Information technology has evolved from being an important element in any company to being a fundamental and basic requirement (Syed et al., 2016). Any contemporary company planning to roll out operations even on a miniature scale will require some IT investment, mainly in the area of computing. Fundamental to the operations of several computers operating together is the issue of proper networking systems. The critical issue in the rolling out of a computer network system is the careful balance between cost on the one part and effectiveness and efficacy on the other (Foster, 2014). This consideration comes to the fore when the network system is being installed and/or upgraded in phases as it requires a determination of which components to be installed in each phase according to the needs of the company and the available funds.
Necessity for: “Meet information requirements of management”
Different organizations use computers in general and particularly networked computers for different purposes at different times (Mihalik et al, 2016; Link et al, 2017). This creates two variances of use and time which in many cases overlap. A good example of use and time variances is collection, processing, dissemination and access to data. This is alongside the basic needs of data entry and storage (Link et al, 2017). Some companies will focus on one of the three aforementioned variable purposes, any two or even three of them. Further, some companies will focus on all three contemporaneously all the time while other companies will require them in regular sequences (Foster, 2014). This creates so many probabilities of use that the need for a computer system at a particular moment in time cannot be said for a fact and has to be determined by management as and when the need arises (Foster, 2014). It, therefore, becomes necessary to create a computer network system with a corporate computing function that can be continually configured to meet the continuously changing needs of a company as required and determined by management (Mihalik et al., 2016; Link et al., 2017).
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A good example would be the computer network system of a company that is commencing its operations. At the beginning, there might be little or no bulk data to store. This position will however change very quickly as the company does a massive marketing drive and collects a lot of raw data on raw customers and suppliers. The company will also hire and need to store information about members of staff. Collection of information will be of major focus at this juncture and the company may then decide to send brochures and prospectus online which will create a lot of dissemination (Mihalik et al., 2016). The potential customers will then need more information from the representatives of the company who will need access to information stored at the company. Between collecting data and availing it, the same has to be processed. The control of the data and the human resource handling it can only be effectively handled through the human input of management hence the need for the fifth point in the list.
Three Crucial Points for Phase 1
To arrive at the three basic and crucial points on phase 1, it is important to canvass the 9 points which are all important so as to eliminate the other six and qualify the crucial nature of the three. Point number one relates to compartmentalization of use from a perspective of legitimacy. This is an important point which however only becomes crucial when the company is well established with a proper chain of command. This can be relegated to the third phase. Point number two relates to cost which is among the fundamental determinants in the installation of a computer network system (Link et al, 2017). This is important in all three phases and has to commence right from phase one. It, therefore, qualifies as one of the three crucial phase one points. Point number three relates to departmental satisfaction. Ordinarily, phase one will focus on a singular system with little regard to departmentalization thus this point can be relegated to the second or third phase.
Similarly, point number four relates to avoiding departmental overlaps which will not be fundamental at the beginning. Point number 5 relates to logical control of the system by management and its malleability to meet the needs of the informational needs of the company as and when they arise. At the very beginning, most departments and units are lumped together and logical control will go to management. This makes point number five fundamental to the first phase in the very least until a regular operational sequence is arrived at upon completion of all phases. Point number five is therefore crucial. Point number six relates to whether the system works as expected. This is as fundamental as point number two and also has to be tempered with point number two in arriving at how much to spend to get the necessary job done. Without efficiency and competency evaluation, no IT related purchase ought to be purchased (Mihalik et al, 2016; Link et al, 2017). This makes point number six crucial even in the first phase.
Points number seven and number eight relates to creation and retention of autonomy respectively for departments which will not be necessary until perhaps the third phase, if at all and depending on management (Link et al, 2017). Point number nine relates to good labor relations which is vital but not fundamental and can be arrived at in the later phases of the roll out. The upshot of the foregoing is that points two, five and six are most crucial for the first phase for the reasons outlined above.
The Cyber Security Clause
Information is as important to an organization as pecuniary capital, a position that has been solidified by the advent of IT in the global market (Syed et al., 2016). Having proper information and being able to properly handle it is crucial and also expensive as already shown. It is, therefore, important to protect information at all cost from being accessed, destroyed, fudged or interfered with by any unauthorized forces. This created the advent of cyber security, one of the most important aspects of IT. Cyber security, also called IT security is the systems and processes for protecting data, computers, computer networks and computer programs from any access, inference or destruction that is not authorized by the owners thereof (Syed et al., 2016). This destruction can either emanate from within or without the organization and can also be intentional or accidental.
Without proper cyber security in contemporary computing, a network system ought to be considered as obsolete (Syed et al., 2016). Point number ten therefore ought to provide for two main factors. The first is the provision of a firewall to protect the system from inadvertent and/or intentional interferences from the internet. The second is the provision of levels of permissions and access regulation internally so as to avoid security threats within the system (Syed et al., 2016). A good example is limiting who can access information on a read only basis and who can assess and effect change in data and how these changes reflect in the system. Point number ten would therefore read
10. To provide a comprehensive internal and external cyber security system against inadvertent wrongful access or alteration of data as well as cyber-attacks.
With every passing day, computers are taking a more vital role in all areas of the commercial and entrepreneurship world. This enhances the importance of having a proper computer networking system in any business. For several reasons including cost, computer network systems are installed in phases and even upon full installation will require continuous upgrades. It is, therefore, important to establish which systems are necessary for any particular company and in what order they ought to be installed in a multi-phase installation approach.
Foster, E. C. (2014). Software Implementation Issues. In Software Engineering (pp. 291-300). New York. A press.
Link, D. F., Cordray, C. G., Chart, R. M., & Ginter, K. (2017). "Management techniques for non-traditional network and information system topologies." U.S. Patent No. 9,537,731 . Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Mihalik, J. L., Gerace, T. A., Sandborg, D. A., Feder, H. R., & Meyer, R. A. (2016). "Computer method and system for target advertising based on user rank in a computer network." U.S. Patent Application No. 15/266,417 .
Syed, Z., Padia, A., Mathews, M. L., Finin, T., & Joshi, A. (2016, February). UCO: A unified cybersecurity ontology. In Proceedings of the AAAI Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Cyber Security . California: AAAI Press.