AgCredit Case Study

Discussion Questions
1. Propose an organizational structure for the IT department that you feel would support the transformation of AgCredit into a process centric organization.

Turning AgCredit into a process-centric organization is the most important thing at the moment. However, the process should get handled with care. The organization should make the staff recognize business processes especially the department of IT. The organization should also have committee mandated with overseeing implementation of projects. Besides overseeing project implementation, the committee should ensure that they remain within the goals and objectives of the organization. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) should also have a part to play in the boardroom meetings and decisions in the organization (Ali, Warne, Bopping, Hart, & Pascoe, 2004).

2. Outline a project selection process for AgCredit to ensure alignment with the enterprise business vision.

The current situation at the AgCredit does not allow informed selection of projects. Therefore, the organization requires a committee with absolute powers of decision making. Project selection process should ensure that the project has elements of the overall vision of the organization. Besides meeting the overall vision of the organization, the process should also that it incorporates needs and requirements of each department while remaining within the dimensions of SOA (Mittal, Risco-Martin, & Zeigler, 2009).

3. How should Manley “make the case” for SOA to ensure that the executive team at AgCredit buys in?

It is not easy for Manley to convince the executive to buy the idea of SOA. One of the best of the way to convince the executive is showing how AgCredit stands to gain from SOA. Some of the gains that Manley should present are: SOA will consolidate customer details into one repository hence saving the organization time and financial resources required to retrieve the information from fragmented repositories. Additionally, a common process in the organization will enable collaboration between the departments thereby enabling quicker attainment of the organization’s goals and objectives. The technology will revolutionize the business processes at the organization thereby giving the organization competitive advantage (Koetter & Kochanowski, 2015).

4. What new internal IT capabilities will have to be developed in order to create an IT department to support AgCredit’s future business architecture?

The capabilities that AgCredit requires are the management and information management tools. It also requires mechanisms through which information will get delivered within and outside the organization. Furthermore, there is a need to improve the organizational relationships with customers and also elaborate and evaluate roles each employee should play within the organization. However, all the capabilities and tools must align themselves with the requirements and standards of SOA. They must also remain within the authoritative regulations during and after implementation (Marinos, Nikolaos, & Vincenzo, 2015).

5. What aspects of IT governance do you think would be important in supporting this transformation?

The current situation in the organization is in the mess to an extent that each department has different objectives from the overall organizational objectives. The objectives should be similar to one another before implementation of the IT governance. The transformation also needs a committee that will help steer it in the desired direction. The Steering Committee should also involve views of the CIO, who handles the department of IT. Besides the CIO involvement in the steering committee, stakeholders should also play one of the vital roles in IT transformation (Peterson, 2004).

Exams and Questions

Question 1
Good answers may include; I have born as well as gained qualities of leading, delegating and coaching and direct. I have read the job demands, and I understand that the firm needs a manager who can effectively manage a team and deliver targets too. My professional record, education job achievements, as well as qualification, prove my abilities as a manager. I possess the desired educational qualification; skill sets as well as prior experience in similar capacity. I am an extrovert person and hence, able to get well with diverse people be it at the team level, current customers or new ones.

Bad answers may include; I have a bachelor’s degree in Management. I always dream to be a boss. I just like getting jobs getting done. I want a job that earns me respect. I want a job which is highly paying. I am very strict and I always never compromise laziness on work. I am qualified to take the job. From the good answers, it is predictable that the person has a person and willing to work with team members for the interest of the organization. The person is likely to buy into the ideas of the organization. Contrary, the person giving wrong answers is seen to have future problems as a leader. He seems a manager who will not listen to the juniors. He is also seen as somebody with pride which can negatively affect the work

Question 4
Some of the challenges faced by supervisors while initiating new workflow in the department include; Increased grumbles by employees, resistance from some employees, reduced production in that period, and demand by employees to maintain the status quo. Such changes in the workspace are not always in vain. Some of the reasons for reshuffle include accommodating new employees, an organization based on a line of duty, facilitating mentorship and training, reducing conflicts among employees, reducing workplace boredom, promoting productivity as well as introducing new functions in the department. While carrying reorganization, supervisors need to avoid bias in the changes and change resistance among departmental members. There is also need to avoid improper mixing of employees and lowering working morale of employees. Avoiding such pitfalls is critical in ensuring that the transition is without employee friction.

Question 7
During my long holiday, I got a job as a supervisor in a bakery. The worst part of it was that some of my team members would get sick or get some emergencies forcing them to be absent at the job. We always quarreled with our customers whose targets were not met because of absenteeism. I remember the company losing three greatest customers for another bakery because of inability to meet their orders. With management knowledge, I had acquired over the term coupled with full responsibility as a supervisor, I decided to reshuffle the whole team. Since I had a team of 70 employees, I decided to divide them into two groups of 30 each. The remaining 10 were to be my standby team. I strategized the whole team to ensure that every person at one time becomes a member of standby team. This approach ensured that whenever an employee had an emergency, the standby force was ready to keep the work going. A mere development of standby force saved the company and returned lost customers. It was the time I realized that standby force as an organization strategy is critical in ensuring continuity at the workplace.

Database Creation

Questions
For a database administrator, describe the importance of database alerts

The alerts are very important to the database administrator because they help them get information regarding the events that may diversely impact the database in one way or another. They help the database administrator to respond to the issues as quickly as possible before any damage can take place (Basta & Zgola, 2011). Alerts come from all the internal errors, block corruption errors and deadlock errors that may be disastrous to the database. So the alerts help the database administrator to respond to them promptly before the effect of the error can escalate.

Describe the importance of reviewing the database logs to determine errors
At the heart of many devices that offer protection for the information technology, networks is an ability to log the events and actions so that remediation actions can be taken as appropriate (Horwath, 2012). The database logs errors to help the database administrator to review them and take any appropriate responses as per the error. It is essential for the database administrator to review the database error logs to determine the error so that he/she can take defensive measures before any real damage occurs (Murphy, 2015). Without the review of those database logs, the database administrator has little chances of knowing whether a live application has been compromised or is being attacked.

Compare the advantages of using a Database creation tool or using a script to create a database

Creating a database using a database creation tool or a script has many advantages, for instance, one can use the DBCA wizards to get direction in the selection of options offering an easy means of creation and tailoring of the database (Oracle Corporation, 2002). The database creator only supplies a minimum of input, and the tool makes decisions for them, eliminating the need to spend much time in deciding how to set parameters or how best to structure the database. The use of a tool also helps the database creator to be very specific concerning the file allocations and settings. The database creation using a script helps to decide the services required at the start.

Describe the basic database administrator responsibilities
The database administrator responsibilities revolve around three major activities: maintenance of the production database; planning, designing and making changes to the existing applications; and the management of a company’s data and the metadata (Connolly & Carolyn, 2004). The database administrator should also create policies and procedures regarding the database management, security, and the use of the database. A database administrator should also carry out general technical troubleshooting as he/she also provides consultation to the development teams (Blaha, 2001).

Describe Oracle tablespace (default tablespace, Bigfile, Smallville)

Oracle tablespace are the logical units in Oracle database that are used to store the entire database’s data. Each of those logical units/tablespaces consists of one or more data files that are physical structures that are specific to the operating system that Oracle database is running in. There are Bigfile tablespace and small file tablespace whereby the Bigfile tablespace comprises of a single datafile or a single temp file and the small file tablespace consists of several temp file of data files that can amount up to 1022 (Powell, 2007). A Bigfile tablespace comprises of a repository of if all the information in a single file whereas the small file tablespace has the same information contained in several files.

Describe the benefit of the Oracle client/server architecture

The client applications do not have to perform any data processing. Those applications only concentrate on the input requests from users or the server and then analyzing that data appropriately so that they can present it through display capabilities of the client node Luz, T. (1990).
The client/server architecture helps Oracle RDMS to exploit the multitasking as well as the shared memory facilities of the underlying operating system. Consequently, that offers the highest degree of data integrity, concurrency, and performance to the clients.
In this architecture, it is possible to optimize the terminals or client workstations for the presentation of data while the server can also be optimized to process and store data.
In the case of networked environments, the shared data can have placement on the servers instead of the workstations so that it will be easier and efficient to manage its concurrent access.