The Yacht Company in Chicago manages several divisions around the United States, including the Arco Division. Arco produces sailboats and spans a 100- acre site near the Port of Miami, in Miami, Florida. All of Arco’s personal computers are presently linked together over a LAN. Specifically, sales records are kept on a personal computer at the dockside warehouse, and all other records are kept in the main building, where most of top management is also located. The only exception is payroll, which is kept on a personal computer in the maintenance building.
Arco has recently hired Betty Brill, a new information systems manager. At her first staff meeting, Betty informed Brad Wilson, the controller, that she wanted to develop a virtual private network to link all the company’s computers together. Brad’s initial response was negative. He said the following:
Our present systems work fine. As it now stands, the sales and payroll departments are translating their accounting files into ASCII text and sending them over the Internet to the main building. When the text files arrive in the
main building, we then run a program that converts them into a format compatible with our main computer system.
Betty interrupted:
Brad, that’s an archaic system. We’re using all kinds of incompatible formats, and on top of that we’re wasting a lot of effort by expressing mailing disks of our payroll files to Chicago every week so that they can handle the taxes and write the paychecks. What we really need is our own intranet with an outside link to the Internet. That will help us make the transition to compatible file formats. We can also set up a server so that the people in Chicago can access any of the accounting data any time they need them. There will be no need to send them disks all the time.
Brad responded:
That’s really dumb, Betty. Our present system works fine. But your plan will probably cost a lot of money, generate a lot of hassle, and it will even open us to potential hackers. The results could be a major disaster.
Betty concluded her argument:
Brad, I don’t appreciate your calling my ideas dumb. Yours are even dumber. You need to go back to school and learn about today’s technology. Everyone is switching to intranets and wiring up to the Internet. When you get right down to it, we don’t have any choice but to keep up with the times. What I suggest we do is put our entire accounting system on our own private Web site. This way any of us can access the system from either here or Chicago, and I’m not worried about hackers. We can require passwords to access anything on this Web.

a. Select one side of the argument and defend your position.
b. Assume that Arco has decided to implement Betty’s plan. What would be some important considerations relevant to the implementation?

  • CreatedFebruary 26, 2015
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