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Introduction to Information Technology

Chapter 14: Information Systems Development


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In this chapter, we will study:
Planning process for IS application development The process of developing systems as outlined in the SDLC Alternatives to the SDLC and why they are useful Ways to obtain applications from outside the organization Methods that are useful in developing Internet/intranet applications

Information Systems Planning Process

Organization Mission Business Assessment Organization Strategic Plan Current Information Technology Architecture

IS Strategic Plan New Information Technology Architecture IS Operational Plan IS Development Projects

IS Strategic Plan
Objectives Align with the organizations strategic plan Provide for an IT architecture that enables users, applications, and databases to be seamlessly networked and integrated Allocate IS development resources efficiently among competing projects, so the projects can be completed on time, within budget, and have required functionality Issues - efficiency; effectiveness; competitiveness


Mission - the mission of the IS function IS environment - the summary of the

IS Operational Plan

information needs of the functional areas and of the organization as a whole Objectives - the IS functions current best estimate of its goals Constraints - technological, financial, and personnel limitations on the IS function Long-term systems need - a summary of the processes needed by a company and the IS projects selected to support them and reach organizational goals Short-range plan - an inventory of current projects, and a detailed plan of projects to be developed or continued during the current year

SDLC - the development method used by

Information Systems Development Terms

most organizations today for large, complex systems

specialize in analyzing and designing information systems

Systems Analysts - IS professionals who Programmers - IS professionals who modify

existing computer programs or write new computer programs to satisfy user requirements type of technology, such as databases or telecommunications, who help create information systems

Technical Specialists - experts in a certain


The Traditional SDLC

(1) Systems Investigation

(2) Systems Analysis

(3) Systems Design (4) Programming (5) Testing

An eight-stage systems development life cycle (SDLC)

(6) Implementation (7) Operation (8) Maintenance Go Back to a previous Stage or Stop

System Investigation

Phases in SDLC

Feasibility study determines the probability of success of proposed systems development project. Includes
Technical feasibility (will we be able to build the system?) Economic feasibility (how much will it cost to build the system and how much will it benefit us?) Behavioral feasibility (if we build the system, will it be accepted and used?)

Systems Analysis
Examines the business problem(s) that the organization plans to solve with information systems Determines what the new system must do by examining:
Strengths and weaknesses of the existing system Functions that the new systems must have to solve the business problem(s) User information requirements for the new system

Phases in SDLC (continued)

Systems Design
Describes how the system will fulfill the user requirements Develop both logical design and physical design Output => technical design or system specification
system outputs, inputs, and user interfaces hardware, software, databases, telecommunications, personnel, and procedures how these components are integrated

the translation of the design specifications into computer code structured programming techniques improve the logical flow of the program by decomposing the computer code into modules

Phases in SDLC (continued)

Checks to see if the computer code will produce the expected and desired results under certain conditions

The process of converting from the old system to the new system Four major conversion strategies Parallel conversion: the old and new systems operate simultaneously for a period of time Direct conversion: the old system is cut off and the new systems is turned on at a certain point in time Pilot conversion: introduces the new system in one part of the organization Phased conversion: introduces components of the new system in stages

SDLC Phases
the new system will operate for a period of time, until it no longer meets its objectives

Maintenance (simultaneous with Operation)

debugging the programs updating the system to accommodate changes in business conditions adding new functionality to the system


Alternatives to the SDLC

Starts with only a general idea of user requirements, and develops models of the system until its right


Speeds up the development approach Gives the users the opportunity to clarify their information requirements Useful in the development of decision support systems and executive information systems Replaces the systematic analysis and design stages of the SDLC - quality may be sacrificed Can result in an excess of iterations



Alternatives to the SDLC

Joint Application Design (JAD)
A group-based method for collecting user requirements and creating staged designs


Saves time Greater support for, and acceptance of new systems Produces higher quality systems Easier implementation Lower training costs Very difficult to get all users to JAD meetings All the problems that may be caused by any group process



Alternatives to the SDLC

Rapid Application Development (RAD)
A method that can combine JAD, prototyping, and integrated CASE tools, to rapidly produce a high-quality system


Active involvement of users in the development process Speeds the development process Reduces development costs Can create applications that are easier to maintain and modify
May result in systems with limited functionality and adaptability for change


Alternatives to the SDLC

Integrated Computer-Assisted Software Engineering (ICASE) Tools
Automate many of the tasks in the SDLC


Produces systems with a longer effective operational life Speeds up the development process and result in systems that are more flexible and adaptable to changing business conditions Results in excellent documentation


More expensive to build and maintain initial system Requires more extensive and accurate definition of user needs and requirements Difficult to customize and may be difficult to use with existing systems

Object-Oriented Development

Alternatives to the SDLC

Reduces the complexity of systems development and leads to systems that are easier and quicker to build an maintain Improves programmers productivity and quality More flexible Allows systems analysts to think as users do about the system Ideal for developing Web applications Depicts the system in user terms, increasing understanding of what the new system does and how it meets its objectives Runs more slowly Need to retrain the programmers in OO methodology 14-16

A fundamentally different view of computer systems



End User Development

Development Outside the IS Department

Users perform ad hoc programming to solve business problems Factors that drive the trends toward increased end-user computing and end-user development
More powerful, inexpensive desktop hardware Increasingly diverse software capabilities Increasingly computer literate population Backlog of IS projects Apparent cost savings

End-users (usually) dont produce adequate documentation or perform adequate testing Security may be breached

External Acquisition of Prewritten Software

Factors to consider during make-or-buy decision
On-time On-budget Full functionality User acceptance Favorable costs-to-benefits ratio Low maintenance Scalability Integration with other systems Minimal negative cross-impacts Reusability

Development Outside the IS Department


Application Service Providers (ASPs)

Software obtained via subscription Software resides on ASPs systems Software is accessed via Web or VPN Subscriber does not have to host software on existing computer systems Updates and bug fixes are provided by the ASP ASP can provide help-desk support

Development Outside the IS Department


Development Outside the IS Department

Outsourcing Using third parties to provide some or all functions and services of the IT department IT may not be a core competency of the firm; better to hire outside specialists Advantages: Outsourcer can obtain hardware capabilities less expensively due to economies of scale Outsourcer can hire needed technical staff Outsourcer specializes in providing computer services Ability to expense outsourcing fees provides tax benefits


Development Outside the IS Department

Outsourcing (continued) Disadvantages:
Economies of scale may be of limited value Staffing depends on outsourcers needs, not clients Lack of familiarity with business/industry Contract problems Internal cost reduction opportunities could eliminate the advantage of outsourcers

Guidelines: Write short-period contracts or have flexibility since business needs are dynamic Use of subcontractors should be controlled Use selective outsourcing only for those functions where it makes sense

Much future development will likely be Web pages due to their simplicity and ease of development

Building Internet & Intranet Applications

SDLC probably not followed due to simplified Web development

A Strategy for Internet/Intranet Development

Identify the objectives for organizational Web site(s) and pages Include infrastructure requirements as well as security and legal issues in plans Obtain/assign necessary personnel and provide oversight

Identify and prioritize potential projects


JAVA - A Promising Tool

Building Internet & Intranet Applications

Important programming language for putting extra features into Web pages An object-oriented language designed for implementation on networks Includes numerous security features to prevent downloaded programs from damaging files or creating other problems on the receiving computer

IS Strategic and Operational Plans derive from the organizations strategic plan and current IT architecture The SDLC provides a basic framework for the process of development information system applications There are several alternatives to the SDLC, including prototyping and RAD IS applications can also be obtained outside the IS organization, including end user development, package purchases, ASPs, and outsourcing Development for Internet/intranet applications generally follows prototyping process