloge modules are presently available and the acquisitions and serials controls are in development(House 2016).

The pros of  implementing Koha include:

  • Client functions run entirely within a browser
  • Growing community of  developers and support vendors
  • Indicating that there is a growing base of consortia customers
  • The system’s browser based architecture is relevant to overall software industry development(House 2016).  

The implementation of Koha has its fair share of disadvantages as well:

  • Many existing features cannot be applied  in a consortium environment
  • Most of the existing customers are small and autonomous rather than large or  consortium based
  • Upcoming developments ,such as  the new acquisitions module still do not possess certain  consortia friendly measures(Shawish and Salama 2016).

Recommendations

The recommendations while  customizing ILS’s could include

  • There should be a case for libraries to switch to th latest open ended ILS software, since it would save a considerable degree of money and time as well.If only a fraction of that money saved would improve the mechanism of open ended ILS’s then the gap between open ended ILS and proprietary ILS’s would increase
  • A central website could provide an independent clearing house of general information tips and an informational campaign could be provided by major libraries to show how open source software works. Most libraries still follow the traditional system,
  • The ILS  should be  made easy to use and simple to apply so that both patrons and staff could use the system efficiently and productively.It should smooth workflow operations and help in transitioning into a better flow of information. 
 

Conclusion

From the following analysis, it is clear that customizing the module to allow multiple items to be barcoded individually with the help of Koha integrated software is a viable strategy.It has clear financial, operating and functional benefits as well.It supports a growing list of developers, clients and support vendors and helps in integrating workflows.It provides a simple and a clear search interface for all users.It makes managing library operations very systematic and efficient.The business analysis also incorporates the need for collaborating and sharing information among library communities. It also necessitated the various modules of Koha including  cataloguing, circulation and acquisitions that integrates into the whole structure of the software.It evaluates the use of the software and its relevance with reference to the case study.The analysis further reaffirms the implementation of ILS in providing a more beneficial and affordable solution.This would save a huge amount of cost and time in the long run. 

 

References

Adesola, A.P., Olla, G., Oshiname, R.M. and Tella, A., 2018. Reports Generation with Koha Integrated Library System (ILS): Examples from Bowen University Library, Nigeria. In Library Science and Administration: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 631-645). IGI Global.

Ahammad, N., 2014. Implementing the Koha integrated library system at the Independent University, Bangladesh: A practical experience. The Electronic Library, 32(5), pp.642-658.

Beicht, B., Breuer, M., Krick, F., Muehge, T. and Rueger, E., International Business Machines Corp, 2017. Library system with integrated label printer. U.S. Patent 9,718,280.

Corby, K., Jeffries, S. and Nichols, D.P., 2017. Cooperation, Collaboration and Coordination: Education Librarians in Michigan. Education Libraries, 22(3), pp.13-19.

Ericson, C.A., 2015. Hazard analysis techniques for system safety. John Wiley & Sons.

Fu, P. and Fitzgerald, M., 2014. A comparative analysis of the effect of the integrated library system on staffing models in academic libraries. Information Technology & Libraries.

Gireesh Kumar, T.K. and Jayapradeep, M., 2015. Perceptions of LIS professionals on open source integrated library system and adoptability of Koha over LibSys in India. International Journal of Information Dissemination and Technology, 5(2), pp.100-105.

Grant, R.M., 2016. Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition. John Wiley & Sons.

Henry, R.L., 2017, October. Maintaining Effective Collaboration: Supporting a Shared Library System Across 39 Academic Institutions. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Annual Conference on SIGUCCS (pp. 45-50). ACM.

House, M.D., 2016. Implementing the open-source Koha-ILS at the Deutsche Schule Charlotte. Digital Library Perspectives, 32(4), pp.253-269.

Le Blanc, D., 2015. Towards integration at last? The sustainable development goals as a network of targets. Sustainable Development, 23(3), pp.176-187.

Morse, J.M., 2015. Critical analysis of strategies for determining rigor in qualitative inquiry. Qualitative health research, 25(9), pp.1212-1222.

Plevin, R.J., Delucchi, M.A. and Creutzig, F., 2014. Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate?change mitigation benefits misleads policy makers. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 18(1), pp.73-83.

Ptak, C.A. and Schragenheim, E., 2016. ERP: tools, techniques, and applications for integrating the supply chain. Crc Press.

Shawish, A. and Salama, M., 2016. Cloud-Based Digital Library Era. In Special Library Administration, Standardization and Technological Integration (pp. 226-247). IGI Global.

Smith, L.C. and Wong, M.A ., 2016. Reference and Information Services: An Introduction: An Introduction. ABC-CLIO.

Thüm, T., Kästner, C., Benduhn, F., Meinicke, J., Saake, G. and Leich, T., 2014. FeatureIDE: An extensible framework for feature-oriented software development. Science of Computer Programming, 79, pp.70-85.

Walter, S., 2017. Engelond: A model for faculty-librarian collaboration in the information age. Information technology and libraries, 19(1), pp.34-41.

Yeh, S.T. and Walter, Z., 2016. Critical success factors for integrated library system implementation in academic libraries: A qualitative study. Information Technology and Libraries (Online), 35(3), p.27.

Zhu, L. and Spidal, D.F., 2015. Shared integrated library system migration from a technical services perspective. Technical Services Quarterly, 32(3), pp.253-273.

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