Picturesque is a small to medium sized business (SME). The business has a good reputation for highquality photos and enjoys long-standing arrangements with many schools for the provision of school photos. Picturesque has traditionally used a small accounting package to manage its operations, with Make Your Business Profitable ‘MYBP’ being the package currently in use. Recently, however, a few of the staff in the administration team have complained that MYBP has become slow in processing transactions. The computer that runs the program is also fast approaching its capacity, having not been updated for several years and now also handling some of the business’s digital imaging requirements. As a result of the strained system, Picturesque is considering the possibility of an upgrade. However, it is concerned that, should it go ahead with an upgrade, it would have to employ a programmer to develop its new system, as well as a full-time IT specialist to keep the system running. It is also unsure of what needs to be done in managing the systems development process.

One of the things particularly troubling Cam Raman, the part owner of Picturesque, is the possibility of investing capital now and having to do so again in a couple of years’ time as technology changes. However, he does not mind spending a large sum now if the system is a long-term answer, since, as Cam himself said, ‘Once the system is acquired then the business can get back to normal and do what it does best — take photos — without having to spend money on IT.

You work for a professional accounting firm as Cam’s accountant, and Cam has asked for your advice on a new system. He would like your answers to be in writing (essay format using references- max. 1500 words) and should include answers to the following:

(a) Identify the key user requirements that the new system must include to be successful. (b) Would you recommend that Picturesque make or buy the new system (include justification for your position), and what is the best way to select a vendor? (c) What typical systems development problems would Picturesque encounter in developing the new system? Suggest strategies for each potential problem. (d) How could Picturesque limit the costs of maintaining the system once it is in place within the organisation?