Master thesis

As the last element of my masters degree, I was to write a thesis of a subject of my own choice. Due to my very technical background I decided it was for the best if I changed field completely. Reason for this was mainly that I wasn't comfortable any more with being taken for technician. The sole reason for my choice of getting back to school, was that i wanted to break free! (I know... Kinda sounds like Freddie Mercury from Queen)

Anyway, lets get back on track here. The subject that I was interested in, and was far from tech talk, was Change Management. So I bought some books to start up reading while I got in touch with some organizations that could be interested in being case for my thesis. After a few bad meeting and organizations dropping from agreements I finally got in touch with a decent one. In the first meeting I that that i was oh so clever on change management, and from some of the books, I got the impression that there is always need for change management. Maybe so, but apparently none of the IT managers I came across had read the same books.No.. We dont have any need of change management. Things are just fine...

This kinda let the steam out of me, but we kept on with the meeting. Suddenly, it all took a turn for the better. The IT manager explained that they were in the process of a major modernization program throughout the organization. In that matter they were unsure of where they would be with their IT strategy when the program should be over with in a few years time. And after a few more minutes it turned out that their current IT strategy was a few (3) years old, and was made by the former IT manager.

At first i thought that IT strategy was boring, because that's just a strategy.. Nothing new there. But while the IT manager kept on talking I started thinking to myself: What the hell is an IT strategy anyway? I'm aware of the overall concept and I'm pretty sure I know what people mean when they talk about their IT strategy, but what is it really?

The questions

After the meeting was over the questions kept coming up in my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more confused I got. Could my perception of IT strategy really be that wrong? As it turned out, I discovered that I actually didn't even had a full perception of what IT strategy is. To give myself a clearer picture I asked these three rather simple questions.

  • What is an IT strategy and what is its purpose?
  • Is an IT strategy still relevant in our days?
  • How should an IT strategy be formed to prove itself useful for the case organization?

The findings

An IT strategy is often a myth in many companies. Most people know it exist, but no one has ever seen it. You could wonder why companies are even bothered with developing IT strategies if they are never used. A reason could be that it is a mere matter of old habits. This can open a discussion of what role an IT strategy should have in an organization, and even more if the use of an IT strategy is still useful or if it is obsolete.

Throughout the research it was found that an IT strategy is a method for strategic planning of the organizations use of IT. With this, it means that an IT strategy consist of a number of plans and strategic actions that lay the way for IT in the organization. In the matter of relevancy of an IT strategy, it was found that the relevance of an IT-strategy depends on how the strategy is adapted to the organization. Overall it was found that an IT strategy is very much relevant in most organizations, but only the concept of an IT strategy. The content should be sought to be a match to the organization, and perhaps not so classic as is was determined previously in this research.

Whether or not an IT strategy is useful, most government organizations must have an IT-strategy. They have a responsibility to the public and the rest of the government to document best possible use of IT. This research has not only been focusing on cold-hearted strategy and processes, but there has also been a focus on the people in the organization through a culture analysis. Through this, it has been found that a classic strategic planning strategy does not fit all government organizations. Instead, the best solution in some cases is to remove as much possible strategy from the actual IT strategy and place it in the business strategy to make IT more aligned with the overall business strategy. This opens up for a more process oriented daily use of strategy through DYA (Dynamic Architecture). This approach makes it possible to develop an IT strategy that is more static in the content and position IT strategy in the business strategy and the daily use in program and project management. This approach will slowly integrate EA into the organization, and on the long run it will give a better and more precise view of the resources within.

Within this analysis there is a recommendation for the case organization. It is off course, highly recommended that it will be followed to ensure transparent use of IT and to align IT even more with the business.


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Former Classes

XML-processing - methods, tools and theories

The goal of the course is to enable the participants to use XML and its related technologies appropriately to solve a given problem related to application integration, data exchange and transformation, and be able to evaluate the development of, and adapt to future XML-technologies.

IT-Security
IT Security will include different disciplines from technical security to soft security, the human security.

  • CIA model
  • Usability & psychology
  • Bleeding edge. Privacy, virtual worlds, social networking, Web2.0
  • Network and Communication security
  • Symetric and asymetric cryptation
  • Security models and trusted computing

Information, Economics and Business
Economics of information and organization form the core of this course. The course starts by introducing some basic micro economic theories that are prominent in terms of information management and information efficiency. Then selected issues with wide impact on individuals, firms and markets are presented. Indicative examples include electronic markets, electronic auctions, information goods and pricing, firm as a nexus of contracts, business networks, virtual communities and open source.

Software acquisition and requirements
When acquering new software, most people are not sure what they want. They know what type of product is needed but not what functions needed to be met in order to fulfill the requirements. This course will show how it's posible to find all requirements through analysis.

Media and Communication

Venturing into Software Businesses
Outsourcing, global competition and collaboration, open source software, new business models, market monopolies, local government and international regulation, and mobile devices are some of the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs in today’s rapidly changing society. Both EU and the Danish government regard SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) as having a strong potential in the ICT (information and communication technology) market.

The course will provide an inspiration and opportunity for students who consider venturing into new software businesses, covering the most important topics to be dealt with in this area. Relevant theories, techniques, and real-life examples will be presented and discussed, and provided with this background students will develop, describe and analyze new software-based businesses, based on their own visions and ideas.

 

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