Sunday, July 8, 2007

Research Capsule Proposal-2

I. Program / Project Title :
Development of Information Technology Architecture for the University of
Southeastern Philippines as a Competitive Advantage-Yielding Resource
and Reduce Total Cost of Ownership

II. Proponent :

RANDY S. GAMBOA, PhD – Project Leader

III. Significance of the Project/Study :

The implementation and utilization of an organizational architecture, specifically ITA, can enable better management of Information Technology resources to the university.

The ITA will also have these specific benefits to the university:

1. Provides a comprehensive view on IT policies, principles that indicate direction, services and common solutions, standards and guidelines.
2. Improved ability to share and efficiently process information.
3. Ability to respond faster to changes in technology and business needs, thereby it helps in planning migration to new technologies
4. Helps insure interoperability inside and outside.
5. Consistency in hardware and software platforms, thereby reducing the cost of support, maintainability, and integration

IV. Objectives:

The objective of the study is to develop information technology architecture for the University of Southeastern Philippines as a competitive advantage-yielding resource and reduce total cost ownership.

Specifically, this study is conducted to:

1. Design a model of the information technology architecture that shows the specific
components vis-à-vis the resources of the university;
2. Provide sets of directions and make necessary recommendation for the University’s IT
infrastructure including human resources, hardware, operating systems, networks, databases, and other infrastructure services as well as components, data and other development tools.
3. Establish a strategy that will map out the total model of information systems and corresponding IT resources requirements leading to more responsive services to the university. 4. Guide in the process of planning, acquiring, modifying, interfacing and developing IT resources throughout the University.

V. Review of Literature

Information Technology Architecture (ITA) is a blueprint that is developed, implemented, maintained, and used to explain and guide how an organization’s Information Technology (IT) and information management elements work together to efficiently accomplish the mission of the organization. It is a conceptual design for the implementation of information technology in an organization, including its hardware, software, and network technology platforms, data resources, application portfolio, and information system organization to meet specific organization goals and strategiest In short, it shows the way an organization’s information components should be deployed to deliver its goals. ITA shows how IT components will be used and managed within the organization. It enables better management of Information Technology resources.

Moreover, the ITA of an organization can be an essential reference model that can help administrators in the formulation of their short-term strategic or long-term development plans. One example, the Laredo Independent School District (LISD), Texas, USA, they were able to use the ITA as a springboard to significantly improve the internet and intranet connectivity of all schools within the district. Through the ITA, they were able to analyze and evaluate current IT operations of the whole district. They diagnosed problems and flaws of the current infrastructure and came up with solutions and strategies to further improve the infrastructure. Also, the ITA became one aspect in the formulation of their three-year and five-year purchase plans.

The University of Southeastern Philippines itself recognizes the advantages of IT solutions in the delivery of public service as many other universities have successfully done. Executive Order No. 265 of July 2000 commissioned all government units including State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to formulate an Information System Strategic Plan (ISSP). An ISSP serves as a framework for the organization’s effort to computerize its operations. It shows the organization’s intention to use information technology to help realize its vision, mission and goals. It aims at directing IT application towards mission critical, public-service-sensitive, development-management-supportive and revenue-generating areas of the government.

As a whole, the ISSP embodies the organization’s overall strategic plan for the development and implementation of information systems, the use of IT and the corresponding resource requirements over a fixed long-term period. It is a natural component of the organization’s planning process and should be considered a tool to ensure IT application in strategic areas of government concern and map out its IT direction.

Early this year, a committee was tasked to review the university’s ISSP for possible implementation and make recommendations. The committee recommended the establishment of an ICT Center and that an actual inventory of ICT resources (manpower, budget, equipment and other peripherals) be conducted.

It is in this respect that this research proposal is conceptualized. This proposal will complement the review of the ISSP of the university. It makes the ITA as an IT resource that would enable the university achieves competitive advantage. By doing this, it is imperative to analyze the university ITA’a ability to yield a competitive advantage through the mediation of IT resources. The study will apply the theories of complementarities and resource-based view.

VI. Analytical Framework/Methodology

As defined in the previous sections, Information technology architecture (ITA) is a conceptual design for the implementation of information technology in an organization, including its hardware, software, and network technology platforms, data resources, application portfolio, and information system organization to meet specific organization goals and strategies. In short, it depicts the way an organization’s information resources should be deployed to deliver certain vision or goals (Martin, et. al., 2002). Thus, ITA depicts conceptually how IT will be used and managed within the business.

Martin classifies components of ITA into technological assets and human assets. The technological assets are the desired specifications about the hardware and operating systems, network, data and data management systems, and application software. The human asset components involve the state of the personnel, values, and management systems aspects of an IT system. Together, these elements specify how the business parts of managing the IS department will be conducted, how business managers will be involved in decisions, and how IS decisions will be made (Martin, 2002). Figure below contains the components of Information Technology Architecture.
VII. Expected Outputs

ITA provides a systemic understanding of the various components of the information system of an organization. It shows how the technological and human components are structured to achieve certain goals. Hence, ITA is like a blueprint of IT resources within the university that can be used as primary reference in information system planning. ITA can be used to guide the process of acquiring, building, modifying, interfacing and deploying IT resources throughout the organization. As such the IT architecture should offer a means of stable evolution by identifying technologies that work together to satisfy the needs of the university users (Pirkola, G., 1995).

VIII. Workplan

There are risks in doing ITA, it can become a time-consuming and potentially expensive task, therefore a define process flow be followed and making sure that the process fits the situation and needs. Although there is no one require process but they all have some things in common. The total duration for this project is one year which will commence immediately after approval from the university research office.

Preliminary plan for the project implementation consist of 5 work tasks which will be fulfilled for a period of 1 year

WT1. Assess the breadth of need for a university ITA, including documenting principles and assumptions of ITA components (hardware, software, databases, information technology Infrastructure, etc.)
WT2. Document existing ITA de facto components
WT3. Develop specific ITA components addressing the university IT environments.
WT4. Develop a process to introduce, justify and formalize new and evolving ITA components.
WT5. Develop a process to routinely review applicability of ITA components and determine their appropriateness.

X. Budget

Personnel Services
Project Leader 12,000.00
Researcher 8,000.00
MOOE
Supplies 4,000.00
Communication 4,000.00
Documentation and Reproduction 4,000.00
Meetings 2,000.00
Contingency (10%MOOE) 1,400.00

GRAND TOTAL 35,400.00

References:

Martin, E.W. et. al. (2002). Managing Information Technology. 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Pirkola, G. (1995). An Information Technology (IT) Architecture for ITD. Available: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gpirkola/IT_arch_doc/Phase1Doc. html#ToC1.

Texas School Performance Review on LISD Website, 2002

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