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Managerial Issues

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Managerial Issues
Tracy Guillen
UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX
Application Implementation
CMGT 445
Dr. Steve Powelson
May 06, 2012

Managerial Issues Managing an IS infrastructure can be a difficult task. The difficulties arise based on the type of business, preventative measures, industry standards, training, and globalization. Each of these areas needs special attention and if not managed correctly could be costly to the business. The following will illustrate the above mentioned difficulties and provide insight into how these areas can be maintained.
Configuration Management and Maintenance “Configuration management is a collection of processes and tools that promote network consistency, track network change, and provide up to date network documentation and visibility.” (Cisco, 2006, p. 1) Configuration can either help or hinder a system. Cisco offers a white paper that specifically outlines best practices for configuration management. The paper outlines the following: “Software Version Control Management, IP Addressing Standards and Management, Naming Conventions and DNS/DHCP Assignments, Standard Configuration and Descriptors, and Configuration Upgrade Procedures.” (Cisco, 2006, p. 1) Software Version Control Management is achieved by using the same software version on devices that are similar. This eases the issues of defects and inoperability. IP Addressing management is the process of assigning and or reusing and documenting IP addresses. Naming conventions can be a big part of keeping a network running. Knowing how the naming conventions were set up will help aid with future naming. This consistency lessens the duplication of IP Addresses, easier identification and “a consistent access point to routers for all network management information related to a device.” (Cisco, 2006, p. 2) Standard configuration and descriptors can be achieved by implementing a standard profile that will be used on each device as it is classified. Storing this on a file allows it to be easily loaded onto the new device that is being added. Setting procedures for upgrades on devices and configurations will reduce the downtime and the headache of this task. Industry standards for each area that relate to the specific type of business that is being conducted or specific equipment that is being used can be found at the IEEE.org. This can aid in specific standards and policies that pertain to configuration management. Knowing the history of the configurations that are industry and company specific can lead to enhanced decision making for future configuration changes. “Studying network configuration evolution can improve our understanding of the evolving complexity of networks and can be helpful in making network configuration less error-prone.” (Kim, Benson, & Akella, 2011, p. 1) Knowing the network and following the best practices can alleviate major losses for the business. These measures can also save time and money. An additional area that can cause managerial issues is user configuration. Proper configuration of users can also alleviate some security issues and man hours to fix user accounts. One way to quickly configure a user is through identity management. “Identity management (ID management) is a broad administrative area that deals with identifying individuals in a system (such as a country, a network, or an enterprise) and controlling their access to resources within that system by associating user rights and restrictions with the established identity.” ("ID management," 2008, p. 1) This allows the users to be grouped according to their role and job functions within the company. Maintenance of user accounts is necessary. Users must be deleted if they leave the organization and the accounts must be monitored for security purposes.
Globalization and IS Infrastructure Globalization is in almost every industry. Many companies use this to cut costs or to increase profit. “Globalization is the integration of economies throughout the world, fueled by technological progress and innovation.” (Valacich & Schneider, 2012, p. 78) “The powerful combination of Internet and Web technologies has given rise to a global platform where firms from across the world can effectively compete for customers and gain access to new markets.” (Valacich & Schneider, 2012, p. 179) Globalization changes business so it changes the IS Infrastructure. This way of doing business changes internet, extranet, and user account management. Technology in some areas of the world is either lacking or not compatible with technology in the U.S. This causes issues in configuration, maintenance, and security based on what type and how much global communications are used. A global infrastructure takes specialized individuals to configure, maintain and secure it. In order to maintain the keep this technology properly working it is necessary to keep up to date on changes and standards on a regular basis.
Training that Allows for Adaptive Maintenance Adaptive maintenance can be defined as “Making changes to an information system to evolve its functionality, to accommodate changing business needs, or to migrate it to a different operating environment” (Valacich & Schneider, 2012, p. 378) Business needs can change rapidly. The change can be based on growth, competition, or declining profits. The reasons for change will depict how fast the business needs to react. A quick reaction can only be executed if the system is properly maintained and the personnel are trained. Training is the key to maintenance and to achieving a competitive edge using technology. Annual training on security, maintenance, and when business needs are evaluated will ensure a quick reaction time if needed. Using web based training can train all employees even if the company is global. This approach can be used in all areas of training and should be mandated. Mandated training illustrates that the company is committed to staying on top of technology that is new and old. Another way to obtain specialized training for employees is to offer incentive or paid training in the critical areas of the organization. Training can be formal or informal. Whichever way is used illustrates how serious the company is about technology and builds confidence with partnering businesses and employees.
Conclusion
As illustrated in previous sections, managerial issues can be complex. Configuration of the network and even user accounts requires proper analysis and maintenance. Following techniques and tips from industry leaders can be advantageous. In order to keep a competitive advantage in and IS Infrastructure is training. The more knowledge the users and the IT personnel have the quicker they can respond to change or spot security issues and problems. Keeping up with industry standards protects the assets of the organization and keeps systems running smoothly.
References
Cisco. (2006, November 12, 2006). Configuration management: Best practices white paper [White paper Document ID: 15111]. Retrieved from Cisco: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk869/tk769/technologies_white_paper09186a008014f924.shtml
Identity management. (2008). Retrieved May 7, 2012, from http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/definition/identity-management
Kim, H., Benson, T., & Akella, A. (2011). The evolution of network configuration: A tale of two campuses [Study]. Retrieved from ACM Digital Library: http://dl.acm.org.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/citation.cfm?id=2068816.2068863&coll=DL&dl=ACM&CFID=80956812&CFTOKEN=31475885
Valacich, J., & Schneider, C. (2012). Information systems today. In (Ed.), Information systems today: Managing in the digital world (5th ed., pp. 2-499).

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