MBA548-IT Management and Innovation
Managing IS for Business and Sustainability Value
Deadline: November 28, 2020, 11:59pm. D2L Assignment folder
For our class, you will conduct a research project examining IT and IT-enabled innovation management issues surrounding a focal company. We will break this project into two reports. The first report will examine issues relevant to the first half of the class (first six topics), and is due halfway through the semester. The second report will examine issues relevant to the second half of the class (the remaining six topics).
First, you will need to choose a company for your research project. Since you will need access to data on the company’s business operation and performance, it is recommended that you choose a publicly traded company for your study, which will allow you to get access to the companies’ multiple reports, including annual reports, financial statements, Global Reporting Initiatives reports, etc. for your research.
I have the assignment sheets for both reports available on D2L. Please take a look at both assignment sheets to have an idea of what you will need to do for your research project. This will help you in identifying the focal company for your research. Please feel free to contact the professor if you have questions in choosing a company for your project.
Report 2 requirements:
For the second report, you will examine the focal company’s IS management strategy. The questions below tie directly to topics 7 to 12.
Task: Use knowledge and materials we have covered this semester to write a report (should be around 2800 to no more than 3000 words, excluding reference list) to assess a company’s current IT/IS management strategy and recommend a way forward for the company with IT/IS. The targeted audience of your report is the general business audience.
For your research, you could examine the company’s publicly available information (website, last 3 years of annual reports, 10-K reports, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reports etc.). You could search these reports using the search terms such as IT, Information Technology, Information Systems, etc.
- Ideally you should use the same company for both Reports 1 and 2. This would give you an opportunity to examine and analyze the company’s innovation and IS/IT management in more detail. However, if you wish to pick a different company for Report 2 that is ok too.
The report MUST include the following sections, each section will address the questions listed below:
- Current IT/IS infrastructure and strategic plan (Topic 7): (10 points)
- What is the company’s IT strategic vision? Generally, what is your perception of the company’s view of IS/IT in enabling its business operation and competition? E.g. Does IS/IT play a more supporting role? Or does IS/IT play a more strategic driving role? Does the company see its IS/IT capabilities as a competitive necessity, or a competitive advantage?
- Examine the companies’ report to find some examples of IT-enabled initiatives. Discuss how they are related to the companies’ overarching IT vision.
- IT/IS budget, IT-enabled initiatives, and IT/IS Impacts (Topic 8): (15 points)
- Do you find any information about the company’s IS/IT budget during the last several years in its financial statements? If so, how much was spent on IT? What does that account for (e.g. security protection, technical infrastructure operation and maintenance, strategic IT-enabled initiatives, IT-enabled sustainability initiatives, etc.)? If you could not find relevant information, provide your explanation why the company does not report such information.
- How does/should the company measure its IS/IT investment expenditure? given that investment in technical IT is only part of IS investment.
Sample IT-enabled initiatives:
- Discuss some IT-enabled business initiatives that are discussed in the company’s reports (e.g. annual report) that you find interesting and critical to the company’s success in one or multiple ways (e.g. security, competitive advantage, financial performance, sustainability performance).
Business impacts of IS/IT:
- How did the company assess/discuss the impacts of such initiatives on its business performance and competitiveness? Discuss any information you found. If you could not find relevant information then you could suggest approaches for the company to take to accomplish the task. For example, are there objective business performance measures that could be used for assessment? or does the company need to rely on other qualitative measures? etc.
- IT/IS and Sustainability (Topic 9): (15 points)
Sample IT-enabled sustainability initiatives:
- Examine the companies GRI reports, besides other reports examined in Topic 8 questions. Discuss some IT-enabled sustainability business initiatives that are discussed in the company’s reports that you find interesting (e.g. which quadrant of the Integrated Sustainability Framework they are in, in which way do the initiatives improve the company’s sustainability performance, etc.)
Role of IS/IT in addressing sustainability:
- From your research, what is your assessment of the role of IT in driving the company’s sustainability strategy and action? (e.g. Does IT/IS play a leading role, or a more minor supporting role? Does the company’s IS and Sustainability strategy focus mostly on Green IT, or Green IS, or Sustainable IS?)
- IT/IS implementation (Topic 10): (10 points)
- Among the IS/IT-enabled business/sustainability initiatives that you examined in earlier questions, how many percent are developed in-house, how many percent are acquired? Discuss any information you could find.
- Pick one or two sample initiatives, discuss challenges the company might face in implementing them, and any information you could find on how the company implemented them.
- IT/IS governance (Topic 11): (10 points)
- Discuss any information you could find regarding how IS/IT is governed within the company (e.g. How IS/IT budget allocation decisions are made, if the CIO/CIO is part of the top management team, who the CIO/CTO reports to, any information on IS/IT-related committees, etc.).
- Security and Privacy (Topic 12): (10 points)
- Discuss information you find about the company’s security and privacy policies. For example, discuss any IS/IT security initiatives that the company has taken/implemented. Discuss the company’s approach to privacy protection, etc.
- Final Assessment and Recommendation: (20 points)
- Based on your own assessment, how effective/innovative is the company in using IS/IT to enhance its business performance for financial, social, and environmental values? Based on your research, suggest a few actionable strategic actions that the company should adopt in terms of IS/IT investments and IT-enabled business initiatives to optimize the potential contribution of IS/IT to the company’s future success.
Report format: Your report is expected to be professionally formatted with an appropriate report title, appropriate titles for sections of the report, and a reference list of sources cited in the report (any reference format style is acceptable as long as it is consistently applied across the report). (10 points)
The targeted audience of the report would be general business audience, thus it is important that the report is written in a language that general business audience could understand.
Once you have finished the report, make sure to post it to D2L Assignment folder before deadline.