I. What Functions Will be Outsourced
Develop an outsourcing plan. You may decide to outsource all elements of IT for this expansion. This would include a managed services contract, which would cover all hardware platform management, perhaps an entire data center, and an internal and possibly external Help Desk. Or, you may decide to outsource only certain key elements of the IT expansion, such as the Help Desk or the data center. Whatever decisions you make in terms of functions to outsource, support your decision by describing how your decisions will benefit the business.
II. Risk Mitigation and Outsourcing
Because of the expansion into any international market, senior management will require a risk mitigation plan for outsourcing IT. Under this heading, you should address outsourcing risks such as security, data ownership, an exit strategy for an outsourcing contract, etc.
Will you choose an outsourcing company based in an international market? What are the risks associated with that choice? If you outsource IT to a domestic (assume U.S.) company for the international expansion, what are the assurances that you, as a senior IT manager, would need to be comfortable with this type of scenario? For example, IBM has a significant managed services portfolio internationally though, obviously, IBM is a US-headquartered company. Are there risks associated with this solution?
III. Benefits of Outsourcing as a Short-Range Strategic Plan
Explain the benefits of outsourcing as a short-range strategic solution for market expansion. The topics you cover in this section should include any economic benefit you anticipate. For example, explain that a benefit is an increased ability to deploy solutions in a timely fashion, or it will provide better security (if applicable), etc. Tie your IT strategic outsourcing plan to the organization’s expansion strategy. Be specific when you explain how your plan will support the expansion strategy.
For this assignment, you are the Chief Information Officer, or CIO, of Reynolds Tool & Die. To complete this assignment, you will:
1. Create a Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet proposing the Reynolds Tool & Die company’s IT operations’ annual budget, including maintenance, licensing, and any proposed new investments, such as hardware, software, cloud services, and/or outsourcing.
2. Create a 2-to-3-page executive summary defending your budget choices in terms of innovation and efficiency.
The example spreadsheet that begins on page 2 of the rubric is a rough suggestion of an annual, itemized budget. You will create your budget in Microsoft Excel. Your budget headings may vary, but your budget needs to be as specific as possible. Within each category, you should include purchases for the IT strategic plan. For example, if, as the CIO, you are contemplating moving applications to a cloud solution, your budget needs to reflect that process. If you are implementing or expanding VMWare as a virtualization solution, your budget needs to reflect those purchases.
The actual numbers can be approximate. A little research can point you in the right direction. For example, desktops run about $200-$300. You can use approximate figures for items such as licenses, maintenance agreements, servers, etc. Just make sure you have some justification (i.e., references) for the numbers you use.
2: Executive Summary
Your executive summary needs to explain your budget. Possible headings include:
I. Predictable Annual Expenditures
Simply put, fixed operational expenditures keep the lights on. They are mainly hardware and software maintenance items, licensing, etc. These are expected costs of doing IT business. If, however, you are purchasing more hardware or software that will require additional annual maintenance and license agreements, you’ll need to defend those purchases and the annual expenditures that will remain for the company.
II. New Purchases
Any new purchases you recommend need to be justified. Why are you purchasing them? What benefit do you expect from the purchases? You’ll need to justify the purchases relative to the previous competency assignments—Reynolds’ business situation and goals. For example, how will a new investment in hardware, software, or services achieve a competitive advantage for the company? What do you think the company needs to purchase to achieve its expansion goals? How much will outsourcing cost?
III. Special Projects and Long-term Strategic IT Investments
As CIO, you need to look at technologies in the context of long-range strategic planning. Think of this section as your wish list. The investments in this category may not help the organization achieve its short-range goals, but they’re considered a long-term investment in innovation to remain competitive. For example, a manufacturing facility may consider artificial intelligence and robotics as a long-range plan.
Example Spreadsheet attached for this assignment.