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Alcan: IT Changes

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The case that you will use for this and the following two modules is another case that is coincidentally also Canadian in origin but in a very different business environment—the aluminum business (spelled here "aluminium" in the British fashion—you may use whichever spelling you choose.) It describes the analysis of the company's IT systems and management performed by a new vice president of corporate information technologies, in all its complexity and magnificent variety. Throughout this case, issues of hardware, software, and management are intertwined, just as they are in real corporate life. One of your tasks will be to disentangle some of these issues for separate consideration in light of what you know and need to know. As we noted in our course overview, it's taken for granted that hardware, software, and management (sometimes referred to as "wetware") are all involved in a complex sociotechnical dance in which changes in any one element inevitably call forth changes in the others—preferably planned, but often unplanned, and not infrequently unanticipated. Thus, while your focus in this module will be primarily on hardware and networking, you'll inevitably find yourself thinking about other dimensions of the problems as well. That's all to the good, but try to keep a focus on the primary issues in each of these three modules. There's plenty of time to concentrate on issues of integration as the course wraps up.

Case Assignment
Please read the Alcan case; it is in two parts:
Dube, L., Bernier, C. and Roy, V. (2009) Taking on the Challenge of IT Management in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case - Part A. International Journal of Case Studies in Management. 7(2):May. HEC020.
Dube, L., Bernier, C. and Roy, V. (2009) Taking on the Challenge of IT Management in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case - Part B. International Journal of Case Studies in Management. 7(2):May. HEC021.
Use information from the course background readings as well as any good quality resource you can find. Please cite all sources and provide a reference list (use APA format) at the end of your paper.following will be assessed:
- What are the pros and cons of the current Alcan technology infrastructure?
- What are the pros and cons of the new Alcan technology infrastructure proposed by Robert Ouelette?
- Please suggest additional improvements of infrastructure for this case and justify your suggestions.

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Step 1
The pros of the current Alcan technology architecture are that every business group is independent with its own strategic IT plan. The infrastructure choices are based on its specific needs, and its requirements of IT applications and services. There is freedom for every group to have its own IT organization that has objectives that are aligned with the group's needs and orientation. Every group experiences autonomy.
The cons of the current technology architecture at Alcan are that there were 900 people working in IT. In other words there was duplication of effort. Further, 80% of the company's annual IT budget was spent on outside services from consulting firms and outsourcing firms. Since there was decentralized purchasing, the costs of IT services were very high. For example, the corporate IT function was made up of 136 persons spread over 12 different sites. This made it difficult to realize economies of scale in purchasing. The IT resources were disparate, having no ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the differences between the current and the new IT architecture at Alcan. The sources used are also included in the solution.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Conduct a PIE Analysis of the Metal Container Industry

Please see the attached template 1

Managerial Strategy Task 1
Conduct a PIE Analysis of the Metal Container Industry
Later that afternoon, as you are settling into your office, Vice President Henry Clark sends you an e-mail explaining the details of the metal container industry analyses he has asked you to prepare.
E-mail from Henry Clark on the Metal Container Industry
You will learn to analyze the factors that affect an industry's ability to create and capture value. Understanding how to perform an industry analysis is the first step in being able to create or analyze a strategy.
Your Deliverable
Prepare an analysis of the metal container industry that includes:
? A vertical chain for the metal container industry.
? A potential industry earnings (PIE) analysis that discusses the effect of various factors (including the six forces) on the metal container industry's ability to create and capture value. Limit your analysis of each factor to three to five sentences.
Download the template provided:
Task One Template
Suggested Approach
Read the project materials and learning resources associated with this task.
Project materials:
? Metal Container Animation
? Metal Container Industry Overview
? Magazine Article (interview with beverage container industry analyst in Container Industry Today)
Learning resources:
? What is Industry Analysis?
? Vertical Chain
? Industry Structure
? Using PIE
? Industry Competition
? Buyer and Supplier Power
Additional readings:
? Saloner et al, Strategic Management, pp. 119-47 and 239-64.
? Porter, Competitive Advantage, pp 1-30.
E-mail from Henry Clark on the Metal Container Industry

To: You, Analyst
From: Henry Clark
Subject: Metal Container Industry

As I told you this morning, one of our clients is currently thinking of acquiring a company within the metal container industry and has asked us to determine the overall attractiveness of the metal container industry.
I'd like you to analyze the profit potential of this industry. What factors are most responsible for its success?
I am sending you some materials that will help you in your research. Included are a number of articles and an explanation of the can-making process that will help you familiarize yourself with the industry. You will also receive an overview of the metal container industry, which a former associate of mine prepared before leaving Kegan.
I look forward to seeing your analysis. Good luck.

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