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Collaboration Exercise 6

Adam Coleman Instructor

CTEC 205

Presented by:
Daniel Belza
Kristie Linn
Scott Hanna
Sierra McClellan
Zac Russell

















Collaboration Exercise 6 Team 1

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Many changes are happening in the era of technology, from local independent
software vendors (ISVs) to the cloud. Businesses across the country are adapting to
this computing transformation that is creating a paradigm shift in the information
technology community.


Who are the independent software vendors (ISVs)? According to techopedia.com,
they are an individual or business that builds, develops and sells consumer or
enterprise softwarealso known as the software publisher. ISVs build software
products that run on a computers operating system platform, such as Microsoft and

The cloud is the elastic leasing of pooled computer resources over the Internet, as
defined by the Using MIS textbook. (Kroanke) In short, it is the convenience of being
able to access your files or database from anywhere and from any device.


There are several threats that cloud services present to independent software
vendors (ISVs). While ISVs build their businesses providing services to companies
by creating and maintaining their organizations networks and in-house servers and
software, the cloud will drastically shift the needs of these customers by providing a
more appealing and convenient way to use and store data. This will inadvertently
present real threats to ISVs. ISVs are going to need to have the ability to adapt, and
fast, if they are going to continue to be relevant in the business world today.

The cloud has become a more convenient and cost effect alternative in the
information systems services industry. Many organizations are beginning to
capitalize on this innovative system, as it incorporates speedier software
development, easier accessibility, and better security and disaster preparedness.
Mobile applications are improving and becoming a high commodity in the era of
convenience and has emphasized the continued appeal of the cloud.

With technological innovations occurring daily, the need for thick-client data
storage is dissipating at an unforeseen rate. As the reality of a widespread cloud-
based approach comes into fruition, the opportunity cost associated with employing
ISVs is quickly becoming too high to justify; customers and potential revenues are
choosing other less expensive options.

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Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software licensing service that is provided on a
subscription basis, usually as a thin-client. Examples of these services include Office
365 and iCloud. Since these services are web-based, software updates are available
for download through the Internet and resources can be synchronized easily
between devices.


Consider that more and more clients are choosing SaaS cloud services like Google
email, rather than setting up local email servers. As an ISV business, encroachment
of these services can potentially become a setback unless ways to prevent them are
established. A useful option would be to attack the inherent weaknesses of the SaaS.
One of the well-known shortcomings of cloud-based services is their security. While
it may be adequate security for a small business with minimal data, a major
corporation will have much more on the line if data is compromised. It may behoove
the corporation to emphasize the added benefits of housing the data on site to their
clients, rather than focusing on pure convenience of cloud-based platforms.

Other options that the ISV can do to eliminate the risk of the encroachment would
be decide to either restructure their business plan to add the SaaS or they can
redesign their entire business plan to entirely shift toward the needs of cloud
customers. However, to maximize the previously established clientele and to
potentially gain new ones, restructuring the business to incorporate both practices
would be the most reasonable choice. By providing both services, the cloud will
offer more predictable revenues with per-user per-month subscriptions, rather than
the continued fluctuation of traditional software licensing.


An alternative to this business restructuring would be to alter the business to
incorporate the development of an in-house cloud based server model that could
help eliminate some of the disadvantages of going with a third party cloud server.
This would limit the exposure that the data is subject to in a third-party service, and
in turn, reduce the security risk. Additionally, adjusting the service pricing to
accommodate the changing landscape of the industry. Reducing expenses for
companies looking to continue ISVs and supplement that lost revenue by
incorporating something new would enhance your companys repertoire.


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Looking at the options above, the most beneficial approach would be to restructure
the business plan to incorporate both ISVs and SaaS. As people begin to more over
to the SaaS platform, there will still be customers that are not ready for the change.
By having the opportunity to focus on both types of customers and having resources
to do so, no one will be left behind. With that being said, the option to keep the
servers in-house will be strongly stressed. Major corporations have more to lose in
the event of a data breach and providing private in-house cloud services will be
quite valuable to these businesses. This would also be a way to make up the lost
revenue of the increased dependence on the SaaS cloud services rather than the
traditional in-house servers.


It is thought that the SaaS may eventually eliminate the need for email and other
local servers, with that being said, there will continue to be viable services that this
business can provide. One of the services that would still be necessary is overall
tech support on the systems. Whether that is general computer maintenance, or
network connectivity, there would still be a need of ISVs. Also the ISV can offer
services as a third-party provider that has the resources and knowledge to help
choose a cloud provider, to transition over to cloud, and to manage cloud
applications. With this service, it will be vital that systems training be offered for
users and to personnel, along with providing support, and be the all-in-one
convenience for customers. Lastly, offering information security and confidentiality
along with disaster recovery would be an important service to capitalize on.


Instead of adapting an existing ISV to the threat of cloud services, it may be more
suitable to set up an entirely new business, one that will succeed in the presence of
SaaS and other cloud services. (Kroenke) Determining the information systems
(IS) needs for this new business, a look at an existing company to compare to would
be beneficial.

Clark College has many departments and an extensive IS would be essential to link
information of the students, the teachers, and the operations of the school in an
expansive database. For the purpose of this assignment, admission, advising,
registration, and financial aid will be the departments to look at to design an IS for a
new business.

All four of the departments will need the basic information of each student; name,
address, contact numbers, intended area of study, if the student is planning on
transferring, and if the student is military. From there, the advising department will

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include the students classes needed for the chosen degree and what applicable
transfer credits will be required and applied. The registration department will
include the class schedule for the related term and fees associated. Lastly, financial
aid will use this information to process scholarships, grants, and loans for these fees.

To allow for each department to communicate with each other efficiently while
providing access to a shared database, an effective IS will be most beneficial. This
system would need to be easy and convenient for college staff and administration to
input data and for students to access this information from any device anywhere
and at anytime. Also, security would have to be top notch, since student information
will become vulnerable during online and mobile application access.


Once the IS needs have been established in forming a new business, services can be
explored to meet these needs. For the needs of the college, these requirements have
to be met; payment, email, security, access, and storage. Some examples of these IS
services that would be required include an electronic payment system, internal
email service, and an infrastructure that allows for all of the inputted data, along
with the each of these additional services to be accessed by staff and students from
any device.

Since this service will have personal and financial data, the cloud must be a secure
site. With that being said, it may be suitable for the college to consider a private
cloud-based service, one that is designed for them. The system will include a
financial model that can handle the complex variation of tuition, public and private
funded grants and scholarships, and government loans. It will also include a
multifaceted interface that is efficient, uncomplicated, and available 24/7 by each
department and the student, along with a responsive site that can be accessed from
any mobile device.


With the introduction to the cloud, some companies have been forced to decide how
to incorporate these services into the business structure, either by continuing as an
existing ISV attempting to adapt to the cloud services or to start over as an entirely
new company. In this section, Team 1 will discuss the route that they felt would be
best suited and examine the advantages or disadvantages of each alternative.

Team 1 was actually split down the middle in establishing a business structure to
meet the customers needs of the cloud services. However, after both approaches


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were examined, maintaining an existing ISV and adapting the cloud-based structure
provided more advantages than starting a new business.


An existing ISV would be required to restructure their business strategy to adapt to
the new world of cloud-based services. The advantage in doing this would be to
maintain the established brand recognition and also continue operating with the
same client base, aiding them in the transition of the cloud as needed. This would
also open the door to potentially target new clientele. The disadvantages would be
the new upfront costs, to include subscriptions, insurance, and the time associated
with research and the change itself. As most companies express, time is money and
rearranging a business structure can potentially take time away from daily
operations and customer needs.


The idea of adapting to a new cloud-based platform while resuming an existing ISV
business is very risky. It could potentially hinder the transition, while damaging the
established ISV. To completely acclimate to the cloud, launching a new business
structure would eliminate the noted concerns. However, this would mean that new
markets would have to be secured. The current clientele may or may not be
considering the change to a cloud-based platform.


It is well known that there are many new products and services that are being
created through changing technologies. Business professionals should encourage
the correct kind of change, while never becoming complacent. Changes seem
inevitable and by identifying what adjustments are needed in a business and
knowing when to put them into effect is essential. To be successful, a business must
have a desire to grow and mustnt stop seeking knowledge. With this desire to grow,
change must be encouraged. Build on what is working. Look at what other
companies are doing and how they are adapting to new technology. The wheel does
not have to be reinvented to thrive. To quote Socrates, The secret to change is to
focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


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Kroenke, David M., and Randall Boyle. Using MIS. Eighth ed. Print.


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