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Zodiac Cycle Part Manufacturer: Cloud Computing

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Question:

Discuss about the Zodiac Cycle Part Manufacturer for Cloud Computing.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Zodiac Cycle Part Manufacturer (ZCM) is a small scale company that is based out of eastern Melbourne. The company has witnessed a slow paced growth in the recent years. However, the information systems that are installed in the company are not efficient enough to deal with the business operations and activities that are carried out at the organization. It is because of this reason that the decision has been taken to improve the information systems that are being used in ZCM so that the expectations and requirements can be met.

Information Systems – Needs and Trends

Organizations in the present era are dealing with a lot of information that includes a wide variety of information along with the huge volumes as well. It is not possible that the information that the organizations are associated with can be processed or handled manually or with the use of outdated information systems. Also, the information clusters that are present cannot be stored and managed using the obsolete systems.

Because of the increase in the number of business operations that are carried out along with the massive clusters of information that are used, it is necessary that the information systems that are implemented in the organizations are based upon latest technology. There is also a great degree of competition among the organizations and the one that uses the latest information systems gets a competitive advantage in the market (Cornford, & Shaikh, 2013).

Technological changes along with the expansion of digital innovation have led to the increased use and adaptation of the information systems.

Information System Challenges in Small & Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs)

Small & Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) go through a number of challenges that are associated with the operations and maintenance of the information systems. These challenges have been summed up and explained below.

  • One of the major challenges that these enterprises face is in terms of the cost that is required to be spent while setting up the information system. SMEs have a limited budget and there are occurrences wherein the requirements of the information systems are difficult to meet because of the cost constraints. There are also costs that are involved in the maintenance of the information systems once the set up is done which is also difficult to manage.
  • SMEs have a limited skill set in terms of the resources that are engaged with the organization. Information systems that are set up in the organizations often demand the presence of a specialist or an expert which is not met by the SMEs.
  • There are a number of security issues and threats that are associated with the information systems. It is required to make sure that the protection mechanisms are used and deployed so that these threats and attacks can be prevented. However, the requirement is not met by the SMEs that lead to a significant impact (Shahid, & Sharif, 2015).
 

Cloud Computing & its Services

Cloud Computing is defined as a computing technology and practices in which the activities and applications are executed through the use of a network which is often the Internet. It is technology that makes use of network and remote servers for all the services and processing of information instead of the personal computer (Carretero, & Blas, 2014).

There are several services that are based upon cloud services that can be implemented in ZCM and have been listed below.

  • For the employees

The services that may be used and set up for the employees shall include Workplace as a Service (WaaS). It is a cloud service in which the required tools and software for the employees will be made available on the cloud and it will be made sure that access to these tools is provided to the employees. In such a manner the employees will be able to use their required tools through cloud and will also be able to communicate and share information with the fellow employees.

  • For the Customers

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing service in which the software that is designed and created can be made available to the end users through a cloud. In case of ZCM, an online portal shall be set up for the customers using SaaS and the same shall be implemented on cloud to allow the customers to view the products and services that are offered by ZCM and it shall be allowed to make purchases through the portal (Cusumano, 2010).

  • For the Suppliers

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing service in which the software that is designed and created can be made available to the suppliers through a cloud. In case of ZCM, an online portal shall be set up for the uppliers using SaaS and the same shall be implemented on cloud to allow the suppliers to negotiate and decide on the supplies through the portal (Clarke, 2015).

Recommendations

Cloud computing in ZCM shall be implemented using the two models as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Workplace as a Service (WaaS).

There are additional deployment models that are required to be selected for the deployment and implementation of the cloud models. These include private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud. The one that shall be applied and used in this case is the private cloud. It is the model which shall be used and implemented to make sure that the information exchange and the operations that are executed on the cloud are secure and protected at all times.

It shall also be made sure that the cloud services and applications that are used make sure of a secure channel and mechanisms to make sure that none of the security risks and attacks can take place.

There are various companies that have made use of cloud computing and have succeeded. South African Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) have successfully implemented several models and services of cloud computing and have benefitted from the same. It was earlier considered as a complex process and a big challenge to migrate to cloud or introduce new cloud services in the architecture. However, South African SMEs studied and analyzed the several aspects that were associated with the cloud framework and benefitted a lot from the same (Mohlameane, & Ruxwana, 2014).

Another case that can be reviewed to understand the success of cloud computing in the organizations is the Australian SMEs. There was a private courier company that was set up in Australia and was facing a lot of trouble with the services and technologies due to the outdated information systems. It was not able to look for new ways to serve the customers better and also could not meet their demands. It then decided to implemented cloud computing service and application with the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in its architecture. The same led to the ability to overcome all of the issues that were present (Venkatraman, 2016).

In the same manner, ZCM can also benefit from the cloud services that are available and it will be required for ZCM to make certain changes in its present infrastructure and architecture to adapt to these changes. The organization will be required to include and launch the cloud services in a step by step manner rather than introducing them all at once. In such a way, the cloud services that will be associated with the organization will be utilized and implemented better. Security and quality of the services will be two prime factors that will be required to be maintained in the cloud services that shall be implemented in ZCM.

There are various security controls, packages and tools that are available that shall be installed and implemented along with the cloud services so that none of the risks and attacks may be executed (Simou, Kalloniatis, Gritzalis, & Mouratidis, 2016).

 

References

Carretero, J., & Blas, J. (2014). Introduction to cloud computing: platforms and solutions. Cluster Computing, 17(4), 1225-1229. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10586-014-0352-5

Clarke, R. (2015). Does SaaS Backup Pass the Fitness-for-Purpose Test?. IEEE Cloud Computing, 2(6), 58-63. https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mcc.2015.121

Cornford, T., & Shaikh, M. (2013). Introduction to information systems. Retrieved 24 May 2017, from https://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/sites/default/files/programme_resources/lse/lse_pdf/subject_guides/is1060_ch1-4.pdf

Cusumano, M. (2010). Cloud computing and SaaS as new computing platforms. Communications Of The ACM, 53(4), 27. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1721654.1721667

Mohlameane, M., & Ruxwana, N. (2014). The Awareness of Cloud Computing: A Case Study of South African SMEs. Retrieved 24 May 2017, from https://www.ijtef.org/papers/332-N00004.pdf

Shahid, M., & Sharif, M. (2015). Cloud Computing Security Models, Architectures, Issues and Challenges: A Survey. The Smart Computing Review, 602-616. https://dx.doi.org/10.6029/smartcr.2015.06.010

Simou, S., Kalloniatis, C., Gritzalis, S., & Mouratidis, H. (2016). A survey on cloud forensics challenges and solutions. Security And Communication Networks, 9(18), 6285-6314. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sec.1688

Venkatraman, S. (2016). Challenges and Success Factors of ERP Systems in Australian SMEs. Retrieved 24 May 2017, from https://www.mdpi.com/2079-8954/4/2/20/pdf

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