Various Topics

Standard

 (1) Is there any relationship between the information your guru communicates and the management of information systems?

There is most definitely a correlation between Tom Peter’s concepts of management coupled with MIS. What is MIS? Management Information Systems (MIS) is the analysis of people, technology, organizations and the interactions (Mays Business School, n.d.). A large part of MIS focuses on data analysis, teamwork, leadership, project management and customer service. So what does Tom Peters, a management guru, have to do with MIS?

Tom Peters is known for his management acumen. His books, seminars and speeches are geared towards finding ways companies can be successful. Companies can apply his lessons to all types of businesses and departments therein. For example, one of his quotes is “Excellent companies has bias for an action, they were doers” and “They understood their clients’ needs” (Gehlot, 2006). It seems reasonable to me that an IT department focusing on MIS can most definitely adhere to Tom Peter’s lessons. As a matter of fact O’Brian states that today’s IS professionals must be highly skilled in communications, dealing with people and, most of all, articulate in the fundamentals of business (O’Brian, 2007).

So the essential message that runs through “In Search of Excellence” and most of his books is people, customers and action. The MIS departments work with people or at least most do unless there are programmers working in complete isolation. So the stakeholders will ask themselves how can we help the customer, regardless if the customer is in-house, they are still customers. The workplace is for the most part where we live, there has to be good sense and engagement. The conclusion is that considering there is a strong correlation between people, organizations & management and MIS hence follow the rule of addition then there is a correlation and relationship between Tom Peters and MIS.

(2) Making the Internet reliable would require significant amounts of capital investment. Maybe the government should just step in and finance it. Discuss

Currently the Internet is maintained by a conglomerate of organizations across the globe and the core functions are maintained by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). The ISOC (Internet Society) plays a part as well. The ISOC is a non-governmental international organization for global cooperation and coordination for the Internet and its internetworking technologies and applications. The members are bound to the viability and scale of the Internet. The have a common stake in this effort (Business Directory, n.d.).

I have to make a full disclosure about my political standing before I proceed. I’m an undeclared voter but I lean towards the beliefs of the Republican Party. Therefore I believe in less government in other words I prefer less intervention. Besides, I’m not so sure that the Internet is in such shape that any one government has to intercede. As far as I can tell it seems to be working satisfactorily. Why would anyone want the US Government to take this responsibility and cost of this task? Considering the US has a debt of over 16 trillion dollars, this is a cost that we can’t incur.

Even if the US Government has ample funds to maintain the Internet, I wouldn’t want this to come to fruition. There could be dire consequences if the Internet were under the auspices of any government. Included in a new executive order, this is a possibility “The president of the United States will be able to essentially flip switch and turn off the Internet during times of a national crisis or emergency, as defined by the president. I don’t know what limits there are on it, but it’s cybersecurity, and the president’s going to have that power” (Liaugminas, 2012). At a recent Homeland Security meeting, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, the executive order is still being drafted …and close to completion (Liaugminas, 2012). I am absolutely opposed to this.

There was recently a debate to have the UN regulate the Internet. While the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) the UN Internet regulatory agency does not have the authority to impose controls over the Internet, a regulated Internet could disrupt the global free flow of information and commerce as well as development of such cross border technologies as cloud computing. So common sense would dictate that if a government or US government would maintain the Internet it no doubt would be regulated by that entity and that would diminish the freedom that all users of the Internet presently have.

(3) Gather Information Concerning SaaS or In-House solution to deploy SCM.

Before I answer this question I need to define SCM (Supply Chain Management). What is SCM? SCM includes all the activities that must be undertaken to assure that the right product gets into the right hands of the right customers in the correct quantity at the right time. It focuses on things such as planning and forecasting, purchasing, product assembly, moving, storage, distribution, sales and customer service.

AutoZoom Inc. is the company that asked for research into a SCM solution. The company manufactures various parts that are used to assemble certain makes of vehicles. So the following questions will be addressed.

  1. What is the need for SCM – Do we need it? Can it improve our current implementation? The company needs to look at priorities and gaps and determine the needs. 2. What are the goals of SCM? What is the company trying to accomplish? 3. Are the suppliers on board? 4. What are the key SCM characteristics that the company is looking for? 5. What is the company’s budget?

The departments or officer that I would ask these questions are: CEO, CIO, Controller, Operations Manager, Plant Manager and IT Manager. This is a company investment that should not be taken lightly. Regardless of whether or not the solution would be in-house or a SasS solution the CEO would have the most input concerning technical details.

 (4) Discuss- Facebook has decided to publish its server specifications in an open source software fashion allowing developers all over the world to contribute to finding systems that are less expensive to run. This move is in dire contrast to Google’s practice.

Facebook has taken its commitment openness to a new level. It is now sharing its infrastructure details similar to how it shared its software code. This effort will bring web scale computing to the community and is godsend for AMD and Intel and the x86 designs (Higganbotham, 2011). Facebook has released its server design that is very efficient while directing the resources where it’s most needed. Facebook actually custom designed it all, the datacenter itself and the management tools that go with it. In other words Google did the same thing except that Facebook didn’t keep any of their infrastructure designs a secret.

This is antithetical to Google’s approach. It keeps its infrastructure design and details in clandestine. Much of both designs have common elements. They are stripped down boxes that have hot swappable drives and not hot standby power supplies enabling easy repairs and upgrades. Facebook decided to add more to the infrastructure. It added fewer newer and larger fans which are more efficient. There are many more details but they will not be listed because they are not germane to this report. Besides Facebook unleashing its hardware details it shared its data center designs to help other startups working trying to create an efficient infrastructure mimicking Facebook’s design for efficiency. As a matter of fact Facebook gave these designs over to the (OCP) Open Source Foundation – http://www.opencompute.org/. “The reason that anyone can benefit is that you don’t have to build a new data center to achieve some of the cost savings: You can pick and choose which OCP specifications to adopt. That means that even if you are using colocation facilities you could put in OCP servers and power supplies and make significant power and cost saving” (Rubens, 2012).  And to take advantage of the OCP designs there are OCP solution providers such as Avnet, ZT Systems and Hyve Solutions. Incidentally Yahoo did the same and made its data center plans available.

One would consider Google as an ad-supported software company. But Google is really a maker of capital-intensive, custom, warehouse scale hardware company. It has to keep as many users connected to their datacenter as possible by serving ads to them. Hence they need to hire many software programmers who can create Internet scaled applications. Facebook is now in the same predicament. It has to build and run these large scale computers as efficiently as possible. But Facebook has fewer resources than Google, hence the Open Source. If Facebook’s solution becomes common use, Google will most definitely have to follow Facebook’s design. In this scenario Facebook doesn’t have to win but rather shrink Google’s advantage. Facebook will eventually win because it will have the competitive advantage.

The question is why is Facebook doing this? Why is any company that is involved with open source doing it? It’s a way of giving back and I agree with the philosophy. As a matter of fact I wasn’t aware of this. I have a different perspective about Facebook now. Call me naïve but I think it sends a message to the user community. Facebook’s corporate culture has social value. It’s also a way for vendors to incorporate Facebook’s design to allow vendors with more scale to purchase cheaper systems. So it’s no all philanthropic.

References

Business Directory. (n.d.). ISOC. Retrieved from

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/internet-society-ISOC.html

Gehlot, R. (2006) Tom Peter’s The Living Guru of Gurus. Retrieved from

http://www.citehr.com/14190-tom-peters-good-article.html

Easton, N. (2012). Where’s the outcry on the U.N. push to regulate the Internet? Retrieved by

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/30/united-nations-internet-regulation/

Higganbotham, S. (2011). Facebook Open Sources its Servers and Data Centers. Retrieved from

http://gigaom.com/2011/04/07/facebook-open-sources-its-servers-and-data-centers/

IANA. (n.d.). IANA. Retrieved from http://www.iana.org/

Liaugminas, S. (2012). Obamas Internet Kill Switch. Retrieved from

http://www.mercatornet.com/sheila_liaugminas/view/11281

Mays Business School. (n.d). What is Management Information Systems. Retrieved from

http://mays.tamu.edu/info/what-is-mis/

Nexmatrix. (n.d.). Virtual CRM/SCM for Small to Enterprise Business. Retrieved from

http://nexmatrix.com/virtual-atlantis-crm-scm

O’Brian, J. (2007). Management Information Systems. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill

Rubens, P. (2012). How to Use Facebook’s Open Sourced Data Center Design to Cut Costs.

Retrieved from             http://www.cio.com/article/720511/How_to_Use_Facebook_s_Open_Sourced_Data_Cen            ter_Design_to_Cut_Costs

Schneider, D. (2011). Under the Hood at Google and Facebook. Retrieved from           http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/internet/under-the-hood-at-google-and-facebook/0

Stokes, J. .(2011). Why Facebook open-sourced its datacenters. Retrieved from

http://arstechnica.com/business/2011/04/why-facebook-open-sourced-its-datacenters/

Wood, L. (2010). Global SaaS-based SCM. Retrieved from http://www.fiercecio.com/press-        releases/research-and-markets-global-saas-based-scm-market-2009-2013-report-    uncovers-challenge

 

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