Information and communication technology (CIT) is an important part of all kinds of businesses today. The rapid development of CIT in recent times allowed companies to improve their business operations significantly. Using computers enables small businesses and big corporations to achieve cost efficiency, increase revenues, as well as create competitive advantages. Therefore, it is vital for While Away to use these opportunities to grow. Developing a business strategy with an CIT component, will enable While Away to improve performance, increase productivity, and serve customers more effectively.
The essay will explain what exactly While Away can do to emerge and what benefits it can get by following given recommendations. Firstly, it discusses what equipment is required for a more efficient communication and data management. Secondly, it argues the importance of having a website and promoting company through social media. Then the essay introduces corrections for a website, as well as provides social media strategy that While Away can Use. Afterwards objectives for using intranet are stated.
Also, the essay explains what cloud computing and three-dimensional printing are, as well as advises While Away how to use these services.
CT Purchase Recommendations Information and Communication Technology refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications, such as the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums. (reference) In this time and age, CIT plays an extremely important role in our daily lives. The significance of CIT can be found in every area of life and largely affects the business world. CIT contributes greatly to the economy, trade and manufacturing industries, large firms and companies as well as business enterprises.
In case of he CIT contribution to business enterprises, the strategic relevance of CIT can be seen in Research and Development (R&D), logistics, and customer service as well as the overall success of the company (reference). To quote an extract from the Case Study Report 2013 on Blue Sky CIT at While Away, “While Away is a very traditional business that has largely shunned digital CIT”. Most of While Sways sales and advertising are done very traditionally and due to their company’s lack of involvement in digital CIT, While Away is missing their mark to expand internationally and remain competitive in the market.
Moreover, CIT is not only inefficacy to companies as it decreases costs, but it also encourages businesses to innovate, which largely determines their future competitiveness. In order for While Away to expand their business and make them known internationally, While Away will need to make some adjustments in the way they market their products and get in touch with the latest technology and marketing tools in order to make their mark. While Away can first start by making sure everyone in the company is well equipped with knowledge on CIT and basic computing skills.
As the staff in While Away have shunned digital CIT and have not kept abreast tit the latest technology, the new Managing Director of While Away, Sledge Cottrell should make sure every employee is equipped with adequate skills and knowledge on CIT by organizing an IT course for every employee in While Away to attend as part of a training process. Consequently, by making use of computing and Internet technologies While Away will have an opportunity to improve its business operations on a wide range of existing and new frontiers.
After every member of the staff has successfully completed the course, the next step Sledge Cottrell can take to improve While Say’s sales operations is to purchase he right CIT hardware and software that can be used in While Say’s offices, factory, and by its sales representatives, purchasing manager, and full-time boat designer. After much research on CIT hardware and software to purchase, taking into account that While Away is a small business enterprise with not many members of staff, the remaining part of the paragraph presents information on certain CIT hardware and software that While Away should purchase and why.
Firstly, for While Say’s office in Nottingham, several CIT hardware should be purchased, such as two Hewlett-Packard desktops, two Hewlett-Packard arsenal laptops, a multi-functional copy, scanner, and fax machine, two-office telephones, Wi-If, and Microsoft Windows 8. 1 Pro operating system for every desktop and personal laptop. Secondly, for the sales representatives in Asia, mainland Europe, and the United States, it was advisable for an Apple pad Mini be purchased for each sales representative.
As they meet with clients very often, an Apple pad would be perfect for them as it is mobile, convenient to carry around, has 37,500 APS, HAD camera, and video. The price of the Apple pad Mini is also very affordable at IEEE with Wi-If and cellular. Moreover, Apple has good reputation and, therefore, this would be a good hardware to purchase for While Say’s sales representatives. A basic laptop will be purchased for the purchasing manager as he/she will only need basic software like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer.
For the boat designer, an Imax Pro will be purchased along with Adobe Photos CSS for design purposes. In the case of cloud computing services, cloud storage should be purchased. The chosen cloud storage is Dropped for Business, which costs IEEE and includes features, such as synchronization, file sharing, unlimited recovery, and 256-bit AES and SSL encryption. In addition, possible AAAS applications to be purchased are Sales Cloud Performance for EH per year and Boonton for E 144 per year.
Sales Cloud is a cloud application that provides sales management tools. Boonton is an issue tracking AAAS application that manages projects online. A three-dimensional printer will be purchased for While Sways factory, as well as the software needed, in order for the boat designer to design the boat models. The chosen three-dimensional printer is Strategy Major, which costs EH,900. Although, it is quite expensive, the high cost of purchasing is offset by the benefits it can ring to While Away, as the company will print many models of boats.
Strategy Major prints models made from real ABS, offering strong and robust parts, as well as ease of use as it does not need manual assembling – it just needs to be plugged in to start printing and offers even more detailed models, longer uninterrupted printing, and fewer cartridge changes. Besides that, the Strategy Major is supplied complete with Major Print Wizard software, making it convenient to process files to print. The three-dimensional printer comes with the feature known as Abuses, which allows using nine colors for three-dimensional ringing with standard thermoplastic modeling materials.
In conclusion, with the purchase of new hardware and software for While Away, they will be able to expand their business internationally as they will be up to date with technology and have the resources to improve marketing and sales. Website and Social Media Recommendations The presence in the web has become vital for business success. According to Plant (1999), the Internet has evolved into potentially the most powerful business channel ever. It has become a significant part of human lives and, consequently, having a website and promoting company through social media an give a lot of advantages to almost any company.
Social media marketing and company website provide a way for businesses to increase their “word of mouth” advertising, which has for many years been a powerful method of promoting products and services. Today, there are many websites builders that provide services to create a special website without much effort. The website builder that is recommended for While Away is www. Wax. Com. The main social media platforms most commonly used for online marketing are Backbone and Twitter. Backbone offers the option of creating a fan page for a company or product, while Twitter makes use of 140-character posts that users follow.
The objective of being in the web for While Away is to expand internationally. A website and social media sites are powerful CIT tools with many special features that While Away can use in order to get some valuable benefits. First of all, company website and social media sites are always available for any user with no regard of his or her location (Zoo et al, 2009). It means that they will make While Away virtually accessible from any part of the world, which is extremely important for any company that plans to emerge internationally.
In other words, every person who has the Internet access can get necessary information about the company any time. Figure 1 illustrates the main page of While Away official website. Figure 1: the main page of While Sways official website Moreover, social media outlets increase the perceived credibility for a small business such as While Away. According to Egger & Turban (1999), online services generally tell customers that they can be confident and that a business can be trusted.
As more people see the business name and the Backbone page, which is linked to the company website and the Twitter page, While Away establishes more brand awareness among its potential client base. Furthermore, as a result, the main company website would gain traffic from forum conversations, social networking websites, discussions, and groups. By linking its social media pages to the company website While Away will increase its visibility in search engines, such as Google and, hence, there will be a boost in the number of people visiting their website having found it when searching keywords related to While Away.
Figure 2 shows While Vass contact page, which includes links to While Vass social networking pages. Figure 2: the contact page of While Sways official website Secondly, in comparison to display advertising, social media marketing has mainly low or even zero costs, greater scale of reaching audiences, as well as builds more new client relationships. One of the main benefits of social media marketing is cost-related. The main feature of social media sites and websites is that they are free to access and post information. For instance, the recommended website builder (www. Wax. Mom) is free, unless a customer wants special features. While Away is advised to add these special features that include shopping cart, domain injection, storage up to 20 (B, mobile ads, and others. The special offer that is provided by www. Wax. Com to obtain these benefits costs EIA per month as a yearly saving plan. In creating a basic Backbone fan page there are also no fees entailed. Figure 3 indicates Backbone pay-per-click advertisement, which promotes according to specific criteria to reach the correct audience and, therefore, has fees depending on the page’s estimated fan base.
Cheap marketing platforms can benefit While Away, as company would rather spend more on updating and buying electronic equipment for the business as opposed o spending on advertising. Figure 3: Backbone pay-per-click advertisement With a low barrier to entry and multiple platforms to utilize, social media offers unparalleled opportunities for companies to reach customers and establish brand awareness across the world. The use of a website and social networks will enable While Away to create a great platform for communication with customers.
Because of the good accessibility, they will be able to give customers a convenient opportunity to provide feedback on the company’s products. By participating in social media discussions and groups While Away will be able to mind out what people want to see in the products and services they offer. Actively being involved in social media they have the opportunity to manage their brand and reputation by encouraging their followers to talk about the company in a positive light, as well as swiftly respond to any complaints.
A website and social media do not only serve as a presentation of the company, but also can be used as an information exchange (Lee and Koran, 2006). Many companies with websites use this opportunity to sell advertising space for other businesses. This means that While Away will be able to generate higher revenue directly room the website. A good way to do it is to advertise complementary services. For instance, While Away can sell advertising space to the three-dimensional printer companies. However, using these platforms to their full potential is not always easy and carries its own unique set of risks.
One aspect of social media marketing that is especially damaging to companies is the lack of feedback control. An unsatisfied customer or industry competitor can freely publish negative comments, offensive pictures, posts, and videos and there is nothing a marketer can do to prevent these destructive occurrences. As result, While Away has to manage their marketing. For example, every post on Twitter is public and there is no control of what people say. Any negative post can go viral as easily as positive posts and this can do irreparable harm to businesses like While Away.
While Away should also be aware that it requires a lot of time to manage and navigate each medium. In order for While Away to maintain their established social networking relationships, someone has to respond to comments, answer questions and post product information the customers consider valuable. As a company, they continually have to find new angles about their products and hen post and repost information on various social media profiles, in order to keep their audience interested and updated on current affairs.
An unattended Backbone page or Twitter feed can leave a negative impression on potential customers and cause a business to lose fans and followers. Another negative feature of some of the social media sites is their vulnerability in terms of security. On social media an attacker can take over a company’s page or even a website to feed and share false or negative information that can easily go viral. Many large businesses have fallen victim to hackers, and, therefore, it is important for
While Away to take necessary security precautions when creating passwords and sharing password information with employees, as well as investing in the best firewall programs available. The Intranet Recommendations An intranet is “an internal network based on Web technologies that allows people within an organization to exchange information and work on projects” (Stair & Reynolds, 2012). Clearly, While Away would create an intranet to meet certain goals, which would eventually lead the company towards changing market conditions of the modern business.
Some of the reasons for While Away to create he Intranet are overcoming the technical problems of sharing information, collaborating across geographical boundaries, as well as across various computing and software platforms. Figure 5: The main page of the While Away intranet Figure 5 illustrates the main page of the intranet created for While Away. Since every employee of While Away can access the intranet, it also means that the intranet will allow the empowerment of users by shifting control of information flow between creators and information users (Duane & Finnegan, 2000).
Empowerment of employees, in turn, leads to an initialization process, which s referred to as a process of trial and error and experimentation with explicit knowledge (Scott, 1998). As a result, employees are aware of organizational learning process and knowledge creation within the company. As a result, the organization can adopt any change more rapidly rather being stuck on status quo, which means that the company can create a new product faster and provide better customer feedback (Scott, 1998). Therefore, While Away will be more efficient by using the intranet, since its flexibility to changes will be enhanced.
While Away will be able to implement new strategies more rapidly through the haring of the needed information. Moreover, the intranet will also allow the staff of While Away to approach the information anytime, which leads to time efficiency. However, the information that is available for workers needs to be constantly updated, since for the information to be useful it should be up-to-date (Offer, 1999). Figure 6: Sharing documents with the intranet It can be seen from Figure 6 that each worker in While Away can share any documents and media materials by dint of the intranet.
With the usage of the Intranet, While Away will need less physical mediums of storage of information, nice all documents can be easily shared within the company (Scott, 1998). Thus, the intranet has a potential to reduce the costs of purchasing the supplies of physical stores of information. Furthermore, the usage of electronic means provides employees with superior search system and retrieval of information (Scott, 1998). Therefore, the intranet will lead While Away towards more “paperless” company and, thus, a more environmentally friendly company.
However, While Away should take into consideration the security issue, which arises from the usage of the intranet. Clearly, company executives do not favor accessing the confidential information by unauthorized users. However, a number of suppliers and other participants need access to at least a portion of the project database, which means that the security of the intranet might be at risk. Figure 7: Discussion page of the intranet As shown in Figure 7, the intranet in While Away can also involve its employees to participate in an online discussion.
Consequently, While Away will be able meet all the requirements that arise in the modern markets. The intranet will move While Away towards the implementation of CIT technology, which becomes of ITIL importance nowadays. Cloud Computing: Overview & Recommendations Cloud computing is where software applications, processing power, data and even artificial intelligence are accessed over the Internet from any kind of computing device (Barnett, 2013). In other words, cloud computing allows to store all personal and business applications without the data centre.
This means that with cloud computing no sophisticated hardware is needed, which leads to great benefits for businesses. Cloud computing provides several hosted services on the Internet. These provided services are divided into three major disgorges: Software-as-a-Service (AAAS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (alas) and Platform-as-a-Service (Pas) (Barnett, 2013). According to Bizarre & Garcia (2012): “Infrastructure as a Service (alas) offers provisions for processing, storage, and network resources.
Platform as a Service (Pas), in contrast, offers all of the services provided by the alas model plus an operating system capability. Finally, Software as a Service (AAAS) gives the user the capability to operate the service provider’s applications accessed from client devices such as a web browser”. The last model seems to be most attractive feature of cloud imputing system for While Away due to its several advantages. First of all, in comparison to traditional computing, the use of cloud computing would allow While Away to cut their costs, as there would be no need for huge investments to create and maintain IT system.
Almost all cloud vendors claim that with their serves businesses may save at least 50% of their IT costs (Barnett, 2013). It will be possible for While Away to do so, if their resources will be accessible on demand and one-time-payment basis (Brian et al, 2012). In addition, by using cloud computing While Away will do less maintenance in terms of hardware, initiated, and applications as all necessary updates will be handled by the service providers. Moreover, cloud computing scores highly in terms of scalability as users pay for only what they use in respect to applications and data storage space.
These cloud providers’ applications are continuously monitored and maintained by onsite staff of expert technicians. Consequently, While Away should become more efficient by avoiding unnecessary costs. As a result, While Away should use the opportunity of lower costs to focus its investing activities on driving innovation on the main projects. Subsequently, it will be realizable to acclimate the growth of an organization. Secondly, cloud computing facilitates mobility as data and information can be accessed from any place in the world with internet connection (Bizarre & Garcia, 2012).
By using the advantage of mobility While Away will boost some of departments such as marketing and reduce travel expenses. Cloud computing has also versatile compatibility and can be accessed on almost any internet connected device, regardless of the brand. Therefore, While Away will not need to purchase any extra software. This is an advantage to While Away as the company designer and other employees would e likely to use different devices and brands, nevertheless, they constantly need to synchronize, share, and access same information. Thirdly, cloud computing is greener.
By using cloud computing businesses do not need complicated servers. Instead, very simple energy efficient personal computers can be used. Therefore, While Away should consider the idea of using low power computers as they need significantly less electricity. Maybe While Away should not purchase these lower powered computers, but, by adopting cloud computing, While Away will contribute to an CEO-friendly environment anyway as information s stored on the cloud and, hence, purchases of extra paper, computers, and storage hardware will be minimized.
Despite the various advantages of cloud computing and its ever growing popularity, when implementing the cloud system, While Away should consider the issue with security. Because of third- party providers of cloud computing being responsible for keeping the system secure, While Away might have concern over data protection issues. Moreover, the majority of providers are not even able to meet the monitoring requirements of organizations, as well as to conform to a number of legislations (Hofmann & Woods, 2010). This means that While Away can put itself to a risk and, therefore, has to select a trustworthy provider. D Printing: Overview & Recommendations Three-dimensional (AD) printing is a process that involves sequential layers of material being placed to create a three-dimensional object from a digital sample (Excel & Nathan, 2010). The form a three-dimensional object is important to go through several stages, which include the program being given the instructions, followed by material being removed to form a flat pattern, other layers being formed by the print head after the first layer has been solidified (Lipton & Kumar, 2013).
In the case of adopting the three-dimensional printing by While Away, it is important to consider what the adoption will bring to the company. There are also reasonable arguments for adopting the AD printing technology. Firstly, manufacturing by three-dimensional printing technology has the ability to produce complex objects with extreme accuracy (Barstool et al. 2013). Therefore, While Away should use it as a means to because to produce better items for their ships. Secondly, the three-dimensional technology would help While Away to finish their manufacturing activities faster and, therefore, productive capacities old be increased.
Consequently, due to high speed of manufacturing by three dimensional printers, it is While Away would address the needs of the demand better. Thirdly, While Away should establish three-dimensional printing to facilitate reductions in the stored inventory (Bassoon et al, 2007). Consequently, a lot of money can be saved, that otherwise would be gone on storage expenses. Fourthly, having the three-dimensional printing technology in the company would encourage While Away to experiment more with what they are able to produce.
The three-dimensional printing would enable the company to introduce ewe products to the market before other competitors would and, therefore, it would result in greater technological advances. As a result, While Away would be able become more competitive. Also, in order to improve marketing and sales by using three-dimensional printing, While Away should generate ship prototypes in the presence of their customers. Moreover, While Away should establish the three-dimensional printing technology in a way, so their designs will be kept secured and confidential.
There would be no need to send the designs out of the company and, hence, While Away would minimize a potential risk of a leaked design. Three-dimensional printers would also ensure more safety for the people who produce prototypes as prototype makers would be able to avoid injuries from production (Bassoon et al, 2007). However, there are some potential problems with three-dimensional printing to which While Away should pay attention. Firstly, the materials that can be used by three-dimensional printers are limited. Secondly, adoption of the three-dimensional printing technology is very costly.
The price range for three-dimensional printers includes the most basic printers costing about ?1 ,OHO and the most advanced printer with ?200,000 rice tag. Although initially While Away would experience high costs of acquiring three-dimensional printers, they should use the three-dimensional printing technology because the benefits of acquiring and integrating the technology into the business are much higher than the drawbacks. Healthcare strategy is one of components that are of vital importance in the present organizational world.
Organizational policies that address the health issues can be referred to as powerful indicators of a company s commitment towards employees’ health and wealth (Whitehead, 2006). According to Whitehead (2006), investing in workplace health policies provides the company with motivated workers, higher morale, reduced personnel and welfare problems, reduced industrial relationship disputes, increased overall efficiency and increased productivity in the organizational performance. Thus, it is important for While Away to implement the health policies in order to remain competitive.
In order to meet the requirements of workplace station, While Away should provide comfortable illumination, heat and noise levels, a movable keyboard and wrist support space, a clear, flicker-free and glare free display, screen filters. In order to maintain the workplace cleanness, daily cleaning should be provided in While Away. Since most of employees’ work is related with computers, While Away should ensure that comfortable workplace is provided. It should purchase certain type of chairs, which employees will find most suitable for them.
For example, While Away can purchase Serrate AIR Health & Wellness CEO-friendly Bonded Leather Mid-Back Office Chair, which costs $281. 69 per chair. The chair is most suitable due to its features that meet the requirements of the workplace health, which are featuring the Air kinetic lumbar that adapts to the events for continuous lumbar support; deep, ergo layered body pillows with perforated comfort zones offer the body a serene and tranquil seating experience; and ergonomic seat-side cable actuated levers for convenient height and tilt adjustments.
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