Read ALL of the material on this page and attached files thoroughly before you begin.
Purpose of the Assignment
The purpose of the case analysis is to present you with a typical scenario you will likely encounter in business at some point in your early career. And, this is an opportunity to let you apply the concepts you’ve learned in class and from the book as well as some of your other classes to analyze the issues facing a specific company (or person).
Importantly, the work you do here will be used to inform the next two C-Level Communications assignments (Presentation and Briefing).
Length: 10 or so single-spaced pages plus a cover page and at the back an endnote page is a fairly average minimum.
Using the provided “SMB Case” material plus additional information that you have researched, write a Case Analysis that provides a solidly considered IT/IS digital transformation strategy recommendation to Janice (Senior Director of IT) that will help accelerate the growth of the business by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing, sales, inventory and accounting functions.
NB: As with all business writing, assume other people in the organization not directly addressed on the cover page may read your analysis. Be very careful what you say and how you say it. In this instance, assume all the senior executives will read your analysis.
Remember, you are an employee of the company in the case and are writing this analysis for Janice (not me) and the other executives of the company will read it. You are not a student writing a class paper/report.
As you consider the elements of the case, think about the implications of the Enhanced Leavitt’s Diamond Model covered in class. This is your tool to make sure all relevant bases/topics are covered appropriately.
Note: The market opportunity is good so there is growing competition in the region from other larger, more technically savvy companies. You may want to do a little research to see what other industrial distributors are doing to stay competitive.
Note: Liberal use of tables, charts and diagrams is highly recommended. Any financial information related to your implementation must be in table format. Do not embed detailed financial information (e.g. costs and budgets) into sentences.
Specific Questions to Be Considered
There are several questions that you must consider in your analysis. [Note: At some point early in your thinking about the case, you should consider which digital transformation design choice company should use: automate, informate, transform (re-engineer) or paradigm shift. Look for best-in-class examples that support your choice.]
Please answer the following questions in the order given based upon your digital transformation design choice. Please restate the questions as a 4 to 5-word header as a statement (not a question):
Areas to Consider: Cover the four main areas* in the exact following order:
Process (Put your quantified benefits here)
Technology (Software, Hardware, Data, Supporting Infrastructure) [Note: A case specific infrastructure diagram is absolutely required!]
High-level Budget for the implementation (presented in a table). Cite your sources.
Timeline for the Implementation.
What will the most difficult implementation task be?
What are the top 3 risks of your IT/IS digital transformation strategy recommendation? How will you mitigate them? Do your research to discover what the experts say about digital transformation/business process redesign success/failure. And, remember, if you highlight a Risk you must always immediately propose a Solution to mitigate the Risk.
*Note: Please use as the section main head “Areas to Consider” and use “Process”, “Structure”, etc. as sub headers. Do the same for the Technology elements.
Grading will be on a point system based on content, clarity, and writing fundamentals. Points will be assigned as follows (For specific levels, consult the Canvas Assignment Rubric):
Points (100 Total possible points):
70 points – Critical thinking broken down as follows:
5 points – Executive Summary
40 points – Answer the questions thoroughly with clear supporting facts and in a business “voice”
10 points – A well thought out Network diagram (You must construct this diagram. A “clip art’ diagram is worth “0” zero points.)
10 points – Illustrative graphs and tables that prove your points
5 points – Go above and beyond (do extra research, citing respected sources) and/or exemplar writing (well-formed business/analysis style solid compare and contrast for proposed solutions and excellent business voice)
15 points – Proper Format and Business Voice
15 points – Authoritative references cited properly as endnotes that prove the points in your analysis
Do enough research and use the references necessary to cover the topic adequately. You will probably have more than 15 references. Be sure to use respected sources – Use the CRAP test.
Citing Wikipedia, CourseHero, Chegg or the like is not allowed. 15 points will be deducted for every citation instance.
Late Case Studies: Lose 10 points (one grade level) for every day or fraction of a day late as measured from the beginning of the day and time the case is due. No exceptions unless an approved excuse according to University Policy.
Plagiarism: Automatic 0 points out of 100 (Will show as a “1” in Canvas)
Discrimination: Automatic 0 points out of 100 (Will show as a “2” in Canvas)