System Integration Analysis and Its Importance to the Organization

The purpose of this paper is to explain all the procedures followed in system integration analysis and the importance of the integration to the organization. A system is the combination of subsystems working together so to enhance the delivery of  the desired functionality .Therefore system integration is the procedure of  linking together diverse  systems and software applications either physically or functionally so as to act as a synchronized component (Bandy, 2015). It is an essential element when designing a project since it helps in evaluation of all the processes in the project and reduces chances of making mistakes that might lead to unprecedented costs.

The approach used in designing the project is that of traditional architect and engineer design. This approach focuses more on the demands and preferences of the customers, using design milestones for feasibility accompanied by design reviews, and all the stages have the approvals of the customers before proceeding to the next stage (Bandy, 2015). The success of a project is determined by the team design in place; there should be qualified, experienced and competent teams who have a better understanding of the whole project.

Requirement specifications

The specifications help in determining the present and future requirements of the customers using the project being implementation. One of the specifications is that the design has to be integrated at an early stage. This is the period before any procurement are made, to ensure that decisions made in the design process are not biased, and emphasize on neutral engineering codes rather than procurement policies. The other important aspect is integrating the information system using the best information technology practices and transparent procedures with the main of achieving reliable and effective information that will meet the individual requirements of the customer (Rosenblatt, 2013). Tagging on that is the aspect of selection of platforms that will adapt to the client’s prevailing processes and business practices,   to ensure that the project will not cause any inconveniences to both the customers and the running of the business.

The other specification is determination of existing system by examination of existing network infrastructure, data pathways and procedures. The next one is checking customer requirements by identification of the existing system deficiencies and detailing the requirements of the customers’. This is followed by determination of systems interface, including existing hardware interfaces and procedures to the systems devices (Bandy, 2015). The next specification is identification of project risks through the documentation of possible risks that might be encountered in the integration process and coming up with measures of mitigating the risks. The final aspect is documenting all the areas that will be addressed in the course of the entire project. This includes the hardware, software, descriptions of the interface and the used approaches, layouts of the data, and sequence of operations.

Process used to elicit requirements

Requirements can be collected from various sources either from within the organization or from the external environment. The first process used in collection of requirements is by interviewing the major stakeholders in the company in order to ascertain the major problems that led to the formation of the project and the possible solutions to the problems (Denis, Wixom & Tegarden, 2015). The other process is reviewing the condition of the systems and infrastructure in the company with the aim of identifying the needed solutions that can be integrated in the project. The other option is holding joint requirement specification meetings with all the stakeholders so as to ensure the interests of all the members are integrated in the project, which will assist in quick formation and implementation of the project.

The other way of eliciting requirements is interacting with the users of the system and the user’s customers. Operational users of the system are the main contributors since they have enough information about the requirements for the systems functionality, performance capabilities and the user interface. Requirements can be elicited directly or indirectly on the basis of the users’ informal narratives, or through the observation of the users’ environment, or by capturing the responses from the questions asked to the users by either the use of questionnaires or face to face communication (Denis et al, 2015). Information about the user’s environment include job descriptions of the system users either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, documentations in the organization like available training facilities and services, any reporting requirements done in the past, the staff members, the systems in place, the type of problems they encounter and the frequencies of the occurrences, and finally what works and does not work well in the organization. This information’s will act as basis for the foundations of more information which will be used in forming the requirements for the project.

Adding to that, asking the users specific questions like what was their ideal system would help in gathering more information that might have been left out using the mentioned methods. The other method is by directly observing the users of the system as they perform their roles and responsibilities in the organization, which is seen as a way of getting passive information (Bandy, 2015). Upon confirmation by the users that the implementation of the existing set of requirements will provide solutions to their problems and meet their desired needs, and the staff members working for the projects agreeing that they can come with viable products based on the use of the requirements, the activities proceed to the next step.

Stakeholders and their roles

An organization or individuals always come up with their personal projects, but the project will eventually affect other persons, administrations, or even systems in the organization either directly or incidentally. The major stakeholders are the executive sponsors of the project and contributors to the requirements; they include system engineers and system integrators, governmental organizations and other financial contributors like the banks (Rosenblatt, 2013). Other stakeholders are affected by the project indirectly, like interfacing businesses and operations; these include the contractors and subcontractors who provide essential services like integration of the system. . Another group of stakeholders include the company managers, system architects, security staff and technical and monetary staff who take part in ensuring that the project is well implemented and effective. All the stakeholders are mandated to review and remark on, and approve all the requirements in which they are involved.

Components and interfaces

The components in the project include the people using the system, the processes involved in the design and implementation of the project, the data, models used and the type of technology. The three major activities that are needed by the organization to make resolutions, control procedures, analyze difficulties and create new designs are the input, processing and the output (Bandy, 2015). The input serves the purpose of collecting data from either internal or external environment, the processing takes the active role of converting the data into more meaningful information that can be easily understood by the system users, and finally the processed information is transferred to the users through the output. The feedback channel helps in conveying the output to the stakeholders so as to help in evaluating and correcting any errors at the input.

Functional and Nonfunctional requirements

Functional requirements describe the outlooks of the user concerning the functionalities in which the system should have, while nonfunctional requirements describe all the things that are needed by the user from the system, and that do not have any element of functionality. Functional requirements are associated with the capability to directly support the user in accomplishing the desired mission. They include components and interfaces in the system, timeliness, quality of services, availability of all the required resources and features. Commonly used nonfunctional requirements are the operating systems, software environment, web applications, graphical interfaces and command line interfaces (Rosenblatt, 2013). With regard to the project, the nonfunctional requirements should be in a position of assisting the functional requirements achieve the intended goals of the project. For example, the web application used should be easily reached in all operating systems and through all the web browsers.

The system should be simplified in a manner that it can be accessed and used with ease by all the users. Nonfunctional requirements are categorized under three requirements, which are product, organizational and external requirements. Examples of product requirements include the security of the product, its dependability, usability and efficiency (Denis et al, 2015). Examples of organizational requirements include the environmental conditions, operational requirements and developments .Common examples of external requirements are the regulatory and ethical requirements. Both the functional and nonfunctional requirements should be testable and measurable. One should be able to gauge whether the system satisfies the stated requirements or not.

Scope of the project

The design of the project utilizes the use of System Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which is a type of methodology in software developments. Different models are used in this methodology, including spiral, agile and waterfall (Bandy, 2015). The models used in a given project depend largely on factors like the size of the project, its complexity, the desired goals and objectives, the level in which the requirements are well understood, the permanence of the environment in which the system is to be used, the needs and demands of the customers and the tolerance to risks in the course of project implementations. Another important factor is the timelines needed for the completion of the project.

This project will make use of the waterfall model because of its relatively low risk properties. It is done in a series of phases which have to categorical. The first phase is conduction of requirement analysis, it occurs after all the stakeholders including the system users have approved and documented a set of functional, nonfunctional and other requirements needed for full implementation of the project. The next phase is designing of the project, followed by implementation. The next phase is testing of the design so as ascertain its efficiencies and effectiveness in the system (Bandy, 2015). This is followed by integration, operations and finally maintenance of the new system in place. Before installing the new system, it important to train all the users on how to use and maintain it to avoid any cases of system failures. This type of model is achievable when the undertaking of the customers or the business is fairly stationary.

Some of its advantages are that it has a focused need; it provides a stable environment to the user of the system, the risks associated with expenses, security and program are very low, and that it has a very low probability of experiencing changes in the requirements when implementing the project (Denis et al, 2015). In order to avoid any misunderstandings between the stakeholders, it important to inform all the members of the possible risks that might be encountered in the process. For example, informing the customers of the fact that changes of requirements in the project, especially after the approval stage, will definitely lead to increase in costs , which add up to higher product prices.

Conclusion

When designing a project, it important to note that changes are inevitable, even if all the requirements are correct, complete and effective. Another important fact is that adding, modifying or deleting some requirements when the project is in implementation phase increases the cost, making the whole process expensive and may negate its implementation, an aspect which might discourage the stakeholders (Bandy, 2015). Therefore, the use of proper requirement organization process is encouraged with the main aim of controlling costs, and promoting traceability of the project. The other way of controlling costs is the use of effective system integration mechanisms when designing a project.

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