There is a direct link between Information Technology and Cloud Computing. The direct link is evident in Information Technology (IT) and software services. There are also impacts which are strongly interrelated and are manifold. There are questions on whether any form of loss in the IT market as a result of the dwindling of outsourcing services would be recompensed by the increasing necessity for the kinds of services offered in Cloud Computing.
For BallotOnline to be effective in implementing Cloud Computing as a way of performing its intended objectives, the essential elements which it should consider are SaaS and PaaS. SaaS is a cloud application service which refers to Software as a Service. According to Singh, Sharma, Kumar and Yadav (2016), SaaS is among the largest cloud market which is continuing to experience steady growth in the field of informational technology. SaaS makes use of the internet, especially web as a mode of delivering the applications which the third party vendors manage. The clients can access the interface of the cloud computing application on their side. It is possible to run the SaaS applications directly from a browser since it does not require any form of installations and downloads. However, there are other applications which require plugins.
Concerning the web delivery model which BallotOnline intends to implement, SaaS provides BallotOnline with a better opportunity to eliminate the importance of installing and running applications on personal computers. SaaS, therefore, would make it easy for BallotOnline to streamline their support and maintenance since the vendors, middleware, runtime, applications, data, servers, OSes, networking, virtualization, and storage manage the systems. Among the most common SaaS which BallotOnline can implement are collaboration and emails, voting-related software and applications and voter relation management. The organization can also employ various Google Apps, Workday, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx among other various software to improve the efficiency of the election process.
BallotOnline can also employ PaaS which refers to Platform as a Service. The cloud computing service is applicable in the provision of cloud components to software. The essential thing which BallotOnline gains if it implements the service is a framework which it can use to customize or develop applications. According to Singh, Sharma, Kumar and Yadav (2016), PaaS enables the testing, development, and deployment of cost-effective, quick and straightforward applications. The service also facilitates the progress of third-party providers and enterprise operations to allow the management of OSes, networking, virtualization, networking, and virtualization. On the contrary, it is the developers who manage the applications.
It is possible for BallotOnline to apply PaaS because it employs the concept of creating macros in excel. The service enables the users to develop applications by employing software components built into the middleware (PaaS). The various applications which employ the concept depend on Loud Computing features such as high availability, scalability, multi-tenancy, enablement of SaaS among various others. BallotOnline would benefit from PaaS since PaaS would reduce the coding volume necessary for automating the policy. The service is also essential in migrating applications to a hybrid model. As a result, BallotOnline can secure the services of organizations such as Apprenda which is a private Cloud Computing company that offers Java and NET.
Return on Investment (ROI)
According to Kaplan and Atkinson (2015), Return on Investment (ROI) involves looking into the amount of return on an investment which is related to the various costs. Return on Investment is essential for the decision-making process of BallotOnline. ROI would enable BallotOnline to invest its capital in a viable initiative which generates a positive outcome in the voting process. The process allows for the various organization to know if the action which the organization intends to involve itself in would pay off financially. For instance, BallotOnline would want to move its infrastructure to the cloud. There are possibilities of the initiative resulting to approximately 431% annual cost savings.
BallotOnline's IT Budget and Infrastructure Summary
According to BallotOnline's IT Budget and Infrastructure Summary (2019), the executive leadership of BallotOnline conducts an Informational Technology (IT) budget which relies on projections of revenue. For instance, if the annual budget of BallotOnlineis approximately $100.8 million, then the budget is 10% of that revenue ($10.8million). Concerning this, the executive leadership of BallotOnline aims to provide the Informational Technology management a decree that the IT budget should shrink over time depending on the percentage of revenue. It means that in five years, the budget must consist of over 5% of income.
BallotOnline's IT budget for the current fiscal year, therefore, involves capital expenses which are $4million. The capital expenses involve hardware capital expenses which depreciate over five years and data center hardware purchases. Similarly, operating expenses which are linked to capital expenses are a total of $800,000. The operating expenses consist of maintenance and support expenses for purchasing data center hardware. The general operating expenses which include data center colocation fees such as cooling, space, power, cloud hosting, staffing, telecom costs among others consists of approximately $6 million.
The budget also includes the current and proposed IT infrastructure which provides for servers. In the first year, the number of physical servers and network devices which BallotOnline will require is 1200, while 1600, 1600, 2000 and 2000 in the second, third, fourth and fifth years respectively. The number of data centers is 6, 8,8, 10 and 10 in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth years respectively. Currently, BallotOnline has 400 application servers which include 2 CPUs, four cores, 32GB RAM and the operating system is Linux OS. BallotOnline also has 400 database servers which include 4CPU's, four cores, 64GB RAM, Linux OS, and MySQL DB.
Lastly, the proposed storage and data transfer needs include 50000, 66500, 66500, 83125 and 103906 for year 1, 2, 3, 4, and five respectively for storage (in GB). The same figures apply to data transfer (in GB).
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Total Cost of Ownership enables BallotOnline to measure and understand the possible costs involved in the entire operation. TCO is essential for regulating the benefits involved and direct and indirect costs which are involved in implementing the project. The primary objective is to initiate a purchase price which helps in the determination of TCO for cloud computing. BallotOnline understands the true value of cloud computing technology. As a result, BallotOnline uses Azure TCO and AWS TCO calculators to estimate the cost of cloud services existing on the web.
2. Decreasing cost
3. Efficient time planning
5. Information Security
2. Ownership of data
3. Unknown data locations
4.Integration with existing applications
2.Easy Usage of mobile and wireless
3. Easy management
Opportunity-Strength (OS) Strategies
Use the strengths to take advantage of opportunities
1. Remote access can help widen client range
2. easy usage of mobile and wireless systems enhances flexibility Opportunity-Weakness (OW) Strategies
Overcome weaknesses by taking advantage of opportunities
1. Improve management style
2. Widen client base
1. Loss of data
3. Unwillingness to change
4. Reliability of service providers Threat-Strength (TS) Strategies
Use strengths to avoid threats
1. enhance information security
Threat-Weakness (TW) Strategies
Minimize weaknesses and avoid threats
1.Improve on bandwidth strength to prevent loss of data
BallotOnline's IT Budget and Infrastructure Summary. (2019). Content.umuc.edu. Retrieved 4 January 2019, from https://content.umuc.edu/file/c91e7ce0-9040-442d-b244-0b511f07cbad/3/BallotOnlinesITBudget.html
Kaplan, R. S., & Atkinson, A. A. (2015). Advanced management accounting. PHI Learning.
Singh, A., Sharma, S., Kumar, S. R., & Yadav, S. A. (2016, February). Overview of PaaS and SaaS and its application in cloud computing. In Innovation and Challenges in Cyber Security (ICICCS-INBUSH), 2016 International Conference on (pp. 172-176). IEEE.
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