Downsizing information systems : framing the issues for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
Hutson, Peter M.
Suh, Myung W.
Emery, James C.
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Downsizing information systems from large and centralized mainframe computing architectures to smaller and distributed desktop systems is one of the most difficult and critical strategic decisions facing both corporate and government organizations. Vendor advertisements and media hype often boast of huge cost savings and greater flexibility while retaining mainframe-strength performance. Cryptic terminology, biased vendor assistance, and rapidly changing technology complicate already difficult decisions. This thesis provides an executive summary for middle and top managers requiring a survey of the major downsizing issues. It provides an overview of architectural trends that are helping to fuel the downsizing process to include an emphasis on the client/ server paradigm, the evolving roles of the mainframe and desktop computers, and innovative architectural software tools. An analysis of management and technical risks according to organizational, performance, and cost factors also focuses on such critical considerations as business process reengineering, open systems, flexibility, throughput, security, conversion costs, and life-cycle costs of downsized systems. Finally, this thesis 'frames' the issues for the Office of Naval Intelligence and DoD by highlighting and outlining some general guidelines that may be used to intelligently plan strategy and make key organizational decisions
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