The Modern Systems Analyst
Introduction

The chapter will address the following questions:





What is the systems analyst’s role and responsibilities in the
modern business?
Why are organizations recruiting computer end-users to partner
with the traditional systems analyst?
What are the roles of systems analysts and business users in
systems problem solving?
Where are the career opportunities for systems analysts?
Who are the systems analyst’s customers and partners in systems
development?
1
The Modern Systems Analyst
Introduction

The chapter will address the following questions:



What business trends and drivers are influencing the careers of
systems analysts?
How can you prepare yourself for a career as a systems or business
analyst?
What does the future hold for systems analysts?
2
The Modern Systems Analyst
Who Should Read This Book

What is an Information System?


An information system is an arrangement of people, data,
processes, interfaces, networks, and technology that interact for the
purpose of supporting and improving both day-to-day operations in
a business (sometimes called data processing), as well as
supporting the problem solving and decision making needs of
management (sometimes called information services).
What is a Computer Application System?

A computer application is computer-based solution to one or
more business problems and needs. One or more computer
applications are typically contained within an information system.
3
The Modern Systems Analyst
Who Should Read This Book

The Systems Analyst - A Key Resource




Many organizations consider information systems and
computer applications as essential to their ability to compete
or gain competitive advantage.
Information has become a management resource equal in
importance to property, facilities, employees, and capital.
All workers need to participate in the development of these
systems and applications – not just the computer and
information specialists.
But one specialist plays a special role in systems and
applications development, the systems analyst.
 A systems analyst(s) facilitates the development of
information systems and computer applications.
4
The Modern Systems Analyst
Who Should Read This Book

The Systems Analyst - A Key Resource

The systems analyst performs systems analysis and design.
 Systems analysis is the study of a business problem domain for
the purpose of recommending improvements and specifying the
business requirements for the solution.
 Systems design is the specification or construction of a
technical, computer-based solution for the business
requirements identified in a systems analysis. (Note:
Increasingly, the design takes the form of a working
prototype.).
5
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Why do businesses need Systems Analysts?

The system analyst bridges the communications gap between
those who need the computer and those who understand the
technology.
6
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What is a Systems Analyst?


Systems analysts are people who understand both business and
computing.
Systems analysts study business problems and opportunities and
then transform business and information requirements of the
business into the computer-based information systems and
computer applications that are implemented by various technical
specialists including computer programmers.
7
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What is a Systems Analyst?

A formal definition:
 A systems analyst facilitates the study of the problems and
needs of a business to determine how the business system and
information technology can best solve the problem and
accomplish improvements for the business. The product of this
activity may be improved business processes, improved
information systems, or new or improved computer
applications frequently all three.
8
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What is a Systems Analyst?


When information technology is used, the systems analyst is
responsible for:
 the efficient capture of data from its business source
 the flow of that data to the computer
 the processing and storage of that data by the computer
 the flow of useful and timely information back to the business
and its people
Information technology is a contemporary term that describes the
combination of computer technology (hardware and software) with
telecommunications technology (data, image, and voice networks).
9
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What is a Systems Analyst?


A systems analyst is a business problem solver.
 A systems analyst helps the business by solving its problems
using system concepts and information technology.
A systems analyst sell business management and computer users
the services of information technology.
 A systems analyst sells change.
10
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What is a Systems Analyst?

The role of systems analyst is changing into two distinct positions
or roles, business analyst and application analyst.
 A business analyst is a systems analyst that specializes in
business problem analysis and technology-independent
requirements analysis.
 An application analyst is a systems analyst that specializes in
application design and technology-dependent aspects of
development. A synonym is system or application architect.
11
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What Does A System Analyst Do?


A system analyst is a system-oriented problem solver.
 System problem solving is the act of studying a problem
environment in order to implement corrective solutions that
take the form of new or improved systems.
Most systems analysts use some variation of a system problem
solving approach called a system development life cycle.
 A systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a systematic and
orderly approach to solving system problems.
12
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What Does A System Analyst Do?

The SDLC usually incorporates the following general-purpose
problem solving steps:
 Planning - identify the scope and boundary of the problem,
and plan the development strategy and goals.
 Analysis - study and analyze the problems, causes, and effects.
Then, identify and analyze the requirements that must be
fulfilled by any successful solution.
 Design - if necessary, design the solution not all solutions
require design.
 Implementation - implement the solution.
 Support - analyze the implemented solution, refine the design,
and implement improvements to the solution. Different support
situations can thread back into the previous steps.
13
The Modern Systems Analyst
O b so le te so lu tio n
P la n n in g
P ro b le m to b e so lve d
R e la te d p ro b le m to b e so lve d
An a ly s is
S u p p o rt
N e w so lu tio n
to sa m e p ro b le m
Im p le m e n ta tio n
e rro r
to b e fixe d
P ro b le m a n a lysis
and
S o lu tio n re q u ire m e n ts
Im p le m e n te d
so lu tio n
Im p le m e n ta tio n
A cce p ta b le
so lu tio n
14
D e s ig n
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
What Does A System Analyst Do?

System analysts are responsible for other aspects of a system
including:
 PEOPLE, including managers, users, and other developers –
and including the organizational behaviors and politics that
occur when people interact with one another.
 DATA, including capture, validation, organization, storage, and
usage.
 PROCESSES, both automated and manual, that combine to
process data and produce information.
 INTERFACES, both to other systems and applications, as well
to the actual users (e.g., reports and display screens).
 NETWORKS, which effectively distribute data, processes, and
information to the people.
15
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Systems analysts can be found in most businesses; however, the
organization of information services in many businesses is in
turmoil as those businesses reorganize to improve service, quality,
and value.
16
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

The Systems Analyst in the Traditional Business.
 Information services are centralized for the entire organization
or a specific line of business.
• Information Services reports directly to chief executive officer, or
the chief executive for a line of business.
• The highest ranking information officer is a vice president,
sometimes called a chief information officer (CIO).
17
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

The Systems Analyst in the Traditional Business.
 Information Services is organized according to the following
functions or centers:
• Systems and Applications Development.
– Most systems analysts work here, along with most
programmers.
– The systems analysts and programmers are organized into
permanent teams that support the information systems and
applications for specific business functions.
– The Systems and Applications Development unit may include
a development center.
– A development center establishes and enforces the methods,
tools, techniques, and quality of all development projects.
18
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

The Systems Analyst in the Traditional Business.
 Information Services is organized according to the following
functions or centers: (continued)
• Data Administration
– This center manages the data and information resource in the
organization.
– Data Administration usually employ several systems analystlike specialists called data analysts who analyze database
requirements and design and construct the corresponding
databases.
19
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

The Systems Analyst in the Traditional Business.
 Information Services is organized according to the following
functions or centers: (continued)
• Telecommunications
– This center designs, constructs, and manages the computer
networks that have become integral to most businesses.
– Network analysts perform many of the same tasks as applied to
designing local and wide area networks that will ultimately be
used by systems and applications.
20
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

The Systems Analyst in the Traditional Business.
 Information Services is organized according to the following
functions or centers: (continued)
• End-User Computing
– This center supports the growing base of personal computers
and local area networks in end user community.
– They provide installation services, training, and help desk
services (call-in help for various PC related problems).
– In mature businesses, they also provide standards and
consulting to end users who develop their own systems with
PC power tools such as spreadsheets and PC database
management systems.
– In this latter role, they employ analyst-like end user computing
consultants.
21
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

The Systems Analyst in the Traditional Business.
 Information Services is organized according to the following
functions or centers: (continued)
• Computer Operations
– This center runs all of the shared computers including
mainframes, minicomputers, and non-departmental servers.
– This unit rarely employs systems analysts.
22
The Modern Systems Analyst
C h ie f E xe c u tive O ffic e r (C E O )
or
L in e o f B u sin e ss C h ie f E xe c u tive
V P o f In fo rm a tio n S e rvic e s
or
C h ie f In fo rm a tio n O ffic e r (C IO )
Manager
S yste m s D e ve lo p m e n t
D a ta
A d m in istra to r
T e le c o m m u n ic a tio n s
A d m in istra to r
Manager
E n d U se r C o m p u tin g
M a n a g e r.
C o m p u te r O p e ra tio n s
Manager
D e ve lo p m e n t
C e n te r
D a ta b a se
A d m in istra to rs
N e tw o rk
A n a lysts
E n d U se r
C o n su lta n ts
S yste m
P ro g ra m m e rs
Manager
F in a n c ia l
S yste m s
D a ta
A n a lysts
N e tw o rk
M a n a g e rs
E n d U se r
T ra in e rs
C a p a c ity
A n a lyst
Manager
M a rk e tin g
S yste m s
D a ta b a se
A n a lysts
N e tw o rk
T e c h n ic ia n s
Manager
M a n u fa c tu rin g
S yste m s
S yste m s
A n a lysts
A p p lic a tio n
P ro g ra m m e rs
23
C o m p u te r
O p e ra to rs
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 Dramatic reorganization trend in medium-to-large information
services units that is highly decentralized with a focus on
empowerment and dynamic teams .
 Result is a federation of information systems centers that
report directly to their functional business units (or groups of
business units).
• Each of these centers is empowered to set priorities and make
decisions on behalf of their constituent management and users.
24
The Modern Systems Analyst
in d ica te s d yn a m ic
a ssig n m e n ts
to te a m s
as needed
C h ie f E xe cu tive O ffice r (C E O )
or
L in e o f B u sin e ss C h ie f E xe cu tive
C h ie f In fo rm a tio n O ffice r (C IO )
(fo r ce n tra l in fo rm a tio n se rvice s)
In fo rm a tio n
S tra te g y
P la n n in g
Team
In fo rm a tio n
T e ch n o lo g y
A rch ite ctu re
Team
In fo rm a tio n
T e ch n o lo g y
C o m p e te n cy
C e n te rs
V ice P re sid e n t
F in a n ce
D e p a rtm e n ta l
C o m p u tin g
C o o rd in a tio n
a d vise
D a ta b a se
S p e cia lists
C ro ss-F u n ctio n a l
S yste m s &
A p p lica tio n s
D e ve lo p m e n t T e a m s
T e le co m m u n ica tio n s
A d m in istra to r
N e tw o rk
S p e cia lists
A p p lica tio n
T e ch n o lo g y
S p e cia lists
O th e r
T e ch n ica l
S p e cia lists
25
V ice P re sid e n t
M a n u fa ctu rin g
e va lu a te
Manager
F in a n cia l
In fo rm a tio n
S e rvice s
Manager
F in a n cia l
In fo rm a tio n
S e rvice s
Manager
F in a n cia l
In fo rm a tio n
S e rvice s
P ro je ct
M a n a g e rs
D a ta
A d m in istra to r
co o rd in a te
V ice P re sid e n t
M a rke tin g
N e tw o rk
Manager
N e tw o rk
Manager
N e tw o rk
Manager
A n a lyst/
P ro g ra m m e rs
Team
A n a lyst/
P ro g ra m m e rs
Team
A n a lyst/
P ro g ra m m e rs
Team
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 Decentralized information services can, however, lead to
information anarchy and systems that do not interoperate to the
benefit of the business as a whole.
 There will always be systems and applications that support
more than one business function perhaps the entire enterprise.
• These are called cross-functional applications.

There still exists a need for a central Information Services unit.
26
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 The central Information Services unit is responsible for:
• Information Strategy Planning
– The information strategy planning team establishes direction
and priorities for aligning information services for the entire
business with the corporate mission, vision, and goals.
– Experienced systems analysts often play key roles in
development.
27
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 The central Information Services unit is responsible for:
(continued)
• Information Technology Architecture
• An information technology architecture team establishes and
maintains a blueprint for which technologies will be approved for
the entire business, including the decentralized information
services centers.
28
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 The central Information Services unit is responsible for:
(continued)
• Information Technology Competency Centers
– The centers provide a pool of technology specific specialists
which are provided to both centralized and decentralized units
for project work.
– Each expert contributes their expertise to any project to which
they are assigned, for both centralized and decentralized
projects.
29
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 The central Information Services unit is responsible for:
(continued)
• Cross Functional Systems and Applications Development
– This center develops and supports the shared information
systems and cross-functional applications for the business.
– This center employs experienced systems analysts.
– As projects are started and completed, both systems analysts
and technical specialists are assigned to and released from
project teams.
30
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Modern Information Services in a Business
 The central Information Services unit is responsible for:
(continued)
• Departmental Computing Coordination
– This unit provides both consulting services and quality
management services to the decentralized information and
computing centers.
– Experienced systems analysts may be employed here to help
establish standards and guidelines, and to provide training and
consultation to departmental projects.
31
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Outsourcing in the Modern Business
 Outsourcing is the act of contracting a service or function to an
external third party.
 Typically, the business must retain enough of a central
Information Services unit to monitor and manage the
outsourcing agreement.
 Some mission critical information services functions and
projects may not be outsourced.
32
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Outsourcing in the Modern Business
 As many as fifty percent of medium-to-large businesses have
already outsourced some or all of the their information services.
 Why?
• The initial business driver was cost reduction.
The Gartner Group predicts that 70% or more of businesses
will be outsourcing information services by the year 2000.
 Many systems analysts (and other computer professionals) can
expect to be ‘absorbed’ by outsourcing.
 Outsourcers must retain a high quality, technically competent
work force of information technology managers and specialists
including systems analysts.

33
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Consulting
 Management and systems consulting firms build information
systems and applications for other organizations.
 The systems analysts employed by management consulting
firms are usually called management consultants or systems
consultants.
• They are loaned (for a fee) to the client for engagements (a
consulting term that means ‘project’) that result in a new system
for the client.
• Once the engagement is completed, they are reassigned to a new
engagement, frequently for a new business client.
34
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Consulting (continued)
 A variation on consulting firms is systems integration.
 System integration involves helping organizations integrating
systems and applications that don’t work together properly, or
that run on very different technical platforms from different
computer manufacturers.
• Systems analysts that specialize in systems integration are
frequently called systems engineers or systems integrators.
35
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Application Software Solution Providers
 Application software solution providers are in the business of
building information systems and application software
packages for resale to other businesses.
 Many businesses have a policy of not building any system they
can purchase.
 Software packages are typically written to the greatest common
denominator of their intended market – that is, they are
designed to meet general requirements and offer limited
customizability.
36
The Modern Systems Analyst

The Systems Analyst As A Modern
Business Problem Solver
Where Do System Analysts Work?

Application Software Solution Providers
 Software and solutions vendors usually hire two types of
systems analyst.
• Software engineers, are responsible for designing (and
programming) the package itself.
• Sales engineers, are responsible for helping customers that
purchase the package to integrate it into their business operations.
37
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Customers – Users and Management

What is a user?
 A user is a person, or group of persons, for whom the systems
analyst builds and maintains business information systems and
computer applications. A common system is client.
 There are at least two specific user/customer groups: system
users and system owners.
• System users are those individuals who either have direct contact
with an information system or application or they use information
generated by a system.
• System owners provide sponsorship of information systems and
computer applications. In other words, they pay to have the
systems and applications developed and maintained.
38
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Customers – Users and Management



A manager can also be one of the end users of a system.
Two types of system users:
 Traditionally, most system users were internal users, that is
employees of the business for which a system or application is
designed.
 Today’s user community includes external users as businesses
seek to make their information systems and applications
interoperate with other businesses and the consumer.
Information technology managers and system analysts are making
a demonstrated attempt to get closer to their customers by forming
a partnership.
39
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

The Roles of Management and Users in Systems
Problem Solving

The roles of management and users in:
 Planning
• Management must sponsor and fund all projects.
• Users must define the domain and boundaries of the problem.

Analysis
• As subject matter experts, management and users must analyze the
problem domain for causes, effects, and opportunities; as well as
communicate the requirements to be fulfilled by any successful
solution, regardless of technology chosen.

Design
•
Users must react to high-level solution designs and participate in
the solution’s design.
40
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

The Roles of Management and Users in Systems
Problem Solving

The roles of management and users in:
 Implementation
• Users participate in system construction and testing. They are the
recipients of training necessary to enable the full user community
to work with the solution.

Support
• Users and management should routinely evaluate the working
solution and suggest improvements.
41
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst


Systems analysts must keep up with rapidly changing technologies,
but today’s priorities are rapidly shifting from technology-driven
solutions to business-driven solutions.
Total Quality Management (TQM)
 One of the majors business trends of the 1990s is Total Quality
Management.
• Total Quality Management or TQM is a comprehensive approach
to facilitating quality improvements and management within a
business.
• TQM commitments require every business function, including
information services, identify quality indicators, measure quality,
and make appropriate changes to improve quality.
42
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Total Quality Management (TQM)
 TQM impacts systems analysts on at least two fronts.
• First, the very nature of systems analysis encourages analysts to
look for business quality problems.
– The two most important questions in the analyst’s repertoire
are ‘why’ and ‘why not.’
• Second, systems analysis and design provides the specifications
for the #1 quality problem in modern information systems buggy
software.
– Incomplete and inconsistent specifications from analysts are a
significant contributor to poor software quality.
43
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Business Process Redesign (BPR)
 Total quality management has forced many businesses to
radically rethink and redesign their fundamental business
processes.
 Business process redesign is the study, analysis, and redesign
of fundamental business processes to reduce costs and improve
value added to the business.
44
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Business Process Redesign (BPR)
 A BPR project begins with identification of a value chain, a
combination of processes that should result in some value to the
business.
• The business processes are documented and analyzed in
excruciating detail.
• The business processes are subsequently streamlined for maximum
efficiency.
• The new business processes are analyzed for opportunities for
further improvement through information technology.
45
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Business Process Redesign (BPR)
 Systems analysts figure prominently in BPR because:
• Systems analysts are often included in BPR projects because their
‘system’ perspective is valued.
• The skill competencies for BPR and systems analysis and design
are somewhat similar.
• A typical BPR project identifies several opportunities for new and
revised computer applications (which systems analysts facilitate).
46
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Continuous Process Improvement (CPI)
 Another TQM related trend is continuous process
improvement.
• Continuous process improvement is the continuous monitoring
of business processes to affect small but measurable improvements
to cost reduction and value added.

In a sense, CPI is the opposite of BPR.
• BPR is intended to implement dramatic change.
• CPI implements a continuous series of smaller changes.
47
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Continuous Process Improvement (CPI)
 Continuous improvement contributes to both cost reductions,
improved efficiencies, and increased value and profit.
 Systems analysts may be called upon to participate in
continuous process improvement initiatives for any business
process, including the design and implementation of
improvements to associated computer applications.
48
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Globalization of the Economy
 Competition became global with emerging industrial nations
offer lower cost or higher quality alternatives to many products.
 Most businesses have been forced to reorganize to compete
globally.
49
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Globalization of the Economy
 Systems analysts are affected by the following:
• Information systems and computer applications must be
internationalized.
– They must support multiple languages, currency exchange
rates, international trade regulations, accepted business
practices (which differ in different countries), and so forth.
• Most information systems ultimately require information
consolidation for the purpose of performance analysis and decision
making.
– Such consolidation is complicated by the aforementioned
language barriers, currency exchange rates, transborder
information regulations, and the like.
50
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Globalization of the Economy
 Systems analysts are affected by the following: (continued)
• Systems development itself is complicated by the need for systems
analysts who can communicate, orally and in writing, with
management and users that speak different languages, dialects, and
slang.
• Outsourcing of the programming effort of a development project to
foreign countries.
– Many businesses have discovered that other countries offer
competent contract programming services at a fraction of the
cost of traditional programmers.
– Requires systems analyst to provide extraordinarily complete,
consistent, and precise specifications to outsourcers.
51
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Empowerment
 Many organizations, in order to save costs and be more
efficient, have had to downsize their workforce.
 As a result the organization has become “flatter” due to the
elimination of management levels.
 Given fewer managers and the same amount of work (or more),
remaining managers have been forced to empower their
employees.
• Empowerment is the business trend of driving the authority to
make decisions downstream to non-managers and teams.
52
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Modern Business Trends and Implications for the
System Analyst

Empowerment
 Individuals and teams are allowed to make decisions that would
have normally required considerable bureaucratic approval.
 To succeed, managers must facilitate the process.
 The team must be held accountable for the decisions they make.
• This is accomplished through a compensation approach that puts
some percentage of everyone’s salary ‘at risk,’ meaning dependent
on the team or organization’s performance.

Systems analysts can expect greater degrees of empowerment
in their assignments.
53
The Modern Systems Analyst
Customers, Partners and Expectations

Partners for the Systems Analyst – Information
Technologists and Vendors





It takes more than systems analysts and users to build effective
systems.
In addition to clients, the systems analyst works with a number of
technical peers called information technologists.
The systems analyst's role in the typical project is to act as a
facilitator.
The systems analyst may well be the only individual who sees the
system or application as a whole.
The systems analysts must possess a unique set of skills and
abilities to accomplish the complex task of facilitating systems.
54
The Modern Systems Analyst
Steering committee
User 1
I nformation
technology
vendors
User 2
Systems
analyst
Applications
programmers
User N
Network
administrator
M anagement/ system
owner
Database
administrator
55
I nterface
design expert
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Working Knowledge of Information Technology



The systems analyst is an agent of change.
The systems analyst is responsible for showing end-users and
management how new technologies can benefit their business and
its operations.
The systems analyst must be aware of both existing and emerging
information technologies and techniques.
56
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Computer Programming Experience and Expertise



A systems analyst must know how to program because they are the
principle link between business users and computer programmers.
It is wrong to assume that a good programmer will become a good
analyst or that a bad programmer could not become a good analyst.
Most systems analysts need to be proficient in one or more highlevel programming languages.
57
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Computer Programming Experience and Expertise

Historically, the language of choice has been COBOL for business
applications, but many organizations are shifting to visual
programming languages or to object-oriented programming
languages .
 The reasons for the shift are as follows:
• The transition to graphical user interfaces.
• The desire to downsize applications from the mainframe to
networks of PCs.
• The pressures to improve productivity in applications development
through rapid, iterative prototyping and the reuse of programming
modules called objects and components.

Visual and object-oriented programming requires a completely
different style of program design, construction, and testing.
58
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

General Business Knowledge



The systems analysts are expected to immerse themselves in the
business and be able to specify and defend technical solutions that
address the bottom-line value returned to the business.
Systems analysts should be able to communicate with business
experts to gain knowledge of problems and needs.
It is not uncommon for systems analysts to develop so much
expertise over time they move out of information systems and into
the user community.
59
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Problem-Solving Skills




The systems analyst must have the ability to take a large business
problem, break that problem down into its component parts,
analyze the various aspects of the problem, and then assemble an
improved system to solve the problem.
The systems analyst must learn to analyze problems in terms of
causes and effects rather than in terms of simple remedies.
The systems analyst must be well organized.
System analysts must be able to creatively define alternative
solutions to problems and needs.
60
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Interpersonal Communications Skills



The systems analyst must be able to communicate effectively, both
orally and in writing.
The systems analyst should have a good command of the English
language.
Almost without exception, communications skills, not technical
skills, prove to be the single biggest factor in career success or
failure.
61
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Interpersonal Relations Skills



Systems work is people-oriented and systems analysts must be
extroverted or people-oriented.
Interpersonal skills help systems analysts work effectively with
people.
Interpersonal skills are also important because of the political
nature of the systems analyst's job.
 The systems analyst's first responsibility is to the business, its
management, and its workers.
 The systems analyst must mediate problems between team
problems and achieve benefits for the business as a whole.
62
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Interpersonal Relations Skills

Systems analysts work in teams composed of IS professionals,
end-users, and management.
 Being able to cooperate, to comprise, and to function as part of
a team, is critical for success in most projects.
 Because development teams include people with dramatically
different levels of education and experience, group dynamics is
an important skill to develop.
63
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Flexibility and Adaptability





No two systems development projects encountered by a systems
analyst are identical.
There is no single, magical approach or solution applicable to
systems development.
Successful systems analysts learn to be flexible and adapt to
special challenges or situations presented by specific systems
development projects.
The systems analyst must be able to recognize when variations
upon (or single-instance exceptions to) development standards are
necessary and beneficial to a particular project.
The systems analyst must be aware of the implications of not
following the standards.
64
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Character and Ethics



The nature of the systems analyst's job requires a strong character
and sense of ethics.
 Ethics is a personal character trait in which an individual(s)
understands the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and acts
accordingly.
Systems analysts must be very careful not to share their
organization’s sensitive and secret information with others, either
within or outside the organization.
Systems analysts must be very careful not to tell sensitive and
private data and information about customers, suppliers,
employees with the wrong people.
65
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Character and Ethics


Systems analysts must not take (or sell) designs and programs they
developed to another company.
Systems analysts have a moral obligation to set a good example for
end-users and management, especially in the area of software
copyrights.
66
The Modern Systems Analyst
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst

Systems Analysis and Design Skills


All systems analysts need thorough and ongoing training in
systems analysis and design.
Systems analysis and design skills can be conveniently factored
into three subsets:
 concepts and principles
 tools
 techniques
67
The Modern Systems Analyst
The Next Generation

Career Prospects



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for
systems analysts are expected to increase much faster than the
average for all professions; even more than for programmers.
Depending on the economy, businesses will need between 173,000
and 264,000 new systems analysts by the year 2000 – an increase
of 24 to 37 percent since 1988.
Systems analyst is ranked as the 12th fastest-growing occupation
between now and the year 2000.
68
The Modern Systems Analyst
The Next Generation

Career Prospects

Does a position as a systems analyst lead to any other careers?
 Some analysts leave the information systems field and actually
join the user community.
 Some analysts become project managers, information systems
managers, or move into technical specialties (such as database,
telecommunications, microcomputers, and so forth).
 The opportunities are virtually limitless.
69
The Modern Systems Analyst
The Next Generation

Predictions


A greater percentage of tomorrow's systems analysts will not work
in the information systems department, but work directly for their
end-users.
A greater percentage of systems analysts will come from noncomputing backgrounds.
 Today's business and non-computing graduates are becoming
more computer literate.
70
The Modern Systems Analyst
Summary






Introduction
Who Should Read This Book
The Systems Analyst As A Modern Business
Problem Solver
Customers, Partners and Expectations
Preparing For a Career as a Systems Analyst
The Next Generation
71
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