For this assignment, there will be four separate mini essays that will involve different discussions.
Essay 1: IT budgets in a tough economic environment.
Write a 1 page discussion for the following:
Seeking to stretch their budgets in a tough economic environment, IT managers are subjecting every technology purchase to rigorous scrutiny and looking for every opportunity to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

Given this mandate, how important is it for an enterprise to keep up with version changes in desktop operating systems? If most employees of a large company are using Windows 2000, for example, would you recommend upgrading everyone to Vista or Window 7? Why? Why not? Would you answer differently for a small business as opposed than a large one?

Essay 2: Centralizing information technology functions.
Write a 1 page discussion for the following:
In this module we have a couple of learning objectives. We want to understand better the role of the IT manager in the strategic management process as well as the skills needed to manage expectations for IT strategy.

Think about the following: Governors in some states may be moving away from centralizing information technology functions, which can endanger the integrity of IT investments, according to the National Governors Association (NGA) in the summer of 2005. Several current and former CIOs interviewed said states are no longer using consolidated IT management strategies. For example, Connecticut announced it will scrub a previous administration’s plan to centralize IT operation under the state’s technology department.

Are the CIO’s managing the Governors’ expectations?
What is your take on centralizing or consolidating IT functions for entities as large as a state government?
What are the advantages or disadvantages?
Would your answer be different for smaller enterprises?

Essay 3: Challenges and roadblocks
Write a 1 page discussion for the following:
IT strategic management policies and procedures are meant to ensure that critical systems stay current, reliable, secure, and that they perform as needed. But, oh, if it were only that simple. Within the large corporate enterprise, the road to structured IT management is littered with challenges and roadblocks.
Has the organization in which you work experienced challenges or roadblocks to the goal of maintaining critical systems? Why or why not? Are the issues usually economic, political, security-related?

Essay 4: Regulating the IT environment
Write a 1 page discussion for the following:
COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology), the latest ISO 17799:2005, which focuses on security and effective security planning, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, now required by the SEC for all publicly traded companies, has impacted the way CIOs modify their strategic plans.

Has the IT environment in your organization been impacted by these or similar regulatory events? What role do you think the government should play in regulating the IT environment of private enterprise?

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