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MB0047 Q2. What do you understand by service level Agreements (SLAs)? Why are they needed? What is the role of CIO in drafting these? Explain the various security hazards faced by an IS?

Answer: One of the major responsibilities of the CIO is to establish the credibility of the systems organization. The systems department should not only focus on providing better service to the various lines of business but also help businesses operate better. If the CIO wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do what other executives do and have his own business metrics and performance measurements, so that he can effectively measure his internal business performance. Other business departments have them, but CIOs generally do not because IT has always been viewed as a cost center. Measurements in IT tend to be vague and lacking in context. For example, 'I had 14 projects last year, and I did them well.' But there is no real business measurement there. How many projects should the manager have had? Did he really have the capacity to handle 14 projects?
A CIO should explore running their area more like a service operation rather than a cost center, and develop metrics that track the performance of the information systems staff, as well as the equipment comprising the
applications, infrastructure, and networks under the CIO's control. The first step, they say, is to implement service level agreements (SLAs) with business units. It sets the expectation on the technical areas of the CIO's operations. At a minimum, they should set up what is expected and what levels of service the equipment will provide.
The underlying SLAs should be some sort of a charge-back system with business units, particularly when it comes to apportioning staff time. If information systems are now providing a service, the staff need to understand where the service is being used to be properly remunerate or to demonstrate where the value is.
The second part of the IT operations equation is computer equipment, and CIOs must have a firm handle on how that equipment is being used. There are software to help with the people picture, and there are other products that can monitor hardware performance, such as network and server uptime. One of the major roles of the CIO is to make the organization information systems savvy and increase the technological maturity of the information systems organization.
A major part of the CIO's job is to make the users aware of the opportunities arising as a result of technical innovations, how this can help them perform better, and familiarizing them with computers and information systems applications. The information systems management also has the job of helping the end-users adapt to the changes caused by information systems, and to encourage their use. Finally, CIOs need to institute life cycle management with their applications and computer equipment. Most IT organizations do not have any idea of the life cycle of an application – how long they want it to last, and when it needs to be refurbished, replaced, or disposed off. Lacking this knowledge, it is easy for applications to linger long after they should be gone, and for companies to spend far too much money on maintaining ailing applications

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