A business need for an information system or for a software for this information is usually activated when a particular business concern or a problem which often arises in the routine business operations of an organization. Subsequently, the need to develop a new or amending existing information systems process.
The process of developing a new information system or improvement or amendment of existing ones is referred to as System/Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC); this include every other formalized process employed to develop the system in a methodical, deliberate and structured way. Every stage of the process should ensure effective and efficient flow of information in the current and planned information technology.
The first step is to identify and define what the problem is all about, explore the possibility of proffering system solution that meets business needs of the organization and user objectives through Feasibility study. A feasibility study involves a preliminary study that investigates the information needs of end users and the objectives, cost/benefits constraints and basic resources requirements to decide what type of system that can be developed.
Analysis and investigation through feasibility study address issues such as;
- . Deciding if an existing information system can correct the situation without the need for modifications or for a new system
- . Where the existing system cannot correct the situation, identifying range of IT solutions that offer solutions to nature problems in review
- . Determining the best solution for meeting organization’s business needs and information resource requirement
- . Estimating the cost effect of developing the new system and ensuring that all the information technology activities involve are in line with the strategic plans of the organization. . Determining implementation strategy, including the scope and timing for the implementation of the required information system solution.
Further assessment should ensure that;
- the organization has the technological capabilities to cope with the requirement of the proposed system; and assessing whether a proposed system will be able to meet the organization’s performance specification.
- User attitude to the new system; such as positive response or outright resistance to using the new system; and general impact of the new system on the organization
- Compatibility of the new system with the corporate culture and ways of doing business, including the level of skills and experience within the organization to cope with the complexities of the system.
Cost Benefit Analysis of a proposed information System software
Economical appraisal of a proposed information system involves financial justification and development costs of the system. It appraises whether the benefits of the proposed solution outweighed the costs, thereby understanding the financial implications and business value of the proposed systems. For instance; is the proposed information system software capable of providing;
- More targeted and accurate information quicker and cheaper that leads to better managerial decisions?
- Better customer service for competitiveness?
- Faster processing and reduce erroneous processing?
- Savings in labor costs and overheads?
It goes on to show that a proposed new information system software has its unique and attributable costs such as;
System design and Development Costs
This is cost from the start of the feasibility study including all programming and testing, until the proposed system handed for maintenance.
Costs involve preparation costs, delivery charges and other capital costs arising from any new additional equipment or computers required for the application.
Costs such as Staff Training Costs, File conversion costs, System testing, Parallel running and other change over costs.
Operational costs include; Hardware/software costs, staff costs, supplies of stationery, system maintenance, third party services, space costs and others.
System Change Manual/System Documentation
The objective of the system manual or documentation is to ensure that changes are strictly controlled. System documentation refers to descriptions of how an information system works from both technical and end-user standpoint. It involves the description of the system, its components, the data and records of changes made to the system.
A system manual or documentation ensures;
- Good communication among analysts, programmers, users and computer operators;
- Revision or modification of systems;
- Training of system operator staff using the system manual;
- Detection and correction of errors in the system;
- Consistent application of system throughout the organization; and
- Effective and efficient audit process.
Therefore, during development of a system, it will be necessary to produce documentation to support the system in use, and to aid further development or modification.
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