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Journal Assignment

MIS 5001/ My interpretation of the key ideas presented in each of the sessions
What were the major topics discussed in each class session?
What were the key management issues related to the topic?
What can be learned from the presentations and class discussions related to the topic?
How can you apply the concepts considering risks, legalities, finance, marketing, etc?
CO1: Explain the critical importance of IT for competitive advantages (PO2, PO3)
CO2: Describe how IT management should be aligned with competitive strategies (PO3, PO5)
CO3: Discuss how IT enables firms to create business opportunities and to formulate sustainable competitive strategies (PO2, PO5)
CO4: Discuss how data analytics improves business decision making and supports competitive strategies (PO1, PO2)
CO5: Identify the role of senior management in IT management (PO2, PO5)
CO6: Explain how to deal with risks borne out by IT resources and to secure organizations from them (PO4, PO5, PO7)
CO7: Define how to formulate and execute IT driven competitive strategies (PO2,PO5)
CO8: Discuss how to prepare for future career in the digital age (PO4,PO5)
Topic 1: System-Process Thinking
System thinking vs. Process thinking
Systems thinkers focus on the interrelationships and interconnectedness of various processes, whereas process thinkers prioritize achieving a specific and defined goal.
In my opinion both system thinking an process thinking is required to design a robust organization (as well as IT system) - Upper managers or business owners are typically responsible for implementing the 'systems approach', which entails taking a long-term perspective and examining the interactions between all processes to gain a comprehensive understanding of the overall performance while job level performers are required to fulfill the set task to attain desired goal.
A key aspect of system-process thinking is the recognition that processes can always be improved. This requires a culture of continuous improvement and a willingness to analyze and optimize processes over time.
System = IN <> PROCESS <> OUT
Topic 2: Disruptive Innovation | Digital Transformation | Internet of Things (IoT)
Current most disruptive innovation - AI technologies like ChatGPT Bard. With these machines now being a significant part of our professional and personal lives it’s inevitable to learn using them while still being irreplaceable. Everything now is connected to the Internet, on an average a person now owns 3 gadgets raising more concerns about people’s privacy, data security and freedom.
But with that there comes the upside - humans would now be freed from doing repetitive mundane jobs, advanced analytical capabilities such as machine learning to uncover insights that can inform operational and strategic decisions across an organization, we will see organization’s workflow being automated. So now is the time to learn life important skills to not lose your job to AI, few skills I would learn:
Develop new skills: Read and be appraised on current events, educate myself with basic of AI and machine learning, know basics of data science and business analytics - learn how to code or write SQL language
Collaborate and Learn from other: Build a network of people from whom I can learn
Experiment and iterate: Unlike my inherent nature I realized I should be willing to try new things, and also learn from your failures, and continually improve -
Embrace technology: Embrace new technologies - not fight them. Be willing to explore how they can be used to improve my everyday life and work efficiency
Topic 3: The Business Model - IT & Data’s Role in Making Business model more efficient
Studying Business Model Canvas and Value chain from the perspective of Information Systems and Data’s Value was intriguing. IT systems and applications can automate and streamline many of the steps in the value chain, reducing costs and improving efficiency which can improve overall financial performance. For example, automated inventory management systems can help optimize the supply chain and save millions while CRM systems can improve customer interactions attracting more traffic to our site. While investment in such tech may seem costly in early run, the benefits from it are enduring.
Data in the business model canvas: Data is mighty. That’s why data is one of the costliest commodity. Any decision I may take in future in leadership role will strongly be data driven. Data helpful to refine and enhance each segment of Business model canvas from identify customer segments and understand their needs and preferences, which key activities need attention, what channels are more lucrative, making the organization cost and resource efficient to developing and refining value propositions.
I now know that studying business model helps IT governance teams ensure that IT investments are aligned with business objectives and strategies. This ensures that IT initiatives are focused on creating value and contributing to the success of the organization. This also helps management teams identify and manage risks associated with overall business model while identify opportunities for innovation. This includes identifying new technologies or business models that can be used to improve the organization's performance, efficiency, and competitiveness.
Topic 4: Enterprise Architecture | ERP | CRM
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a strategic approach to aligning business objectives with IT infrastructure and applications. EA is more than IT architecture. I believe EA can be treated as a process entrusted with creating a permanent process for alignment between IT and the business.
Is EA essential/ vital? Maybe No. But does EA aid in identifying potential areas of improvement and improving overall organizational efficiency and reduce enterprise risk? Yes, provided it’s done right. I’m not sure if IT Management and IT Structuring is not what EA is all about, but it surely is a big chunk of it.
ERP CRM: With passing time these systems are expected to become more intelligent and predictive, leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning to automate processes and improve decision-making. Cloud-based ERP and CRM systems offer benefits such as scalability, flexibility, and reduced upfront costs. But it’s important to choose a tech that serves the organizations purpose and structure while also keeping in mind cost- benefit analysis. Only invest in tech that bring some form of return - either value or experience.
ERP and IoT: The integration of ERP systems with the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to increase, enabling organizations to collect and analyze data from a wide range of sources which might complicate the IT Governance and Privacy debates further.
The upfront costs associated with implementing an ERP or CRM system can be significant, they need up-to-date data to be effective, their integration with legacy systems can be a challenge, particularly in organizations with complex IT environments and so their implementation means a significant change to the for an organization. A career in consulting which helps organizations steer during such pivots or which design such changes looks interesting!
Topic 5: Cloud Computing
With rising IT demands, cloud computing has become a popular technology for businesses of all sizes due scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. While it’s easy to just decide to move on cloud there are few challenges I feel an organization might face while making the migration -
Security: Access controls, encryption, and data backup and recovery procedures
Compliance: Have proper controls and processes in place to meet their own compliance obligations
Performance and Reliability: Service level agreements (SLA) in place with their cloud provider, and that they have backup plans in case of service outages
Integration: Integration of cloud with existing technology can be tricky
Cost: know all potential hidden costs, data handling fees and the cost of scaling up or down services
With so many options available like AWS, Azure Cloud, Google Cloud Platforms, etc. it’s important to research and evaluate potential cloud providers and do competitive cost analysis. Also, develop a migration plan that outlines the steps and timeline, draw SLAs, and provide staff with the necessary training and resources to manage the cloud computing environment.
Topic 6: Big Data Analytics - Crypto & Blockchain
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Before getting into analytics of big data it’s important to identify the business objectives and questions that you want to answer with your data. After defining the objective it’s important to identify all data sources and prepare it by cleaning and transforming it to ensure that it is accurate and consistent. But the biggest challenge is refining the data and selecting the tools to do that activity - tools like google analytics, tableau, SQL which we discussed in class comes to play. Dealing with big data is extremely confusing and overwhelming to me but with right tools, team and tactic it should be manageable -MIS 5001 did give me that confidence.
Topic 7: Cybersecurity | IT Governance
After reading the Target case in detail I was forced to learn more about IT concepts like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and data encryption. Organizations need to develop a cybersecurity training and awareness program that educates employees on cybersecurity and provide skills and knowledge to identify and report potential security threats.
It is important to know who is in charge of what function and who owns what data. Keeping necessary access controls and conducting regular security audits and assessments is necessary.
Being a finance person what really intrigued me was that cybersecurity incidents can result in grave repetitional damage for the organization, which can impact customer trust and lead to lost business opportunities and financial losses not to miss costs associated with data recovery, legal fees, and potential fines. Failure of cybersecurity and IT governance is way costlier than it looks like - better be safe than sorry!
Topic 8: User Experience Design
User Experience (UX) Design to me simply means designing and improving the overall experience that users have interacting with a product, service, or system. I believe insatiable curiosity is the key to good UX design. No matter what field you belong developing the skill to provide best UX will surely help. As a future consultant I requires deep understanding of my clients need, design solutions that not just solve their problem but also elevate overall experience. I feel empathy and a commitment to continuous improvement is what it takes to get better at this!
This got me thinking how can i leverage this concept in my job and day to day life! Learning UX design can help me design better financial dashboards. A well-designed dashboard and decks with good UX principles can make it easier to quickly understand the data and turn user friendly. Better UX means happier clients and better success ratio. Learning UX principles invariably make you better at communication - which is a life skill!
Topic 9: Process Diagrams & Database Structures
As a future finance technology consultant this is going to be my bread and butter. As someone who draws these diagrams not only simplify/ breakdown the whole process in small simplified pieces but help build a more robust and efficient enterprise. Process Diagrams can help identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement, which can lead to cost savings and improved productivity and also optimize data storage and retrieval, ensure data integrity, and improve data security.
Process diagrams and database structures are important for reporting and analytics in finance. By understanding the structure of financial databases, consultants can develop reports and dashboards that provide meaningful insights into financial performance and help organizations to make informed decisions.

PRACTICAL SESSIONS
Topic 10: SQL
Even though I will be working in finance consulting post graduation, after taking MIS 5001 I realized that learning SQL will give me an edge. It would help me save time and effort where it os difficult to manually search and retrieve data from large databases. SQL provides tools to manage and manipulate data within databases, including creating and deleting tables, inserting, updating, and deleting data, and controlling access to data and while this is not something I will be using on everyday basis it might come handy when SQL can be integrated with other tools, such as Excel and Python, to perform more complex analysis and manipulate data in different ways.
SQL could be challenging for someone like me who has never worked with it before. It requires an understanding of syntax and structure, as well as knowledge of data modeling, manipulation, query optimization, and security. But with practice and little efforts it should be achievable!
Topic 11: JAVA
What intrigued me most in this class was how is learning JAVA and coding language model useful to people in non coding career? Although coding language is primarily used by developers, there are several ways in which Java and coding can be useful for non-coding people as well.
Automation: basic coding can help automate repetitive tasks - save time and increase productivity
Understanding the technology better as well as interacting with the technical team
It is a skill that can be applied to other areas of work and life -solving problems in a more structured way, and develop careful attention to detail and logical thinking!
Topic 12: Data Visualization - Tableau
After taking a Data visualization course last semester i realized the importance of visual story telling. It allows users to quickly and easily understand complex data through visual representations. I find it useful to identify patterns and trends, communicate insights and findings, and facilitate decision-making in a much more seamless manner than text alone.
Both Tableau and Power BI are powerful data visualization tools that allows users to create interactive dashboards, reports, and charts. Coming from finance background my life revolves around creating dashboards and after using Tableau, the level of my product has elevated to next level.
I believe Before creating any visualization, it is important to have a clear objective and understanding of what information needs to be communicated or we can easily go down to rabbit hole. Keep it simple and easy-to-understand. Also avoid clutter and excessive detail and make it attractive and easy to interact with. Learning about UX and design principles has also helped me a lot working such data visualization tools.
Topic 13: WordPress
Figma/ Canva and Slidego are my cheat sites. I almost use them every week either for downloading presentation templates or designing slide/ dashboard elements or even designing a personal invite or message! We discussed WordPress in class and I found it really interesting - you can create a beautiful looking website without writing a single line of code?! While I might never design websites, I believe knowing about such innovative tech is important - I might have to give sanction of funds for buying one! (You never know!) As consultants I might have a project where I need to advice my client on how should their investors relations and finance highlights page look like - knowing a tech like WordPress might surely come in handy.
From creating professional presentations, financial reports, and dashboards, building websites, creating marketing materials, and collaborating with team members I find many use cases for such design tools.


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