South Australian Water Case Study

254 views 5 pages ~ 1322 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

South Australian Water

South Australian Water is one of the classic case studies that endeavors to unfold the main challenges that a company is likely to encounter when aligning its business operations with information technology within publicly owned institutions. To realize the realignment of the business objectives based on the new technological approach, the incumbent CIO stats with the overhaul refreshment of the entire IT infrastructure within the company to aid the specific business (Thorogood, Yetton, Vlasic & Spiller, 2004). The adjustment came shortly after the government launched 'Improved water quality' as one of the main corporate goals. Therefore, the CIO sought to add value to the organization through the development of a quality system which could easily leverage on the current technology infrastructure within the organization. Likewise, the CIO demonstrates to the management about the capability of the IT functions and its potential benefits and other deliverables to the entity by adding value via proper management of various outsourcing vendors.

Case situation and structure of the organization

With many years of operations, South Australian Water had grown to an extent of becoming vertically integrated state department that was later corporatized by the state. The company is situated in the south Australia parts of the country which are strategically located in the Great Sandy Desert which has the Murray as the largest river which is shrinking as well as becoming unpotable (Thorogood et al., 2004). SA water is government or publicly owned company that had engaged in the outsourcing of the maintenance as well as operations of Adelaide’s water supply to United Water that forms the fifth largest city in Australia. The company CEO was known as Anne Howe who had structured and designed the corporation into long functional organization structures with autonomous sections or separate business units down the structures. In 1999, under the appointment of the CEO, David Johnston was brought in as an external player to act as the CIO to the company.

Key problems and issues in the case study

The case study has got numerous issues and challenges which necessitated the adoption of information infrastructure to mitigate its effects. First, the company had previously been associated with a poor business reputation of poor IT infrastructure that could not adequately be dependent on to supply the required quality of water (Malcolm et al., 2015). The lack of system information resulted in serious breaches in health reports generation and overall communication if the stakeholders within the company to come up with effective and timely reports about the status of the water. Second, the completion rate of the project at SA water was unpromising due to the lack of a system that could track the progress of each project in different phases and give the management basic insights that could be used to guide its rate of accomplishment (Laudon & Laudon, 2015). Third, the communication between the business and external parties such as outsourced vendor had serious implications for the firm (Thorogood et al., 2004). The outsourced companies could not be managed effectively and thus resulting in high cost of labor, non-completion of the tasked outsourced and generally increasing the overhead expense within the business which was reducing the performance of SA Water. Dusty and task allocation was also one of the problems that SA water encountered in the organization which was as a consequence of the traditional long functional structures that could lower the rate of communication and decision making within the company, and thus impair the overall performance.

How organization responded to the issues

To overcome problems associated with a poor information system in the company, the firm introduced value creation systems which were supported by IT and thus renaming main sections to information services from information systems (Thorogood et al., 2004). This could help to convey the accurate information at the required time for sound projections and business resolution making (Malcolm et al., 2015). Additionally, IS model was introduced to ensure that both the information and the associated systems were essentially owned by the business. Roles were reinvented and redesigned to ensure that each person focused on specific projects for exhaustive accomplishment (Laudon & Laudon, 2015). The CIO, Johnston, came up with a new platform for management of all outsourcing activities. For example, he introduced a broker model for selective outsourcing that was meant to ensure right companies are contracted at the lowest cost and be effectively managed for increased value. Similarly, the adoption of PRINCE 2 methodology ensued in the total restructuring of the organization in line with the new IT requirements whereby new departments were created which had short organization structures. For instance, information service executive committee, project governance office, as well as project board, were introduced (Thorogood et al., 2004).

Assessment of the case study

The project was successful to some extent within the organization. For instance, the use of PRINCE 2 methodology could eventually allow the SA Water to quickly monitor and control various projects and ensure their completion for reduced costs (Baek, Vu, Liu, Huang & Xiang, 2015). Subsequently, the communication and interaction between the company and the outsourced firms was made easier and thus promoting convenience which has the ability to add value to the organization especially when efficiency and effectiveness are enhanced through the PRINCE 2 (Malcolm et al., 2015). Secondly, the upgrade of the technology within the company ensured that the management was able to rely on quality information as it was timely collected through the dedicated programs and immediately published online for an easy access. Likewise, the introduction of a strategic broker model of selective outsourcing basically focused on the role-based working approach which could promote workflow between individual across various department through one system platform (Baek et al., 2015). The model also integrated multiple IT software with the company which was effective in risk management as well as delivery of low-cost services that could add value to the entity. lastly, the development of an internal SLA made it easy to coordinate all categories both internally and externally with the outsourced firms (Thorogood et al., 2004).

Review of the case findings

The introduction of information technology systems at SA Water was one of the lucrative though that the CEO Anne coined. Considerable achievements have been realized as a result of the projects which include improved efficiency, reduced business costs, alternatives which can offer the company with value addition, role readjustment and organizational structure refinement to meet the current organizational needs. However, there are still some issues which its achievement remains unforeseen. For instance, the project is unable to meet the requirements due to delayed PDA testing as well as challenging with interfacing LIMS with the internal software. Secondly, the absence of enough business resources still stalls the perfection of the information systems at the company. Inadequate IT skills also possess a threat to the future of the project. The Absence of architect software to merge with existing systems also make the realization of the project to be questionable in future. To reduce future threats to the project, the company should ensure that all needed resources are provided timely to all the phases of the implementation process. Similarly, adequate training of the employees in IT related skills will be of great value in preparing them to overcome technical errors.


Baek, J., Vu, Q. H., Liu, J. K., Huang, X., & Xiang, Y. (2015). A secure cloud computing based

framework for big data information management of smart grid. IEEE transactions on cloud computing, 3(2), 233-244.

Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2015). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm Plus MyMISLab with Pearson eText--Access Card Package. Prentice Hall Press.

Malcolm, P. B., Napier, J. A., Stickler, A. M., Tamblin, N. J., Beadle, P. J. O., & Crocker, J. P. (2015). U.S. Patent No. 9,203,650. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Thorogood, A., Yetton, P., Vlasic, A., & Spiller, J. (2004). Raise your glasses–the water's magic!

Strategic IT at SA Water: a case study in alignment, outsourcing and governance. Journal of Information Technology, 19(2), 130-139.

September 04, 2023

Business Life


Management Experience

Subject area:

Case Study

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Case Study
Verified writer

RiaSm02 is great for all things related to education. Sharing a case study that I could not understand for the life of mine, I received immediate help. Great writer and amazing service that won’t break the bank!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro