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Spring, 2007

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Systems owners, systems users, systems designers, system builders ... I always carry-on my talk (charts thumb drive) and my presentation clothes ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Spring, 2007


1
Entering the business world
  • A personal reflection on what I did not know
  • when I starting working

2
Aside on my history
  • I have had many different jobs/different
    organizations. This is and will be the norm.
  • programmer, systems analyst
  • (anti-war activist)
  • researcher, research manager, middle manager,
    research consultant
  • course director, professor
  • Many of my 'jobs' did not exist before my being
    hired.

3
New areas (for me)
  • Organization
  • Process
  • Financial practices
  • Concepts and vocabulary (and jargonwhich
    constantly changes)

4
Organization
  • Institutions (commercial companies,
    organizations, non-profits, academia, etc.) have
    internal organizations that are very important to
    understand.
  • They often change.
  • Institutions have relationships with other
    institutions that are also very important.
  • These, also, often change.

5
Typical company organization
  • Corporate offices (staffs such as Legal)
  • Finance
  • Development
  • Research
  • Marketing ('customer relationship management')
  • Manufacturing
  • Human Resources
  • (Information Systems)

Mathematicians, meaning people who can do
quantitative analysis, may be anywhere.
6
Example from IBM
  • Marketing (sales force) changed back and forth
    from
  • product based
  • customer based
  • mixture
  • Changing company emphasis on
  • hardware
  • software
  • systems
  • 'solutions'

7
Information Systems
  • Centralized and/or decentralized
  • May be a 'CIO'
  • May involve matrix management
  • Company's Information Systems may or may not be
    related to information technology products
    services that are sold.
  • New products always emerging and/or changing
  • CIM to ERP
  • CRM

8
Other companies/entities
  • Branches
  • Subsidiaries
  • Vendors
  • Partners
  • out-sourcing agency
  • (required) International partner
  • Distribution
  • Government agencies
  • Organizations for specific issues
  • ISO, W3, plus organizations for specific
    technical or legal issue

9
Customer? Product?
  • Dog owner versus dog
  • Multiple channels
  • disintermediation
  • Beer coolers or refrigerator
  • commodity versus high-value product/service

10
Reasons for dot-com collapse
  • Poor or non-existent business case
  • how to make money (revenue stream)
  • Weak integration with rest of business
  • no integration with other marketing
  • bad 'fulfillment', back-office, 'could not
    execute'

11
Questions/Issues
  • On what basis is someone paid? On what basis is
    a department/unit evaluated?
  • delicate issue but could be useful to understand
  • How are products services priced?
  • Who are the system owners and the system users of
    the IT system you are working on? How do they
    function?

12
Questions/issues for IT
  • What is the purpose of new system, change,
    etc.?
  • How does it relate to existing business?
  • Why do something / why change?
  • unforeseen problem
  • planned enhancement
  • new technology
  • How to measure success?

13
Process
  • An computer information system is made up of
  • hardware
  • software
  • people
  • procedures
  • This includes 'the system' of building,
    maintaining, deploying, upgrading, and closing
    down information systems!

14
Information Systems Framework
  • Systems owners, systems users, systems designers,
    system builders
  • systems architect gathers requirements, makes the
    plan (old term systems analyst)
  • Focus on data, processes, interfaces, geography
  • Systems life cycle
  • planning, analysis, design, implementation
    (testing deployment), support
  • Make versus buy (term 'out-source' applies at
    multiple levels)

15
Methodologies Tools
  • Many acronyms buzz words fads
  • stakeholders
  • Legacy systems
  • PIECES need to improve
  • performance, information, economics, control,
    efficiency, service
  • Computer Aided System/software Engineering
  • eXtreme Programming
  • B2B, B2C, G2C, G2B models
  • ?

16
Business process
  • 'Need to change business processes, not just
    apply technology to existing (inadequate,
    inappropriate) practices'
  • Related to so-called anthropomorphic fallacy'
    doing things the way a person would do them
  • washing clothes

17
Software engineering
  • Ways to evaluate software
  • code reviews, comments
  • unit test versus system test
  • Ways to evaluate process of producing
    maintaining software
  • Stages keep track of bug reports to examining
    process to determine how bug got through the
    development process.

18
Finances
  • Feasibility
  • operational will it work here?
  • technical will it work / can we make it work?
  • schedule is the timetable reasonable?
  • economic is it cost-effective? (do we have the
    funds?)
  • Economic Cost-benefit analysis
  • Must reflect time value of money
  • Assuming you can invest earn 8/year, you need
    .735 today to have 1 in 4 years.
  • (less relevant in times of low inflation)
  • Methods
  • payback analysis
  • calculate time when benefits exceed costs
  • return on investment
  • (lifetime_ benefits-lifetime_costs)/lifetime_costs
  • net present value
  • (lifetime_benefits-lifetime_costs)

19
Any institution
  • .over a minimum size has organizational issues,
    explicit and implicit processes, and financial
    constraints.
  • This includes
  • government
  • 'NGO'
  • non-profits
  • academia

20
My observation
  • Big corporations often have better / nicer
    practices than
  • Non-profits
  • Academia
  • Government
  • However, you still may prefer non-profits, etc.

21
Academia
  • "University politics are vicious precisely
    because the stakes are so small."
  • Henry Kissinger

22
Most places
  • have jargon
  • technical
  • business
  • personal/local style
  • sports
  • out in front of your defense, balk, putting game
  • end game, who has the queen (hearts), hold vs
    fold
  • Hail Mary pass
  • ethnic (though not necessarily obvious)
  • megillah

23
Hours of work
  • Do not assume that a 9 to 5 job is solid work.
  • Much socializing,
  • some fun,
  • some essential / useful to doing the job
  • Some jobs require being on call.
  • Some jobs allow for flexible hours, work at home
  • may turn out to be more work.
  • You may miss the interactions with fellow
    workers.
  • 'flex-time' can be rigid
  • TAKE THE JOB! Review in 6 months.

24
Business travel
  • Can be
  • Easier than you expect
  • Money solves many problems
  • Limo for getting to/from airports
  • Most places easier to drive navigate than NY
  • Educational
  • Fun
  • Too much can be too much
  • Travel is more arduous now
  • I always carry-on my talk (chartsthumb drive)
    and my presentation clothes

25
Company culture
  • Dress
  • Interview dress should be relatively formal
  • Promptness
  • You are a new employee be early for all meetings
    even if others are habitually tardy!
  • Correspondence
  • Email and written memos. Assume formality.
    Assume everything is public.
  • Lunch, breaks, after work where, when, who
  • Social activities
  • Place of family

26
Getting the job
  • probably more difficult today than before
  • The Internet mean companies getting too many
    applications
  • Use campus resources
  • Use personal networks
  • Re-work resume and cover letter for each job!!!
  • Do research on company/institution
  • Review your on-line presence and remove anything
    potentially embarrassing.
  • Use purchase email
  • NOT silly name on yahoo, etc.
  • Your first job will not be your only job!

27
IT jobs in USA
  • News reports are that these exist and will even
    increase.
  • Need to show ability to integrate/apply
    technology
  • However.decrease of students going into
    computing may lead to downward spiral with
    respect to USA vs 'out-source'

28
Conclusion
  • Questions or comments?
  • Always ask questions and always listen.
  • May or may not pay to bluff be careful.
  • Asking and listening can set you apart in a
    positive way!
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