What is cloud computing? What models are available for cloud computing? Explain.

Cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats.

What cloud computing is not about is the hard drive. When you store data on or run programs from the hard drive, that’s called local storage and computing. Everything you need is physically close to you, which means accessing your data is fast and easy, for that one computer, or others on the local network. Working off your hard drive is how the computer industry functioned for decades; some would argue it’s still superior to cloud computing.

The cloud is also not about having dedicated network attached storage (NAS) hardware or server in residence. Storing data on a home or office network does not count as utilizing the cloud. (However, some NAS will remotely access things over the Internet).

For it to be considered “cloud computing,” you need to access your data or your programs over the Internet, or at the very least, have that data synchronized with other information over the Web. In a big business, you may know all there is to know about what’s on the other side of the connection; as an individual user, you may never have any idea what kind of massive data-processing is happening on the other end. The end result is the same: with an online connection, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime.

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source: https://www.cloudnloud.com/

There are three different types of services can be delivered in the various cloud deployment environments: SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

SaaS (Software as a Service): The consumer can use the provider’s software as a service through a thin client interface, such as a web browser. This is the visible part of Cloud Computing for the end user who no longer needs to set up the application on his desktop and can access his account through the web within a 100% secured environment.

PaaS (Platform as a Service): The consumer can deploy onto the infrastructure applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. PaaS facilitates deployment of applications and provides all of the facilities require to support. It offers basic functions so that the developer does not need to worry about user management or availability issues.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a service): The consumer can provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where he is able to deploy and run arbitrary software. In this case, the company can have, upon request, the ability to manage any application.

 

References:

http://me.pcmag.com/networking-communications-software-products/1758/feature/what-is-cloud-computing

http://www.systancia.com/en/cloud-computing-models

 

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What are sources of poor system quality? Explain.

Poor quality is not an inevitable attribute of software. It results from known causes. It can be predicted and controlled, but only if its causes are understood and addressed. With more critical business processes being implemented in software, quality problems are a primary business risk.

In recent years, corporate scandals, regulatory changes, and the collapse of many financial institutions have brought much warranted attention to the quality of enterprise information. Best practices have been developed and discussed. Data quality is no longer the domain of just the data warehouse. It is accepted as an enterprise responsibility.

Each instance of a quality issue presents challenges in both identifying where problems exist and in quantifying the extent of the problems. Quantifying the issues is important in order to determine where our efforts should be focused first. A large number of missing email addresses may well be alarming but could present little impact if there is no process or plan for communicating by email. It is imperative to understand the business requirements and to match them against the assessment of the problem at hand. Consider the following seven sources of data quality issues:

 

  1. Entry quality: Did the information enter the system correctly at the origin. It is probably the easiest problem to identify but is often the most difficult to correct. Entry issues are usually caused by a person entering data into a system.
  2. Process quality: Was the integrity of the information maintained during processing through the system. Process quality issues usually occur systematically as data is moved through an organization. They may result from a system crash, lost file, or any other technical occurrence that results from integrated systems.
  3. Identification quality: Are two similar objects identified correctly to be the same or different. Identification quality problems result from a failure to recognize the relationship between two objects. For example, two similar products with different stock keeping unit (SKU) are incorrectly judged to be the same.
  4. Integration quality: Is all the known information about an object integrated to the point of providing an accurate representation of the object. Integration quality, or quality of completeness, can present big challenges for large organizations. Integration quality problems occur because information is isolated by system or departmental boundaries.
  5. Usage quality: Is the information used and interpreted correctly at the point of access. Usage quality often presents itself when data warehouse developers lack access to legacy source documentation or subject matter experts. Without adequate guidance, they are left to guess the meaning and use of certain data elements. Another scenario occurs in organizations where users are given the tools to write their own queries or create their own reports. Incorrect usage may be difficult to detect and quantify in cost.
  6. Aging quality: Has enough time passed that the validity of the information can no longer be trusted. The most challenging aspect of aging quality is determining at which point the information is no longer valid. Usually, such decisions are somewhat arbitrary and vary by usage. For example, maintaining a former customer’s address for more than five years is probably not useful. If customers haven’t been heard from in several years despite marketing efforts
  7. Organizational quality: Can the same information be reconciled between two systems based on the way the organization constructs and views the data. Organizational quality, like entry quality, is easy to diagnose and sometimes very difficult to address. It shares much in common with process quality and integration quality but is less a technical problem than a systematic one that occurs in large organizations.

 

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References:

https://www.melissadata.com/enews/articles/0611/2.htm  Source: Information Management June 2009 (www.information-management.com). William McKnight is partner, Information Management, at Lucidity Consulting Group.

http://www.datamation.com/entdev/article.php/3827841/Top-Five-Causes-of-Poor-Software-Quality.htm

 

What is ethics? Explain.

Ethics is the field of ethics involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.

Ethical beliefs shape the way we live, what we do, what we make and the world we create through our choices. Ethics isn’t just an exercise for philosophers or intellectuals. It is at the core of everyday life.

Being ethical is a part of what defines us as human beings. We are rational, thinking, choosing creatures. We all have the capacity to make conscious choices, although we often act out of habit or in line with the views of the crowd. It allows us to be consistent in our judgements, provide reasons for our beliefs and to critically examine opinions. Most importantly, ethics allows us to act in a manner that accord with a set of core values and principles.

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Complex ethical problems can be individual and private or widespread and systemic, involving groups, organizations or whole communities.

In the past four decades technology has fundamentally altered our lives: from the way we work to how we communicate to how we fight wars. These technologies have not been without controversy, and many have sparked intense debates that are often polarized or embroiled in scientific ambiguities or dishonest demagoguery.

Ethics in technology is a sub-field of ethics addressing the ethical questions specific to the Technology Age.

Thinking about the pace at which technology is progressing. There are manifold implications, things like computer security or viruses, Trojans, spam’s that invade the privacy of people or the fact the technology is promoting consumerism.

Nowadays data storage is primarily on computer systems. With the advent of internet technology the world has got interconnected and data can be accessed remotely by those who are otherwise unauthorized to do the same. This is one of the pitfalls of innovation. The other one i.e. the pace of technological change also raises the question of ethics.

Maintaining a code of professional ethics in the anti-fraud profession is not only critical in practice, but also for self-preservation, as fraud examiners face ethical dilemmas daily. In a similar manner, maintaining an effective compliance program is an absolute necessity to protect an organization from various risks, including those of fraud, financial impact, and litigation and reputation loss.

References:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/ethics/

http://www.ethics.org.au/about/what-is-ethics

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-many-ethical-implications-of-emerging-technologies/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_technology

https://www.acfe.com/ethics-and-compliance.aspx

http://www.managementstudyguide.com/ethics-and-technology.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a Virtual Company? Explain it and provide an example.

As information and communications technologies overcome the constraints of time and distance, it becomes possible to create virtual organizations. Virtual is usually taken to be something that does not exist in reality. So a typical definition of a virtual corporation or companies (taking the dimension of time) is: “a temporary network of independent companies linked by IT to share skills, costs, and access to one another’s markets”.

However, another definition relates to an organization not having a clear physical locus. Here a typical definition is: “an organization distributed geographically and whose work is coordinated through electronic communications.”

Both definitions show how information and communications technologies can be used to exploit the dimensions of time and space. A virtual company is a specific example of a networked organization. Many smaller companies are now realizing the benefits of being part of a virtual corporation, which can give them the benefits of the resources of a large organization while retaining the agility and independence of a small one.

Besides, a virtual company conducts all or most of its business via the internet and does not have physical premises to interact with customers face-to-face. A purely virtual company may outsource nearly all of their business functions such as product development, marketing, sales, shipping, etc. However, most virtual companies retain some of these activities in-house and may still require a physical presence in the form of headquarters, warehouses, shipping and delivery hubs, etc.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Victual Company:

It has many potential advantages, including:

  • Cost savings – reducing the need for employee, as work space saves money on overhead (expenses such as commercial building leases, utilities, insurance, etc. (
  • Flexibility – a less rigid organization can react faster to changes in the marketplace.
  • Happier employees – working from home creates a better work/life balance for the staff.
  • Since employees can work anywhere, organizations can provide employment in rural locations or areas of high unemployment.

On the other side the possible disadvantages include:

  • Lack of cohesiveness in the organization due to employees being located in diverse regions, with possible language and cultural differences.
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction between employees and teams resulting in communications-related issues.
  • Reduced productivity from work-from-home employees who lack self-discipline.

 

The Largest Virtual Business in the World

amazon_logo_rgb is the most famous virtual retailer and the largest in the world, with over 150,000 employees and over $90 billion in annual revenue. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, it began as a virtual bookstore and with the advent of digital books (e-books) and e-readers has turned the publishing industry on its head.

Traditional “bricks and mortar” book sellers such as Borders (who at its peak had over 600 retail stores) were unable to compete with Amazon’s huge selection, low-prices, and free shipping. Borders filed for bankruptcy in 2011. In addition to e-book sales, Amazon markets its own line of Kindle e-book readers. On average, 12 new books are added to Amazon’s catalog every hour of the day.

Amazon quickly expanded their online offerings to include sales of CDs/DVDs, video games, electronics, and a huge variety of dry goods in almost every retail category including apparel, home and garden, automotive, hardware, etc. In 2002 Amazon began selling cloud computing services and is now the world’s largest cloud computing provider.

What is the meaning of disruptive technologies? Explain and provide an example.

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A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.

Furthermore, disruptive technologies are innovations that help create new markets and eventually go on to disrupt an existing market and value networks, displacing an earlier technology. This term, coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen, is often used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect.

In 1997 best-selling book by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. On the other hand, disruptive technology lacks refinement, often has performance problems because it is new, appeals to a limited audience and may not yet have a proven practical application. Christensen believes that the main reason that successful and apparently well-run and well established organizations lose market share, and sometimes go out of business, is that they fail to recognize the distinction between sustaining and disruptive technologies.

Here are a few examples of disruptive technologies:

  • The personal computer (PC) displaced the typewriter and forever changed the way we work and communicate.
  • The Windows operating system’s combination of affordability and a user-friendly interface was instrumental in the rapid development of the personal computing industry in the 1990s. Personal computing disrupted the television industry, as well as a great number of other activities.
  • Email transformed the way we communicating, largely displacing letter-writing and disrupting the postal and greeting card industries.
  • Cell phones made it possible for people to call anywhere and disrupted the telecom industry.
  • The laptop computer and mobile computing made a mobile workforce possible and made it possible for people to connect to corporate networks and collaborate from anywhere. In many organizations, laptops replaced desktops.
  • Smartphones largely replaced cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants, because of the available apps, also disrupted: pocket cameras, MP3 players, calculators and GPS devices, among many other possibilities. For some mobile users, smartphones often replace laptops. Others prefer a tablet.
  • Cloud computing has been a hugely disruptive technology in the business world, displacing many resources that would conventionally have been located in-house or provided as a traditionally hosted service.
  • Social networking has had a major impact on the way we communicate and especially for personal use has disrupted telephone, email, instant messaging and event planning.

disruptive-technologies-in-website-design

 

Describe the characteristics of a Customer Relationship Management System.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with current and potential future customers that tries to analyze data about customers’ history with a company and to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

One important aspect of the CRM approach is the systems of CRM that compile data from a range of different communication channels, including a company’s website, telephone, email, live chat, marketing materials, and social media.

CRM solutions give organizations business data to help provide services or products that your customers want, offer better customer service, help sales teams to cross-sell and up-sell more effectively, close deals, retain current customers and to better understand exactly who your customers are. Organizations frequently look for ways to personalize online experiences (a process also referred to as mass customization) through tools such as help-desk software, email organizers and different types of enterprise applications.

Special CRM software aggregates customer information in one place to give businesses easy access to data, such as contact data, purchase history and any previous contact with customer service representatives. This data helps employees interact with clients, anticipate customer needs, recognize customer updates and track performance goals when it comes to sales. CRM software’s main purpose is to make interactions more efficient and productive. Automated procedures within a CRM module include sending a sales team marketing materials based on a customer’s selection of a product or service. Programs also assess a customer’s needs to reduce the time it takes to fulfill a request.

All of the computer software in the world to help with CRM means nothing without proper management and decision-making from humans. Plus, the best programs organize data in a way that humans can interpret readily and use to their advantage. For successful CRM, companies must learn to discern useful information and superfluous data, and weed out any duplicate and incomplete records that may give employees inaccurate information about customers.

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As Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an important area of activity for any successful business, CRM tools are essential for any growing business; below demonstrated the key characteristics of a good CRM system:

  • Easy integration: a good CRM is a CRM which lets you quickly and easily import data from existing databases.
  • Ease of use: the best CRM system is useless if your employees don’t know how to use it. When deciding between CRM solutions make sure that the one picked is easy to use, has an intuitive interface, ample documentation and good user support. The time spent training the employees to use the CRM should be as short as possible – after all, the whole point of having a CRM is increasing efficiency, rather than wasting time.
  • Adaptability: make sure that the applied CRM is easily adaptable to the company future needs. A good CRM doesn’t just fit the company’s current needs, but also has the potential to grow; it should include multiple modules, features and possibilities for integration.
  • Positive impact on customer satisfaction: at the heart of every CRM, as the name obviously suggests, is maintaining positive customer relationships. This is why a good CRM is more than just a complicated address book – it should let the employees see a comprehensive customer profile. A CRM should also enable an easily answer customer questions and offer them relevant services. This way a CRM not only makes the company appear more professional, but also positively affects its revenues.
  • Easy reporting & overviews: watching the business grow is a key part of planning for the future. A good CRM should be used to analyze customer and employee activities and use the information for the benefit of the company. This is why the CRM chosen should have reporting and tracking features.

Describe the characteristics of a Business Intelligence system.

Business Intelligence (BI) is a broad category of computer software solutions that enables a company or organization to gain insight into its critical operations through reporting applications and analysis tools. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting.

BI applications may include a variety of components such as tabular reports, spreadsheets, charts, and dashboards. Although traditional business intelligence systems were delivered via host terminals or paper reports, the typical modern deployment of a BI application is over the web, via Internet or intranet connections. It is also possible, and becoming more popular, to develop interactive BI apps optimized for mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones, and for e-mail. Well-designed BI applications can give anyone in the company the ability to make better decisions by quickly understanding the various “information assets” in the organization and how these interact with each other. These assets can include customer databases, supply chain information, personnel data, manufacturing, product data, sales and marketing activity, as well as any other source of information critical to the operation. A robust BI application, which includes integration and data cleansing functions, can allow integrating these disparate data sources into a single coherent framework for real-time reporting and detailed analysis by anyone in your extended enterprise – customers, partners, employees, managers, and executives.

Companies use BI to improve decision making, cut costs and identify new business opportunities. BI is more than just corporate reporting and more than a set of tools to coax data out of enterprise systems.

For example, a bank bridges a legacy database with departmental databases, giving branch managers and other users access to BI applications to determine who the most profitable customers are or which customers they should try to cross-sell new products to. The use of these tools frees information technology staff from the task of generating analytical reports for the departments and it gives department personnel autonomous access to a richer data source.

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Characteristics of Business Intelligence System (BIS):

  • It is created by procuring data and information for use in decision-making.
  • It is a combination of skills, processes, technologies, applications and practices.
  • It contains background data along with the reporting tools.
  • It is a combination of a set of concepts and methods strengthened by fact-based support systems.
  • It is an extension of Executive Support System or Executive Information System.
  • It collects, integrates, stores, analyzes, and provides access to business information
  • It is an environment in which business users get reliable, secure, consistent, comprehensible, easily manipulated and timely information.
  • It provides business insights that lead to better, faster, more relevant decisions.

Benefits of Business Intelligence System (BIS):

  • Improved Management Processes.
  • Planning, controlling, measuring and/or applying changes that results in increased revenues and reduced costs.
  • Improved business operations.
  • Fraud detection, order processing, purchasing that results in increased revenues and reduced costs.
  • Intelligent prediction of future.