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Five-Year IT Global Strategic Plan
Lee and Mary’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Table of Contents
IT Strategic Plan: Vision and Mission Statements 3
Company Vision Statement 3
Company Mission Statement 3
Method of Alignment between Business Goals and IT Goals 3
IT Strategic Plan: Overview 3
IT Strategic Plan: Principles and Assumptions 5
IT Strategic Plan: Technology’s Current State 5
IT Infrastructure Review 5
Application Development Business Systems 6
End User and Product Applications 6
IT Computing Infrastructure and Platforms 6
IT Network and Communication Architecture 6
IT Strategic Plan: Technology’s Future State Targets 7
Target #1 7
Target #2 7
Target #3 8
Target #4 8
Target #5 9
Target #6 9
Target #7 10
Target #8 10
Target #9 11
Target #10 11
Target #11 11
Activities 12IT Strategic Plan: Vision and Mission Statements Company Vision Statement
Lee and Mary’s Gourmet Ice Cream will be recognized by delighted customers around the globe as the best fine frozen confectioners and purveyors of ice cream manufacturing, distribution, and customer services.Company Mission Statement
Our mission is to create the finest possible frozen confections and ice cream products and to present these premium products through unparalleled quality across multiple countries, while creating unique tastes using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients.Method of Alignment between Business Goals and IT Goals
This global IT strategic plan is aligned to the five-year business plan goals set by Lee and Mary’s Gourmet Ice Cream. This strategic plan represents a direction taken from the alignment of business goals to the as-is and to-be state of technology existing at Lee and Mary’s. The following goals do not represent the entire business goal compendium, but rather those goals are specifically oriented to the information technology area. These become the focus of this document and the expressed vision of the IT organization. The goal of the company is to reach outside its operations in North America and London, England, and expand to select countries in Western Europe and other cities in Great Britain.
- As the company expands, the business systems capabilities that fueled its domestic growth will have to be improved or replaced to serve an international marketplace. This includes an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a customer relationship management system (CRM), and a point-of-sale system (POS).
- As the company continues to expand, it will require an automated system to manage its sales operations. This will require automation and digitization of a current manual process and the ability to extend sales management internationally.
- As the company grows internationally, it will need an updated human resource management system (HRMS) that can service personnel management, payroll, travel and expenses, evaluation and performance, recruiting and onboarding, and individual development and training. This enhanced HRMS will replace the older system and manual processes currently in place.
- As the company expands, messaging and communication software must be upgraded to include a more robust communication system that will include email, audio, video, and telemetry capability beyond the current Gmail used today. This includes messaging (ICQ), desktop conferencing, video streaming, and conferencing.
- As the company adds new cities and locations, it must onboard these sites quickly and cleanly without long infrastructure scale-ups or wait times. To accomplish this, the IT organization must review the current infrastructure and build a sustainable and scalable environment that will power quick and easy expansion into domestic and international locations.
- Lee and Mary’s hope this plan will make the company ready to “get out of the IT business” and to focus on the “ice cream business.” The company hopes to outsource as many of its IT operations as is feasible and has allocated a budget of $20,000,000 for this plan.
IT Strategic Plan: Overview
This document presents the information technology (IT) strategic plan for the next five years.
Lee and Mary’s Gourmet Ice Cream is a domestic company that was established in 1970 as a sweet way to bring people together. It has grown into a successful, employee-friendly company. Although the founders were members of the late 60s counterculture, rather than rejecting capitalism and economic prosperity, the company has embraced these as core principles to create shared prosperity for both owners and employees.
The company has headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, which is the hometown of the founders Mary and Lee Bentley, the two self-proclaimed hippies, who later married. Although both have some college education, neither earned a degree but have real-life experiences. At first the company grew in and around the Dayton metropolitan area, but over the years expanded into 30 states and parts of Canada. In 1990, Lee and Mary attempted to franchise the business, but found it difficult to deal with individuals who did not share their vision or values. In 1998, the company purchased all remaining franchise ownerships and since then, all stores are company owned.
In 2008, during a vacation to Great Britain, Lee and Mary decided to expand across the Atlantic Ocean. During their travels in Britain, they discovered they could get very fresh ingredients, but the ice cream they tasted was horrible! Within a year, Lee and Mary successfully opened two stores in London. Over the next 10 years, they added 12 more stores in the London metropolitan area.
As the company expanded, it also added four warehouse distribution centers: one each in Dayton (OH), San Jose (CA), Mobile (AL), and Crawley (just outside of London). These distribution centers manage products for their respective regions. However, there is very little automation in these centers, with all of them using more manual and analogue means to track and distribute products.
In 2012, Lee and Mary passed their day-to-day management responsibilities to their daughter Destiny. Unlike her parents, she is very well educated and has a degree in marketing and an MBA in global management. She is the current CEO and president. With her arrival as the head of the company, Lee and Mary’s has embarked on a plan for significant changes, especially with respect to automation, digital improvements, and new-age thinking.
Before taking over as CEO, Destiny, in her previous role as chief marketing officer (CMO), revamped the corporate website, created a social media web presence, and formalized the technology side of the business. Now as CEO she wants to accelerate the company’s technological evolution and prepare Lee and Mary’s for the rest of the twenty-first century.
She has also revamped the executive management team to include James Peck, the chief operating officer (COO); Marlene Simmons, the chief people officer (CPO); Harold Fisk, the chief ice cream officer; Damian Bolt, the senior vice president of international sales; and Amanda Perkins, the chief marketing officer (CMO).
Destiny embraces lean manufacturing practices and is enthralled with agile methodologies. She is looking for her management team to inject iterative processes into every aspect of the business. She wants to embark on an entire store refurbishment and wants to upgrade and automate her distribution centers. She wants to focus on what she believes is Lee and Mary’s core values and competencies: making delicious ice cream, using sustainable products, engaging production practices that are earth-friendly, and staying true to the family’s vision of extraordinary tastes with exceptional quality.
The company’s most recent hire was a new CIO, who was crafting a corporate IT global strategic plan. Unfortunately, the recent CIO suddenly left the company for personal reasons, which leaves the company with some decisions to make regarding upgrades to its technology infrastructures, processes, and systems to support its global expansion. The company has decided to hire an outside consultant to complete the company’s IT global strategic plan.IT Strategic Plan: Principles and Assumptions
The following principles establish a shared approach to providing IT services to the corporate community. Delivery of the plan assumes the following:Principles
- Shared prosperity and success between management, employees, and customers will lead to sustainable prosperity and success for all.
- Fair trade and sustainably-produced ingredients create a product that is healthy for individuals, communities, and the planet.
- Success carries a responsibility to help make the world a better place.
- People are willing to pay more for a truly excellent gourmet product.
- People are willing to pay more when they feel good about the company and its policies.
- People are willing to own their job and work hard for the company’s success when
- they are fairly compensated,
- they feel they are making a difference, and
- they see the results of their labor in a positive, productive manner.
- Although international cultures have different tastes, ice cream is embraced throughout the world and can be successfully marketed globally with campaigns that are culturally targeted.
- Sales and marketing campaigns are tailored to the locale and culture. In-store gourmet products will work well in some cultures, while more accessible kiosk offerings will make the product more popular in other cultures.
IT Strategic Plan: Technology’s Current State IT Infrastructure Review
Lee and Mary’s Gourmet Ice Cream Company has existed for over 45 years with its main headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, which is also the site of the company’s main data center. The 3,400 square foot data center is a traditional facility with a raised floor and a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. The center has two 750 kW Caterpillar (1979) diesel generators and twin UPS systems for backup power. The center has removed its Halon fire suppression system in lieu of a relatively new (2008) FM200 suppression system. The center uses three WAN providers with micro nodes located on the premises. One of these vendors is a tier 1, while the others are tier 3 providers. The center uses core switching, comprising Cisco Nexus 7000 series units and a cascade of downline routers and switches. Currently, 10Base100 is provided to the desktop.
The center houses client and application servers, composed of various classes of machines, including many with dual-core processors running Windows servers 3 and 8, along with several Linux Red Hat servers. Most servers are virtualized with a simple ratio of 12:1 on average. There are currently 370 virtuals operating with several single-strand machines still engaged, using Microsoft HyperV. The digital storage environment is composed of some Dell units of various models totaling 5 TB of SATA storage, two EMC 8000 series supporting 25 TB of SAN storage, and one NetApp Virtual Director with 4 TB of NAS storage.
There is a disaster recovery site at the SunGard center in Phoenix, AZ. However, the disaster recovery site has long been neglected for a match, and now only certain types of data are written to the backup site directly. There is data storage off base at Iron Mountain (the local Phoenix, AZ, storage officer complex) using LTO5 media, but there is no digital catalog system or quick recovery to Phoenix determined.Application Development Business Systems
The company uses an old version of BPCS ERP. This basically covers the financials of accounts receivable (AR), accounts payable (AP), and general ledger (GL) along with reconciliation and budgeting. Remote sales offices and the new international office in London upload financials to the Dayton office via Hyperion. There is currently no formal CRM system, but the company uses an older version of Intrack ticketing to manage customer service calls and to take orders from its in-house sales desk. Various sales and marketing people use their own copies of Contact to maintain customer lists. However, there are no central corporate data repositories used to track customers. A very strong sales VP continues to support these individual instances of Contact, indicating that it gives independent sales agents better control over their customers. Although at one time this was supported by senior management, now the company wants to change to a more consolidated, centrally shared CRM capability. Marketing has also indicated a need for a digital asset management system and the capability to manage collateral material using a marketing development and approval process.End User and Product Applications
Company sales operations and customer data management has been done manually by each salesperson. Sales directors gather the data from each salesperson and forward the numbers, sometimes with errors, to the sales VP. Then, it is manually consolidated; afterwards, sales forecasting and quota assignments are manually generated from the results. One of the main company goals is to have an automated sales system that provides pricing, quoting, and customer/product tracking. A more automated sales series of functionality will help streamline sales management, especially forecasting and territory management.
The company deals in a commodity product. Between the company and customer as well as between the company and supplier, the current manual point-of-sale system can no longer scale or sustain the company’s current growth. An up-to-date system is essential if the company is going to continue to grow and be profitable, especially as it extends deeper into the international marketplace. In addition to its point-of-sale and automated sales management, the company has no automated customer relationship management system other than various manual functions being executed today.IT Computing Infrastructure and Platforms
Much of the company’s IT infrastructure is over 15 years old. There are times when the processing power of the current server arrays slows down as it handles more and more data each month. Currently the IT Department uses a series of Openware computer and network-monitoring tools. During off hours in both Europe and North America, Lee and Mary’s use the services of an oil company’s computer operations department to monitor its systems. Recently it was uncovered that this oil company has direct ties to former Russian government technology services. The IT Department in Dayton, OH, manages all the PCs, laptops, tablets, and cell phones for the enterprise, physically storing them on site and sending them out to members when needed. Fulfillment time usually is within two weeks.IT Network and Communication Architecture
Currently the company uses several vendors to build and maintain their WAN networks. Each time they add a new sales location and/or enter a new country they have to add more WAN connections. As a style of networking, the company uses point-to-point connections to achieve their network goals. However, over time, the costs of point to point have become a significant burden to the company. They need to improve its network architecture with a network infrastructure that is scalable and sustainable over a long period of time and that is quick to engage (and disengage) as the company grows. From the LAN perspective, the company needs to improve its messaging and communication capabilities. It needs a new email system, a text and video conference system, an active and responsive intranet, and a streaming data capability as part of its network architecture.IT Strategic Plan: Technology’s Future State Targets
Note: All these activities were high priority and are listed in order of maturity.Target #1
. . . .
Data Center Refurbishment and Updating – The current data center is over 20 years old and has grown as the company has grown and expanded. However, current operation is costly and hardware intensive and is in need of an architecture review.Objectives
- Update the current data center facility with a modern, state-of-the-art capability to more easily support the growth of the company by organic scalability and sustainability.
- Create a more efficient operating environment that can expand to acute needs without heavy lifting and that uses more cost-effective use of resources, reducing overall costs of operation.
- Research a location or site to build a new data center. Consider the physical facilities that the current data center does not have and design a state-of-the-art data center to house the current and future infrastructure equipment of Lee and Mary’s Gourmet Ice Cream.
- Design and build a showcase network operations center that is overseen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hire additional resources to cover the various hours needed to support a global operations reach. Include facility, infrastructure, network, database, and application monitoring and support.
- Develop a plan to replace all the computing equipment, including servers, file extenders, data storage devices, core routing, edge routing and switching, power distribution units, UPS power and distribution systems, and media production and storage capabilities.
. . .
Unified Communications System (e.g., email, conferencing, and messaging) – The local area network is slower than needed, especially for newer, cloud-based applications. The email system needs refurbishment and should include instant messaging as well as video conferencing on demand.Objectives
- Decide on a client-based email application or cloud service email.
- Email application should include an ICQ messaging center and have access to tablets and smartphones.
- Research and select a desktop video conferencing application.
- Plan and implement Microsoft Exchange in the central data center. Push 2016 Outlook to all PCs and company computing nodes.
- Use Google Hangout for video audio conferencing and have each employee sign up for their own account.
- Use the instant message feature in Google Hangouts to provide user IM and pro services via their desktop. Embed Google Hangouts app on company cell phones to extend the reach of this capability.
. . . .
Systems Computing Power, Operating Systems, and Systems Architecture and Support – The goal of this target is to assess the computing power of the current platform base. (Computing power is a combination of core processors applied to the various business and network applications based on the memory and speed of the processors.) Additionally, the goal is to reassess the use of client and application server computing, the type and brand of operating system (e.g., Linux vs. Windows) to be used, and peripherals to be used (e.g., storage, network routers and switches, network extenders).Objectives
- Determine the remaining life of the current computing environment. Construct a replacement strategy to either rip and replace components or determine another platform possibility that will meet future needs and scalability requirements.
- Determine if current system architecture will meet future requirements, including consideration of the business goals.
- Plan the current server base and determine the replacement process based on the facility decision (premise, colocation, web service platform). If premise or colocation, develop a replaceable, hot-swap technology architecture that supports virtual computing with medium to high ratios (minimum 15:1 virtual to physical). If web service platform is selected, construct an ordered architecture plan for the provided with computing and growth requirements, including fluid capacity growth and high service uptime.
- Determine a best of class virtual manager with consideration of VMware, RedHat, and HyperV. Maintain a high virtual to physical ratio if on premise or colocated, and a similar ratio as requirements if a web services platform is selected.
- Select a processor base with a minimum core processing component, memory component, and processor speed. Consider blade servers for tier 2 and 3 services, for greater accessibility and growth.
- Consider virtual storage arrays in either of the platform types; however, determine the current and future need for SATA, SAN, and NAS storage protocols, as well as the possible use of Flash. Consider moving all storage to the cloud, or at least all tier 2 and 3 storage support systems.
- Include peripherals in the architecture plan, including network accelerators, extenders, and a core routing and switching system with reasonable redundancy. This includes VLAN assignments to all data-demanding systems (e.g., video/audio conferencing), network accelerators between high-demand sites, and high-speed core to core routing between the central processing location and its disaster recovery reflection.
- Build a rolling 20% expansion capability that can be maintained as the systems and network grow due to customer growth dependent on the platform architecture determined in 3.1.
. . . .
Disaster Recovery, Data Backups – There are multiple arrays of storage and storage types at the central data center. The data center stores local tape backups for 35 days in Linear Tape Open (LTO) 5 format. Tapes are copied twice and rotated monthly to the Iron Mountain off-site storage facility and to the SunGard Phoenix backup facility. However, some of the storage tapes are in LTO2, LTO4, and LTO5. Lee and Mary have only one LTO2 reader back in the data center. Due to space and cost issues, not all the copies of daily, weekly, and monthly tapes have been sent to SunGard. There has not been a viable tape test in several years. This target requires a new digital storage plan to include reasonable redundancy, backup programs, and a documented disaster recovery program.Objectives
- Create a documented backup program.
- Create a documented and tested redundancy plan.
- Create a documented and testable disaster recovery plan.
- Review the backup process. Create a new backup capability based on the new storage refurbishment plan and platform.
- Develop a new backup and redundancy test plan that can be engaged on a regular, periodic basis.
- Create a new disaster recovery (DR) plan and possible platform. Review current and possible future services that will engage DR and business continuity actions when needed. Determine the business needs for operational continuity and capture this into the new DR plan.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and Internally Facing Business Support Systems – The company must upgrade its ERP functionality to handle the growing business and its international expansion. The system must be capable of integrating with one or multiple point-of-sale (POS) systems. This system will also involve a human resource management system (HRMS) and a materials resource management (MRP) system.
- Research and select a new ERP System.
- Determine the modules and functionality of the ERP System (to include HRMS, MRP, FICO, etc.)
- Determine the type of platform for the ERP (e.g., in premise, colocation, SaaS).
- Establish a project to plan and implement business planning and control system’s (BPCS) version 9.6 to upgrade the current version.
- Assign a program manager to the project and identify sponsor, steering committee, and stakeholders.
- Identify and document an ERP implementation resource plan. Use knowledgeable programming and support resources that know BPCSs and attempt to document this implementation (as the previous implementation failed to fully document the changes or provide a run book for operational support and usage).
- Implement a train-the-trainer program after the version upgrade is made. Take the next year to make sure everyone in the support group and all programmers have gone through the basic new version training.
- Use the current monthly reports to keep people informed. Add a new box on the report to indicate the progress of the project.
Point-of-Sale (POS) System – The company must upgrade and/or implement sales automation and customer management. There are various manual and single instance systems currently existing that must be consolidated and/or refurbished or replaced to support the growth of the company, especially in the international marketplace.Objectives
- Consolidate and select a point-of-sale system that will operate anywhere in the world.
- Research, select, and implement a new Salesforce automation system.
- Research, select, and implement a new customer response/relationship system.
- Dovetail the current, various POS systems and manual methods in lieu of this new system. Determine if an in-house application or a SaaS service is better suited to the company.
- Get together with the sales and marketing groups in each region and let them implement their own point-of-sale system. Make sure each of these applications can be customized to fit the Hyperion reporting system that will gather the data monthly for reconciliation and reporting.
- Consolidate all the customer data from the different regions and put it into an MS Access database. Make the database accessible to the intranet so that all employees can get to it via that portal.
- After the MS Access database is developed and implemented, train everyone who wants to be trained on the system. Try to cover all daily users and customers of the system within the current year.
- Streamline the batch data exchange between the BPCS system and the Access database with customer data. Consider going to a new format for tape that takes less time to copy and load. Current data rollovers are taking almost all night, and as the data increases, so will the rollover time to load.
. . .
Wide Area Networks (WAN) and Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) and Network Architecture – The current network is composed of point-to-point circuits that have been added as needed. There is very little redundancy in the network, and the current WAN is composed of multiple providers that are one to three tiers. Most are multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) with some legacy T1 and T3 fractional links to various locations. The internal local area network (LAN) starts with a core router and then is routed and switched within the headquarters’ environment. The distribution centers are connected via point to point to the headquarters’ location. Each company store is connected through various local carriers and ultimately routed to the headquarters’ location.Objectives
- Develop a new wide area network architecture and plan, replacing the current topology with a more up-to-date one.
- Establish a carrier relationship, especially for international network services, preferably with a tier 1 provider.
- Establish a plan for local area network infrastructure and architecture including redundant core routing and switching.
- Determine if network engineering capabilities should be a part of the IT Department skill set or if contracting support and monitoring services are more advantageous.
- Review network equipment and put a resource and budget plan to upgrade and/or replace older equipment (including core and head of tail routing and switching).
- Select a network provider to support the company needs internationally.
- Upgrade the MPLS network to a higher, more advanced protocol.
- Implement a monitoring service or establish a more formal network operations center.
- Engage a cross-carrier architecture to take advantage of cross-connect services internationally.
Security Architecture Review and Refurbishment – The company has a traditional firewall and maintains a rather general security presence for both internal and external environments. A total review of the security architecture is required. This will include its computing, network, and data environment.Objectives
- Create a security review of all operational areas.
- Create a security review of the personnel and physical environments of the company.
- Develop a network security plan.
- Develop a personnel security plan.
- Develop a systems security plan.
- Develop a physical security plan.
- Develop a data security plan.
Training, Maintenance, and Support Services – The company is making an investment in new systems and must support that investment with structured user and service training to maintain and leverage the investment made.Objectives
- Develop a training plan to leverage the use of newly upgraded environments.
- Construct a service and maintenance plan to support the computing, network, and development environment.
- Develop a company systems training plan.
- Develop a maintenance and service plan to cover all systems and software held by the company.
Salesforce Automation (SFA) – The company must upgrade and/or implement sales automation. There are various manual and single instance systems currently existing that must be consolidated and/or refurbished or replaced to support the growth of the company, especially in the international marketplace.
- Research, select, and implement a new Salesforce automation system.
- Consolidate all instances of Salesforce within the company. Consolidate Salesforce automation (SFA) into a single corporate entity.
10.1. Negotiate a consolidation arrangement with SFDC.
10.2. Secure third-party and/or internal Force.Com skill sets.
10.3. Roll over current Sales Data into the SFDC SA system.Target #11
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System – The company must upgrade and/or implement a unified CRM. There are various manual and single instance systems currently existing that must be consolidated and/or refurbished or replaced to support the growth of the company, especially in the international marketplace.
- Research, select, and implement a new customer response/relationship system.
- Consolidate all instances of Salesforce CRM within the company including non-SFDC CRMs and customer ticketing systems. Consolidate Salesforce customer relationship management (SFDC CRM) into a single corporate entity.
11.1. Roll over current customer data into a consolidated SQL database and allow users that need access authentication into the database.
11.2. Develop an offline output data source with all the different SFDC instances and make the consolidated database available to authenticated users.
11.3. Develop a new UI in the SharePoint intranet to control and monitor the data for use by both sales and customer service.