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This is because it can provide and de-provide its resources dynamically, lead to a reduction of the unused capacity as well as maximize the available resources for improved efficiency.
Efficient: The SaaS ERP system makes businesses to benefit from the shared hardware, familiar technologies as well as automated processes. This means that that system is able to effectively increase its peak-load capacity, provide access to organizational resources from almost everywhere via PC or any other internet enabled-devices. The system also leads to a reduction in the energy usage as well as the level of physical footprint.
Flexible: The SaaS ERP system can adapt to the changing business needs.This means that it can easily adapt to the ever dynamic nature of a distributed workforce.
Secure: The system is also secure due to the multi-level data security system which it employs
The business would therefore need to engage on a total overhaul of the traditional ERP system via a systematic business process reengineering. The technological approach that will be used is cloud computing and more specifically SaaS-based ERP implementation
High level solution
The cloud-based SaaS ERP will be internet ready and will be secured with the latest 256 bit Secure-Socket Layer (SLL) connection/link.
The technologies as well as the business practices to be used in augmenting the solutions contained in milestone 1.
Cloud computing is noted by Nell and Grance (2011) as a model used in enabling a ubiquitous and yet convenient network access on-demand to a shared pool of highly configurable computing resources such as networks, storage, servers, applications as well as services that can quickly be provisioned as well as released with very little/minimal management tasks being conducted as well as minimal service provider interaction. The cloud model is made up of five main computing capabilities like server time as well as network storage as demanded automatically and without the need for human interaction with each and every service.
The essential characteristic of cloud computing
On-demand self-service: This characteristic allows the consumers of cloud computing services to provision the computing capabilities that they need like the server time as well as network storage on an on-demand basis automatically and without any form of human interaction with each and every service from the service provider.
Broad network access: This characteristic allows the availability of capabilities that are availed over the network as well as accessed via the standard mechanisms that are needed in the promotion of heterogeneous thick and thin clients such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets as well as workstations.
Resource pooling: This characteristic allows for the pooling of the service provider's resources in order to serve several/multiple clients via a multi-tenant model. This allows the dynamic assignment and reassignment of physical as well as virtual resources according to the client demands.
There is also a high sense of location independence due to the fact that the client has no level of control or even knowledge over the absolute location of the provided resources. They may however specify the location at a higher abstraction level such as country wise, according to sate or datacenter. The examples of computing resources are storage, memory, processing as well as network bandwidth.
Rapid elasticity: This characteristic allows for the elastic provisioning and releasing of the capabilities to scale either rapidly or inwardly in order to commensurate with the level of demand. To the client, the capabilities that are available for provisioning usually appear to be somehow unlimited and can therefore be appropriated in any given quantity and at any time.
Measured service: This characteristic is what allows the cloud computer systems to automatically control as well as optimize their level of resource usage by effectively leveraging a certain metering capability at certain level of abstraction which is appropriate to the specific type of service such as processing, storage, active use accounts as well as bandwidth. The level of resource usage can easily be monitored, reported as well as controlled. This effectively allows for the provision of accountability for the consumer as well as the provider of the cloud computing services.
The service models
The service model that will be used in this application is Software as a Service (SaaS).
The Software as a Service (SaaS) model's capability allows for the consumer to use various applications that are provided by the provider and running on the cloud infrastructure. The applications such as the ERP application is accessible from all sorts of client devices via a very thin client interface like a web browser or via a program interface. It is worth noting that the consumer has no control of the underlying cloud infrastructure such as the network, operating systems, servers, storage as well as the individual application's capabilities.
The internet will be used as an information superhighway for the rapid transmission of information within the cloud infrastructure.
This will be used to encrypt the information that will be transmitted within the cloud infrastructure in order to prevent it from interception / eavesdropping.
Value of the chosen approach
The value of the chosen approach is based on its ability to reduce capital expenditure while allowing for mobility and access of the ERP system irrespective of the location and time.
The changes in business processes
The adoption of the cloud-based SaaS ERP system would cause a general reduction in the time take to allocate resources with possible consequences in job losses due to automation. The sales, human resource as well as accounting functions will be most affected.
Technology as well as business practices that will be required in addition to the ones described above
Technology as well as business practices that will be required in addition to the ones described above
Distributed networking comprises of a distributed computing network which comprises of computer programming as well as data to be processes that are spread out over more than a single computer over a secured network.
Wireless technologies via VPN configurations
Wireless technologies include WiMax, Wi-fi, WLAN and the use of wireless routers, wireless hotspots, nanostations, voice and networking gateways, VL devices and base stations. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) is to be used for a secure and reliable tunneling of the ERP data/information.
Information system auditing processes
Information auditing system or department must be set up in order to evaluate the IT techniques that are employed in the project for security and effectiveness (Hall,2004)
Conclusion and recommendation
The SaaS-based ERP is an efficient and reliable and cost-effective technique of streamlining the organizational processes and achieving a remarkable level of cost-reduction within the organization. Napoleon Foundry Works LLC should therefore strive to implement the system as early as possible for them to begin realizing its advantages.
High level implementation plan
The implementation of the SaaS ERP system will target the entire organizations. The parts that will most likely be affected are human-resource, sale and marketing department as well as general management. The implementation will involve internal and external teams who will work together in ensuring that the SaaS ERP implementation and adoption is a huge success.
Summary of the project
The project involves the design and implementation of an agnostic and yet ubiquitous cloud-based ERP system that would lead to increased mobility and better capital expenditure saving among other potential benefits. The system is to have a standard encryption based on SSL and must be regularly audited for any vulnerability.
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