If you had been the IS head at NIBCO, what approach would you have recommended and why?
If I was the manager of Information system department of NIBCO, I will suggest to increase the budget to upgrade the system.
According to the situation of NIBCO, the company has a really great IS team, it includes 30 NIBCO IS specialists, most of them were COBOL programmers, and some of them were ran mainframe application on HP3000 and IBM/MVS platforms. However, this great team are using the really old system. First of all, upgrade the system can let this great team yield the greatest returns on investment. In addition, upgrade the system can decrease many labor cost. Furthermore, the system which NIBCO used are really old system, and the data migration from every parts always need manual transfer, it will have many mistakes when it transfers manually. Upgrade the system can realize automation, also can reduce unnecessary manual error.
Nonetheless, upgrade the system also will bring some disadvantage. Such as, NIBCO need to pay a lot to train all of the staff to learn the new system, and they all need time to understand and adapt the new system. During this time, the company may forward slowly, or appear some new problems, and new system also need test. It is not good for short-term benefit for sure. However, when the new system matures, and all people comfort the new system, it is very helpful.
So, upgrade the system the advantages far outweigh its disadvantages.