IT 210 Final Project
Problem Statement 3
Two Technologies 3
Business Requirements 3
Project Description 3
Technology Requirements 5
Competitors and Technology 5
Social Media 4
Cloud Computing 4
Technology Benefit 4
Technology Solutions 7
Social Media 7
Cloud Computing 7
Technology Solutions 8
Overall Benefit 6
Basic Security Considerations 6
Security Features 6
Third-Party Vendors 6
As technology continues to evolve and create a bigger presence in our society, smaller businesses are challenged with the ever-changing forms of communication, media and shopping. In the scenario presented, a small business/retail owner, who specializes in discounted designer clothing and accessories, wants to expand the way she can sell her products by growing her online presence in the retail world. By doing this, she will be able to attract more customers while at the same time selling to more customers that might not have been able to shop at her store if it had not been online. Although the owner is confident in the idea becoming more present online, she also wants to be able to track her inventory, keep the privacy of her customers safe as well as being able to ensure to her customers that they can trust the website. By doing so, I will introduce to technologies that I believe she will want to invest time and money in, in order to reach the goal, she has for her business.
As the number of technologies continue to expand and evolve, businesses can turn to a number of different forms of technology to reach new business goals and to expand the ways in which you reach costumers. In doing so, I have decided to research social computing as well as cloud computing. Social computing is the form in which people can communicate via the web, common forms of social computing include blogs, vlogs, social media and instant messenger. Whereas cloud computing is a form of storage and data management, which is ran by a server on the internet to create a safe and convenient way to store data.
The project should accomplish the broadening of the stores online presence, the introduction of the store to more customers, an updated and more convenient way of taking inventory as well as giving the guest a more luxurious experience. The accomplishments listed will support the goal of my business by giving an updated way of taking inventory, shopping as well as promoting the store. In doing so, the store should see an increase in sales as well as customer traffic.
The purpose of the project is to research different technologies used in the business industry and how we can apply those different technologies to promote, sell and buy for the company. By expanding the ways in which technology is used in an organization, business owners will see an increase in sales and learn more efficient ways of doing business.
I. In order to satisfy the objectives the business would need to be open to learning new ways of communicating with customers, taking inventory and storing information, as well as seeing the benefits of including new technology within the organization.
II. The desired results at the end of the project include seeing a jump in numbers, seeing higher customer traffic within the store both online and in person, as well as being able to market and promote the store in other ways than just locally.
III. It is important for the business owner to consider implementing new technology because in this day and age, if one does not keep up with the ever changing and ever evolving technology, chances are you will fall behind and the results you want within your business would not be as successful as you had hoped. As new technology is introduced, efficiency is placed front of mind in addition to being fast, which in turn would result in an easier way of running a business.
The technological requirements that are required of the new technology being introduced to the business must securely store customer information, be easy to use, as well as having a positive effect on the customer's experience and advertising.
Competitors and Technology
Known for the ever-changing trends, the fashion industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. From clothing to shoes and accessories, there are more ways than one to dress and express your sense of style. As the fashion industry continues to grow, more companies are finding ways to sell name brand fashion at a lower cost. Two of my all-time favorite stores, Macy's and Nordstrom Rack are known for their discounted name brand items. As these two stores continue to find success within their business, I took the time to do some research as to how each of the companies use technology within their organizations. Each company has a user-friendly website, that is easy to navigate and shop on, in addition to websites for online shopping, this gives an easier way to take inventory and analyze sales on what is selling and what is not. Each organization has a number of social media sites including twitter, Instagram and Facebook. By having a deep involvement with social media, each company is able to market and promote sales and new items, while communicating with customers on a more personal level and listening to any feedback, questions or concerns they may have.
A. Social Media: Nordstrom Rack does an excellent job with their social media accounts. From their seemingly perfect Instagram account to their ever popular Facebook page, Nordstrom rack is a prime example of how a company should use social media as a promotional platform. As seen on their Instagram page, Nordstrom posts numerous times a week to keep up with the constantly changing trends. By posting pictures of product, it allows customers to see what Nordstrom has to offer, whether that be clothes, shoes, bags or home décor, Nordstrom uses their social media page as a way to advertise inventory and give customers new ideas for items they may not have bought before.
B. Cloud Computing: As an ever growing organization, Macy's has become a nation wide hotspot for clothes, shoes, home décor and accessories. As the organization became more popular, they had to find ways in order to stay popular while at the same time staying organized. The company in turn, resulted to using cloud computing. With cloud computing, the customer experiences a more customized shopping experience by having suggestions for the guest based on what they have searched and previously clicked on, and also by saving shipping and billing information for when they check out from prior purchases. On the other hand, cloud computing not only makes a more enjoyable shopping experience for the guest, but also gives the company a better idea on inventory, products that are selling and an organized system for storing customer information.
C. Each company has a different way of creating business, however, Nordstrom, like other companies, has turned to social media as a way to promote and advertise product. Instagram, for example, is a perfect way to post advertisements for sales, new product and ideas for how to wear certain trends. Instagram and other social media sites are perfect ways to advertise and communicate with customers for little to no cost. If the discounted clothing store were to adopt the same approach, not only would there be a possible jump in sales, but it would also give the company another form of advertisement.
When faced with new technologies within a company, it is always important to make sure that the new technology you are looking at investing in is both efficient and easy to use. Cloud computing, for example, is a great technology to invest time and money into. The reason being, cloud computing allows users to safely store and organize data in a computer, without having to worry about where you store it and how much storage you have left. Social media on the other hand, is an easy to use advertising tool, which gives the company and employees a chance to advertise at little to no cost. Social media breaches the gap between company and customer to create a better shopping and communicating experience.
Social media meets almost all the technology requirements of the business. The technology is easy to use, efficient, and gives the customer a chance to communicate with the organization on a more personal level. Although social media is a great way to introduce product and communicate with customers, it can also be a challenge at first to understand all the different aspects of what social media can really do to either help or hinder the organization. It might take a little bit longer for those of an older generation to understand all the different uses of social media, however, once those uses are explained and understood, social media can be used as to create more business.
Cloud computing is an efficient and easy to use way of storing information in a secure and organized manner. The way in which cloud computing works, will allow the organization to store information without the worry and hassle of whether or not it is safe or if there is enough storage. As much as cloud computing is efficient and safe, it can also be a bit tricky to learn and understand, so the training for using the cloud would be a little bit of a change for everyone, but the change would help the organization.
I believe that the most important technology for the business to invest in would be both social media as well as cloud computing. The reason I say both of these technologies is because as a business in today's society, your presence online is strongly encouraged, as it not only helps advertise product and draw business, but it also gives customers a way to communicate with the business and leave reviews, comments and questions on the site. Cloud computing on the other hand, is necessary because it fits all the criteria the business was looking for. It safely and securely organizes and stores information of customers as well as giving the organization a way to manage inventory and product shipments.
The technology solution I recommend for the business is the use of cloud computing. The reason I believe this solution is appropriate because the owner was looking for a way to store information of customers, manage product shipments and inventory as well as giving unlimited storage space in an organized way.
The overall benefit of the recommended technology solution would be the storage space as well as the safe and organized way in which all the information is stored.
I. Cloud computing would enhance efficiency within the organization because the technology would be an easy way to access any information needed on product, inventory or customer while knowing that all information is stored safely.
II. This technology would position the business for future growth by giving the organization a reliable and safe way to organize and store information of customers while also giving the business an easy way to access information for not only customers but also for product and inventory purposes.
Basic Security Considerations
If the business choses to adopt my recommendation, the business owner must consider all the information they have stored in their previous form of storage and how it will be transferred over to the cloud. They would also have to consider the training of their employees in using the cloud, so the information on the cloud stays safe and secure and does not get deleted or shared in any way.
The security features included within cloud computing include quick and easy storage method including easy access to information, organized way of storing information and a more efficient way of looking up information.
When seeking out third-party vendors for the proposed technology, the business owner should consider how well the company is known among the technological environment, and how long the company has been around in regard to credibility, reliability and guarantees. If the company does not look into third-party vendors before committing to the technology upgrade, it would give a chance of the business failing. Hence, the importance of studying up on third-party vendors before committing to one for business.
The internal safeguards that should be put in place by the business to guard against loss of misuse of company data would be to have a “log in” window for each employee that includes a username and password in order to access information. In addition, if the screen is still for 5 minutes without activity, the system will automatically log out. One more internal safeguard would be the amount of access employees have compared to managers and owners. Sales associates who are not managers or owners, will only be able to do certain tasks on the cloud, while the managers and owners will have access to everything, but can only access it by putting in a certain password in order to gain access to all information.
What is Cloud Computing? IBM Cloud. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2018, from https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/what-is-cloud-computing
Nordstrom Rack. Instagram.com. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2018, from https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/nordstomrack/?hl=en
Macy's. Instagram.com (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2018, from https://www.instagram.com/macys/?hl=en
Benefits of Social Media for Business. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2018, from https://www.business.gov.au/marketing/social-media/benefits-of-social-media
...(download the rest of the essay above)