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Information Assurance

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1. The business can benefit from using the information technology to create switching costs and lock in its suppliers and customers because this strategy may help to attract lifelong customers and build trustful relations with suppliers. Switching costs refer to the cost of money, effort, time and inconvenience that a supplier or a customer has to face changing to the competitors of the firm. For instance, some of the retail companies have been using the policy of guaranteed price match to prevent their loyal customers from visiting other retail stores to buy merchandise. It implies that if the product is sold at a lower price level anywhere else on a similar piece of merchandise, the company lowers the original price and deduces five percent from it. That is why the importance of Internet takes a new meaning – it is the cheapest and the fastest way to check on what the firm’s competitors have to offer. It is applicable to any company that can start with using price matching policy and prevent its customers from buying the products or services from the firm’s competitors.

Wal-Mart uses the technique that keeps the suppliers locked in to what they required as soon as it left the store, and it decreases the quantities and costs for inventory. The successful experience of Wal-Mart demonstrates that information technology can be very beneficial for the company. The merchandise of high quality is available at much lower prices in Wal-Mart due to the operation efficiency and lower costs offered by IT implementation. The company may keep the suppliers in the loop with the merchandise flow leaving the store keeps the merchandise coming out from the supplier docks. The continuing merchandise flow creates a strong and reliable relationship between the supplier and the company.

2. There are several major business benefits that are provided by the usage of wireless mobile services for employee connection. Sophisticated telecommunication solutions offer multiple features such as e-mailing, web browsing, phone, messaging, organizer, high resolutions, attachment viewer, etc. that are easier to access and use than laptops. The operations also benefit from the increased reliability, responsibility and greater scalability in the service provided for the customer. The additional costs of n/w launching in different locations are reduced, and the visibility for customers, employees and top-managers grows stronger. The companies get an opportunity to decrease their TCOs, and the employees’ productivity is increased along with the decreased downtime. The last one helps to improve the customer satisfaction rate.  

However, there are several concerns and issues that arise too while implementing wireless connection among employees and managers. They may be divided into two groups: the concerns for employees and the concerns for the company. The first group includes:

-          The employees are connected to the office by virtual means all day long;

-          The employees have to get involved in top-management decision-making, and their personal life is disturbed;

-          Any shared information or message sent via mobile devices is expected to get an immediate answer no matter what time of the day it is;

-        The employees are burdened with the responsibility to keep their mobile device in their reach even on social gatherings and family meetings.

In spite of the challenges, wireless mobile devices still add strength to the business – it is guaranteed by the higher responsibility of the users (usually the employees) and the optimization of the devices. The privacy of the employees won’t be violated if the information is exchanged only in critical situations and the discussions are limited only to important business. It is also important to frame the decorum of the office and business etiquette of using mobile devices, and the misuse will be avoided as a result.

3. Two of the most typical customer complaints related to the issues with the cell phone towers. They are the customers’ fears of developing cancer or other severe illnesses, and the unsightliness of the cell phone towers.

One of the possible alternatives is the installation of multiple cell stations with lower costs. It is more reasonable than using cell towers with efficient transmission ranges that are extended to more than a mile. The smaller stations will only demand sufficient transmission power to cover several hundred yards with no need for large-scale tall towers. It is possible for the companies to launch these smaller towers on the tops of two- or three-floored building or the roofs of telephone poles. Such approach offers several advantages – only little power will be required to satisfy the needs of the smaller transmitters, and choosing the range of several hundred yards will reduce the intensiveness of the microwaves created in the process of transmission. They will blend into the surroundings reducing the eyesores, and it will be possible to complete transmissions from the small transmitters with very little power costs for the cell phones (Svensson, 2011). Even smaller phones and those devices with very low battery life will be enabled for transmissions.

Several innovative approaches offer Wi-Fi as a substitute for cell phone towers. Some of the advanced antennas are so small that it is possible to hold them on the palm of a hand. It will also be advantageous for the traffic that will be divided into several channels with no need to compete for the attention of the cell provider. The capacity tenfold of the network will grow with more intensiveness than with wireless instruments (Svensson, 2011).

4. In some cases it is useful to mask or encrypt the identity of the customers. In spite of this, the AOL case proves that the personal details may be embedded within the body of the data. Firstly, each piece of data should be marked with a risk factor or a business value by the manager. The questions about the consequences of the information leak should be asked and discussed just as the purpose of the information (O’Brien & Marakas, 2007). This approach will help the managers to find out whether the maintain information will lead to more good or more harm.

This issue is particularly relevant for librarians. The systems of the libraries contain patrons’ lists, lists of holdings, checked out, on reserve and materials on order. The system may be of use to find out about the materials’ and topics’ popularity. Nevertheless, it is not always useful to maintain the data related to the books checked out by library users in the past. Are those details essential for the functioning of the library? Theoretically, could this information become harmful for an individual if it got out? How could academic research be affected by these concerns? That is why many libraries revise and change their policies in terms of privacy.

5. The success of the second mover strategy is not always guaranteed. In spite of this, the strategy offers some significant benefits such as having a clear picture of the business operations on the daily basis. These close observations will also allow the corrections and adjustments of the planned move can be made. There are lower risks in the second mover strategy but it has not been proved that a higher profitability rate will be achieved. The method of second mover is frequently rejected by many businesses because the first mover impacts the customers’ attitude a lot.

The development of technology is so racing that if you are too slow to reacts and expect yourself to be second leader in the market the chances of becoming the last one are rather high. The emphasis on innovations and development has been made by the recent social and economic changes, so instead of implementing the second mover approach I would prefer to start out a unique business learning type basing on the mistakes of the companies that were unsuccessful to move forward and the strengths of the companies which are leaders in the industry.

6. A responsible end user is an individual that organizes in teams and communicates effectively in group work most of the operational time. The end users include accountants, sales people, customers and managers. In order to guard the sensitivity and privacy of the information the end users need to take several precautions. First, the responsibility starts with the implementation of password protection, and its security should undoubtedly be maintained. The following practices can be followed in order to fortify the level of password protection: changing the password on a regular basis, keeping the track of the password history and making sure it is not exposed to anyone (O’Brien & Marakas, 2007). The physical security issue has to be taken care of implying that the access to the office, communication rooms or data centers is limited only to the authorized employees, and such data storage locations should be locked.

One more preventive measure has to be taken in terms of very important information that can damage the functionality of the organization if exposed. That is why the managers need to conduct information classification and force special protection procedures for super sensitive data. All the data and applications that are stored out of the site require backup’s creation. It is significant to make sure that the data won’t be damaged by virus infection or spyware attacks.

7. The performance problems faced by the companies implementing large-scale systems like SAP are quite typical. Nine out of ten companies using SAP software face performance issues every month (Kershaw, 2009). The most typical problematic aspects are business intelligence and enterprise resource planning. 25% of all these issues remain unresolved, and the additional consequences include customer satisfaction decrease and lost productivity levels.

8. The integration of SAP will remain as mission-critical to the majority of organizations because of the relationship with the customer and the clarity of other financial and non-financial indicators reflected by SAP systems. However, the latest polls and feedback from the companies’ CEOs show that many of the elements inside SAP systems are outdates and influence the company’s performance (Savitz, 2011). The SAP system, its performance issues, speed of installation and other concerns require further perfections. It should either be an introduction of an entirely new management instrument or the enhancement of the existing SAP elements. 

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