Understanding the primary function/mission of an organization is important when performing the Current Status Assessment (CSA) of a firm’s technology systems because it places the conclusions of the CSA in the context of that particular firm’s overarching goals. Since the purpose of the CSA is to define the current efficacy of an organization’s information systems, it is important to know the end goal of the organization in general in order to determine if the systems are operating effectively within that organization. For example, a firm that produced only bespoke products for clients on the basis of individual orders would probably not need a sophisticated inventory management and accounting system as part of its IT architecture. Therefore, even if its inventory systems are quite rudimentary, they would still be considered “adequate” by the CSA because the firm’s function/mission does not require anything more advanced. By contrast, that same rudimentary system would probably be seen as “inadequate” within the context of the CSA of, for example, a company that sold paper products, which often require advanced inventory maintenance systems. In other words, the CSA should ask the question “how effectively does this system currently work for the purposes of this firm?” not “is this the best possible system?” Understanding the function/mission of the firm allows people to keep this in mind when performing the CSA.
What role does understanding the organization’s value chain play in performing the Current Status Assessment?