Prompt: So far throughout this course, you have been looking at different facets of the company from database needs and options to website needs and options. For your Milestone Four assignment, you will be looking at hardware and software needs and hardware and software options. You will be using the Milestone Four section of the template to complete this assignment. Refer to the Sharpe Style scenario for details on the current state of the company and the business owner’s goals. Begin your response by explaining why it is important to consider the current IT infrastructure when integrating new e-commerce features to a website (the specifics of which you looked at in Module Four). Discuss how the business’s current IT affects the costs of data storage and processing. You should also discuss how the current business’s current IT affects customer satisfaction with the purchasing experience. Next, explain the hardware and software infrastructure currently in place at Sharpe Style. Refer to the scenario and the Final Project Template for an IT flowchart depicting the hardware and software in place. Use the flowchart to describe what the company has, and state what it is the company lacks. Draw conclusions for how the current state is negatively impacting business processes. Now that you have systematically gone through and identified needs and options to present to Mary Sharpe to help her migrate into online sales, complete the Matrix of Options in Appendix C of the Final Project Template to help organize the research you have done to persuasively communicate your ideas. See the prompt in the Appendix of your Final Project Template. After completing your matrix of options, you can now address some additional considerations. For example, what compatibility issues exist with the different options? Explain your response in terms of how these issues affect the business process. In proposing solutions to these conclusions, what factors should the business owner consider when deciding whether to use in-house or external IT resources and services such as cloud computing or companies that specialize in hosting online stores? What are the short-term and long-term trade-offs?
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
IV. Hardware and Software Needs and Options: Use this section of your report to analyze the business’s hardware and software needs with respect to the proposed expansion into online sales and lay out possible solutions for meeting the needs you identified. Specifically, you should address the following:
A. Analysis of current IT system
1. Explain why it is important to consider the current IT infrastructure of the business when integrating new e-commerce features to a website. In your response, be sure to discuss how the business’s current IT affects the costs of data storage and processing. You should also discuss how the business’s current IT affects customer satisfaction with the purchasing experience (and ultimately sales).
2. What IT infrastructure (hardware and software) is currently in place, and how does that affect business processes? Use the provided IT flowchart in the appendix to help support your discussion.
B. Present the different options you considered in a simple matrix the business owner can use as a quick reference when making decisions or discussing the potential new site with web designers and include it as an appendix. You may use the template provided or create your own. However, the matrix should clearly communicate the options, their key features, and their pros and cons in language the business owner can understand.
V. Additional Considerations: Use this section to explain other factors the business owner should consider when making IT decisions related to the proposed expansion. Your report should cover the following:
A. What compatibility issues exist with the different options? Be sure to explain your response in terms of how these issues affect the business process. For example, how can the current system be used with the new technology, or, if it cannot, what needs to be done to migrate from the current to the new technology? You may want to include real-world examples of what has or has not worked for other companies to illustrate your point(s).
B. What factors should the business owner consider when deciding whether to use in-house or external IT resources and services such as cloud computing or companies that specialize in hosting online stores? Be sure to discuss short-term and long-term trade-offs in your response