Over the years of corporate development, there has been an increased demand for information and thus the development in information technology. The speed at which operations are undertaken at the company level and even beyond has swiveled, and still, more is still being done to make sure that there is an even greater achievement to that effect (Widall A., 1986).
Information technology or IT, as it is abbreviated and commonly known, is the design, development, or management of information systems that basically applies the use of computers to store, manipulate and retrieve information, ensuring a complete cycle of information flow. This cycle should not only be complete but should also be safe and reliable. Thus, any program developed to assist in this process is referred to as the software, while the components like the disks, diskettes, and serial buses are the hardware together with the physical computer components.
In this era of high information technology, the role played by IT in shaping the future of companies has been recognized as vital. By using integrated enterprise-wide information systems, it will reduce costs of operation and cut cycle times. In addition, this technology enables the common worker to use a full range of information systems, for example, computers, to process information and to network, thus ensuring improved efficiency in the operations of the company (OECD, 1979).
It’s also notable that with improved IT, we are able to collaborate with other companies on product design and production quite easily. However, it will require the continued commitment of every member of the company in order to achieve the desired goal of operational information systems. All in all, should this plan succeed, it will ensure improved efficiency and effectiveness of all the processes which involve internal interactions and that in which we interact with suppliers and all other partners in business.
Systems development methodologies and process
In order to have a well-working system, various methodologies are used to develop the software. Six sigma is one of the methodologies and is used to manage process variations that use data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company’s operational performance (Wikipedia).
One could also use the iterative methodologies, which is comprised of a group of several methodologies that have a common emphasis on highly concentrated teams with minimal structure and access to constant feedback from the experts (Dan Marks, 2002).
In the process, one would encounter object-oriented programming language, which entails the use of diagrams to represent the details and the architecture of the design and convey ideas visually (Babak Sadr, 1996). The unified modeling language is also an object-oriented development documentation language, which uses notation to convey ideas visually.
Process of development
The first step of systems development is domain analysis. This involves attempting to design a new piece of software. It can be an addition to existing software, a new application, a new subsystem, or a whole new system.
After domain analysis, the next step would be to analyze the software elements, and this entails extracting requirements fit for the development of the systems under consideration. Scope analysis, which involves the determination of the scope of the development to be done, follows.
Scope analysis paves the way for a task that involves precisely describing the software to be written. This review is done by a third party and falls in the stage of systems specification. A software architect is consulted at this stage to make sure that the system development meets the requirements of the product and future requirements can be addressed. The developed design is converted to code through a process known as coding, after which it is tested by a software engineer.
The implementation stage will follow next and entails moving the code into the production environment. In other words, it is made available for business use. If it works, it undergoes documentation. Here, the internal design of the whole system is documented for purposes of future reference, maintenance, and enhancement. Up to this moment, we now have a full working system.
As can be seen above, this process invites great costs, and even great can be maintenance costs of the already developed systems. In addition, adapting to new systems can be a challenge too and will require members to undergo basic training to equip them with skills relevant to the operation of the systems. If the members are not flexible to the changes that take place, as the introduction of the IT system in their working environment, then it means that the company will face a major challenge of redundancy (Anthony H. 1986).
Closely related to that is the fact that most business partners who don’t have the same operating systems may be reluctant to embrace it. Suppliers may also show resistance for fear that involvement would erode their margins. This might widen the gap between the company and its partners rather than improving external relations. However, in the long run, other companies who are yet to embrace the technology will find it necessary to do so because the role played by this technology and the advantages that accrue are not worth assuming (“Datamation,” 1985).
From the discussion, we can see how important information technology is to a company both from an external point of view and an internal point of view. And we therefore would be right to say that despite the fact that there are a number of hurdles to jump, the advantages of having an information system to a company supersedes the disadvantages though there be challenges to face.
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Marks D. Development Methodologies Compared. Web.
Sadr. B (1998), Unified Objects: Object-Oriented Programming using C++. Library of Congress. Malt Loeb. USA.
Woodall. A. D. (1986), Computing in Sri Lankan Universities: Information Technology for Development. Vol. 1 No.1 (p. 8-10).