Recent Question/Assignment

Diploma in Computing (with strands in Software Development & Networking)
Level 7
NQF Level 6 (12 credits)
60% = 100 marks
(Each key element assessed = 6%)
Assessment 1
Final Result: _______________ Assessor Signature ___________________
Student Name
Student ID
Student Signature

Assessor’s Feedback
Assessment 1: Case Studies
(Worth 60%)

Assessment 1

Student Name:
Case Study 1 -
Question number: Possible Marks: Student Marks:
1 3
2 5
3a 3
3b 3
4 12
5 18
6 16
Sub-total: 60
Case Study 2 –
Question number: Possible Marks: Student Marks
1 11
2 5
3 5
4a 4
4b 4
4c 4
5 7
Sub-total: 40
OVERALL TOTAL: 100 = 60%

There are two case studies for Assessment 1 and this is an INDIVIDUAL assignment with the following components.
1. You are required to read both case studies and answer the questions which follow each case study.
2. Your responses are to be written in the form of a Business Report, and you are essentially using this document to present your findings to the Director of Information Systems for a company.
3. This will require you to use in-depth analysis and research techniques to help you answer the questions and then paraphrase this information into a credible Business Report. (NB: - It is not an Academic Essay.
4. Business reports are varied in their structure; however the best approach when writing the report is to include headings and sub-headings. This makes easier reading, and shows the reader that you are focused on specific components within your research. As a tutor, it is also easier to allocate marks when you align your headings and content to the questions following each case study.
5. You are expected to use the tools techniques and such readings that will showcase their knowledge and familiarity with the text and other course materials. You should make use of the slides, handouts, and any other information provided by the tutor throughout the course.
6. The two case studies present problems within two organisations. Your task is to strategically analyse the issues and provide sound recommendations which could be implemented into the organisations to help resolve their issues. You need to approach these issues as a Strategic Analyst, using the tools, resources from this course coupled with your own individual research.
7. Essentially you will be writing TWO business reports – as there are two case studies. Good coverage in terms of word count would cover around 2000 words per report.
a. Ensure you write your assignment as a business report. Do not bullet point.

You are no doubt aware of the policy on plagiarism at NTEC. The secret to avoid any form of plagiarism is “if ever in doubt – reference it.” If you don’t – then you are implying that the work you have copied is your own. Harsh penalties are given to students who plagiarise, so take notice of the warning. An additional tip to avoiding plagiarism is to ‘paraphrase’ work that you wish to copy, by rewriting it from your own perspective, and you still are required to reference this source.
As this is an individual assignment, you need to ensure the work is original and if you have copied any relevant material from other sources – then make sure you reference. Plagiarism also includes copying work from students.
I will check each assignment through a Plagiarism Checker Database and anything that the scanner shows is copied will be highlighted. The acceptable % is up to 10% - anything over this will receive a ZERO mark.

The report must be typed using the following styles:
1. Left-hand margin 2.5cm
2. Right-hand margin 1.0cm
3. Top margin 1.0cm
4. Bottom margin 1.0cm
5. Font Verdana
6. Font size 12
7. Line spacing 1.5 lines
8. Format Justified
9. Pages All pages numbered
10. Spelling, grammar Checked before submitting to Tutor
11. Table of Contents List correctly aligns to page number
12. Title Page to show:
? Student Name:
? Title: ASSESSMENT 1 – CASE STUDIES – DC202 (Case Study 1 / Case Study 2)
? Date
? Course Name: DC202 Strategic Implementation for Information systems
? Tutor Name: Lawton Hakaraia
? Organisation: NTI - NTEC
13. Marking Schedule: Include the Marking Schedule as page 2 of your report before your Table of Contents.
14. Length: Around 2000 words per case study. (Guide).
15 Referencing: ? Ensure all copied material is correctly referenced using the APA reference style.
? Include a Reference list at the end of the assignment.
? Note: All assignments will be subject to a plagiarism check and assignments with 10% or higher of plagiarised information will receive a zero mark.

? Both case studies are real organisations.
? Changes have been made to business names, statistics and other references within each case study; therefore you will not be able to find any information in text books or on the internet about the specific companies.

Asdith Health Services (AHS) is located in San Francisco (USA) and is a community hospital with a total staff of 1300. It has 200 beds. It has a wide range of information systems which are either reaching the end of their useful life or are coming up for contract renewal. It operates under a Health Trust Board who are members of the local community – some are professional people such as lawyers, doctors, educators, and other members are consumers of the services offered by AHS. In total there are 25 Board members at AHS
The company was established in 1995 and was one of the first of its kind in San Francisco. Today there is a proliferation of healthcare providers spread from San Francisco through to the outskirts of Los Angeles. Last estimate, there were 225 healthcare providers, essentially giving the same services as Asdith Health Services.
The structure of the organisation includes the following roles:
? Executive Directors – 3. Medical / Surgical / Allied Health
? Deputy Directors – 3
? Senior Functional Managers 6: Marketing / Human Resources / Finance / Technical / Information / Operations
? Heads of Department – Clinical - 12
? Heads of Department – Allied – 6
? Staff i.e. nurses, doctors, technical, advisory, analysts, administration, porters, custodians, other healthcare professionals.
Vision: To be a world healthcare provider for all communities
Mission: Recovering through health partnerships
Values: We are all committed to apply the following values to our patients, medical and surgical staff, allied staff and the communities we serve:
? Outstanding healthcare
? Growth and innovation
? People development and encouragement
? Transparency with all of our activities and services
? Improved quality of life for everyone.

Asdith Health Services is considered cost-effective by most of the consumers who use its services. Feedback from patients who have been at AHS have rated ‘very high’ with a satisfaction rating of 85%. Staff feedback on management practices has however been somewhat disconcerting. The last staff climate survey was conducted across the organisation in 2012 and the following ratings were noted:
Decision-making 22%
Leadership 18%
Rewards and Recognition 14%
Facilities and amenities 92%
Senior Managers 65%
Other managers 23%
I.T. and Technical Resources 11%
Resource planning and staff consultation 12%
The technology systems were failing to meet the ongoing needs of the medical facility and many of the staff including the clinicians were not happy with their lack of involvement in the decisions made on technology for the organisation. Management had introduced a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system where it was hoped that the new digital system would increase efficiency and reduce documentation errors by streamlining the processes. However it has caused more problems. One of the main issues is that the system has generated a number of duplicate files on patients with different information. EMR is known to be a very complex system, and is also an expensive investment for companies because of this complexity, and the constant need to bring in external support and technical expertise to resolve problems which occur on a regular basis.
Some of the other key challenges Asdith Health Services were facing included:
a. $1 million is spent on outsourcing information technology. contractors to resolve problems with the company’s information technology systems. Many of these systems do not currently meet the requirements of the organisation, and are often regarded as a hindrance rather than a solution.
b. Decisions on the investments across the organisation were made by departmental heads, without senior management or governance consultation. This has further increased the proliferation of information technology. systems being designed for individual departments – rather than for organizational productivity and efficiency.
c. The information system. project timelines and financial reporting (budgets) were regularly missed and budgets were often over-spent. This also caused departments to continue operating without proper I.S. support.
d. It was difficult to work out the company’s strategic position because it was difficult to find out who actually had the power to make decisions in the organisation.
e. The organisation’s strategic plan had run its course and expired in 2012. No review of a current strategic plan is under way, despite the Trust Board requiring this document as part of their compliance requirements of Board members.
f. The organisation requires a wide range of resources and capabilities in order to function adequately. It has generated profits over the last 3 years and each year has exceeded the last. The problem is that the surplus from profits is then used to cover expenditure items for the hospital and many of these items are highly expensive.
g. The organisation is not a monopoly in San Francisco, however it does compete with other similar healthcare providers. The issue here is that without a Strategic Plan, it would be difficult to gauge any kind of competitive advantage over other health providers.
h. At the governance and corporate/business strategy level, there was no direction in terms of current or future growth strategies. As noted earlier, there is no current strategic plan for the organisation, so it was also difficult to ascertain a strategic framework for the organisation. No one appears to know why?

Learning outcome 1:
Students will identify and discuss business strategy and its benefits and significance for Information Technology professions.
Key elements:
a) Level of strategy (Q1 = 3 marks)
(Q3a = 3 marks)
b) Power influence on strategy levels (Q2 = 5 marks)
(Q3b = 3 marks)
c) Benefits of technology to business operations
d) Strategic management and its relationship to information systems
Learning outcome 2:
Students will investigate and compare strategic concepts, theories, and models.
Key elements:
a) SWOT analysis (Q4 = 12 marks)
b) PESTEL analysis (Q5 = 18 marks)
c) Porters Five Forces Framework
d) Strategic alignment
e) Strategic alignment models
Learning outcome 4:
Students will formulate and realise an information technology strategy, aligned with the corporate and business strategy of the organisation.
Key elements:
a) Information Systems Planning Process (Q6 = 16 marks)
b) Functional Information Systems
c) Transaction Processing Information Systems
d) Strategic alignment
e) Strategic alignment models

Case study 1 questions:
1. Describe the Hierarchy Levels of Strategy for Asdith Health Services.
1 mark per description x 3 =3 marks
2. Why is there confusion over where the ‘power’ lies in the organisation?
a. How could this confusion be resolved? (4 strategies).
1 mark per power / 1 mark per strategy = 5 marks
3a. Construct a pyramid using the organisational structure noting the appropriate levels of strategy.
1 mark for each correct level = 3 marks
3b. Reviewing the levels of the pyramid – which level holds the most ‘INFLUENCE’? Why? Also outline which level is accountable for strategic implementation systems?
1 mark correct choice / 2 marks reasoning = 3 marks
4. Using a simple SWOT analysis technique – examine Asdith Health Services incorporating additional information you believe is appropriate. (Identify 3 factors for each section of the SWOT analysis.)
3 marks per SWOT area = 12 marks
5. You will note from the case study that the organisation is situated in the USA. Prepare a PESTEL analysis based on the information outlined in the case study – plus – information from your own research of the current health system in the USA to assist you with the analysis. (Identify 3 factors for each section of the PESTEL analysis).
3 marks per PESTEL area x 6 =18 marks
6. From the list of challenges (noted in case study) that AHS is facing, identify and examine 2 STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION solutions to each of the areas noted. Focus on Information System planning where possible for the issues listed.
2 marks per listed item x 8 = 16 marks

? Both case studies are real organisations.
? Changes have been made to business names, statistics and other references within each case study therefore you will not be able to find any information in text books or on the internet about the specific companies.

JJ is one of world’s five largest juice retailers and has over 1200 stores throughout the United Kingdom and the USA. 2001 and 2005 it tripled the number of stores it operated. Its competitive advantage when it was first established was creating unique juice specialities, and offering customer-focused juice stores for people to meet and relax. This competitive advantage was dominant for a number of years and as a result JJ could charge premium or high prices, as there were few competitors in the market.
This boom did not last long, Beginning in 2008 profits plunged due to the economic recession. Customers complained that the company had lost its grip on the consumer market and they felt that JJ was becoming more like McDonalds or other similar fast-food chain outlets. Many juice drinkers went searching for alternatives and JJ stock lost over 40 percent of its value by the end of 2008. Major changes were needed.
The owner (Julia Chen) and the board of directors decided to overhaul the business by using several different strategies simultaneously. In essence, they began to use Porters Five Forces Framework (Porters Competitive Analysis).
First of all they revamped their in-store technology and decided to integrate its business processes with wireless technology and the mobile digital platform. Rather than imitating the procedures used by competitors in the juice market, they pursued a more aggressive product differentiation strategy, intended to place emphasis on the high quality of their juices and efficient and helpful customer service. At the same time, they focused on becoming ‘lean’ like many other competitors, eliminating inefficiencies wherever possible.
JJ conducted research with its consumers through surveys, questionnaires, etc and found that more than half of their customers were active smartphone users. So they set out to implement several features and improvements that would appeal to this segment of its customer base.
JJ implemented a technology that allows customers to pay using a smartphone app. This app is integrated with their own JJ card system, which allows regular customers to pay with pre-paid and rechargeable cards at any JJ branch. When a customer makes a purchase using their app, a cashier scans a bar code displayed on the phone, and then the cost of the product is charged to the customer’s JJ card account. Customers responded overwhelmingly stating that paying using the app device was much faster than any other traditional form of payment. In its first 12 months of use, the JJ mobile payment system processed 35 million transactions.
All of the JJ stores were equipped with free Wi-Fi networks and the majority of customers made use of this when visiting the stores. JJ then launched a JJ Digital Network – a portal designed for mobile devices as opposed to web browsers. They optimised the site to accommodate all major smartphone operating systems (iOS, Android, iPhone/Pads, and Blackberry).
The site would also integrate with Facebook and Twitter and allow users to check in and receive award points using the JJ site. JJ also decided to offer the site for no charge to advertisers. It was hoped that offering deals with content providers would make it a profitable venture. The focus was on improving the relationship with its most valued customers by using a mobile digital platform to enhance customer satisfaction.
JJ set up a group of project coordinators (12 in total) to travel through the UK visiting all of the franchises to train them on time efficiencies, reducing waste, and streamlining customer services. This system was made famous by the automaker Toyota back in the 1980s.
Due to the high cost of labour throughout its stores – ($2.2 billion) annually) – JJ used the project team to assist in reducing the time it took to produce a juice for a customer. Doing this would allow more time for staff to interact with their customers and thereby improve the customers’ overall experience at JJ.
As all of the stores had Wi-Fi – managers could use the system to run store operations and to connect to the company’s private network and systems. All managers were also issued with laptops and I-phones to assist them in their business operations.
The District Managers traditionally oversaw around 10 JJ stores each and they had to visit each store, review its operations, develop a list of items on which to follow up, and then drive to a JJ regional office to file reports, and send emails. Instead of running the business from cubicles at the regional office, the District Managers could now do most of their work sitting at a table in one of the JJ stores they oversaw.
This was all due to the free Wi-Fi systems set up in all JJ stores. The time saved from going back and forth to regional offices could be used to observe how employees were serving customers and to improve their training. Just by implementing the free Wi-Fi, this enabled JJ to increase their in-store presence of district managers by 24% without adding any extra managers.
In 2008 and 2009, the weakened economy forced JJ to close 400 stores, renegotiate rents, cut prices on some of their big ticket items, and began offering price-reductions. Cost reductions from previous procedural changes made it possible for JJ to offer these lower prices.
JJ attributed much of its recent improvements in profits to its efforts to go lean and improve efficiencies. By 2010, JJ had returned to profitability and continued growth, with plans to open 600 new stores, in large part because of the success of each of these changes.

Learning outcome 2:
Students will investigate and compare strategic concepts, theories, and models.
Key elements:
a) SWOT analysis
b) PESTEL analysis
c) Porters Five Forces Framework (Q1 = 11 marks)
(Q2 = 5 marks)
d) Strategic alignment
e) Strategic alignment models
Learning outcome 3.
Students will identify core competencies, competitive advantage, and value creation with an organisation.
Key elements:
a) Competitive advantage (Q3 -2 marks)
b) Sustainable competitive advantage (Q3 – 3 marks)
c) Value chains and value creation
d) Core competencies
Learning outcome 5
Students will strategically implement and deploy information systems for an organisation.
Key elements:
a. Information system strategies to enhance organisational effectiveness
b. Implementing Function Information Systems Planning to achieve strategic implementation solutions (Q4 – 12 marks)
c. Business intelligence
d. Business process re-engineering

Learning outcome 1:
Students will identify and discuss business strategy and its benefits and significance for Information Technology professions.
Key elements:
a) Level of strategy
b) Power influence on strategy levels
c) Benefits of technology to business operations (Q5 = 7 marks)
d) Strategic management and its relationship to information systems

Case study 2 questions:
1. Define Porter’s competitive forces (Fives Forces Framework Model) and discuss how it worked in this case study? (NB: Ensure you construct the model before applying it in your answer). (Note 2 main points for each Force in the model).
1 mark diagram / 2 marks per point per Force x 5 =11 marks
2. Discuss how Porter’s Five Forces model helps companies develop competitive strategies using information systems? (Note 5 information system strategies).
1 mark per strategy x 5 = 5 marks
3. Discuss 2 features for each - between competitive advantage and sustainable competitive advantage and give your views on whether JJ achieved one or the other – or neither. Give clear reasoning for your views.
1 mark per feature x 4 / 1 mark for reasoned view = = 5 marks
4. If you were in control of JJ at the time of the economic recession:
a. Describe 4 strategic information system strategies you would have implemented, which are not covered in the case study.
1 mark per strategy x 4 = 4 marks
b. Explain why you selected these 4 strategies.
1 mark per explanation x 4 = 4 marks
c. Give an example from companies around the world where your selected strategy has been used.
1 mark per example x 4 = 4 marks
5. Describe 7 benefits of technology that has helped JJ compete in the Juice market?
1 mark per benefit x 7 = 7 marks