P31164 Information Technology and Strategic
Management Assignment Sample 2023

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Question 1
Successful Initiatives by UCB IT

USB is one of the largest companies across the world dealing in three major industries such as chemical, Pharma and Films. The company had more than 10000 employees on board. Damien was the company’s group director related to IT services and introduced several new motivations and initiatives for the economy in order to grow the business. Major initiatives that were foreseen by the company were to develop, operate and manage the

IT infrastructure which included computer hardware and software, communication networks and a central help desk. Damien was responsible for establishing several IT standards in the company such as gaining experience and development of synergy across the entire UCB group. Based on the study by Benitez et al. (2018),

one of the most significant aspects for a company nowadays is to build on IT infrastructure which will help the company gain a significant competitive advantage over other players.

Another significant reason for Damien to implement the IT infrastructure in this company was to enhance the measure of communication and cost-effectiveness. As per the views of Mohamad et al. (2017), communication has been majorly identified as the key aspect in building a company’s infrastructure which further helps in gaining more and more profit from the international market. Successful initiatives by the company were the introduction of Email, Internet and Intranet. As per the case study, it has been found that the company had managed to create a strong TCP/IP network within the company.

Introduction of Standard Desktop Environment in the company was among the successful initiatives as employees had computer support for fording works. Another major initiative identified to be successful for the company has contract savings which critically made the individual sector of the company strong enough to survive.

Introduction of a legal affairs department in the company was a successful initiative by Daniel as it helped in the collection of extensive R&D information which further led to the enhancement of IT/IS services within the company. Introduction of the new data centre which facilitated data usage among the employees of the company.

Introduction of the Help Desk Support in the company was one of the major successful initiatives as it helped in covering major cities in the company along with supporting more than 2800 clients all around. Based on the study by Zayas-Cabán et al. (2020), the introduction of such measures was significant for any company as it increases the efficiency of the entire work.

A new company director was hired in order to improve human resource initiatives. It resulted in adding an e-recruiting initiative in the company. Security policy was announced by the company under the guidelines of ISO 13335 and ISO 17799 from baseline works of the organisation.

Successful Initiatives Resultant Actions
Security Protocols Implementation of ISO standards
The hiring of an HR director Introduction of E-hiring by 1997
Introduction of Email, Internet services Stronger TCP / IP by the end of 1998
Introduction of Help Desk Support Support for clients and employees by 2002
Introduction to the New Data Centre Management of key resources by 1999
Legal Affairs department addition Easier R&D works
Standardizing desktop Environment Increase in work efficiency by 1997
Contract Savings Enhancing cost savings by 1999

Table 1: Successful Initiatives by UCB

(Source: Learner)

The above list in the table sorts out the list of successful initiatives that has been taken by Daniel. Security protocols are directed towards the implementation of ISO Standards. Hiring of the HR directors was an initiative to introduce E-hiring method. The introduction of internet and email services was done for communication purposes.

Help desk support was introduced for support related to client and employees. The new data centre has been introduced in order to for the management of key resources since R&D measures were becoming significant for the company.

The addition of legal affairs department was done in order to control the measures of R&D. Standardizing of the desktop environment was mandatory for Daniel in order to efficient implement the e-communication measures. Since the company was largely inclined towards the cost saving measures, contract saving was introduced which directed towards the enhanced cost saving techniques from contractual dealings.

Challenges faced by UCB IT

Major Challenges that have been identified in the case of UCB were several in case of profitability and work efficiency. Increasing the profit margins while the prices of the raw materials were fluctuating was a major challenge for the company. Introduction to close corporation in case of several departments and regions was initially a major challenge as the management was not efficient enough to carry out such tasks.

As per the study by JosephNg (2018), fluctuations in case of raw material are extensively difficult to handle in certain situations. Staff turnover was another major challenge that was identified in this case as the staff were not getting used to the recently created help desk in the company (as per case study).

A challenge that was identified by Daniel to find the major problems in every operational aspect as the company was missing out on several pieces of information by little margins.

Another challenge is the company’s way of acquiring information from the newly formed IT / IS department. As per the study by Cardoso et al. (2018), problems regarding intensive research operations in several countries of the world are common. Research problems are also identified in the Pharma Research area as the employees were facing trouble in case of installation of the Sun Microsystems and there were several issues regarding security.

Challenges Reasons
Increasing of Profit Margin The fluctuating price of raw materials
Introduction to close corporation Entire responsibility on Internal management
Staff Turnover Employees not using the help desk
Identification of loopholes Planning of activities
Obtaining information from IT / IS services Lack of knowledge in intensive computational research

Table 2: Remaining Challenges Identified in UCB

(Source: Learner)

The major challenges identified in this case were the increasing of profit margin. Fluctuating prices related to the raw materials are extremely hard to predict and this was resulting in an excess budget for supplier prices. Since Daniel was fond of e-communication measures, he critically introduced close communication.

However, it has been found out that the introduction of close corporation was somehow difficult to digest for the employees as the internal management was unable to make full use of IT protocols. Due to these reasons, staff turnover of the company was getting affected.

The employees were largely reluctant on using the help desk as they did not understand the protocols related to IT works. Daniel required extensive identification of loopholes in the company’s operations and policies.

The company was aiming to go global and requirement for such loophole identification was a major challenge. Since IT/IS services in the company was relatively new, employees and other management staff could not gather enough information to obtain information for the installed IT methods. The company extensively required to provide training in order to make full use of such services.

Maturity Audit Framework

Maturity Level Capability Actions Maturity Result (1-5)
5 Continuous Process improvement Innovation and R&D analysis Introduction of E- hiring methods 4
4 Quantitative management Process Management Implementation of Desktop environment and communication medium via E-mails 4
3 Process Standardization Development, technical solutions, Risk management Implementation of help desks, data centre and Security Protocols 5
2 Basic Project management Planning and requirement gathering Planning for Network Infrastructure 3
1 Efforts Designing and development Planning and Implementation of IT infrastructure 5

Table 3: A capability maturity model

(Source: Learner)

Question 2

A. Challenges with respect to Cost Pyramid

One of the major challenges identified in the case was related to the increase in profit margin due to fluctuation of raw materials. It directly affected the business transformation level in the cost pyramid. 10% of investment related to the business had gone into a transformation of business.

The creative value for the company could have reduced due to such a challenge. As per the study by Jabbouri et al. (2016), gaining money from the generated profit margin and manufacturing capability is essential for any company.

Introduction of close corporation measures which was initially trouble for all the employees was affecting the management decision. This factor also could have contributed to the deprivation in value for the company.

Staff turnover is extremely relevant for every company in the world as this was directly related to the business process support area of the company. Loophole identification is necessary in every case for a business as it can critically destroy a business. As per the study by Ferreira et al. (2016), identification of loopholes is necessary for business owners or management as it might result in lowering revenue generation for a company.

Initially, obtaining information from the installed IT / IS framework was being difficult for the employees as it was relatively a new area of operation. As per the study by Boutin et al.

(2016), individuals require an extensive amount of knowledge in order to process information from IT services as there are vast areas of operation. This directly affects the sector of end-user productivity as it could have resulted in the generation of profit margin of the company.

B. Contribution of Globalisation or Innovation

Globalisation, as considered worldwide, is a phenomenon which a particular organization goes through in order to increase its popularity and revenue. Globalisation is necessary in case of gaining a significant position in the international market.

However, innovation in the case of globalization is the medium by which a company can efficiently conquer the internal market. Innovation is mostly related to the research and development operations of a company. As per the study by Danguy (2016), a coupling of globalisation and innovation is extensively required in order to taste success in the foreign markets outside national borders.

P31164 Information Technology and Strategic Management
P31164 Information Technology and Strategic Management

As seen in the case of UCB, the company has three separate phases of operation such as chemical, films and Pharma, in order to grow their business internationally, the company is extensively focusing on innovation. As per the study by Liu and Jayakar (2016), a company can increase its level of services in the global market by creating new measures that can directly relate to the international market. UCB mostly innovated in case of IT / IS services as it was a new standard in the market in the 2000s.

UCB’s innovation was done in case of developing and managing the IT infrastructure that would have led the company to global success. Creation of the help desk and creating internal communication architecture was important in these cases (as per case study).

C. Analysis of Challenges

Challenges Efforts Required Time Money
Increasing of Profit Margin Controlling cost of raw materials Variable Variable
Introduction to close corporation Extensive training to the management 2 Months $500 / Week
Staff Turnover Introduction of attractive employee policies 1 Year $2000 / year
Identification of loopholes Thorough studying of organisation Variable Variable
Obtaining information from IT / IS services Training related to IT / IS services 5 Months $600 / week

Table 4: Challenge Analysis

(Source: Learner)

Question 3

Optimise cost was the main concern in the previous projects of the company. Cost-effectiveness in a company has been widely identified as a major inclusion since the main motive of a company is to increase profit margin by enhancing cost-effective measures.

As per the study by Anwar et al. (2018), nowadays companies mostly focus on the aspect of innovation since the driving force in the international markets is all based on innovative measures. Creating an increased value part of UCB was never focused on prior to the recruitment of Daniel.

Once Daniel was recruited as the group director of IT service, he realised that cost-effective models were as appropriate for the company as the company delayed in three major areas. The operation so the three areas could not be neatly controlled with the help of cost-effectiveness.

Optimization of cost was not the future for UCB since such measures would have gone obsolete in the coming five to six years. I agree with the concerns of Daniel as it is widely recognized that the completion of IT in a company can increase the value and operational efficiency by a large margin.

However, it involves an extensive amount of risk which cannot be avoided at any cost. Since the company deals in three major industries related to research and manufacturing of products, the inclusion of IT services is always a must. Daniel realised that operation related to IT infrastructure would result in increasing the profit margin of the company by putting in relatively less effort.

Manual efforts by the employees and management of resources were getting difficult as the company was largely aiming to increase its operations outside national borders.

I disagree with the fact that IT does not matter in an industry as IT operations in the early 2000s were gradually becoming a standard for operation. Based on this study by Klinkenberg-Ramirez et al. (2016), there are several advantages of IT operations in a coma. IT operations are largely responsible for providing extensive client services. Investment in case of IT / IS can help the company provide better service in case of products and manufacturing. According to the views of Lee et al. (2018),

IT services are also responsible in case of boosting the agility of a company as the entire process of information circulation in a company gets faster. Daniel had realised that the implementation of IT / IS services would have increased the productivity of the company as well as resource management. There were 10000 employees working for the company and such implementation could have increased the flow of operations among them.

Communication was one of the major aspects of this case. As per the study by Choudhury (2017), the implementation of IT / IS services in a company can largely enhance networks and communication measures as implementation of internet and intranet provides extensive measures for easy communication. Daniel had also realised that it would result in an increase in security for the information stored in the company’s servers as well. Hence, IT services can relatively be used in order to create and increase the value of a company which further results in saving time and cost.

Question 4

Daniel’s list of activities included the 3R portal which was responsible for information passing in case of a particular individual. In today’s time, there are several alternatives for such technology. In order to pass information to a specific person, inclusion of IT services inside a company can do such jobs. IT applications based on today’s standards are much more advanced and accurate in specific cases. As per the study by Cassia et al.

(2020), IT structure nowadays has extensive security which restricts particular information from being exposed to the unauthorised person. As today’s standards installation of an IT application or a Management Information System can handle such tasks with ease. In case of client communication, the client can enter a piece of specific information which will ultimately reach the person they want by selecting the name of the person in the message operation.

In case of knowledge management and extension of enterprise, the MIS can easily handle such situations as the MIS will be extensively responsible in case of information collection. Such information can be accessed by each and every authorised member with the help of a unique ID and password which is required to access the MIS. As per the study by Pardamean et al. (2018), management systems can easily handle several areas related to an enterprise as information can be passed outside national borders within the organisation campus without gaining access to the world wide web which even restricts it from getting hacked (Limanto et al. 2017).

P31164 Information Technology and Strategic Management
P31164 Information Technology and Strategic Management

Validation project in case of Pharma was introduced in case of authorisation of several drugs and chemicals that were used for research. Digital documentation was required in order to move a drug from the lab to other places. As per the study by Ojo and Millard (2017), in case of today’s standards, validation and authorisation can be done using Two-Factor authorization.

The use of two-factor authorization will provide extensive security measures as it requires extra effort to authorise a particular set of information. Once an individual permits a specific task, the software will send an acknowledgement back from the main server which would require the authorised person to enter his or her unique ID in order to confirm the dispatch. Based on the study by Tee et al. (2018), authorization would be required in every step of dispatch.

Customer-client support and Software management, computing can be done by the implementation of AI. AI will be extensively responsible for implementation of automation measures which will allow the employees of the company to rely on each computer to pass information and do all the work. Manual input is required in case of authorization, after such input, the system will take care of all the work which will increase the accuracy and efficiency of the entire work done in case of IT operations.

Question 5

Budget Plan Meeting with the committee

Major activities related to the budget plan would have included extensive IT measures and its implementation in the company architecture. As per the study by Chen and Midler (2016), in order to implement extensive IT infrastructure, more than 30% of the entire company’s budget is required to be contributed to such activities.

ID Activity Time-Frame Expected Budget Expected Outcome
1 Hardware Implementation (Latest Drivers) 1 Month $5000 per phase Increased Efficiency
2 Software Implementation (MIS) 2 Month $10000 per phase Increased Efficiency
3 Subscriptions to CRM software 1 Week $10000 Increased Accuracy in work
4 Major Service Software’s 1 Week $6000 Increased Accuracy in work
5 Operational Requirement (Networks, pieces of equipment) 2 Months $4580 Optimization of all implemented hardware
6 Old Asset Replacement Cost 4 Weeks $2360 Increasing productivity
7 Maintenance Cost Plan of the Implementation 2 Weeks $10000 a year Increased Efficiency
8 Security measures and Protocols 5 Weeks $5000 a year Risk Management
9 Employee Skill development software 1 Week $6000 Efficient workflow and increased productivity
10 Training required for the employees 6 Months $500 per week Efficient workflow and increased productivity
11 Reviewing of ongoing activities 9 Weeks $100 per week Increased Efficiency
12 Planning for future activities 10 Weeks Variable Risk Management
13 Implementation of Automation hardware in manufacturing plants 2 Months $5000 Increased operational efficiency
14 Implementation of Automation hardware in Research Plants 1 Month $30000 Increased operational efficiency

Table 5: Alternative Budget Plan

(Source: Learner)

Priority of the mentioned Activities

Actions Priority (1 – 5) [Low to High]
Hardware Implementation (Latest Drivers) 3
Software Implementation (MIS) 3
Subscriptions to CRM software 4
Major Service Software’s 4
Operational Requirement (Networks, pieces of equipment) 2
Old Asset Replacement Cost 1
Maintenance Cost Plan of the Implementation 1
Security measures and Protocols 5
Employee Skill development software 5
Training required for the employees 4
Reviewing of ongoing activities 3
Planning for future activities 5
Implementation of Automation hardware in manufacturing plants 3
Implementation of Automation hardware in Research Plants 5

Table 6: Priority List

(Source: Learner)

From the above-presented list, it can be identified that the highest priority jobs are the measurement and assessment of risk along with the implementation of automation in research plants. Research plants are the major area for planning of future activities as it can directly measure the upcoming market situation. Based on the study by Ferreira et al. (2017), a company should extensively focus on the aspect of planning future activities as it is widely recognised as the best risk management activities. Employee training is also among the best risk management activities in this case as it is required in order to increase efficiency and productivity.

The priority list in the above mentioned table has been created based on the implementations by Daniel and his efforts on IT/IS services in the company. It has been critically identified that the highest priority given is to implementation of Automation. Since the company is eager to launch in extensive IT measures for increased efficiency and accuracy, automation will be the key activity. Such implementation will not only enhance the activities of this company in Pharma, however, it will also result in making of films as well.

Planning for the future has been one of the top priorities for Daniel since he believes in investments rather than cost saving. Future of the company holds several investments made on all three sectors in order to acquire a higher profit margin.

IT implementations in the company will always come with a security measure as protection of data is the key aspect. The company deals with extensive research related to pharmaceuticals and data security will be among the top priority job. However, the replacement of old assets has been pointed out as the least priority job in case of this company since replacement is not extensively necessary as old methods does not take up space. Maintenance cost has even been pointed as a less priority activity since it was the initial stage of IT implementation.

Addition of Initiative and presentation of a plan

A major addition to the entire budget would be the implementation of an overall MIS that would be critical for UCB. Since UCB deals with three major industries, MIS can help solve extensive problems along with increasing efficiency of the company. The plan would be initially sent to all the executive members by email for review and a meeting will be called later on in order to discuss.


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