Information and communication technologies are vital components in running businesses. Technologies allow organizations to automate their functions as well as to communicate internally and with their stakeholders. In the current case study, we examine a small consulting company that needs to update their technology. The paper discusses the implementation plan by outlining various processes needed to complete the project. We suggest a networking and discuss the installations, including wiring and the configuration of the new computer. Additionally, we examine the cultural dynamics involved when using technology, training, printing, file sharing, scalability, workflow, staged implementation and backup plans.
Computer Implementation Plan
A computer implementation plan highlights the list of activities that need to be completed in order to ensure effective deployment of information technology within the organization. Regarding the small consulting business that what to go high tech, there are several steps of implementing IT. The first phase begins by clearing defining the business goals and objectives. In this phase, the organization identifies feasible as well as measurable goals and objectives that should be attained with the use of technology.
Some of the objectives include computerizing the accounting processes, improving accuracy, automation of daily processes, accessing a new market, communicating with suppliers and clients and increasing the speed of processing massive data. The business goals include increasing profitability and reducing financial costs. After the goals and objectives have been defined, it is important to obtain consensus from the stakeholders (employees and others). Now it is time to develop methods for monitoring the implementation of the project by defining success indicators such as more clients, monetary saving and others.
The next step entails establishing a project team which will help in developing the plan to oversee the implementation, interacting with external developers as well as managers. After setting up a team, they will work to identify the key tasks including the human resources, software test plans, training plans capital needs as well as the budget. Identify the risks and come up with plans to mitigate them (Oz, 2009). The team will also create a backup system. Since this project will be implemented using phased strategy, the organization will keep their manual system running in parallel when the development and testing are being done. This will ensure that if something goes wrong, the organization does not lose significant data or business operations will not be stopped.
Now it is time to establish the main requirements of the system, including operating system, hardware, and usability needs. The organization shall purchase 5 computers and utilize Windows 8 Operating System. The software should achieve quicker acceptance by the users and easy to navigate. Another issue includes the training plan for the staff and members of the organizations. The employees` skills set should be assessed in order to be trained on how to operate the new system.
Create a network using diagramming software
The figure beneath depicts the network diagram for the organization, including 6 computers, a router, switches, Wi-Fi router and three printers. The network offers the ability of workers to connect to the internet through their laptops and smartphones when necessary. The diagram was generated by Concept Draw Pro Software that includes templates, libraries of network icons and samples.
Figure : Network Diagram
The network employed include wireless whereby the radio frequency is utilized in place of the cable network. The advantage of the wireless includes the ability of the workers to connect from any location within the offices which is covered be wireless network. In achieving wireless connections, the organization will utilize a modem that will pick internet signals and then sends them to other devices including personal computers, the router, and smartphones. The router connects to two switches and the server. The switches will connect the personal computers utilized in the office as well as the printers, scanners and the IP phone to the internet. The most appropriate speed for connection includes 20 Mbps to ensure quick and reliable networking. When routing is utilized, the messages are usually transmitted along a given path by hopping from one node to another until the right destination.
Installation, wiring, setup and configurations for new computers
The processes of installation, wiring, and configuration for the new computers will commence after the required components have been gathered or purchased. These components include the mouse, monitor, the computer tower with pre-installed windows 8 operating system and power cords as well as VGA or the HDMI cables. The first process includes connecting the monitor and the desktop and put them on the table top. Now, peripherals are connected including the keyboard and the mouse. Now it is time to network the devices.
In networking, it is important to identify the IP address followed by assigning the IP addresses to the server on the network. We will use static IP addresses since they are easier to find by utilizing the DNS service. Windows usually offer an automatic IP addressing scheme for the device based on the OS. Verify the connectivity and then assign a name to the network. Additionally, the encryption type needs to be chosen. For highest security, WPA2 will be utilized. The network management will be undertaken using the new network as well as the sharing centre. To allow sharing of files, the NAS will be utilized. NAS offers the capability to send files over the internet to co-workers via a link or an email. In a business environment, the Turbo NAS can add share files with stakeholders like the suppliers, clients, and partners in an efficient manner thus increasing operational productivity. The workplace needs a Local Area Network (LAN) between the computer to copy files, documents, and folds from one computer to the other. LAN needs an Ethernet cable, adapters, and network drivers.
Software installation and use (continuity and functionality)
There are several software needed by the business in order to operate well. These software perform different business functions. The business software needed by this company includes procurement software that helps in automating the purchasing process. The company requires reporting software to produce reports and aggregated data in order to keep the top management informed regarding what is happening. Also, the company needs human resource management software, inventory management system, and others. The company should purchase SAP ERP that comprises of several modules and functioning of the business. SAP is highly scalable and can meet the needs of the workforce, management, clients and suppliers among other stakeholders. The company needs to obtain licenses for various software that offers the company the right to utilize them.
Use of Saas
Software as a service (SaaS) involves a distribution model for software whereby a third-party provider hosts the applications utilized by an organization and will make them available to the company via the internet. SaaS is a class of the cloud computing. If the company pursues SaaS, they will not need to install or run applications on their computers. Thus, it will eliminate the costs of hardware purchase, maintenance, and provisioning as well as the support, installation and licensing processes. The additional benefits of SaaS include scalability, flexible payment, accessibility, and automatic updates. Some of the modules of SaaS include performance monitoring, accounting and invoicing, communication, sales tracking, and planning.
Cultural dynamics exist in implementing information and communication technologies in the company. The business owner who is older is hesitating to deploy computers since they result in loss of personal touch. Through emails and other communication platforms, the company cannot meet the business partners or clients in person. Her daughter who is a sales person wants everything to be updated by her. Moreover, the company has massive paper files.
Backup procedures, both hardware and software
Data is a very vital component in any organization. Therefore, it is important to have plans for software and hardware backup in case the computer systems fail; data is corrupted, destroyed or is stolen. The company should consider backing up their data in the cloud by utilizing solutions like Crash Plan Proe that allows for the company to back up their machines by sending an encrypted copy to the cloud. Also, they should have a backup server that will enable the company to backup and later restore files via the internet.