Week 4 ds 1 | INF 220 IS Principles | Ashford University

Our guest speaker, Karla Lewis, described functionality of a shared services infrastructure data center (INF220 Week Four Information Systems – Infrastructure Development Approaches Part One (Links to an external site.) and INF220 Week Four Information Systems – Infrastructure Development Approaches Part Two (Links to an external site.)). The Instructor Guidance discusses six categories of benefits from integrating shared services in the organization. Using these categories, discuss the benefits of the shared services provided by Karla Lewis’s organization. Give examples to illustrate your answer. Provide justification and citations for your points.

Benefits of Shared Services

Increased Efficiency/Reduced Costs- By employing the use of shares services, for example my organization will be soon transitioning our network/fileserver over to Google Drive. We currently have relied on an internal monitored file server that is our go to place in order to store and share data rather than emailing that information over. But since our Data scientist is moving on to Apple to be a data scientist for them, we have to now employ the use of an intelligent IT system to rely on. Our text shares, “Consequently, information systems that provide business intelligence—by collecting and analyzing data and delivering needed information to the right decision maker at the right time—facilitate the effective management of modern organizations” (Valacich & Schneider, 2016). Ms. Karla Lewis certainly was able to share her corporation is technology driven to assist in IT support. Ms. Lewis mentioned how Shared services are cost effective for business entities rather than one IT person (like my organization) trying to handle various functions on their own without being cost effective.

Improved Levels of Service- The information systems Ms. Lewis utilizes has the knowledge in many levels of service whether it be to provide services to the end user all the way to the data sever behind the scenes. Engility concentration is to make sure that all systems are functioning and above all, secure.

Increased Process Standardization – Sorting out business capacity needs, rather than having multiple enterprises operating different needs just as she explained in her video. Ms. Lewis states how Engility services is a one stop shop for any of shared services necessities.

Enhanced Professionalization- Ms. Lewis emphasizeson how the company she works for selects applicants that have a BA degree, certifications, technical experience, computer science/math experience, and or science-based curriculum.  

Improved Opportunities and Motivation- Creative infrastructure activities are what is making social media to be as fun and creative as it is. Data science and information systems are constantly evolving and growing based on how social media has taken the attention from us all.

Better Technology– Integrating different services and data functioning onto one system in order to eliminate multi functioning systems. For example, the current organization I work for is looking to do away with the in-house file server we have and move that job on to Google Drive. This will certainly be a better technology for our organization to all understand.

The internet of things (IoT) was explained in week three as a web or platform where smart devices communicated with each other and people to deliver valuable data sharing. Now, for these systems to be able to share information efficient and securely, an IT infrastructure is needed to host all the hardware components for secured data sharing.

According to Karla Lewis, our week four guest speaker and program director for Engility Corporation (an international IT corporation) headquartered in Virginia, her organization provides such infrastructure integration (sharing) services.  Shared services are the consolidation and provision of IT service by either a contract service provider or by one department within the same organization previously provided and managed by multiple departments with the same organization.

According to the video, the department of the motor vehicle (DMV), driver license department, and the voter registration offices in the state of Colorado benefited in various ways by contracting their IT service needs to Engility Corporation. Instead of having multiple data centers managed by different organizations or departments, Engility corporation provides these services from their (a single) data center.

Using the services of one IT service provider such as Engility is cost-effective because it eliminates the need for additional hardware, hard drives, and software. Processes are standardized because multiple departments or organizations can use one storage device or server, which is connected to several network components. Furthermore, security improves because access to personal information by multiple IT service providers is reduced to a limited number of authorized individuals. The same firewall and perimeters are used throughout the network reducing system glitches. Engility becomes more aware of system failures and provides better systems/technology, which improves staff motivation. Lastly, the level of service improves when various sections within an organization use the same data center.  Service improves because issues are identified and reported, her expert IT team quickly resolve the issue instead of different service providers from different data centers trying to fix the issue.

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