When Cheryl Smith, the new CIO, arrived at WestJet, she was asked by the CEO to advise whether or not the company had an adequate IT infrastructure.
The main component of the IT governance model that Mrs. Smith evaluated includes:
- Technologies- she examined if the company has adequate and appropriate technologies that were aligned with the company's IT strategic objectless (Munro, &, Khan, 2013).
- Expertise- the number of staff and qualifications of the staff was to be investigated if they were aligned with the company's IT/IS goals and could be improved for sustainable competitive advantage.
- Processes- the process should be efficient and the procedures streamlined to help the company achieve its IT goals and objectives (Munro, &, Khan, 2013).
- Operating structures- the company's operating statures should have been streamlined Systems
Summarize and critique Smith's assessment.
The airline industry is increasingly becoming competitive; therefore any company seeking the alpha position must create its competitive advantages which in the airline industry must be driven by services quality. Information technology is currently the most commonly adopted source of competitive advantage in the airline industry as it improves information access and enhances the company's image. Information technology infrastructures include hardware, software, networks, data centres, facilities and related equipment that the organization can use to develop, test, operate, monitor, manage and/or support information technology services (Collin & Bengtsson, 2000). Additionally, the company's competitive advantage is not adequate if it is not sustainable. The company entered into an agreement with Saber legacy system for code sharing which was a major mistake on the part of the company because Saber thought too little to the table to enhance the company's corporate image. Never the less, the company's major changes in IT were essential but were not aligned with the company's strategic objectives neither were the strategic advantages sustainable (Thomas, 2015).
Offer evidence/arguments that major changes in IT at WestJet were essential and that Smith's governance model would enable WestJet to achieve its strategic goal.
Having a bloated information technology infraction technology budget or having in place a sophisticated information technology and information system does not make a company's information systems be rated as adequate if it does not meet the company's information technology and information systems objectives. The company improves its IT planning and budgeting processes and meeting, the IT organizational structures (Ko & Fink, 2010). The processes were also standardized to deal with IT/ARE issues such a systems outages.mrs smith also recommended that the system's functionality should be improved created five positions for the business unit CIO and developed new IT leadership teams (Thomas, 2015).
Summarize the lessons you learned based on the experiences at WestJet.
The key lesson learned is that IT infrastructures should not be standalone technologies, expertise, efficient processes and procedures as well as effective operating structures and solids to boot, but should be scalable and compatible with other legacy systems to enable seamless integration with other systems (Trautman, 2012). For a company to benefit from its IT infrastructures, and systems, it is important for a company to have its own unique IT infrastructures designed and aligned with the company's specific situations. Including its competitive strategy. I have learned that good IT governances systems should be aligned with the company's short-term and long-term goals. The IT governance model at West Jet may have been good but it was not aligned with the long-term IT/IS strategic goals. Smith's evaluation of the company's IT governance model was appropriate thus a complete overhaul was necessary in order to develop a company-specific IT governance model that was responsive to the company's specific issues and business environment (Da Silva & Souza Neto, 2014).
How might these lessons help your organization evaluate its information technology capabilities and best serve its business strategies and needs?
The lessons learned could help the company develop its own IT governance's benchmarks that it would use to evaluate its information technology capability. The company could also use the lesson learned to streamline its IT/IS technologies, expertise, processes, operating structures and systems to ensure that they are aligned with the company's service quality value proposition. The lesson would help the company positions its IT infrastructures and optimize its processes and procedures to meet the five forces in the competitive market.
Collin, S., & Bengtsson, L. (2000). Corporate Governance: And Strategy: a test of the association between governance structures and diversification on Swedish data. Corporate Governance, 8(2), 154-165. Doi: 10.1111/1467-8683.00192
Da Silva, L., & Souza Neto, J. (2014). Method for Measuring the Alignment Between Information Technology Strategic Planning and Actions of Information Technology Governance. Journal Of Information Systems And Technology Management, 11(1). Doi: 10.4301/s1807-17752014000100008
Ko, D., & Fink, D. (2010). Information technology governance: an evaluation of the theorypractice gap. Corporate Governance: The International Journal Of Business In Society, 10(5), 662-674. Doi: 10.1108/14720701011085616
Thomas, M. (2015). WestJet Airlines: hybrid but profitable. Strategic Direction, 31(8), 23-25. Doi: 10.1108/sd-07-2015-0106
Trautman, L. (2012). Threats Escalate Corporate Information Technology Governance Under Fire. SSRN Electronic Journal. Doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2171026
Munro, M., &, Khan, S. (2013). WestJet Airlines: Information Technology Governance and Corporate Strategy. Harvard Business Publishing
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