ITM490 case 1

ITM490case 1

Prosand cons of current Alcan technology structure

Oneof the pros of the current technology structure is the ability tomonitor the performance of the business units separately because thearchitecture of IT is highly decentralized in the company. Thus, thebusiness divisions will be highly flexible to adapt to the diversemarket needs by minimizing the threats and maximizing theopportunities. Alcan can control most of the fundamental processesthat lead to effective production. Similarly, the uses of ERP systemsin the decentralized IT will enable each process in every businessunit to be fine-tuned (Dube, Bernier, &amp Roy, 2009). This is thereason every unit in the company has a unique way of handling itsactivities distinct from one another. These systems enable eachdivision of the company to concentrate on the needs of the customershence, gain a larger market share.

Onthe other hand, such a decentralized IT infrastructure has itsdisadvantages. Its approaches are manual, in most cases thus,synchronizing most of the processes in the company is hectic. Thereis no system integration thereby leading to the loss of knowledgetransfer. The current regime is very expensive to maintain because ofits decentralized nature as the Alcan Company has no financialleverage with the vendors of the software that is employed in thefirm (Dube et al., 2009). This has proved to be costly to the companyand wastes a lot of time. Likewise, at the strategic level, thecompany lacks agility as the response to the needs of the market isvery slow. This could probably make the company lose the emergingopportunities in the market that require an immediate response. Thethreats will not be attended with the urgency needed to curb thecompetitors in time.

Prosand cons of Robert Quelette’s proposed new Alcan technologyinfrastructure

Robertsuggests a unified approach where all the architecture of informationtechnology and other processes are integrated. Frankly speaking, byso doing, Alcan will be agiler, and this will make it morecompetitive in the market. The use of Web Service to manage IT in thecompany will make the strategies that require coordination to bequickly defined hence, it will be efficiently executed. Therefore,the company will be in a position to explore the new markets in aquick manner making it more competitive (Dube et al., 2009).Similarly, the unified system is time saving and cost effectivethereby increasing the accuracy of most operations in the company.Likewise, the organization will be able to interpret the needs of thecustomers in a quick and efficient way thus, taking the necessarystrategies to satisfy their needs. Lastly, there are economies ofscale that Alcan enjoys from the proposal like pricing andproduction. This will add to the revenues it is earning from itsoperations in different countries.

Thecons include the company losing focus on the customers and givingpriority to the interests of the enterprise. This is because thecentralized IT architectures become myopic with time after they havebeen employed in the company. Similarly, the new systems will requirethe company to invest an enormous amount of funds in all the businessunits of the corporation. Further, the proposed systems will attractadditional maintenance costs that will reduce the revenues of thecompany (Dube et al., 2009). Likewise, the organization structure ofthe company will be substantially altered from its current form toaccommodate the proposed changes. Some of the employees are likely tolose their positions for the proposal to be effective. Lastly, thereare software errors that are likely to emerge as the new systems willbe put in operation. Such errors will lead to receiving anddissemination of wrong information. Additional staff and training arenecessary to attend to the challenges of the new systems, especiallysystem failure and the possible errors.


Alcanshould ensure that it thrives globally on large scale basis. It,therefore, has to employ different strategies that will make surethat such an expansion is necessitated. Apart from the unificationproposed, other improvements include mergers, acquisitions, andconsolidations. The management should consolidate some of thebusiness units in the company as well as combining with otherprominent firms that have an unyielding IT infrastructure.Consolidations will help the company connect the less profitableunits of the firm thereby minimizing unnecessary expenses. MergingAlcan with other companies will enable it to enjoy the economies ofscale that other big companies in the market are benefiting from.Likewise, if the management works to acquire some of the competitorsin the market, it will be in a position to make use of the availableopportunities as well as minimizing the possible threats.

Additionally,the organization should come up with a department that is responsiblefor attending the needs of the customers in a quick manner. This isbecause the unified system suggested tends to shift its focus fromthe clients and priority is given to the interests of the company.There should be systems put in place to enable the management toattend to the needs of the customers effectively and efficiently. Asa result, the management will know the dissatisfactions of theclients within a very short time and put down the strategies thatwill curb them.


Dube,L., Bernier, C &amp Roy.V. (2009). Taking on the Challenge of ITManagement in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case-Part A.InternationalJournal of Case Studies Management, 1-13 (7).