Pensacola State College
Managing information systems can be problematic if the IS does not have the correct plan for the information that must be used for a business’ activity. Therefore, in today’s world, information technology has become much better in order to maintain and manage an information system with the proper implementations used for the management of the IS.
Managing Information Systems In today’s world, schools use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is helpful when an organization has to implement new activities concerning the school system, but it is not always the perfect match for the solution that the school has in place when it comes to using certain software with the IS. The ERP must address all of an organization’s activities, big or small, but the software must integrate with the company’s planning system. This is the case that happened with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst when its system crashed in 2004 (Wailgum, 2005). In order to have a solution, it may take troubleshooting done by the administrators, IS staff, and sometimes a third party consultant. While schools must use a student information system to conduct business, from time to time problems may arise. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is one of the schools that had an IS problem that caused its system to crash in 2004, causing a backlog of cases regarding the 24,000 students to have problems with registration, financial aid, and class scheduling. The spokesman for the school, Ed Blaguszewski stated, “Although the system worked slowly at times, its overall performance was satisfactory.” On September 7, 2004, the system crashed completely, which caused thousands of new and existing students to be confused, frustrated, and inconvenienced”; faculty was also affected by this because they were not able to pull up information that they needed as well. Officials had to use e-mail blasts in order to get information to the students and tried posting information online to assists the students. Although the cause of the crash is still unknown, PeopleSoft officials, who are the makers of the Spire software that was used, the university’s staff, and a third-party consultant got together to troubleshoot the problem with the ERP system. The problem the university faced was to troubleshoot the portal problem, which is a “one stop shop” portal with a more user-friendly interface, which was to replace a homegrown Web front-end in July. This was during the time that some bugs were worked out during the testing stage (Songini, 2004). John Dubach, CIO of the university at that time, found out later that his staff did a rushed implementation when testing the Spire system; therefore, not doing enough load testing and not having the correct configurations concerning the password system added to the problem as well. Although the university’s staff e-mailed students to inform them about the problem, they could not read the e-mail because they could not log in. This caused the overload because they system was not tested for having the “I forgot my password” request. This request was put in a thousand times by the students. Even calling in the PeopleSoft officials did not help because they could not come up with a solution either. Due to them not having that much experience with the university’s portal environment, Dubach felt as though their outside consultants were of no help. Jim McGlothlin, who worked for PeopleSoft and who obtained a vice president position with Oracle, disagrees with the Dubach’s comment. He stated, “You need to allow a couple of weeks to do the load testing.”
Dubach and his staff stuck to working out most of the problems for four long days and nights. Although the system worked, it still worked slowly from time to time, causing anxiety for the staff, but it never went down again (Wailgum, 2005).
In order to have a successful