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Approaches to Office Automation

Discuss about the SoftArc Engineering Ltd.

SoftArc Engineering Ltd is a civil engineering company that is based out of Australia and also has a global presence with operations in various other countries such as Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. With the increase in the expansion of cloud computing, the organization has decided to move some of its infrastructure to the cloud. The move would lead to cost-savings in terms of ICT infrastructure and would also streamline the services and operations that would be involved.

There are several approaches that are present which can be adopted in order to automate the office at SoftArc Engineering Ltd. Each of the approach has its own set of advantages and drawbacks associated with it and an analysis has been done to understand the most applicable approach out of all.

SoftArc Engineering Ltd has taken a step to move towards cloud in its infrastructure. The decision will bring along a lot many changes and it would not be advisable to move the entire set up all at once. However, there would only be certain components that would be required to be moved in the beginning of the migration process[1]. Ad-hoc approach to office automation can therefore be implemented at SoftArc Engineering Ltd to migrate the components to the cloud. It is the approach in which the components to be moved along with the planning behind the same would be done on an ad-hoc basis which would be task specific in nature. The decision on what components are required to be moved along with the timeframe and methodology that would be adopted in migration would also be ad-hoc and value based in nature. There will be several advantages that will be offered with this approach as the automation of the office will bring along several changes which will be easily tackled with the aid of ad-hoc approach. Also, the automation process will take place in a number of iterations and there will be specific components that will be included in single iteration instead of all of the components at once[2]. The experts at the end of the organization will also be actively involved to monitor the entire process to provide their valuable feedbacks. The feedbacks will be included in the next iterations which would make sure that the office automation at the end is done without any faults or errors.


There will be certain drawbacks that will be involved with this approach as well. The costs that will be associated with this approach will be high as there will be a number of hidden costs that will be involved[3]. Also, there will be issues associated with documentation that may come up. Ad-hoc approach to office automation will not pay much attention on the documentation of the activities that will be covered which may make it difficult to refer to the activities covered in the past at the later stages.

Another approach that may be followed in the office automation of SoftArc Engineering Ltd can be pilot approach. It is the approach in which the migration and conversion process is rolled out to the group of test users and experts and their valuable feedback is collected before rolling out the same to larger sections. In case of SoftArc Engineering Ltd, the migration of office components to the cloud is required to be done which would lead to the creation and adaptation of automation in the office. As per the pilot approach, all of the automation activities shall be done in one go and a group of test users and experts shall be selected to roll out the migration processes to. The feedback would then be collected from the group of test users and the further processes will be carried out as per the feedback that would be provided. If there will be no changes highlighted in the feedback received, then the processes associated with office automation will be rolled out to larger sections. However, in case of certain changes and modifications, the rectification activities will be performed before rolling out the processes further[4].

Ad-Hoc Approach to Office Automation

There will be several advantages of this process as the probability of the risks associated with errors or defects will be the least. There will also be a section of people in the organization that would gain an expertise on the new system and the group may provide further trainings to other resources as and when required. There would also be improvement processes that will be involved as the feedback of the test group would be considered as extremely valuable.

There will however be certain drawbacks associated with the process as well. Over-reliance on the test group is one of the major drawbacks as the feedback of the members in the test group will be considered as final. If there will be any issues in their skill sets then it would impact the entire organization.

On the basis of the analysis that has been carried out above on the approach to adapt for office automation and the pros and cons of each approach, the one that would be most applicable in case of SoftArc Engineering Ltd would be ad-hoc approach.

There will be lesser risks that will be involved in case of ad-hoc approach as compared to the pilot approach for office automation. Also, the task-specific nature of the ad-hoc approach will be beneficial for the organization.

There are a lot of differences between the enterprise data centre that is locally hosted in nature and the one that is based upon Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider in a public cloud.

Some of these points of difference have been summarized in the table below.

Point of Difference

Locally Hosted Enterprise Data Centre

IaaS Provider in Public Cloud

Servers

The servers in case of locally hosted enterprise data centre are co-located in nature

The servers in case of IaaS provider in public cloud are integrated in nature[5]

Fault Tolerance

Servers in this case are dependent upon each other and therefore failures in one of the servers or areas impact others as well

The servers in case of IaaS provider in public cloud are fault tolerant in nature

Resources

Resources in the case of locally hosted enterprise data centre are partitioned and performance inter-related in nature

Resources in the case of IaaS provider in public cloud are unified and performance isolated in nature

Management

Management activities that are required to be carried out are based upon manual operations which lead to a number of faults and errors

Management activities in this case are automated in nature that yield centralized full control[6]

Scheduling

Scheduling in case of locally hosted enterprise data centre are over-provisioning in nature

Scheduling in the case of IaaS provider in public cloud is flexible and scalable in nature

Renting

Renting in case of locally hosted enterprise data centre is per physical machine

Renting in the case of IaaS provider in public cloud is per logical usage

Application and Services

Applications and services in this case are fixed on designated servers

Applications and services in this case run and move across all the VMs

There are several issues and factors apart from the cost that SoftArc Engineering Ltd would be required to consider before moving to IaaS model of cloud computing. Some of these factors have been summarized below.

Planning is an essential activity that is required to be carried out and it is often observed that the organizations face many risks in adopting a new technology. It would be necessary for SoftArc Engineering Ltd to understand the actual need of cloud in its infrastructure rather than moving to cloud just for the sake of it. Incorrect estimation of need would lead to cost overruns and other risks associated with the cloud. Planning would be essential to choose the appropriate IaaS vendor to select from[7].

It would also be essential to perform a market research and market analysis on the IaaS vendor that would be selected for the organization. Assessment of the viability and longevity of the vendor shall be done. It has been observed that there are several vendors in the market that risk the investments of the clients. Also, there are vendors that take up the projects and contracts but do not have sufficient resources to accomplish the project objectives leading to a huge damage as a result. It would therefore be essential to perform a market analysis of all of these factors.

Implementation and migration from the traditional practices to the IaaS cloud would require support from other systems and departments as well such as IT department and legal department. There would be a lot many architectural differences that will be present and it would be essential to understand all of these differences. The organization would be required to evaluate the technical depth to understand the technicalities along with the level of integration and collaboration that would be required. Before selecting the IaaS provider and the components to migrate, this analysis would be required to be performed.

Pilot Approach


Data storage and data management associated with IaaS cloud provider along with the features such as data back-up and recovery options would be required to be analyzed and understood[8]. There will be a lot of data that will be associated with the organization and this data would be migrated to IaaS cloud upon its implementation. Assessment therefore would be required to be done to understand the in-depth details around data storage and management.

It would also be essential to understand the level of post-delivery support that will be provided by the IaaS service provider. There are often cases that the service provider do not provide the required level of maintenance and support post deployment that leaves the users and customers with a lot of trouble. Analysis of these factors would therefore be required to be done.

Security mechanisms and security features that are associated with the IaaS service provider would also play an important role in the selection of the vendor. There are several security vulnerabilities that are associated with cloud computing and with the migration of SoftArc Engineering Ltd components to the cloud, these security risks would be associated with the organization as well. It would therefore be essential to make sure that the vendor has suitable measures to detect, prevent and control all of these risks and attacks.

There would also be certain system qualities that would be required to be considered while making the selection for IaaS provider.

Performance of the cloud services would be required to be excellent and it would be essential that there is minimum response time and throughput time for each request.

Reliability of the cloud services would be essential as it would be necessary to ensure that the information and processes are valid at all times

Availability of the services would be essential to be validated as well.

Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud deployment model in which the applications along with the services are hosted on the cloud by SaaS vendor and the customers are allowed to access the same with the aid of a network which is primarily Internet in majority of the cases[9]. The service provider of cloud provides the customers and the end-users with a license to the services that are provided.

Convenient web access to the customers for the services that are availed
Software can be easily managed through the centrally located point
SaaS model makes use of on-to-many scheme
Maintenance and upgrades are not the botheration of the users in this case
Integration of the services along with their collaboration is easy

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud deployment model in which it is extremely easy to build up the application and the services with any complexities associated with the maintenance of the same. Installations and downloads are not necessary in this case. Characteristics of the model are as listed below.
There is a common standard that is followed all throughout for integration and management activities along with the database[10]
User experience and the ease of usability that comes with this model is high and there are several customization options provided to the users
Multi-tenant architecture is followed in the case of PaaS which provides the opportunity to more than one user to perform the operations and activities simultaneously
The services that are offered with this model are also scalable in nature

Recommended Approach

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud deployment model in which cloud services and deliveries are offered with the help of a number of outsourcing of the equipment such as storage options, hardware and database along with the networking tools.

More than one user is allowed to access a machine or a hardware or a tool associated with IaaS
Dynamic scaling is possible with IaaS that allows scaling up and scaling down as and when required[11]
Cost of availing this particular model varies on the basis of the features that are required
Resources that are associated with IaaS are distributed in nature

The model that has been recommended for this case is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model for cloud computing.

The model has been selected for SoftArc Engineering Ltd as ad-hoc approach for migration to cloud will amalgamate perfectly with this model. The decision on what components are required to be moved along with the timeframe and methodology that would be adopted in migration would also be ad-hoc and value based in nature. There will be several advantages that will be offered with this approach as the automation of the office will bring along several changes which will be easily tackled with the aid of ad-hoc approach. Also, the automation process will take place in a number of iterations and there will be specific components that will be included in single iteration instead of all of the components at once. The experts at the end of the organization will also be actively involved to monitor the entire process to provide their valuable feedbacks. The feedbacks will be included in the next iterations which would make sure that the office automation at the end is done without any faults or errors[12].

IaaS model for cloud computing will easily fit in with the above strategy that will be followed and will also offer the following advantages.

More than one user is allowed to access a machine or a hardware or a tool associated with IaaS
Dynamic scaling is possible with IaaS that allows scaling up and scaling down as and when required
Cost of availing this particular model varies on the basis of the features that are required
Resources that are associated with IaaS are distributed in nature

Shared Access

Multi-tenancy and multi-tasking are the two essential features that are associated with IaaS cloud model and it is because of these two features that the multiple users will be allowed to obtain access at the same time. There will be sharing of a number of entities such as memory, tools and database that will also be involved. Shared access along with sharing of all of these resources may lead to the emergence of risks such as those associated with spoofing and IP addresses leading to risks to the information security.

Cost and time

The cost that is involved with the IaaS cloud model is varied in nature and depends entirely upon the tasks and components that are involved. Estimation of the costs and budget along with the timeframe that would be required to accomplish all of the activities would therefore be troublesome and would also involve a number of complexities[13].

Legislation and Regulation

The information associated with SoftArc Engineering Ltd would be private and confidential in nature and any violation of these properties will lead to the emergence of a number of risks and security occurrences. The same may also cause a number of legislative and regulatory complexities and troubles[14].

Authentication, authorization and access control

Security mechanisms and security features that are associated with the IaaS service provider would also play an important role in the selection of the vendor. There are several security vulnerabilities that are associated with cloud computing and with the migration of SoftArc Engineering Ltd components to the cloud, these security risks would be associated with the organization as well. It would therefore be essential to make sure that the vendor has suitable measures to detect, prevent and control all of these risks and attacks.

Availability

IaaS cloud model has the features of availability and excellent fault tolerance associated with it. However, there are still cases of unavailability of services that are encountered that lead to the dissatisfaction among the customers.

Data Authority and Ownership

In case of involvement of IaaS provider it would be essential to define the authority and ownership rights associated with the organization to avoid any of the ambiguities and confusions at the later stages.

There are a number of measures that may be adopted by the organization along with the IaaS vendor to avoid the issues and problems that have been stated above.

Security infrastructure and mechanisms would be required to be designed in such a manner that the basic as well as advanced security is enhanced. Also, there would be in-depth planning analysis required to make sure that there are no errors or deviations experienced in the journey[15].

Data storage, data management along with its back-up and recovery would also play an extremely important role.

Conclusion

SoftArc Engineering Ltd is a civil engineering company that is based out of Australia and also has a global presence with operations in various other countries such as Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. With the increase in the expansion of cloud computing, the organization has decided to move some of its infrastructure to the cloud. On the basis of the analysis that has been carried out on the approach to adapt for office automation and the pros and cons of each approach, the one that would be most applicable in case of SoftArc Engineering Ltd would be ad-hoc approach. There will be lesser risks that will be involved in case of ad-hoc approach as compared to the pilot approach for office automation. Also, the task-specific nature of the ad-hoc approach will be beneficial for the organization. The model that has been recommended for this case is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model for cloud computing. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud deployment model in which cloud services and deliveries are offered with the help of a number of outsourcing of the equipment such as storage options, hardware and database along with the networking tools. Security infrastructure and mechanisms would be required to be designed in such a manner that the basic as well as advanced security is enhanced. Also, there would be in-depth planning analysis required to make sure that there are no errors or deviations experienced in the journey.

Critical Issues and Factors

References

Alashoor, Tawfiq, "Cloud Computing: A Review Of Security Issues And Solutions" (2014) 3 International Journal of Cloud Computing

Chen, Bo and Wenjia Liu, "Mobile Agent Computing Paradigm For Building A Flexible Structural Health Monitoring Sensor Network" (2010) 25 Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering

D.Pramodh, D.Pramodh and Abdul Mazid, "Improving Utilization Of Infrastructure Cloud Computing Reference Architecture" (2011) 2 Indian Journal of Applied Research

Hu, Yu, "Comparisons Of Cloud Computing Models And Technologies" (2012) 524-527 Advanced Materials Research

Jaatun, Martin et al, "The Design Of A Redundant Array Of Independent Net-Storages For Improved Confidentiality In Cloud Computing" (2012) 1 Journal of Cloud Computing: Advances, Systems and Applications

Kikuchi, Shinji, Shelly Sachdeva and Subhash Bhalla, "Cloud Computing Based PHR Architecture Using Multi Layers Model" (2012) 05 Journal of Software Engineering and Applications

Morrell, Richard and Akash Chandrashekar, "Cloud Computing: New Challenges And Opportunities" (2011) 2011 Network Security

Nasr, Dr.Mona M. and Shimaa Ouf, "A Proposed Smart E-Learning System Using Cloud Computing Services: Paas, Iaas And Web 3.0" (2012) 7 International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET)

Samba, Augustine, "Logical Data Models For Cloud Computing Architectures" (2012) 14 IT Professional

Shahzad, Abid and Mureed Hussain, "Security Issues And Challenges Of Mobile Cloud Computing" (2013) 6 International Journal of Grid and Distributed Computing

Shahzad, Farrukh, "State-Of-The-Art Survey On Cloud Computing Security Challenges, Approaches And Solutions" (2014) 37 Procedia Computer Science

Sharma, Ritu and Manu Sood, "Enhancing Cloud SAAS Development With Model Driven Architecture" (2011) 1 International Journal on Cloud Computing: Services and Architecture

Simou, Stavros et al, "A Survey On Cloud Forensics Challenges And Solutions" (2016) 9 Security and Communication Networks

Vaquero, Luis M., "Educloud: Paas Versus Iaas Cloud Usage For An Advanced Computer Science Course" (2011) 54 IEEE Transactions on Education

Villari, Massimo et al, "Osmotic Computing: A New Paradigm For Edge/Cloud Integration" (2016) 3 IEEE Cloud Computing

Martin Jaatun et al, "The Design Of A Redundant Array Of Independent Net-Storages For Improved Confidentiality In Cloud Computing" (2012) 1 Journal of Cloud Computing: Advances, Systems and Applications.

Augustine Samba, "Logical Data Models For Cloud Computing Architectures" (2012) 14 IT Professional.

D.Pramodh D.Pramodh and Abdul Mazid, "Improving Utilization Of Infrastructure Cloud Computing Reference Architecture" (2011) 2 Indian Journal of Applied Research.

Massimo Villari et al, "Osmotic Computing: A New Paradigm For Edge/Cloud Integration" (2016) 3 IEEE Cloud Computing.

Yu Hu, "Comparisons Of Cloud Computing Models And Technologies" (2012) 524-527 Advanced Materials Research.

Bo Chen and Wenjia Liu, "Mobile Agent Computing Paradigm For Building A Flexible Structural Health Monitoring Sensor Network" (2010) 25 Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.

Stavros Simou et al, "A Survey On Cloud Forensics Challenges And Solutions" (2016) 9 Security and Communication Networks.

Farrukh Shahzad, "State-Of-The-Art Survey On Cloud Computing Security Challenges, Approaches And Solutions" (2014) 37 Procedia Computer Science.

Ritu Sharma and Manu Sood, "Enhancing Cloud SAAS Development With Model Driven Architecture" (2011) 1 International Journal on Cloud Computing: Services and Architecture.

Luis M. Vaquero, "Educloud: Paas Versus Iaas Cloud Usage For An Advanced Computer Science Course" (2011) 54 IEEE Transactions on Education.

Dr.Mona M. Nasr and Shimaa Ouf, "A Proposed Smart E-Learning System Using Cloud Computing Services: Paas, Iaas And Web 3.0" (2012) 7 International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET).

Shinji Kikuchi, Shelly Sachdeva and Subhash Bhalla, "Cloud Computing Based PHR Architecture Using Multi Layers Model" (2012) 05 Journal of Software Engineering and Applications.

Abid Shahzad and Mureed Hussain, "Security Issues And Challenges Of Mobile Cloud Computing" (2013) 6 International Journal of Grid and Distributed Computing.

Tawfiq Alashoor, "Cloud Computing: A Review Of Security Issues And Solutions" (2014) 3 International Journal of Cloud Computing.

Richard Morrell and Akash Chandrashekar, "Cloud Computing: New Challenges And Opportunities" (2011) 2011 Network Security.

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[Accessed 20 July 2024].

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My Assignment Help. SoftArc Engineering Ltd - Office Automation And Cloud Migration [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 20 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/the-soft-arc-engineering-ltd.

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