Managing Computer Systems

Main Topics of Study:

A. Organisational Structures

  • Hierarchical structures in business
  • Matrix structures in business
  • Management by objectives
  • Centralisation of a business. Affects of decentralisation

B. General Management Principles

  • Management control of a business
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Time management
  • Reporting methods. Reporting to management
  • Communication channels in business
  • Motivation

C. Information

  • Distinction between data and information
  • Information at different levels – operational, tactical, strategic
  • Presenting information – different methods
  • What makes “good” information?
  • Form and report design

D. Business processes

  • Forecasting
  • Budgeting
  • Decision systems. Executive information systems. Decision support systems. Expert systems
  • IT aids for the manager

E. Network Analysis/PERT

  • Network analysis as a means of project control
  • Definitions of activity, event, critical path, float, dummy activity. Activity resources
  • Conventions for drawing a network diagram
  • Draw a network from a table of activities
  • Determine critical path and minimum project duration
  • Gantt Chart. Draw a Gantt. Aggregating resources within a Gantt chart. Levelling resources over the duration of the project
  • The role of the computer in project control

F. IT Personnel – The roles of IT personnel in the business – their job descriptions

  • Data processing manager, computer manager
  • Network supervisor/controller
  • Systems analyst
  • Programmer, systems programmer, programmer analyst
  • End users and data clerks

G. Training and Recruiting

  • Methods of recruiting particularly for IT staff
  • Methods of selection particularly for IT staff
  • Benefits/drawbacks of training existing staff against recruiting new already-trained staff
  • Training needs. Individual training programs. Personnel development records (PDR)
  • Means of providing the right training

H. Security and Privacy of computer systems

  • Difference between security and privacy
  • Threats to the security of computer systems – hardware, software and data
  • Means of minimising security problems
  • Privacy issues in business data
  • The manager’s role in controlling security and privacy problems

I. The effects of computers on business

  • Managing changes in business methods
  • Changing role of personnel
  • Changes which affect customers
  • Health issues related to computer use
  • Data protection acts and other laws relating to computer systems which affect management and staff

J. The small business

  • Differences in running a small business compared with larger organisations
  • Benefits of IT for the small business related to a particular┬ábusiness
  • Business plans
  • Choosing the right computer system
  • Problems facing the small business with regards to IT
  • Leasing and maintenance contracts