This case comes from a large and very old organization. The organization was established by a decree of Kaiser Franz Joseph I in 1899, and, since then, it has grown to be the third largest state owned organization of its kind in the Czech lands. Currently with almost 2,000 employees and around 15,000 full-time students, the Brno University of Technology is institution of higher education with eight independent faculties: Faculty of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Communication, Architecture, Business and Management, Fine Arts, Chemistry, and Information Technology-Offered degrees range from bachelor's to master's to PhD's and MBA's.

During their rise, information technologies found increasingly their place in some parts of the school. Some computers were used for research in various departments, some found their place at the central accounting and personnel department. The Internet took the school by storm and the more IT oriented departments slowly started offering some content on the Web. Development of some department level or faculty level information systems started. These systems have been used either by the staff to report research and teaching activities or by students to obtain the class requirements. Apart from the central economic agenda, faculties started attempts to use software to organize the student agenda. Further, the university has been slowly forced to provide electronic reports to the Ministry of Education in order to get desired annual funding.

There was growing need to organize the information systems into one compound information system or into a set of flexibly communicating systems. As opposed to other universities in the area, where faculties are very tightly centrally controlled, the faculties at this university are very independent and the central control is low. Regarding information systems, this might be an advantage for the stronger and more technical faculties, since they have enough strength to bring up their own systems that meet their needs. Nonetheless, the smaller faculties become more dependent on the centrally-offered information technologies. Therefore, the decision to centralize or decentralize IT could not be made, and it is probable that both need to be supported at once.

So who is the one to work on solving these issues? Of course, there is a central IT department that for many years dealt with these issues and took care of the unquestionably central agendas and computer networks. The IT department is placed right under the school's top management, though it has no power to force the faculties to make any particular decisions about their IT. The IT department is there purely to offer services both to the central administration and the diverse faculties.

Annals of Cases on Information Technology
SQL Tips & Techniques (Miscellaneous)
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 367 © 2008-2017.
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