Business/Industry: Implementing Information Technology Systems

The role of information systems (IS) is growing rapidly, and CPAs in business and industry—because they are experts in the area of performance measurement and cost analysis—are expected to play a significant part in designing and implementing them.

The following are some questions that should be addressed before a company undertakes IS efforts:
Is senior management supportive and involved in IS strategy and planning?
Have opportunities been identified where IS can provide strategic advantage?
Has action been taken to pursue those opportunities?
Has competitors use of IS been investigated and are the competitive implications well understood?
Has the organization identified and implemented information technology-based alliances with its customers and suppliers?
Have technologies such as electronic data interchange (EDI) been considered?
Are there opportunities to join with a customer or a supplier in developing new IS-based products?
Is the organizational culture receptive to IS?
Do current or planned IS solutions meet the needs of managers?
Do those solutions contribute to the overall profitability of the organization and promote effective and efficient relationships with customers and suppliers?
Does IS support the strategic activities of the business unit?
Are IS projects matched with business needs?
Is an appropriate organizational structure for IS in place?
Has the organization developed policies for acquiring the necessary hardware and software, coordinating requests for new software applications, coordinating distributed users and supporting users?

Source: Management Accounting Guidelines no. 20, Information Systems and Services Management—Accountability, by the Society of Management Accountants of Canada © 1993.


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