Midsouth Chamber Of Commerce

The case focuses on the relevant problem of information systems’ implementation and systems’ failure in meeting management’s expectations. Through several controversial and inconsiderate decisions, the Midsouth Chamber of Commerce (MSCC) was left with a non-operating information system and a deteriorating relationship with the Data Management Associates (DMA), the organization providing the system support services. Furthermore, because of difficulties in transitioning from the original custom version of the information system to the previous version developed by UNITRAK, the organization was left without a functioning information system. The issue significantly worsened the organization’s performance causing employees to work overtime to make simple operations within the system. Analyzing the case and possible solutions to the situation can provide significant insight into troubleshooting problems associated with implementing information systems.

Firstly, the main challenge the organization needs to solve under a new Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer, Sage Niele, is the problem of MSCC’s deteriorating relationships with DMA. The information featured in the case suggested that DMA purposely deceived and persuaded MSCC to sign a contract by showing the non-existent functions of their software product. Furthermore, by signing the contract with MSCC on supposedly favorable terms for the client, DMA intended to increase its presence in the software market for trade associations. Still, DMA failed in fulfilling its obligations to clients, and many dissatisfied clients plan to sue DMA in a multiparty lawsuit. Taking part in a multiparty lawsuit against DMA may have positive consequences for MSCC in the long run if DMA will eventually pay for the damages it caused for unsatisfied clients. However, not taking any actions before the trial will have a negative effect on the organization’s performance.

Next, the MSCC should focus its action plan on solving the issues with the implementation of the information system by choosing to either modify or completely replace the existing software. The challenge is that DMA is unwilling to provide MSCC with the source code for the software, limiting the MSCC’s opportunities to hire an alternative company for the information system’s support. The possible reason for DMA’s protection over the access to software’s source code is that it will expose the company to cyber security threats (Parkerson, 2021). Nearly 75% of all security breaches happen from source code leaks, which expose businesses and confidential data to hackers (Virtamove, 2021). On the other hand, MSCC faces significant financial challenges sourced in the organization’s ineffective performance and unfavorable economic climate. Therefore, buying a completely different information system product is not available to the company for financial reasons. Thus, the company seemingly has no other plans but to continue paying for DMA’s services in hopes that the software provider will eventually establish a system that will meet MSCC’s functionality needs.

Furthermore, the process of the information system change was managed inefficiently by the MSCC’s leadership. The leadership prioritized the speed of the information system change process without concerning their previous unsuccessful experience with UNITRAK software. For example, system analyst Gramen’s decision to switch the information system’s hardware to HP was sourced from his previous affiliations with the system and lack of knowledge about the UNITRAK software. Next, Gramen proceeded to initiate the change without estimating the organizational needs and financial capabilities of MSCC. Furthermore, the Vice President of Marketing Lassiter showed much more effort in assessing organizational needs and DMA’s reliability than Gramen, even though the change was not part of his direct responsibility. Thus, the case demonstrates the importance of assigning the right person with leadership skills and analytical abilities as the change manager.

My recommendations to the current Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer of MSCC focus on building a relationship with DMA to gain access to the software’s source code. In the case, the attorney recommended that Niele pays bills for DMA’s services that MSCC deems reasonable. Furthermore, the case details mention that DMA refused to provide MSCC access to the source code for free, requiring an additional payment of $20,000 (DeHayes & Nelson, 2010). I think that the company should eventually consider taking part in a multiparty lawsuit against DMA in an attempt to recover some of MSCC’s financial resources fraudulently obtained by DMA. However, prior to filing a lawsuit, MSCC should pay all justified invoices for DMA’s services and obtain the software’s source code for an additional fee. With this plan, MSCC will be able to hire a new provider to fix the existing information system in a shorter time on more favorable terms, increasing the overall productivity of the organization. Lastly, if the court will eventually find DMA guilty of non-compliance with the contract, MSCC will return a part of its financial resources.

In conclusion, this case provides significant insight into possible complexities in implementing information systems and potential management issues during the change process. After several ill-advised decisions in the information system change process, MSCC faces the risk of suffering significant finical losses because of the unsuccessful implementation of new software. Thus, the case emphasizes the importance of assessing the company’s needs and choosing the right information system and reliable software provider for the overall company’s success.


DeHayes, D. W., & Nelson, S. R. (2010). Midsouth Chamber of Commerce: Cleaning up an information system debacle. In C. V. Brown, D. W. DeHayes, J. A. Hoffer, E. W. Martin, & W. C. Perkins (Eds.), Managing information technology (pp. 177-185). Prentice Hall.

Parkerson, C. (2021). Getting secrets out of source code. Medium.

Virtamove. (2021). Source code leaks are bad for business.