Software Acquisition

The acquisition of software is complex for various reasons: an organization may have any number of software applications, which keep changing over time, and that may involve several business partners. There is no single best way to acquire IT applications: they can be purchased or leased, they can be developed in-house, outsourced, or a combination. Another strategy is to build applications from components. There are a number of processes that need to be considered including vendor selection, implementation, and connectivity issues.

Consider the following scenario: The large medical supply company, MSC, has decided to install business intelligence (BI) software, a technology intended to provide monitoring and analysis capabilities. The goal is to make better use of information generated by its operations and better serve its customers. The software should have the following functionality: Dashboards: graphical one-screen summaries of important information Extraction or retrieval of data from one or more sources within a company such as data warehouses, standalone databases, enterprise applications, and other repositories Data mining or statistical analysis of historical data Predefined reports, analyses, dashboards, ad-hoc querying and reporting (In addition to predefined analyses, BI software should allow users to quickly develop their own reports, graphs, etc.) Predictive analytics—statistically based forecasts of future events and trends Event notification—alerts to users based on predefined occurrences Distribution or sharing of the BI output Submit a 3 page paper that includes the following: An explanation of what criteria you would consider to make a decision for acquiring the BI software, including purchasing, leasing, in-house development, and outsourcing development A justification for your choices An explanation of what you would change if you were looking to apply “green” principles