The Clarion School for Boys, Inc. Milwaukee Division
The Clarion School for Boys, Inc. Milwaukee Division: Making Information Systems Investments Date: MGMT408 Introduction John Young has a tremendous responsibility on his hands in preparing an evaluation of the current state of Information Systems (IS) for the Milwaukee’s Division of the Clarion School for Boys, Inc. Mr. Young is on a truncated timetable, and will have to rely on the schools staff and faculty to aid him in making an informed evaluation of the schools information system infrastructure, and articulate his assessment to the Board of Directors for approval. Background
The Clarion School for Boys was founded in 1989 by investors from the local Chicago area, primarily foster children, who took a vested interest in helping wayward young men in seeking direction, motivation, and become productive members of society.
The Milwaukee Division was opened in 1993 and is the second oldest in the Clarion school system. In 1999, Clarion-Milwaukee set themselves apart from their competitors by emphasizing the use of modern information technology in conjunction with a caring staff who considered the ability to communicate with one another, and have the capability to access student data faster, was crucial to performance.
Mr. Young’s predecessor, Jacob Miller, advocated the use of computer information systems in order to increase staff effectiveness, productivity, and communication. In 1999 Mr.
Miller was able to obtain approval and acquire funds to get the systems in place. Clarion-Milwaukee procured an IBM AS/400 computer with associated applications and sixty personal systems in order to accelerate routine functions; providing faster access to student data. In 2002 through 2004, budget constraints prevented Clarion-Milwaukee from upgrading any systems.
However, over time, sixty computers were replaced, but the AS/400 and its applications were still outdated.
Mr. Young began to solicit information from the different staff and faculty directorates in order to get a better grasp of the emplacement and utilization of the current information system. It was found that systems were underutilized and not efficiently distributed. Some staff complained that some systems were inconveniently accessible and others didn’t have enough systems to compliment the number of staff members in certain directorates.
Furthermore, the staff and faculty were seemingly unaware of the system capabilities… possibly due to lack of training.
Discussion Mr. Young should look into establishing a permanent staff position for an Information Systems (IS) manger. This managerial position would task the individual with the responsibility of handling the Clarion-Milwaukee’s information system networks, personal computers, and telephone (PBX) systems. In addition, for future updates and upgrades, the IS manager will be able to evaluate and implement training needs and voice them to Mr.
It would also be in the best interest of the staff and faculty if they were involved in promoting a “team concept” by soliciting feedback down to the lowest level in the evaluation of newly implemented systems. This will provide a thorough and concise evaluation and will allow for identifying high, medium, and low risks which can weigh heavily on future changes or requirements, and can facilitate in the long range IS planning for Clarion-Milwaukee. It would be advisable for Mr.
Young to implement a formal concept to planning and develop a master Information Systems plan which outlines details of the schools issues and improvement of future infrastructure, with the involvement of management support from the top-down using a system life-cycle methodology that will assist in establishing requirement and projected timetables. Thus, incorporating IS requirements in long range objectives which include a standard set of topics (data) relevant to the information systems and address second and third order effects and the impact(s) on Clarion-Milwaukee’s Information Systems.
In addition, the objective should be incorporated into Clarion-Milwaukee Divisions five year plan. Doing so will ease the pain of future planning and the possible complexities that go with it. Furthermore, it’s imperative to maintain consistency in seeking new ways in the strategic decision process, which will lead to increased efficiency and future long range planning protocols. Conclusion Mr. Young s presentation for the Board of Directors should explain the bottom-line in regards to the requirements, current system strengths and weaknesses, and projected costs of implementing/improving the new system.
He should weigh the pros and cons of upgrading the schools information system, and in addition, present both LTM’s and HTS’s findings which I believe will persuade the Board of Directors in accepting his proposal resulting in a significant benefit to both the staff and students.
References Brown, Carol V. , DeHayes, Daniel W. , Hoffer, Jeffrey A. , Martin, Wainright E. , Perkins, and William C. ().
Managing Information Technology for DeVry University  (VitalSource Bookshelf), Retrieved from http://online. vitalsource. com/books/9781256431688/id/ch15lev1sec12