Strive preschool is a private organization that is funded by attendance fees paid by parents. It is assumed that Strive Preschool is a for-profit organization that needs to provide value for money in order to generate higher revenues. The appropriate use of information systems and technologies could help the school to enhance organizational processes and improve education, thus responding to the needs of students and their parents (Beare, Caldwell, & Millikan, 2018). Information systems can thus be used for budgeting, communication, and resource management (Bauer & Wise, 2016).
Roles and Actions
In order to begin successful IT management, it is critical to establish roles and actions that need to be undertaken. The assumption is that the school does not have a distinctive program for managing the use of IT. Thus, the organization should first establish an IT role and assign an employee who would govern the implementation and use of information systems. Secondly, the school should define the budget necessary to cover IT-related expenses, including hardware, software, and operations. Lastly, to ensure appropriate use of IT, the school should provide training to students, leaders, parents, and teachers with regards to information systems and resources.
Utilization of Data Resources
It is assumed that the organization does not use any information systems for storing and processing data. However, the successful utilization of data resources requires the school to use programs and systems that enhance data management. There is a great variety of software for data storage and processing depending on the organization’s needs. Cloud storage can be used for scheduling and communication (Kant, n.d.). For instance, parents and teachers could access cloud storage to receive information about lesson plans and acquire educational resources. Also, the school requires various word processing software to assist in the educational process, such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and more. Finally, in order to support its operations and ensure positive relations with customers, Strive preschool could use the CRM system.
Driving Value from Business Information Systems
Business information systems could help the company to create more value. However, the assumption is that Strive Preschool does not currently use any information systems apart from electronic communication. Thus, the organization could implement information systems aimed at enhancing the security of students by protecting privacy and confidentiality (Afifi & Afifi, 2015). Also, information systems can assist in enhancing the learning processes. For instance, simulation software and games increase the students’ engagement. The school should also consider buying and using IT devices, such as computers and tablets, in classrooms to foster the academic independence of students.
It is assumed that the school operates on a departmental model. However, this model is less effective in preschool settings than an integrative model. In order to change and improve business processes, Strive Preschool should use information technology and systems. For example, electronic curriculums would assist teachers in adhering to teaching standards while also promoting continuity of the learning process. Additionally, electronic scheduling can be used to support educators in their work (Bauer & Wise, 2016). Electronic scheduling could also enable the organization to introduce flexible scheduling, thus increasing staff satisfaction and commitment.
It is assumed that the school has various clearance levels depending on the type of information. For instance, scheduling and budgeting information is available to managers and accountants only, whereas educational materials are available to teachers, parents, and students.
This complicates the approach to information security, as different procedures might be needed for different access levels. In order to respond to this challenge, the school should provide training on information security to all persons that have access to information. Moreover, the school should use anti-virus software, encryption, and firewalls to avoid unauthorized access to information. Lastly, storing the data on two separate servers (physical and virtual) could also enhance information security. The school can use a POLICIES access system to secure the data stored on both servers (Lakshmi, Kumar, Banu, & Reddy, 2013).
Ethical issues pertaining to business information systems include misuse of information and lack of data protection. It is assumed that the school does not have clear policies governing the use of IT by staff, students, and parents. Thus, it is critical for the school to address IT ethical issues to avoid unwanted consequences. Firstly, the school would benefit from applying an IT Code of Ethics, which would stipulate the procedures related to information (Brooks, 2010). To assure compliance with the code, the leaders should also develop sanctions and policies for detecting, investigating, and managing noncompliance. In order to achieve a high level of compliance, Strive Preschool should also monitor user activity continuously, as this could help to identify and prevent breaches, leaks, and data abuse.
Summary of Recommendations
Overall, the recommendations were provided based on the assumption that the school is willing to assure the correct use of IT resources and information systems. The school should start by establishing the necessary roles and activities and using IT budget to buy, maintain, and update software and hardware. Then the organization should determine clearance levels for various types of users and monitor user activity to prevent unauthorized access. Lastly, the company would benefit from creating an IT Code of Ethics and providing training on the use of information systems and technologies for all users.
Afifi, T., & Afifi, W. (Eds.). (2015). Uncertainty, information management, and disclosure decisions: Theories and applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Bauer, S. W., & Wise, J. (2016). The well-trained mind: A guide to classical education at home. (4th ed.). New York, NY: Norton & Norton.
Beare, H., Caldwell, B. J., & Millikan, R. H. (2018). Creating an excellent school: Some new management techniques. London, UK: Routledge.
Brooks, R. (2010). The development of a code of ethics: An online classroom approach to making connections between ethical foundation and the challenges presented by information technology. American Journal of Business Education, 3(10), 1–13.
Kant, C. (n.d.). Putting your enterprise data in the cloud? Top considerations. [Blog post]. Web.
Lakshmi, B., Kumar, K. P. V., Banu, A. S., & Reddy, K. A. (2013). Data confidentiality and loss prevention using virtual private database. International Journal of Computer Science and Engineering, 5(3), 143-149.