As mentioned earlier, Walgreens Company is an American based pharmacy company that specializes in health and wellness products, photo services, filling prescriptions and health information. In this milestone- milestone 3, I will discuss in depth Walgreens E-commerce activities, Database systems, security policies, Customer privacy protection, business continuity planning and lastly my recommendations based on my findings about the company.
E-commerce involves the selling and buying of products over the internet or on online services. The internet services companies- Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) in the United States helped Walgreens to establish an e-commerce strategy. According to Keenan, (2013), Walgreens e-commerce adoption was a slow process in taking shape. To maintain the competitive advantage with its competitors in the pharmacy industry as well as maintaining relevance to the targeted market size, Walgreens Company had to evolve its stores from the drugstore chain to conducting its services online. In 2013, during Chicago Shop. Org Annual Summit, Greg Wasson, the CEO and President of Walgreens, detailed at length that Walgreens Company was adopting digitalization throughout the organization including an e-commerce site and m-commerce to all Walgreens retail stores.
The three major prioritized areas identified by Walgreens for the in-progress digital transformation included the creation of a global platform that is unprecedented, establishment of a wellness experience and changing of the community traditional pharmacy. Moreover, finding well-established and best brick-and-mortar corner stores was another strategic managed plan involved in the digital transformation. Even though finding efficient and effective strategic places for its brick-and-mortar stores remains Walgreens objectified goal, advancing innovation in the digital sector is one of the added overarching planned goal (Keenan, 2013).
Following the 2009 increase of the new opening stores from 8%-to-9% over succeeding years to rise from 2%-to- 3% consequently allowing Walgreens to prioritize digital innovation because of the bandwidth, freed up capital and available resources. For the creation of the global platform, Walgreens formed a strategic alliance with Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen pharmaceuticals Drug Company based in the UK and US respectively. By the year 2011, Walgreens had control over around five sites of e-commerce including Walgreens. com, VisionDirect.com, drugstore.com, Duane Reade.com and Beauty.com. With Drugstore.com, Walgreens acquired an opportunity to obtain prepared e-commerce professionals, gain Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) of around 60,000 and also attained an extensive network of distribution. With more than 8,000 centers of distribution across the United States, Walgreens had the capabilities to pull off delivery on the same day for various online purchases. For a successful startup in the digitization sector, Walgreens focused on the wellness of the customers as well as in-store digital integration.
Walgreens Company utilizes mobile commerce (m-commerce) as a mode of conducting its e-commerce activities. Mobile commerce is one of the different types of e-commerce. It involves the selling and buying services and goods via handheld wireless devices for example PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) and cellular telephone. It is termed as the next-gen e-commerce. M-commerce facilitates faster purchases, direct connectivity to customers, better and compelling customer experience, tailored content, more in-depth analytics, productivity increase and cost reduction and also geo-location. In Walgreen, the faster proliferation in their revenues is due to the liking of mobile channels and web for potentiality (ThinkMobiles, n.d).
Walgreens Database System
A database is accumulative of related-base data. Data, on the other hand, is the collection of figures and facts that through processing it consequently produces information. Database system stores data thus facilitating easy data retrieval, manipulation and provide information (database management system). In general, a database system in an organization helps in storage of data, modification of the existing data, data retrieval and in analyzing and assessing of the stored data to retrieve essential patterns and information based on specific scenarios. Below is a sample illustration of a Database Management System (DBMS)
Some of the certain situations in an organization irrespective of its size, huge IT budgets or its technical workforce are software disasters. In 2014, Walgreens suffered a database failure that impacted to fill prescriptions inability by most of the Walgreens stores (8,200) for a couple of hours. According to Michael Polzin, the company's spokesman, the database failure was hinted to be caused during the updating of the company database that went amiss hence necessitating the shutdown of the entire system. One of the main risks of the incident was the risk of delivery approach that is continuously associated with regular updates of the running softwares mainly if the transitioning of database schema was involved in the release. Some stream of questions that needed answers following the database failure incident are such as; what could have been done differently? Could the failure be avoided? And also could they adopt the older version faster?
Database failure has distinct severe impacts on an organization - for example, the crash of one of the largest Oracle-based warehouse in the global database of state department that focuses on travel documents issuing impacted to a substantial delays for probably more than a million people waiting for visas and passports. For Walgreens, the database failure in the year 2013, made its consumers unable to fill their prescription. The ordered prescriptions were queued and processed during the outage as the Walgreens systems were being restored. Some consumer patients had to wait longer for some particular functionalities in the pharmacy system to be restored (Riley, 2014).
Some organizational ways to prevent database failure during updates according to devops.com includes continuous and frequent assessment of the database system to detect any vulnerabilities for example loading database issues, slow response, unpredictable spikes of performance and locking issues on time and deal with them before leading to crashing; risk management planning in case of a crash occurrence; and also automatic performance of crash recovery to restore the database among others. For better deployability of the database system, the following are some of the approaches to be taken into account: conducting performance tuning. Use of a well-designed database system to minimize database complexity and facilitate easy-to-use and learn to its users; carrying out database archiving to improve and decrease the size of the database. Also the creation of a lab and dividing the database system into different parts using patterns like command Query Responsibility Segregation and event sourcing to help in several data storage and design.
Security policy in general is defined as any organizational approaches planned by a certain organization to successful running a secured system. Information security policy includes specific organization planned strategies to make sure all Information Technology (IT) users within the domain of the organization or network act following guidelines and rules relative to information system security digitally stored and implemented within the authority boundaries of the organization. The policy privacy prioritized in Walgreens Company is mainly online privacy.
One of the implemented security measure in Walgreens Company is the adoption of tripwire. Tripwire gives the company integration of its IT ecosystem. As seen above, Walgreens is associated with in-store sales, online and filling prescription processing based on consumers' needs thus an effective security solution is necessitated-Tripwire. Tripwire implementation gave the company a more proactive approach and viewed to its security situations. Walgreens uses tripwire to protect its retail infrastructure and customer information. The primary element for the implementation of Tripwire at Walgreens enterprise was to improve PCI and SOX compliance across the Walgreens infrastructure including it's over 12,000 stores. The main functionalities of tripwire are automation of server hardening, automatic misconfigurations alerts, and through remedy integration, track system changes. Even though the prime purpose of its implementation was to ensure compliance improvement, Tripwire impacted to high-quality operational efficiency, increased visibility and also allows better and effective risk management throughout the Walgreens Company (Tripwire, n.d).
Walgreens has proper and better security measures in place. It has in-store cameras everywhere during closed and open hours. The camera is frequently checked. Also, it has high physical security measures for the prevention of burglar activities during closed hours (thick steel cage). On the other hand, the information obtained by Walgreens using their services; device information, in-store cameras, log information, cookies and web beacons, flash cookies, location information, and other sources are highly protected. The information collected is used to assess services and product consumers' fulfillment, assists in the creation of effective internal operations, for legal compliance, for marketing purposes and avoidance of fraud and other vulnerability. Its security policies are overall decent despite some incidents of data breaches.
Customer Privacy Protection
Customer privacy is the form of information privacy that is mainly associated with the legal issues that primarily arise due to the interaction of the public with the collection and dissemination of their data by business people. During the registration to a mobile application or medical checkup in a hospital, it is evident that the registration information required tells much about the individual hence it is necessary to acquire security for these kinds of records. In modern times, privacy is issued in records that include medical records, national security bio-data which are collected during the registration of individuals for their identification or driver license (Kumar & Reinartz, 2018). Also, client confidentiality by companies is anticipated as the company like in the case of a bank or a community development project will require the protection of such information.
Customer privacy protection, in this case, is the use of laws to protect the citizens of a country or within the set jurisdiction from the loss of their privacy due to the flaws in the systems set by corporate ventures as measures of privacy protection. In this case, Walgreens has established standards and privacy policies in controlling and protecting the chats that are recovered from the stores and websites during the interaction of the company agents with the customers. Since Walgreens...
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