Unit 33-LO2 Analyse flexible and reliable IT systems that respond to organizational requirements-BTEC-HND-Level 4 & 5

Course: Pearson BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals in Business

Technology is a key component of any successful business. Businesses that are not up-to-date on the latest technological developments can suffer from decreased efficiency, lack of reliability, and increased costs.

The need for flexible and reliable IT systems is necessary to respond to organizational requirements as they change over time. A range of factors come into play when choosing an IT system, including cost, scalability demands, and sustainability needs. When selecting the right solution for your organization, it’s important to assess these three areas before making a decision.

This article will provide you with tips on how to find the right technology partner for your organization by looking at some different solutions that organizations commonly use today: cloud services, managed services, or in-house solutions?

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Also Read: LO3 Evaluate IT systems that support value-added change within organizations

Types of IT systems:

Use of different types of IT systems (e.g. transaction processing, customer relationship, business intelligence, knowledge management) and their roles in relation to meeting business objectives and improving operational efficiency

A successful IT system means it is easy to use, adaptable to changing business requirements, and cost-effective in terms of development and exploitation.

A knowledge management system aids knowledge workers by reducing information overload, deepening employees’ subject expertise that enables them to make better decisions more efficiently. It also improves the work-life balance because people may spend less time on administration tasks.

A customer relationship management system provides tools for managing a company’s relationships with its customers as well as the competitive landscape.

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For example, CRM systems can be used to track individual prospects or analyze if proposed deals are cost-competitive enough relative to other suppliers. A transaction processing system refers specifically to software used by businesses that exchange financial data (e.g., payments) with other businesses.

A transaction processing system may also be used by a bank to process the information on account inquiries and payments. The purpose of such systems can range from billing clients for services, to collecting and updating customer data, to transferring money or other assets between accounts.

Business intelligence software collects and analyses data from a variety of internal and external sources in order to identify high-potential opportunities that were previously inaccessible. Business intelligence is typically used by decision-makers — such as sales managers—to analyze potential revenue streams or sites for capital expenditure.

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Information Technology systems are complex to maintain and it is very important that this responsibility doesn’t fall on one person alone. There should be a team of people in charge of IT projects, issue management, and application maintenance.

Usually, the role of Information Technology changes depending on business objectives but some examples of how this role can change include enabling mobility within the organization through modernizing infrastructure and developing new cloud-based applications as well as leveraging IoT technologies to digitize processes or use AI for optimization purposes.

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Types of information and data:

Layers of information systems: services, integration, security, and analytics

  • Services – the most basic layer of information system that provides a set of activities or functions. A service typically operates by exchanging data with other services in familiar ways like web push, pull, poll, and publish. Services are usually hosted separately for either technical capacity or security reasons.
  • Integration – may involve broadcasting events to all receivers on a network; pushing data from one system into another using web-based protocols; querying resources exposed through OAuth2 authorize endpoints as well as APIs; pulling data over firewall from backends over private networks when there is no direct internet connection by using Webhooks/SMS; Pulling is an alternative to polling if you do not want your communications channel (be it HTTP request or TCP socket) to get blocked. Pulling sends data when it is ready and not on a fixed time cycle as polling does.
  • Security- is an important consideration when designing systems, protocols, and application programming interfaces. To develop secure applications, you need to know design features that can be used or exploited by malicious entities. Such vulnerabilities include buffer overflows (a common type of security exploit), Denial-of-service attacks, Cross-site scripting, Session hijacking, Man middle attacks etcetera.
  • Analytics-Think about how to process the data that is collected, so that it becomes useful information. Analyzing and visualizing data can help you discover patterns and trends in your data.

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Corporate database management systems, data management, and characteristics of data within organizations

Corporate database management systems are the heart of the modern corporation. They enable efficient intracompany communication and increase productivity. Here’s a look at some great options.

Oracle is an industry-standard in many respects. It features comprehensive functionality, scalability, reliability, security, and support for new technology like cloud computing and big data – plus it’s affordable for all budgets! Oracle requires proficiency with SQL language to operate; that means you have to learn to speak its language before you can rely on Oracle – but any skill is mastery when it comes to databases!

Data management refers to a subset of Information Management. Datasets are usually stored within a database. Database administrators (DBAs) have primary responsibility for the dataset’s integrity and consistency by ensuring that transactions are safe, secure, and recoverable in case an error or system crash occurs. DBAs also plan, organize, control access to, monitor usage of and extract value from large volumes of data within various databases in an enterprise environment.

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Characteristics of data within organizations

The following are characteristics of data within organizations.

● Ownership and access rights for data should be well-defined in an organization. The access right is the authority conferred to a person or group of people (e.g., users) to perform certain administrative functions on behalf of an organization, such as making modifications via propagation, quarantining, or eradicating items from the organization’s databases. Privileges grant rights that entities without those privileges would normally need administrator credentials to do so but they only apply to specific objects within a database scheme, such as tables and clustered indexes.

● A user can usually only update columns in their own records unless they have some other implicit privilege like delete rows in any table in any database for a user.

● Users have some table-level constraints that users don’t have like primary keys are enforced. The only way to get around it is to create triggers on every single insert, update and delete that bypass the checks and enforce them any way you want. But like there is no auditing taking place to see who did it, so all someone has to do is disable tracing and they can just erase the trail in audit tables themselves.

● Privileges often control access to objects directly through object ownership or through membership of groups or roles that possess privileges at the database, schema, or server level.

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Types and flow of information within an organization

There are two fundamental types of information, which scientists call ‘synergistic’ and ‘antagonistic’.

  • Synergistic information complements one another by creating a better understanding that develops through the act of processing each other.
  • Antagonistic information contradicts or refutes one another.

The flow of information is important to the productivity of an organization because it determines how well everyone is able to share what they know and how quickly they can respond.

There are two main models for communication in organizations, which match up with the structure of organizational flat structures or hierarchy: informal and formal channels. In a hierarchical organization, the flow will be predominantly downward through formal channels: from high-level decision-makers sending directives through lower levels and ending with front-line employees who execute these directives.

Data protection and confidentiality

Data protection and confidentiality are terms that apply to safeguarding the informational integrity of an entity. In some cases, both terms may be used interchangeably.

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Confidentiality pertains to information properly under one’s control while data protection relates to a broader scope including protection of personal information via legal authorities such as laws, regulations, contractual obligations or “codes”.

In the United States, there are constitutional First Amendment issues in which public figures must question whether there is a public right and need for disclosure versus the individual’s right to protect themselves from shame or embarrassment. Protecting individuals’ informational privacy also protects them from potential harm by preventing access to sensitive material such as medical records which may relate negatively to potential employers. Data protection laws are legislative techniques for protecting the privacy and take many forms.

Reliability of IT systems and data quality:

The importance of ensuring accurate and appropriate data collection

The importance of ensuring data collection is accurate and appropriate is dependent on the context in which it occurs. However, there are several reasons to ensure the accuracy of data being collected:

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1) To ensure that decisions being made or questions being answered are not based on faulty information- this can lead to incorrect conclusions/decisions.

2) To create better transparency for stakeholders on what was collected, how it was processed and analyzed, why they were chosen as priorities- this promotes cooperation from all elements involved when making decisions.

3) Improve legitimacy with stakeholders by providing clear evidence that just says “the work was done thoughtfully” instead, where the work done has been clearly defined through methods and procedures.

Quality assurance and control measures are used to ensure data quality on entry and after data collection

Quality assurance and control measures are used to ensure data quality on entry, after data collection, and in the stored procedures that go into that effort.

The process used for quality assurance is three-pronged:

Firstly, there must be a set of criteria for keyword search reports that can determine acceptable sources for analysis;

Secondly, any report should have at least one full run against known errors;

Thirdly, spot tests should be done with an employee who speaks the language or originates from where the information came from.

Control Measures are put in place to address errors that occur after an analysis has been conducted.

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In order to stop any future issues, there needs to be a list of the specific keywords and phrases concern­ing each issue or problem identified so that these are not used again. Additionally, you need to have some way of checking your sources for accuracy as it is possible that due to lack of understanding on the part of researchers or data entry mistakes could happen again, if this is the case then you need to revise your quality control measures before further research is done.

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