Systems Analysis and Design

Metatorial Services can help you design and integrate systems in the most effective way. We can help you architect a system from scratch or combine as set of existing systems. We can advise you on data, development, and on the politics of information sharing.

A full blown information system is a complex beast with very many interconnections.

An information system is a named aggregation of hardware, software and standardized processes. The point of a system is to move information some distance along its path from creation to retirement. While specific systems do (or should do) very specific things, systems in general can do just about anything that helps move information forward.

The best way to understand systems is to begin with strategy. Overall, your aim is to deliver important information to important people in order that your organization get closer to its goals. Computer hardware and software can really help. Correctly designed and implemented computer systems can make it possible to collect a lot of important information, amass it in a place where it can be appropriately managed, and publish it to important people in in just the way they want to receive it. You create combinations of programs, processors, and processes to facilitate and automate the movement of information from creator to consumer. You can name these combinations so you can talk about them. The “Web CMS,” “Product Support Knowledgebase,” and “Lead Flow Manager,” that you might need are all named bundles of programs, processors, and processes designed to move information.

It would be nice to have a single system that moves all information to all places, but it not usually possible. For the foreseeable future it is inevitable that you will employ a variety of systems to move different types of information to and from various places.

The difference between a good and bad information technology approach is not the number of systems that are involved in moving information. It is the efficiency and effectiveness with which the information moves.

One system is not inherently better than two. All other things being equal, sure, why have two systems when one can do the job? All things are rarely equal however. First, your new one system may not have all the features of old two. It may not be able to simultaneously serve all the users as well as the separate systems. Second, the politics and logistics of combining systems can be prohibitive. The benefit of combining systems may not be so high. Obviously, some integrations are worth their cost. Just as obviously some are not. Keep in mind too that big central systems are riskier than small local one. A single failure in the big system can bring the organization to its knees.

When dividing systems always think about the movement of information along it's lifecycle.

It's fine to have multiple systems involved in moving information but if you do, you will need a governance structure that spans the set. All too commonly we see different systems owned by different units fighting each other for information. The “information have-not” unit has to beg, cajole or coerce the “information have” unit into working with them. People in the “have” unit feel free to make decisions based on what is best for them, not the organization.

Let Metatorial Services help you zero in on how to move information to advance your strategy. With this basis, important integrations always present themselves and clearly show their value. We can work together to decide if this value is worth the risk and effort of integration. let us help you federate all the systems that participate in information management in your organization so that you can forge them into an efficient and effective “uber-system.” Such an overarching system can still consist of independent systems which have their own purposes and owners. But we can help you tie these purposes together through an information strategy and tie the system owners together under an authority that can require them to transcend their local concerns for global benefit.

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