Information Systems Managemnet — Tutorial 4 Essay Example

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Information Systems Management

The management of software applications has undergone major changes. These include the emergency of programming techniques, generation languages, and standard packages. In addition, application portfolios have been restructured from decentralization to automated internal processes using enterprise resource planning systems (Aerle). Application portfolio rationalization (APR) enables organizations to restructure their applications. The rationalization occurs in three stages: assessment, evaluation, and planning stage. The assessment stage is concerned with the collection of application information, while the evaluation stage is concerned with analyzing the information. The planning stage is concerned with reducing complexities and improving the application portfolio (Kellerman & Löfgren 12). Nine applications were categorized and assessed. These were administrative support system (FINPAY), the records system for students (STUDREC), learning management application, Room+ (automatic timetable), library (ULIB), campus information system, the calendar and email system, records management (TRIM) and directory services (Kleeman 5).

The health matrix below shows functional versus technical assessment of the applications.


Technical changes

  • Directory services

  • UU On-line

  • Learning management system

  • Calendar and email system


Functional changes

Technical quality and position

FINPAY application is an aging system despite undergoing a number of maintenance upgrades. FINPAY and TRIM require renovation/renewal because their technical quality and functionality is quite low thereby needing renovation or renewal. The STUDREC application ranks high in functionality and low in technical quality because it requires technical changes to comply with the dynamic business requirements. Room+ application requires functional improvements to utilize the automatic scheduling function. The directory services and UU On-Line were placed in the first quadrant because they rank low in technical quality but high in functionality. Technical changes would improve the ranking of the applications to the healthy quadrant. The learning management application is healthy because it was recently implemented and appeared successful. ULIB is healthy because it supports library functions and remote access to the online library. The calendar and email application is healthy because it provides decentralized mail services through MS Exchange.

The FINPAY application needs redevelopment because it is mature and does not meet the divergent business requirements of the organization such as modern workflow and human resource leave records. TRIM also requires redevelopment because its good management capability is not fully utilized. Furthermore, the application is being redeployed into a comprehensive records management application for corporate record keeping.

The FINPAY application needs to be abandoned because it uses legacy software. An analysis using legacy matrix would place FINPAY in the low system quality and high business value quadrant, which requires re-engineering or replacement. A replacement of the application would reduce the unpredictable costs of the existing system, accommodate changes in business processes and increase documentation (Kellerman & Löfgren 15).

The priority of the remaining applications is to improve make functional changes to the STUDREC and Room + application, and to replace TRIM and FINPAY applications. Technical changes to the directory services and UU On-Line applications are also a priority for the university.

The limitations of the health matrix are that the categorization does not explain how the applications fail to add value to the portfolio. It only helps organizations to select applications, which do not add value to their portfolio. Secondly, application portfolio management models are often over-simplistic which affect the precision of the assessment and provide less enlightenment on areas of conflict for managers (Kellerman & Löfgren 12).

Other factors that may be considered in deciding the outcome of the applications and their priority include business value, system quality, technological relationship, and contribution to the business process (Aerle para.12). In addition, organizations may need to consider the lifecycle of the applications where high potential systems would be evaluated on their strategic importance while operational systems would be defined for applications whose markets have matured (Kellerman & Löfgren 13).

In summary, the assessment has shown that the university needs to prioritize functional changes in STUDREC and Room + application, replacements to TRIM and FINPAY applications and technical changes to the directory services and UU On-Line system. These priorities would ensure that the university addresses the needs of the applications to improve the overall application portfolio.

Work Cited

Aerle, Michel van. A method for application portfolio rationalization. Method Engineering. 17 Apr. 2009. Web. 26 Aug. 2014. < PortfolioAssessment>

Kellerman, Jimmi and Patrik Löfgren. Application portfolio management: A framework for application destiny determination. Master Thesis, IT University of Gotenborg, 2008. Goteborg, Sweden: Chalmers University of Technology, 2008: Print.

Kleeman, Dale. “The University of Uriarra case study.” Information Systems Management Tutorial Work for Week 4. Netherlands: Utrecht University, 2011. Print.