Assignment 2-IS/IT competitiveness business report (3000 words;value 30%)
Answer the question below in an academically rigorous manner, using business report style, with claims supported by referring to relevant literature. The assignment will need to be a mix of your own intellectual property (interpretation and analysis) and evidence drawn from published material to support your arguments, or the case you are building. You may make appropriate assumptions about the case as required (but please note them in your report).
You are an IT/IS consultant engaged by a medium-sized, high-end, surf wear clothing manufacturer and retailer called Riptide. The business has been successful for many years largely because of the founding owner’s ability to work personally with and anticipate the needs and wants of Riptide’s loyal customer base in the surf wear segment of the clothing industry.
There are 20 independent surf wear retailers around the country who regularly place orders for Riptide products (about 70% of total sales) and a growing group of individual consumers who purchase directly from Riptide’s factory retail outlet ( about 30% of total sales). The overall strategy of the business is to provide all customers with high quality surf wear products and good customer service at a medium price. Riptide competes in its’ local country market only. Riptide’s recent business performance has suffered compared to the three other manufacturers who compete in Riptide’s market segment and is of some concern, particularly in regard to sales and profitability. You have conducted some initial industry research and have found that:
- Riptide’s direct competitors are faster at anticipating changes in customer needs. The business is losing orders as trends have been changing rapidly in terms of new materials being used and in new designs.
- Direct competitors have far better inventory and factory production systems and manage their supply chain at greater speed and at less cost than Riptide. Production and delivery times at Riptide are twice that of competitors and the surf wear retailers are showing impatience with this situation.
- Direct competitors have an online shop capability as part of a sizeable and strategic IS/IT investment. Riptide does not. Many surf wear retailers and individual customers have expressed a preference to use online ordering.
Riptide’s CEO has seen little value in IS/IT in the past and does not want to invest money in something that will not improve the business bottom line. However, his management team are encouraging him to seriously consider the use of IS/IT to help turn business performance around and safeguard the future. Riptide’s IT/Administration manage is concerned that if the company continues to rely on its’ patchwork of PC applications and even older manual systems, the company will eventually fail to compete effectively in the market.
Your task as an external consultant is to produce a compelling report to convince the Riptide CEO and other senior management that the use of IS/IT can restore the business to competitiveness and also provide business growth opportunities. Riptide’s management have made it clear to you that your brief is to describe the capabilities of currently-available IT/IS applications that would be appropriate to Riptide’s business operations and situation. They would also be interested in what gains have been made by other businesses in using those applications and some suggestions as to how they may be implemented, operated and managed by Riptide if they chose to go ahead. They are looking for an initial report which would provide them with an understanding of a possible way forward and as such a detailed technical systems specification or financial cost-benefit analysis is not a part of your current brief. This will be done if Riptide’s management and CEO agree to proceed after reviewing your initial report.
You should specifically identify a minimum of three (3) IS/IT applications that would be appropriate for the business. You may make any assumptions that are appropriate for the case as long as you note them in your report. You should draw on examples from other companies, to help produce a persuasive, well-supported, well-referenced, and robust defence of your position. Remember that your answers are to be demonstrations of the application of what you have learned in the subject to a real world business.
The essay relates to all learning outcomes (subject objectives) and is focused on Topics 6-10, It provides an opportunity for you to:
· demonstrate factual knowledge, understanding and the application of technology related issues;
· demonstrate coherent and logical presentation of issues in information systems (IS) and information technology (IT);
· demonstrate research andbusiness reportwriting skills;
· demonstrate knowledge and application of appropriate terminology;
· demonstrate ability to integrate and apply information from various topics and to apply understanding and knowledge to a practical situation;
· demonstrate a clear understanding of the IS/IT and management issues.
The criteria below show how marks will be awarded in Assignment 2 and provides indicators of relative performance levels.
Evidence and depth of research: 20%
75%+ Extensive reading of more than 12 appropriate and relevant titles. Newspaper and magazine reports limited to a maximum of 2.
65%+ At least 8-10 appropriate and relevant titles read. Newspaper and magazine reports limited to a maximum of 2.
50%+At least 6-8 appropriate and relevant titles read. Newspaper and magazine reports limited to a maximum of 2.
Relevance of content: 20%
75%+Accurate analysis of needs of the organisation and identification of relevant IS/IT applications/infrastructure. Cohesive and comprehensive IT/IS recommendations including governance requirements.
65%+ Accurate analysis of needs of the organisation and identification of relevant IS/IT applications/infrastructure.Individual IT/IS recommendations made
50%+ Satisfactory analysis of needs of the organisation and identification of some relevant IS/IT applications/infrastructure. Some relevant IT/IS recommendations made.
Application of concepts and principles: 20%
75%+Analysis and recommendations extremely well supported with relevant case study examples and practical statistics. All assumptions made are clearly noted.
65%+ Analysis and recommendations are supported with some relevant case study examples and practical statistics. All assumptions made are noted.
50%+ Analysis and recommendations are supported with minimal relevant case study examples and practical statistics. Not all assumptions made are noted.
Clarity of Structure: 10%
75%+ The report structure is clear, easy to read and logical, directly addressing the consultant’s brief. Suitable headers used throughout. Good use of graphics and charts.
65%+ The structure of the report is clear, easy to read and logical, directly addressing the consultant’s brief. Suitable headers used and some use of graphics/charts.
50%+ The structure of the report is clear and logical in parts. It addresses most of the consultant’s brief. Use of headers and charts could have been improved.
Writing to the audience: 15%
75%+ Minimal use of technical jargon. Terminology used is appropriate to a management team. No spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.
65%+ Minimal use of technical jargon. Terminology used is generally appropriate to a management team. Some spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.
50%+ Some use of technical jargon. Terminology used is not generally appropriate to a management team. Several spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.
Correct referencing: 15%
75%+ APA 6th edition referencing applied to a range (12+) of relevant resources. No referencing errors. Direct quotes used sparingly. Sources all documented.
65%+ APA 6th edition referencing applied to a range (8-10) of relevant resources. No more than 2 referencing errors.Direct quotes used sparingly. Sources all documented.
50%+ APA 6th edition referencing applied to a range (6-8) of relevant resources. No more than 4 errors. Direct quotes used in-context. Sources all documented.