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Essay: Short-Range Strategic IS Plan Assignments | Online Homework Help

Course Scenario

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Reynolds Tool & Die

Reynolds Mission Statement

“We are committed to providing our customers with quality products with the highest engineering standards.”

Reynolds Vision Statement

“We are committed to achieving our goal of being a market leader for engineering solutions and will invest in technical innovation. Our desire is to continue to expand our markets, our technical competence, and our intellectual curiosity to serve our customers.”

Additional Information

Reynolds Tool & Die is an automotive component manufacturer supplying suspension pieces and technology to both other suppliers and major U.S. and foreign manufacturers. Annual revenue is around $50 million, and the company is profitable.

Reynolds has production facilities at their headquarters in Akron, OH; in Bloomington, IN; and in Memphis, TN. Approximately 300 people work for Reynolds, including 7 in IT. The IT staff is broken down as follows:

  • IT Director
  • 2 Help Desk personnel
  • 3 Network Engineers
  • 1 Software Engineer, primarily supporting the company’s ERP system

One network engineer works in Bloomington, one in Memphis, and the rest of the IT staff is located in Akron.

The three sites are networked via an MPLS circuit. In addition to SAP® software, the company uses Microsoft® Office 2010 for administrative work along with several specialized CAD programs for design. The SAP software is two versions behind, but not at end of its life. A data center is in Akron, while the other two sites have smaller hardware footprints consisting of Microsoft Exchange servers for email, a small file and print server, and redundant Active Directory servers. EMC Storage Area Network (SAN) devices are at each site. Redundant backup appliances are in Akron and Bloomington, and data can be cycled among the SANS for further redundancy. While some server virtualization has been achieved, only about 20 percent of all servers have been virtualized with the help of VMWare. All sites use Cisco® switches, routers, and firewalls.  Servers, desktops, laptops and printers are all HP®, and are between 3 and 5 years old and the desktops and Laptops use Windows® 7 as the operating system. All servers are on Microsoft Server 2012.

There are no cloud applications. There has been a demand by administrative personnel and engineers for integrating mobile devices with Microsoft Exchange and other apps but to date the company has not implemented a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or a MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution.

The IT budget typically is between $1.2 and $1.5 million annually, depending on capital expense. Note that this budget ONLY covers hardware, software, services, and licensing. Personnel costs are not included, nor do you need to include them for the Week 4 budget assignment.

This year the company is embarking on significant expansion. A joint venture has been signed with a firm from Mexico Peraltada LLC in order to gain access to a new supplier market. Both companies will remain independent, but Reynolds will exchange engineering expertise for a percentage of sales in Mexico and there will be joint development of intellectual property.

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Peraltada uses Microsoft Office 2016 and Oracle as their ERP solution. Desktop and laptops are HP, and they are running Microsoft Server 2016. They employ around 200 people with 5 in IT. The company provides key employees with iPhones for mobile access to their network.

In an effort to diversify, the company has purchased a small company in Vancouver, Canada that makes light aircraft landing gear components. P.T. Tracy, LLC employs about 80 people, with 3 in IT. They also use SAP for an ERP solution but one version newer than Reynolds. They use Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows 10 for their desktop OS. Their firewall solution is Palo Alto and they use Cisco routing and switching equipment. Servers, desktops and laptops are all Dell®. They also have implemented a BYOD policy, using the MDM solution VMWare AirWatch®, supporting both Apple® and Samsung® Galaxy phones. They are running Microsoft Server 2016.

All three companies in the scenario have a Microsoft Enterprise License in various stages of life; none will be up for renewal at the same time.

 

 

Week 3 Assignment Instructions

Short-range Strategic IS Plan

For this assignment, you will produce a 3-page short-range strategic IS plan for Reynolds Tool & Die that includes a summary of where the company wants to go (its goals) and where it’s capable of going right now (based on its current IT infrastructure). Then you will recommend specific purchases and strategies necessary to make its IT function capable of supporting the company’s goals. Your plan should address outsourcing and the facilitation of business expansion into new markets, new regions, and new countries. The most important part of your strategic plan is outsourcing.

 

To complete this assignment, review the course scenario. Pay special attention to Reynolds’ plans for a joint venture with an automotive parts manufacturer in Mexico and the acquisition of a light aircraft parts supplier in Canada. The short-range strategic plan you create will assist Reynolds in realizing what, ultimately, is a rapid expansion of their business.

 

Your headings for this plan should include:

 

  1. What Functions Will be Outsourced

 

Develop an outsourcing plan. You may decide to outsource all elements of IT for this expansion.  This would include a managed services contract, which would cover all hardware platform management, perhaps an entire data center, and an internal and possibly external Help Desk. Or, you may decide to outsource only certain key elements of the IT expansion, such as the Help Desk or the data center. Whatever decisions you make in terms of functions to outsource, support your decision by describing how your decisions will benefit the business.

 

  1. Risk Mitigation and Outsourcing

 

Because of the expansion into any international market, senior management will require a risk mitigation plan for outsourcing IT. Under this heading, you should address outsourcing risks such as security, data ownership, an exit strategy for an outsourcing contract, etc.

 

Will you choose an outsourcing company based in an international market? What are the risks associated with that choice? If you outsource IT to a domestic (assume U.S.) company for the international expansion, what are the assurances that you, as a senior IT manager, would need to be comfortable with this type of scenario? For example, IBM has a significant managed services portfolio internationally though, obviously, IBM is a US-headquartered company. Are there risks associated with this solution?

 

  • Benefits of Outsourcing as a Short-Range Strategic Plan

 

Explain the benefits of outsourcing as a short-range strategic solution for market expansion. The topics you cover in this section should include any economic benefit you anticipate. For example, explain that a benefit is an increased ability to deploy solutions in a timely fashion, or it will provide better security (if applicable), etc. Tie your IT strategic outsourcing plan to the organization’s expansion strategy. Be specific when you explain how your plan will support the expansion strategy.

 

Include at least one reference in addition to the class text for this assignment.

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