Thoughts on System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and System Analysis

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  • Bhute, A. N., & Meshram, B. B. (2013). System Analysis and Design for Multimedia Retrieval Systems. The International Journal of Multimedia & Its Applications, 5(6), 25-44.
  • Spears, J. L. & Parrish, J.L.Jr. (2013). IS security requirements identification from conceptual models in systems analysis and design: The Fun & Fitness, Inc. Case. Journal of Information Systems Education, 24(1), 17-29.

Within the system analysis process, proposed systems need to meet the needs of the user, with user facing technology and internal server processes agreeing to produce informed and useful results. The systems analysis phase involves determining the purpose and intended outcome of the system design, measuring user requirements, and then establishing a model for testing systems to determine whether they comply with the necessary specifications. From there, the design phase involves planning, generation of coding support, and testing to ensure the structure is adequate. Databases provide the data needed to run and maintain information systems. Raw data necessitates the need for organization and curation (which is where metadata comes in).

Information security is a source of immediate concern when implementing system analysis. Given the increased usage of mobile applications and increased likelihood of information exchange via mobile devices, many developers are not planning for this when developing information systems.  This leads to a higher likelihood of security breaches and weakened mobile support platforms in the information architecture. Knowledge of user requirements informs needs in the planning stage. The problem is that security is not seen as a need, but as another detail on the package level. Spears and Parrish raise concerns about under-developed security planning in IS, especially with so much confidential data being collected and stored by entities in every area of human-computer interaction. Acknowledging that this is an issue is a good first step and hopefully more pressure will be placed on IS users to ensure this type of content is restricted to authorized users only and not just floating around the information web. This is where the importance of information architecture comes into play.

The System Development Life Cycle serves to promote system users having a voice in development. Communication and feedback are key. Instead of generic software packages being purchased from vendors with libraries and other organizations having little to no say over the products they use in information management, the SDLC would open the door for designers, marketers, and purchasers formulating a mutually beneficial product. Pros include a higher level of satisfaction from buyer, an increased level of communication and support from systems developers, and products that are custom designed for specific situations and environments. Cons may include increased cost (usually anything custom costs money) and possibly a more competitive market between vendors, due to a few providers working closely with the customer base. Smaller organizations would probably also be less likely to be able to co-design their information system, especially if there is a steep price sign.

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About A. M.

Information professional focusing on academic librarianship through a critical lens. Research interests include education and multiliteracies, critical race theory, gender studies, and African American studies. I am currently employed as an academic librarian. I am also a family genealogist in the process of uncovering the people and places behind my ancestry. I enjoy digging up new facts, reading, and writing in my free time. My opinions and thoughts are my own.

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