Managers at some companies face an ongoing systems development crisis: IS departments develop systems that businesses cannot or will not use. At the heart of the problem is a “great divide” that separates the world of business and the world of IS. Few departments seem able or ready to cross this gap.
One reason for the crisis is that many companies are looking for ways to improve existing, out-of-date systems or to build new ones. Another is the widespread use of PC-based systems that have spawned high user expectations that IS departments are not meeting. Users seek more powerful applications than are available on many older systems.
The costs of the great divide can be devastating. An East Coast chemical company spent over $1 million on a budgeting and control system that was never used. The systems department’s expertise was technical excellence, not budgets. As a result, the new system completely missed the mark when it came to meeting business needs. A Midwestern bank used an expensive computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tool to develop a system that users ignored because there had been no design planning. A senior analyst for the bank said, “They built the system right; but unfortunately they didn’t build the right system.”
a. What is the great divide in the systems development process? What causes the gap?
b. What would you suggest to solve this great divide information crisis?
c. Discuss the role a systems designer, business manager, and end user can take to narrow the great divide.
d. Whole plays the most vital role in the effective development of the system?