For this assignment, you will produce a 3-page short-range strategic IS plan for Reynolds Tool & Die that includes a summary of where the company wants to go (its goals) and where it’s capable of going right now (based on its current IT infrastructure). Then you will recommend specific purchases and strategies necessary to make its IT function capable of supporting the company’s goals. Your plan should address outsourcing and the facilitation of business expansion into new markets, new regions, and new countries. The most important part of your strategic plan is outsourcing.
To complete this assignment, review the course scenario. Pay special attention to Reynolds’ plans for a joint venture with an automotive parts manufacturer in Mexico and the acquisition of a light aircraft parts supplier in Canada. The short-range strategic plan you create will assist Reynolds in realizing what, ultimately, is a rapid expansion of their business.
Your headings for this plan should include:
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I. What Functions Will be Outsourced
Develop an outsourcing plan. You may decide to outsource all elements of IT for this expansion. This would include a managed services contract, which would cover all hardware platform management, perhaps an entire data center, and an internal and possibly external Help Desk. Or, you may decide to outsource only certain key elements of the IT expansion, such as the Help Desk or the data center. Whatever decisions you make in terms of functions to outsource, support your decision by describing how your decisions will benefit the business.
II. Risk Mitigation and Outsourcing
Because of the expansion into any international market, senior management will require a risk mitigation plan for outsourcing IT. Under this heading, you should address outsourcing risks such as security, data ownership, an exit strategy for an outsourcing contract, etc.
Will you choose an outsourcing company based in an international market? What are the risks associated with that choice? If you outsource IT to a domestic (assume U.S.) company for the international expansion, what are the assurances that you, as a senior IT manager, would need to be comfortable with this type of scenario? For example, IBM has a significant managed services portfolio internationally though, obviously, IBM is a US-headquartered company. Are there risks associated with this solution?
III. Benefits of Outsourcing as a Short-Range Strategic Plan
Explain the benefits of outsourcing as a short-range strategic solution for market expansion. The topics you cover in this section should include any economic benefit you anticipate. For example, explain that a benefit is an increased ability to deploy solutions in a timely fashion, or it will provide better security (if applicable), etc. Tie your IT strategic outsourcing plan to the organization’s expansion strategy. Be specific when you explain how your plan will support the expansion strategy.