Midsouth Case Study

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15-22_58429.CH.01.CASE 6/27/01 2:31 PM Page 15 CASE STUDY 1 Midsouth Chamber of Commerce: The Role of the Business Manager in Information Systems It was 7:30 P.M. on September 22, 1999 and Leon Lassiter, Vice President of Marketing with the Midsouth Chamber of Commerce (MSCC), was still in his office, reflecting on the week’s frustrations. Lassiter had met with four territory managers, his marketing support supervisor, and a number of other staff representatives. All were upset about their lack of access to the new computer system and the problems they were having using the old PC systems. Lassiter had assured them that the problems were being addressed. He stressed that patience was needed during the ongoing conversion. Now, during his private moment, Lassiter was beginning to recognize the problems and complexities he faced with the system conversion. The work of his marketing staff had ground to a halt, unable to access the new computer system to handle their accounts. Even worse, something had happened to the data in most of the old PC systems, which meant conference registrations and other functions had to be done manually. These inconveniences, however, were minor compared to Lassiter’s uneasy feeling that there were problems with Midsouth’s whole approach to the management of information technology. Lassiter knew that time was of the essence and that he might have to step in and manage the conversion, even though he had no information technology background. He wondered what he should do next. Background In the early 1900s, economic development in the midsouth area was highly dependent on transportation systems. As a result of legislative decisions, many communities in the midsouth area were cut off from reasonable transportation access, thus retarding business and economic development. With no one to represent

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