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IT Management at Alcan - Case Study Example

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The paper analyses Alcans IT management, as it falls in the quadrant which represents Responsive Solution Providers. This quadrant consists of companies that are described as the higher rate of change organizations that compete on operational efficiency…
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IT Management at Alcan
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Download file to see previous pages The industry has been through various changes since the 20th century which has seen the price of aluminum changing in various directions – up and down. There are times when there is a glut and so prices decline rapidly as in the 1990’s when supplies from the Soviet Union increased by more than four times from 250,000 metric tons to 1.2 million tons and the price fell from $1.65 to $0.53; a decline in the price of approximately 68%. Since 2000 there has been the rapid expansion in some countries resulting in an increase in the demand for aluminum in emerging economies of Asia and Western Europe. This is in addition to general market recovery which has resulted in a major turnaround in the industry. Between 1999 and 2005 there was a growth of over 35% in the industry. Additionally, the company’s operations are based more on being an efficient producer rather than differentiation. There is not much difference in the quality of the products and so production cost has to be kept at a minimum in order for Alcan to compete successfully.
The five decision areas of the Weill and Ross model are IT principles; IT architecture; IT infrastructure; Business application needs; and Prioritization and investment decisions. In the area of IT principles the governance style adopted was that of a feudal system where each business unit makes separate decisions on the basis of the unit or process needs. Each unit had their own strategic plan and every business group was independent. Each group had its own IT organization that pursued its objectives based on the needs and orientation of the group.IT Architecture adopted a feudal system to the extent that there was no architecture in place for finance which is a very important aspect of the company’s operations. The operations and structure of the business units remained the same after the operations were acquired or merged. Each operating unit had its own IT organization.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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