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IT 210: Business Systems Analysis

IT-210 Milestone Two

Elina Alvarez

Southern New Hampshire University


IT 210: Business Systems Analysis 2

Contents

Introduction 4

Problem Statement1 4

Two Technologies 4

Business Requirements 5

Objectives 5

Project Description 5

Technology Requirements 6

Competitors and Technology 6

Technology One: Wireless, mobile computing, and mobile commerce 6

Technology Two: Big data and knowledge management 7

Technology Benefit 7

Technology Solutions 8

Technology One 8

Technology Two 9

Recommendations 9

Technology Solution 9

Overall Benefit 10

Basic Security Considerations 10

Security Features 11
IT 210: Business Systems Analysis 3

Third-Party Vendors 12

Internal Safeguards 12
IT 210: Business Systems Analysis 4

Final Paper

Introduction

Problem Statement1

Creating an online presence that keeps up with today’s demand for technology can be

time consuming, costly, and seem next to impossible, however, taking the time to be sure your

business can accommodate the demands in a secure and efficient manner benefits the business

and the customer. The goal here is to streamline business processes involved in e-commerce and

brick-and-mortar retail in a secure, well organized manner that allows us to store consumer data,

manage inventory, integrate online shopping and process online payments, as well as manage

brick-and mortar processes such as sales, payments, inventory and customer contact.

Two Technologies

Big data and knowledge management “…captures and stores knowledge in forms that all

organizational employees can access and apply…” (Nobles, et al., 2014). Knowledge

management utilizes databases to store and organize information that can later be recalled using

query languages that are used to search the databases. Having an organizational tool such as this

combined with big data, which is massive amounts of data from a multitude of sources that can

be analyzed to customize a customer’s shopping experience, help a business target appropriate

demographics to maximize profits.

Wireless, mobile computing and mobile commerce create an “untethered” aspect for

businesses and their clientele by encouraging mobility, personalization, convenience and real-

time updates. This technology uses electromagnetic waves to allow people and businesses to

communicate with each other as well as give us the ability to use one device to manipulate or
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utilize others. This, used in tandem with mobile commerce, which allows people to purchase

items from wireless devices and process payments without needed to enter a store allows

businesses to provide convenient services for their customer’s while maximizing the profitability

of their online presence.

Business Requirements

Objectives

Integrating these new technologies will allow the business to maintain customer data on

secure databases, protecting customer privacy, while also making it easier to manage, search and

analyze the information. Making this information readily available to the organization and its

employees will maximize efficiency, while increasing customer satisfaction. With this organized,

searchable information a business can analyze patterns of behavior to customize the mobile

shopping experience. Wireless and mobile computing will also make doing things in brick and

mortar store more efficient as we will be able to use handheld, wireless devices to scan

merchandise for inventory, and track shipments/specific items, as well as provide the business

and customer with a more flexible and customizable environment.

Project Description

In order to meet the objective, we will need to be sure that we have a reliable wireless

network in place at the brick and mortar location, and research and purchase equipment, such as

handheld scanners and wireless access points. We will also need to setup and organize databases,

purchase software/applications to search and utilize the data stored, and be sure to have a

knowledgeable employee on hand that can build and maintain this new technology oriented
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infrastructure. The website will also need to be updated after deciding which e-commerce system

will be implemented for tracking orders and processing payments, and lastly we will need to be

sure (for the security of our customer’s) that we implement an SSL certificate on the payment

page of the site to encrypt sensitive information such as credit card numbers. After the project is

complete and the technologies are fully implemented, we should be able to increase productivity,

customer satisfaction and security, web traffic and sales both online and in the store. Not only

should we be able to increase sales revenue, but minimize losses as well. While implementing

new technologies can be time consuming and difficult, failing to remain current can ruin the

customer experience and negatively affect the businesses’ bottom line and using these new

technologies will be a great starting point for a prosperous future.

Technology Requirements

To be successful the technology we implement must integrate online shopping, provide order

status checking and online payment processing, manage inventory and shipping, and manage

customer contacts.

Competitors and Technology

Technology One: Wireless, mobile computing, and mobile commerce

Macy’s is a department store that sells designer clothing for men, women and children,

home goods and décor, perfumes and the like at lower pricing. They have created a website

where you can order and process payments, as well as display sales and promotions. With the

processing power available in our pockets today, that means you can order goods from anywhere

while doing virtually anything. Not only do they have an eye-catching website that uses pop-ups
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to encourage you to complete actions, they have a mobile app that offers a 25% coupon to first

time app users after they sign-up. This tactic allows Macy’s to gather customer information such

as e-mail addresses that they can send future promotions to so they can bolster sales. The

discount would also create a better customer experience and encourage customers that were

hesitant to make purchases. Macy’s also utilizes this technology to bring more people in to the

brick and mortar locations by offering free pick up in-store with a 20% discount to generate more

foot traffic, and likely increase the number of impulse buys.

Technology Two: Big data and knowledge management

Nordstrom Rack is a retail division of Nordstrom Inc. which offers discounted name

brand items and is known for excellent customer service. The company uses big data and

knowledge management with their fashion rewards store card (Ireland, 2017). These cards

identify members by the card number and allows the company to individualize the customer

experience. They also utilize an ordering system that allows out of stock items to be ordered

from in the store for the customer, Nordstrom takes the customer information then send coupons

to the customer targeted to their likes based on the previous purchase (Ireland, 2017). This kind

of knowledge management aimed towards customizing the customer experience would create

constant, indirect communication between the customer and business, increase customer

satisfaction, and generate more sales.

Technology Benefit

Nordstrom has always been known for providing outstanding customer service and now

they have used technology to exceed their own record of excellence. Harnessing knowledge

management to the extent that a business is able to customize the shopping experience for all of

their customers. Using the loyalty card to collect data that can later be analyzed for patterns, such
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as preferences like favorite brands and targeting customers with individualized promotions

creates communication, increases customer satisfaction, generates more revenue, and further

empowers the employees to go above and beyond for the customer.

Technology Solutions

Starting out we set the technological requirements for this project as integrating online

shopping, managing inventory and shipping, providing order status checking and online payment

processing, facilitating collaboration internally and externally, managing customer contacts,

providing reporting, and managing our current brick-and-mortar processes. While not all of these

requirements are as urgent as others (as shown in the technology requirements section of this

paper) we will strive to complete as many of the tasks set forth as possible.

Technology One

Wireless, mobile computing, and mobile commerce covers all of the goals in some

manner (with the exception of managing customer data). Mobile commerce creates an online

shopping experience for customers that they can essentially carry in their pockets, allows

customers to access tracking information from most (if not all of their devices), and most e-

commerce and m-commerce systems provide reporting that shows trends in purchases and other

information such as web site traffic, the number of customers, and shipping/order details.

Wireless and mobile computing allow us to manage inventory by providing handheld scanning

devices to make tracking inventory more accurate and efficient, as well as allowing us to use

mobile devices in our brick-and-mortar location to individualize the customer experience,

provide quick and accurate information to our customers and even connect our sales systems

with that of the online processes in order to streamline inventory management and accounting

processes. While this technology does allow us to quickly access customer contact information it
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does not actually handle the contact management. Medium-range wireless networks such as Wi-

Fi are convenient, but are not the most secure, so managing contact information through this

technology alone would be very risky for both the company and the consumers.

Technology Two

Big data and knowledge management also meets all of the requirements except one,

providing reporting. Big data allows us to use math in order to infer the likelihood of specific

outcomes, while knowledge management allows us to securely store and analyze said

information for the benefit of the customer and internal processes. Being able to securely and

efficiently store and access data streamlines internal processes while empowering employees to

provide excellent and individualized service to consumers. The security inherent in these

databases also allows us and our customers peace of mind when dealing in online transactions.

While this technology can be analyzed to create reports based on database queries and the like, it

does not auto-generate specific information as there is so much data that changes at such a rapid

rate.

Recommendations

Technology Solution

Using both big data/knowledge management and wireless, mobile computing and mobile

commerce in tandem creates a solid base for our venture in to online sales that can easily be built

upon in the future. Because the security of information passed over the wireless network is an

issue we can use knowledge management (secure databases) to store searchable information in

an environment that creates a mutually beneficial security for both the company and the

consumers. Mobile computing/commerce can work simultaneously with this other technology to
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create reporting and a user friendly and convenient online shopping experience for the customer

(which big data and knowledge management would fail to do). By implementing both

technologies we will create a complimentary system that corrects the aforementioned

weaknesses, while also building upon the strengths of both. While they may not be the most

efficient technologies for all of the requirements they are cost effective, easier to implement than

some other technologies and can be built upon and streamlined as we hone our other

technologies.

Overall Benefit

The recommended technology solution creates a great foundation for online sales growth

as well as making our brick-and-mortar processes more efficient and customer friendly. We will

be able to create an e-commerce system for the web site, and an app for people to use on their

smartphones, while using knowledge management to individualize the customer experience

based on previous purchases and current trends. This kind of convenient, customer-centric

strategy will likely increase our repeat business as well as positive online reviews and word of

mouth promotion. Having access to customer feedback online will also allow us to respond to

concerns and reward “promoters” in a quick and decisive manner. We will also be able to ensure

the security of our customers and the company while putting us in a great position for future

technological growth that will be more efficient and cost-effective as we will already have the

databases implemented.

Basic Security Considerations

While using mobile technologies and big data can be a massive contributor to a company

and its success, there are security threats that must be considered in their implementation. Wi-Fi

connections are not very secure and can be hacked, mass produced hardware may have default
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passwords, and company leadership may choose to cut spending on security because there have

not been previous issues (Nobles, et al., 2014). Big data and mobile/electronic commerce

transactions involve a lot of sensitive information such as names, addresses, habits, and credit

card numbers. This information must be carefully protected or customers will lose faith in the

company’s ability to handle said information and stop making purchases. Things such as alien

software, identity theft, and information extortion could be disastrous in these circumstances.

Luckily, there are proven ways to make this information more secure for the well-being of the

company as well as the consumer.

Security Features

Risk mitigation is “a process whereby an organization takes concrete actions against

risks, such as implementing controls and developing a disaster recovery plan” (Nobles, et al.,

2014). In this instance controls are exactly what they sound like, hardware or software that helps

“control” or limit threats to security. As employees are usually the weakest link in the strength of

security, the company should implement an employee monitoring system that can track when

they are on the clock, how many transactions they have processed, and the exact monetary

amount of each transaction. Employees should also be required to have a personal identification

number and password (where the password must be changed every several months) in order to

keep this information private and secure. We would then apply the “least privilege principle

where users would only be allowed access to access information and complete tasks that are

absolutely necessary to their jobs (Nobles, et al., 2014).

After employee considerations, we will need to implement security to protect against

external threats such as hackers and malicious software. Setting a block against potentially

harmful websites and P2P sharing on all company computers would help limit the risk of
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spyware making it in to the company network. The database used to query stored information

should be encrypted as well as only allow access to employees based on their authorized login

credentials. Because each employee already has individual logins, their activity on the network

could be logged, making it easier to identify people that are misusing their access. The website

would need a transport layer security certificate, this would not only help secure online

transactions, but show customers that our website has been verified as secure by another party

with nothing to gain by the company’s day to day financial success. Since the company is still

relatively small and is not technology based, we would likely not maintain our own servers. This

would be outsourced to web hosting/server professionals (like RackSpace), who would monitor

for unauthorized access attempts such as DDoS attacks, making this aspect of our security

protocol simple and in the hands of others.

Third-Party Vendors

Third- party vendors can be a risk to any company, but luckily we now have access to

resources that rate and review these vendors on top of what we hear by word-of-mouth. When

choosing a vendor to purchase or help implement technologies we would need to consider

experience, service, skill, and trustworthiness. While it is impossible to know that the perfect

decision has been made, we should look at reviews and ratings, and create a decision matrix to

analyze the different alternatives. Using the decision matrix, we will be able to compare all of the

alternatives based on the previously mentioned criteria, as well as price, so we are able to make

the best decision possible for the success of the company and the security of our consumers.

Internal Safeguards

Preventing the loss or misuse of the company’s information is critical for continued

success and security. To do this, we must be sure to enforce the security measures for the
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employees. We must also be sure to keep our information current (such as deleting employee

credentials promptly after turnover). We should also be sure to maintain back-ups of the

information with whichever third party vendor we choose. Using RackSpace as an example, we

would be able to get services such as, managed databases, access to professional database

administrators, and detailed reporting about the functionality and activity on our database. Many

company’s also offer access to security experts that will maintain backups and updates

necessary. Companies that run server farms often have hot sites as well, where they have another

set of servers with the information duplicated and ready to go in case there is an issue with the

current servers or an attack that forces them to go offline, which provides us with disaster

recovery that will not likely interrupt business (Nobles, et al., 2014).
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References

Ireland, K. (n.d.). How Nordstrom Uses Technology to Manage Customers. Retrieved September

24, 2017, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/nordstrom-uses-technology-manage-

customers-32287.html

Nobles, T. L., Mattison, B. L., Matsumura, E. M. (2014). Horngren’s financial and managerial

accounting (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.