Sunday, 11 October 2015

Upgrading a Company's IT system and Its Short Comings

 
         A new urgency altogether can be found in this decade of the 21st century. Companies are aggressively functioning to rapid market response times, inflate business and offer improved service. “It’s a race for customers, information and results” Vuyk (2013). The first step to automation is upgrading the software a company uses. Software are found in two major categories, custom (tailored, Bespoke) and packaged (off-the-shelf) software. Off-the-shelf software often includes unessential features that you do not probably require to run your business, because of the fact that it is made for general public. It’s a compromise. On the other hand, specific features that the organisation needs might not be included in the available packaged software. Because of that disability, the company may have to change the way they do business which can end up with increasing costs and inefficiencies. And if other businesses use the same software, it can be challenging to gain competitive advantage. So, Off-the-shelf software does not do exactly what a company wants in many scenarios, in that case there is a need for tailored software that is designed and developed specifically for a particular company and its needs. A tailored software is custom written for the specifications of a client which can be much more efficient for specific tasks. Doyle (2001)

          Upgrading the company’s IT systems is a decent step towards improving the firm and will prove to be effective in the overall working of the company. But, for the transition, these short comings should be kept in mind.

DRAWBACKS OF BESPOKE APPLICATIONS

Using a tailored system may bring certain disadvantages with it. As it cannot be bought off the shelf, it becomes expensive to hire a programmer to write a completely new program for a company. It also takes a fair amount of time to develop such applications, ranging from a few months to years. As a new system, the company may need to employ a team of people to maintain the unique system or pay more to the software house to provide maintenance for it which can add cost. Unlike off-the-shelf software, there is unlikely to be any internet forums or websites to help users. For example popular spread sheet applications have dozens of online help sites run by users and professionals. It is down to the company to provide employee training which also increases cost. Not to forget, employees working on previous system are accustomed it and bringing up change in system might give rise to general resistance from the work force. Adaptability as mentioned by Lewis (2014) is also a major concern. It is hard for such software to constantly change with the fluctuating needs of the business. The coding of the software often makes it difficult to adapt to changes in the marketplace and developers are sometimes slow to provide fixes for any bugs that their software may encounter.

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FACILITIES REQUIRED AT SALES PERSONNEL HOUSEHOLD

It is a good idea to give sales personnel access to the company network from their homes. But in doing so, some hardware and software must be made available at home as well as in the company to make it possible.

Firstly, employees will require a personal computer with internet capabilities such as computers, laptops, palmtops, etc. which has a subscription with an internet provider so that it can work as a home station. Secondly, in described in Benson’s publication (2014), for security of link and data and to avoid cyber threats, decent security software with antivirus and firewall capabilities is of critical importance as the system is going to deal with company’s sensitive data. Caching over the network data to a local space can make the system efficient and effective as well which reduces access times and can be of use during network crashes or hardware failures. For such space and backups, more than average sized storage drive might be required. Another major concern is the authorization of software distribution for the personals to use at home, which on occasions increases the overall cost of the program.

PROS AND CONS OF SALES PERSONNEL WORKING FROM HOME.

It can be argued that working from home can reduce face-to-face interaction between personnel which is a big drawback in creative organisations. Furthermore, it also creates difficulty in communication which can create overall inefficiencies among employees. Machines are also known to act temperamental at times and machine breakdowns can greatly affect the continuity of work. Lastly, there can always be lack of accountability when employees are working from home. On the other hand, the world is changing briskly and conflicting to what you may think; research shows personnel are more productive when working remotely. It’s a win-win proposal motivated by the rapid progression of technology, which helps your organization. This concept as mentioned by Lesonsky (2014) can help save money for the corporation, drive productivity and can increase collaboration which empowers employees to work more efficiently.

REFERENCES

Benson, C. (2014). Security planning. Microsoft TechNet. Accessed by the URL http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc723503.aspx
Doyle, S. (2001). Information systems for you. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes Ltd:
Gordan, J., & Gordan, S. (1999). Information systems a management approach (2nd Ed.). USA: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
Lesonsky, R. (2014). Work without walls: Best Business Practices to Enable Remote Working. White paper retrieved by the URL: http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/5/D/85DB9B6D-02A1-41B9-A604-7A69C59A4F41/WorkWithoutWalls.pdf
Lewis, J. (2014). Advantages & disadvantages of a proprietary system vs. an open platform. Article retrieved from the URL: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-three-disadvantages-proprietary-system-vs-open-platform-38010.html
Vuyk, T. (2013). IT Management: Resolutions for business and IT. Publication accessed by the URL: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/jj933288.aspx