Systems alignment is basically defined as a logical process used by a system analyst to develop an information system including requirements of the system, validation of the system, training of the employees to use the information system and the user ownership of the system(Dennis, Wixom& Roth,2005).
Purpose of System Development Life Cycle: The purpose of a system development life cycle is to basically result in a high quality system that exceeds or at least meets the customer expectations, is developed with in time and in the in the cost estimates, it is efficient and effective in compatibility with the current in use technology structure and is cost effective to enhance while being cheap to maintain(Dennis, Wixom& Roth,2005).
Activities of System development life Cycle: System development life Cycle takes up to six phases in which a system is developed from the very beginning that is the feasibility report towards the last stage that is the maintenance of the completed application. (Dennis, Wixom& Roth,2005). Whenever an organization plans to take an initiative to develop a new information system or to bring in new technological enhancement, it has to go through the six phase process of systems development from the very beginning to the end (Wright, 2004).
The first stage of the systems development life cycle model suggests that the existing system is evaluated and deficiencies are identified so that they can be worked out for improvement in the new system. (Dennis, Wixom& Roth,2005). In the second stage the new system requirements are defined and especially, the deficiencies in the previous system are kept in front so that they can be eliminated from the new system. This is called the system analysis phase. (Shah & Avison, 1997).
Then the proposed system is designed keeping in mind the new requirements and the earlier deficiencies in mind and plans are laid out. These plans include hardware requirement, operating systems, programming, communications, security issues and physical construction (Shah & Avison, 1997). The fourth stage is the system development phase in which the new system is developed and the components and programs are obtained and installed. From obtaining we mean acquiring software and hardware from vendors and putting them together for the new system to start functioning.
Users of the system are trained and all aspects of the performance of the system are tested in this stage of the system development life cycle. In case any adjustments are necessary, they must be made in this stage before proceeding to the fifth step (Smaczny, 2001). In the fifth stage the system is put to use which can be done in many ways. Either switching directly to the new system, implementing the system to only selected departments or locations, or to run both systems side by side in order to gradually bring in the new system and remove the old one.
The last phase is the system maintenance phase in which once a system is up and running, it must be thoroughly evaluated and checked for latest modifications and upgrades. The key measurements for each step of the system development life cycle are: For phase 1: users of the existing system must be interviewed in order to see what the deficiencies are in the system (Shah & Avison, 1997). For phase 2 : New requirements should be based on the changing business needs and discrepancies due to these changing needs should be sorted out aside first.
New requirements also include those areas which are now essential for the system but were not that important before. (Shah & Avison, 1997). For phase 3: the design of the new system needs new software and hardware and they should be listed out evaluating each of the new business requirement and the previous deficiency that is to be improved. (Shah & Avison, 1997). For phase 4: user and system compatibility must be tested in the sense that whether the users are comfortable with the new system or not and whether is it fulfilling their needs and requirements. (Shah & Avison, 1997).
For phase 5 : this depends on the manager of the organization that what are the business needs of that time and how much risks can be taken with the old data and system. Whether the business abruptly needs the new system, does it gradually needs it or should it be put on a test run to only selected departments (Venkatraman, 1993). For phase 6: system should be maintained and evaluated on the basis that is it serving its purpose the way it was supposed to serve. Is it productive and effective the way it was designed and does it has the potential to crash down or stops working?
Risks of Outsourcing: As far as outsourcing is concerned, the biggest threat of outsourcing in this regard is that important information is shared with a second party which has the expertise in this matter. Similarly, the biggest threat of in-sourcing is that the company might not have the required expertise for the development of the system in accordance to the requirements and there is a great possibility that the system can stop working in case of anomalies.
Also outsourced companies can never have full information about the system in any way as compared t in-source resources thus they cannot be trusted to build the best system. Similarly the in-sourcing resources may have all they know how and information about the company, yet they do not have the technological expertise in this field. (Dennis, Wixom& Roth,2005). Baderman Island: Baderman Island, the organization is a large resort and specializes in lodging and guests’ management rather then developing an entire system.
No matter it does have IT professionals but they cannot develop a system that is as efficient as a system development company that is to be outsourced as an initiative by the organization. The initiative is quite justified because of the lack of expertise in this field and the losses of concentration from the main course of work which will gain incur costs for the company. Conclusion: The prototype of the project suggests the needs of the organization that are, financial, inventory human resource and guests management.
According to the system alignment plan, first these four departments will be analyzed for discrepancies, then the new requirements of the business in current and future scenario and then it should be designed for the management in such a way that it is easy to use. Then the system should be developed by bringing in all the hardware and software needs followed by an implementation where all the different should be required to switch over the new system gradually and professional IT personal should be hired in order to check the constant maintenance of the resort management system (Sehrt, 2003).