Managerial Applications of Information Technology Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:56
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Category: Management

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Its 5:45 in the morning and you are waking up to the annoying sound of your alarm clock going off. You are fighting yourself just to get out of bed to drive to work. You may have to drive 5 days out of the week and sometimes 6 or 7 if you are working overtime. Then you arrive at work only to sit at a desk for 8 hours and complete your specified work tasks that may seem never ending. For your commute home you are sitting in traffic for another 30 minutes to an hour building up more frustration. Keeping the same daily routine and watching the same black and white walls Monday through Friday can have its pitfalls.

How can you change your daily routine with technology today? According to www. insight-ts. com, A growing consideration for many companies centers on their ability to add employees to their staff while allowing them to work from home. There is a growing segment of todays workforce that is highly-skilled and prefers to work from home. There are many professionals who find the quietness of a home office as a very productive environment. Businesses are also finding that many job functions work well from home-based offices allowing the business to grow without having to incur additional square-footage costs.

Business Problem In this paper I will talk about how the use of technology can allow employees to work from home, or telework. ACS, A Xerox Company employs a government sector that processes applications and ongoing cases for residents in the State of Indiana. Employees work the same routine schedules and completes the same case processing tasks every day. There are local offices where clients have the option to seek face-to-face assistance but clients are not required to come into the office for anything. Clients can complete applications online, complete interviews over the phone, and turn in documents via fax or mail.

Employees are confined to computer screens for 8 hours completing tasks and resolving customer service issues over the phone. Clients also have the option to check the status of their case online or by using the automated system. I have been employed with ACS for 3 ? years and after the first year things started to go downhill. Employees began to complain about the work environment. Feelings of disgust were expressed anywhere from the temperature in the room for being too cold because management has to accommodate the hardware used in the facility to not having a flexible schedule to accommodate personal lives.

Anyone who needs to handle business usually does between the hours of 8 and 5. Employees do not have the option to conduct personal business prior to arriving to work and has limited time after work. The more negative feelings build the more morale will decrease in the work environment and employees will become dissatisfied. Benefits of Solution According to the U. S General Service Administration (GSA), Telework is an innovative business solution that enables employees to work productively away from the traditional office.

Since employees are struggling to incorporate their personal lives to fit in their work schedule, management should discover a way to allow employees to conduct personal business around their work schedule. If management allows employees to telework it could lead to positive benefits. Telework does not only include working from home, but also working in cafes, while traveling, or even at your childs football game, during half time of course. By giving your employees the option to choose when is the best time for them to complete work will lead employee satisfaction and increase in production and revenue.

Approach Technology has allowed government agencies to advance by developing software to help minimize the use of paper, increase convenience for clients, and minimize the workload for employees. With all the new technology such as broadband Internet, cloud computing, and Wi-Fi employees are able to connect to specified work tasks from home. With advanced tools such as virtual private networks, call conferencing, videoconferencing, and emails employees are able to communicate from home. With client-service computing employees are able to work and communicate on a private server.

Target Audience This paper will capture the minds of upper management and direct staff such as caseworkers. Management will be able to understand the benefits of allowing direct staff to telework, such as saving money, increasing morale in the workplace, and possibly increasing revenue. Caseworkers will be able to experience life outside of the office and understand how telework will allow them to gain more of their personal life that has been taken away from them. Milestone 1 Company Background

ACS, A Xerox Company, boasts as being a global leader in business process, as well as information technology services. This includes finance and accounting, along with transaction processing to IT outsourcing as well as human resources and even customer care. The main mission of ACS is to help each client focus on the core of their business. ACS serves a wide range of industries such as government, communications, manufacturing, retail, financial services, healthcare, education and transportation. The main goal of ACS is to deliver operational excellence.

ACS has currently combined sources with Xerox, offering over 140,000 employees in 160 countries. This has helped build global brand strength along with constant dedication to innovation. ACS started in 1988 and has been operational for twenty-three years. Since the day ACS has started, they have kept the focus on putting the client first. ACS at a glance goes on to mention, Our clients tell us were responsive to business needs, were flexible to changing priorities, were reliable for delivering results and we act with integrity at all times. To sum it up, ACS is reliable and honest.

ACS will expertly manage your operations, leaving you free to focus on the strategic areas of your business. Business Issues Employees for ACS are experiencing a decrease in their personal lives because of the work constraints put on by upper management. Employees are mandated to work ten hours more each pay period and four hours every other Saturday. We spend at least $5 for lunch each day. With all the mandated overtime employees are unable to shop at the grocery store. Many employees have children at home and have to help with homework or give baths. This leaves employees tired the next day.

With gas prices soaring employees can spend anywhere from $50-$100 weekly on gas. Employees also are unable to take care of personal business and sometimes only the only way to complete personal tasks is by requesting time off. After working 7am to 6pm employees feel too tired to walk around the local high school track for daily exercise. These factors combined can essentially cost an organization an indefinable amount of financial resources and, more importantly, human resources . The effect of these problems can lead to low morale and job dissatisfaction.

Many studies show the two terms as interchangeable, yet some studies suggest that the two should not be confused with one another. According to The Encyclopedia of Career Development (2006), Morale as a construct should not be confused with job satisfaction, although employee satisfaction surveys have served as a surrogate for assessing morale for some time. Benefits of Solving Problem If staff had the option to telework, management and direct staff will gain great benefits. Telework will allow staff to work at their own pace, while at the same time completing the expected workload.

If staff have the ability to work their specified tasks while being able to complete personal tasks this will increase morale and the company would have more satisfied staff. The most important benefit would be the ability to spend more time with the family. Staff will save on the weekly gas and lunch expenses. They will also have the option incorporate morning water aerobics classes into their daily schedule. With the advantage of a flexible schedule staff will be delighted to complete expected workload so that they can continue with the rest of their lives.

Instead of being in the office 5 to 7 days out of the week they could work 2 to 3 days out of the week for the clients who want face-to-face assistance and allowing the company to save money since they would not have to pay shelter expenses for the buildings being used to conduct business. Proposed Technology Solution The Insight Technology Solutions website explains, Because of the advancements in information systems/technology, software applications, and high speed internet connections, any job that can be executed using a telephone and/or computer can be performed from a home office very effectively.

The cloud allows individuals to limit the use of hard drives, USB drives, and etc. Cloud services enable individuals to save information from one computer and pick it on your tablet or mobile device. Cloud computing offers almost everything a company will need to allow employees to telework. According to Wikipedia, Cloud computing is a marketing term for technologies that provide computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Emailing and video conferencing enables communication for employees.

Allowing employees to keep up with daily updates or requesting assistance from the IT helpdesk. Milestone 2 Detailed Technology Solution The best technology solution for incorporating telework in your business is with cloud computing. This will allow caseworkers to receive work instructions, tasks, and communicate with management and other co-workers away from the office. Management Information Systems Twelfth Edition (Laudon and Laudon p. 70) explains, Cloud computing refers to a model of computing that provides access to a shared pool of computing resources (computers, storage, applications, and services), over a network, often the Internet. Cloud computing offers anytime self-service, employees can complete work from anywhere at any time. Employees will also be able to access the network from personal laptops, tablets, or mobile devices. An infinite amount of employees can access the network simultaneously. Resources required can be changed any time due to the demand from the business.

Businesses are only charged for the services that are used. Cloud computing offers 3 different services cloud infrastructure as a service, cloud platform as a service, and cloud software as a service. Cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) enables business to move their applications into the cloud and run information systems. Cloud platform as a service (PaaS) allows businesses to develop applications with services provided from the cloud provider. Cloud software as a service (SaaS) gives the business access to use cloud software for business development.

In order for ACS to allow caseworkers to telework, cloud infrastructure as a service should be the cloud service used to allow the highest performance from caseworkers. ACS, a Xerox company, provides Xerox cloud services to businesses so why not use it to its capacity for their own company. Xerox cloud services will allow caseworkers to access systems used to process applications and ongoing cases. With the Xerox cloud (IaaS) caseworkers will have the ability to work away from the office. Iaas allows organizations to outsource equipment that supports daily operations, including software, hardware, servers and networking components.

The cloud provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining the equipment. Now we must focus on technology dealing with voice communication. Caseworkers have to complete interviews over the phone with clients. There are many different communication tools but virtual private networks (VPN) will benefit the company the most. VPN is a private network that provides secure and encrypted communications for large companies at a low cost. Since security is a high priority then VPN will be the best option with confidential client information transmitted over the networks.

Two VPN technologies offered by CISCO are site to site VPNs and remote access VPNs. Site to site VPNs provide and Internet based wireless area network to extend resources to main location offices, home offices, and business partners. Using site to site VPNs management will be able to communicate work instructions with caseworkers and management will also be able to monitor daily work activity. Remote access VPNs extend any data, voice, or video communication to a remote desktop. This will come in handy if a caseworker is experiencing difficulty with company software and hardware.

IT would be able to diagnose and fix a problem from wherever they are by accessing your computer. Value of this Approach Xerox cloud Iaas will benefit the company in reducing IT costs. Using cloud services and products cost less because you are not charged for consultations or IT staff used to service your software or hardware. These fees are free with the subscription purchased by the cloud service provider. Since Xerox provides the cloud services then there will not be any charges to use cloud services to allow caseworkers to telework.

Telework also reduces environmental costs, like saving money on gas or food. With privacy concerns VPN will give the caseworker the ability to contact clients or other workers securely. Caseworkers will be able to make cost saving budgets that can help save money for future vacations or childrens college savings. Business Process Changes Businesses change according to societal trends. The more technology developed the more organizations have to change to keep up with competition. Once ACS realizes that telework can save the organization money, changes will be implemented to accommodate caseworkers to telework.

Virtual management will be the most important change process. Caseworkers working in the office now are under supervision from management in the same office. A special team of staff will need to be created to work with the caseworkers teleworking. Since caseworkers will not be working in the office all work instructions will be given through email or over the phone. Management will also conduct meetings through conference and video calls instead of meeting in the office or specified locations.

Milestone 3 Additional Technology Solutions Other forms of technology that will be useful in allowing caseworkers to able to telework is desktop virtualization. According to searchvirtualdesktop. techtarget. com, Desktop virtualization is the concept of isolating a logical operating system (OS) instance from the client that is used to access it. Desktop virtualization can work locally and remotely. Of course remote access will be more beneficial for caseworkers. Host-based virtual machines are a model used for desktop virtualization that allows each user to individually connect to laptops or mobile devices hosted in a data center.

Management can use desktop virtualization to collect work that needs to be processed and send to caseworkers that are teleworking tasks to complete through the host-based virtual machine. VoIP uses resources to help decrease charges incurred from local and long-distance telephone networks. Management Information Systems Twelfth Edition ( Laudon and Laudon p. 265) explains, VoIP can reduce communication and network management costs by 20 to 30 percent. VoIP signals can be transferred over a corporate network allocated to specific users.

Caseworkers can hook the VoIP connection from ACS to their home Internet connection to receive and make calls only pertaining to work. Additional Business Process Changes There are three main systems caseworkers use to complete daily tasks. First there is SMART, which keeps track of tasks completed and tasks needing to be completed according to priority. Then there is FACTS, which keeps track of all the applications submitted and documents that clients return for processing. Finally ICES, which stores all of the clients information and processes case information.

These programs are straight forward and the only changes would be incorporating these websites to work away from the office. We are only allowed access to these programs on office computers. Management will have to allow unrestricted access to these programs to allow caseworkers to be able to work from home. Overall Recommendations There are many different workers for the government sector of ACS. There are clerks who are needed to assist clients that come into the office. There are State managers that are needed in the office to conduct daily business for the offices.

There is many other staff that is there to conduct daily business that is needed for offices. Telework is basically recommended for caseworkers because they can complete the same work at home that is done at work. Implementation In order for caseworkers to be able to transition from offices to remote locations caseworkers need to be trained on how to conduct telework away from the office. Caseworkers come in with a mind of reaping all the benefits and are not aware of some issues that can develop from being away from the office for too long. Employees may start to get too comfortable and become lazy leading to a decrease in production.

Telework is not for everybody, some employees need that social environment 8 hours a day. Conclusion In conclusion telework is the best option for caseworkers and various other organizations. Telework allows caseworkers to gain flexibility and the organization to save money. As mentioned earlier caseworkers will be able to spend more time with families and organizations will be able to cut back on office space being used. Overall from my general view and the basis of everything discussed in this paper, telework is what the future holds for corporations to keep a competitive edge.

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