Question: Something had to be done- but what? After reading the case, one continues to come up with new problems and issues along the way that are related to information technologies. The three main problems we encountered in this case are lack of IT knowledge, inappropriate planning, and ineffective and inefficient Resource Management. Each of these issues requires specific attention to fix the next problem and so forth.
The solution to attack each individual problem or issue will be explained as follows. Problem #1 Attempting to manage the conversion from an old technology system to a new one without the proper knowledge or background in information technology. Solution Rather than attempting to fix the IT issue, which Leon Lassiter (Vice President of Marketing) of Midsouth Chamber of Commerce (MSCC) had no knowledge about, instead he should have recognized the issue and address it to be taken care by IT experts.
Most importantly he should have consulted with the experts of the matter addressing potential problems and solutions while establishing a timetable of completion of the project within reasonable, reachable, and acceptable time frame. At the same time he needs to establish a realistic expenditure budget to avoid draining financial reserves set forth for such expenses. Now, Mr. Lassiter needs to prioritize the full conversion of the new system by October. He needs to hire an additional system analyst to help out Kovecki (System Analyst of MSCC) to transfer all of the data from the old system to the new one.
In addition to that, Kovecki needs to order the new modem so that it can allow UNITRAK experts to remote access the new system to help with the difficulties immediately. The unattainable information in the old system is very critical for the daily functions and operations of MSCC. Furthermore, Mr. Lassiter needs to invest in more IT experts to address the two issues of old system corrupted files and the new system function.
Problem #2 Midsouth Chamber of Commerce needed to implement a plan including a ealistic timetable, proper and timely employee training of the new system, appropriate financial planning, and a test trial of the new system to provide access and processing of the business needs, as well as correcting the old program problems of corrupted files. Delaying the IT investment on the new system would have been the best option, since it is a good way to maintain costs down. Solution MCSS needed to implement a realistic timetable that will give it enough time to test and apply all of the operations functions before the Y2K ordeal.
Now, the MCSS needs to execute the full implementation of the new system immediately before reaching the year 2000. This will prevent all systems malfunctions. In addition to that, Mr. Lassiter needs to get more people from UNITRAK to come over and work with MCSS personnel to get them adapted to the new system. Problem #3 In the organizational structure of MCSS, there was a lack of communication, which failed to address the increasing problems that resulted in loss of control. Solution Mr. Lassiter, being the manager of sales and marketing, should have addressed the entire organization of the new system changes.
He did not even address the full system conversion to several of his own staff members. Also, Mr. Lassiter anticipated Kovecki had studied the documentation, which he had not. Mr. Lassiter needs to prepare a special meeting with key members of staff to discuss about the full system conversion and to address the problems that had arise. Mr. Wallingford (President of MCSS) needs to address everyone involved. Teamwork is a must for everybody in the organization to move forward and to take the first step in solving this ordeal.