Please compare, contrast, and provide insight to some of the decisions made from ONE the following case studies’ data:
“City of Pittsburgh goes to the cloud: a case study of cloud solution strategic selection and deployment” OR
“SurveyMonkey in 2014”
Be sure to make observations from all discussions and readings to date.
This Critical Analysis is due on Saturday at 11:55pm Pacific in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format. Please post your final case memo in the Assignments under ‘Critical Analysis’.
Critical Analysis Coaching
The goal is that the process of writing the critiques will contribute significantly to your learning and understanding of the course content.
Critical analysis must be a personal reflection upon what you have learned from the readings.
Reflect on the business implications and management recommendations that arise from these lessons that are relevant to the topics of the segment to which the readings are assigned.
A critical analysis is NOT a summary of the individual readings – you may choose to open your critiques with a short (6-10 line) paragraph that identifies the main lessons from the readings.
Your critiques should integrate and analyze the lessons, arguments, similarities, contradictions, conclusions, and implications contained within and most importantly across the assigned readings for that segment’s topic.
Critical analysis can be POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE. You may agree or disagree with the lessons contained in the readings, but you must support your opinion with informed argument.
IT Critical Analysis
IT Critical Analysis
Cloud computing is a significant phenomenon that can save an organization or society from a lot of complication which includes getting the right staffing needs to perform the computational and storage. Typically, it involves delivering the on-demand computing services over the internet (Asmus, Fattah & Pavlovski, 2016). These services use a pay-as-you-go basis. It saves the organization from the process of purchasing computing infrastructure or setting up data centers. The case of the City of Pittsburgh, is in this instance, in a dilemma because of their diminishing resources yet, on the other hand, they have the mandate to ensure employee email services is not affected as it currently was facing a challenge. The implementation of the technology, therefore, involves a lot of steps and decision making. This paper is a critical analysis that compares and gives insight into the decisions taken by Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh needs to ensure that the city’s computing services are not compromised. Going cloud is a better option in that, the city’s employees have weak technical skills. Therefore, their ability to handle new technology is a problem (Mu & Stern, 2015). However, those with the skills are those at the entry level. Therefore, there is a gap between the new entry and the old employees in that the new employees are always frustrated by their seniors. The city is economically restrained in that if they are going to ensure the services are quality, then they will have to employ another group of savvy employees, and at the same time purchase, the right infrastructure to enable their services are not affected. The other option was to outsource the service as well involves making the right decision. For instance, to understand the kind of services the city is handling. In this case, it consists of an email solution. The city should, also, be able to ensure confidentiality is maintained.
The implementation of cloud services should be viewed from the nature of the needs and the issues at hand. The city’s decision to opt for a SaaS approach best fits the character of the requirements. It is clear that the company has staffing and infrastructure problems. So, in other words, the city does not have enough infrastructure to deliver computing needs. SaaS, therefore, provides an opportunity for the city to make use of the internet where they will have to settle on a particular vendor who will then deliver their applications to the users on their behalf. This approach eliminates the need for any installations or downloads on the client side as everything will be accessed from the web-browser (Nanavati, Colp, Aiello & Warfield, 2014). Their Selection of SaaS is also justifying in that the city has a challenge regarding the competence of its staff, more so, the highly paid and the experienced team who have more advantage in deciding on what to be done other than the young savvies who are always frustrated by the older individuals and also who are less paid. The lack of technical expertise can be covered by SaaS approach since data, middleware, servers, and storage is entirely left to the vendor and the only remaining role for the city will be to maintain and support the service. SaaS will also provide benefits such as reliability and the automation of the processes. The city’s staff will then be relieved from the challenge a lot of coding and thus reducing the cost which is already constraining the city.
Looking at other services of outsourcing such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), PaaS offers a solution to specific components, that is the developers can use it to create customized applications. In this case, the city would have had the option to either manage all the servers, storage and networking or outsource it to the vendor but their role will be to maintain the applications. PaaS option then, could not have worked in this case in that the employees do not possess the technical skills to manage the applications.
IaaS, on the other hand, provides scalability and computing resources. It deals with the aspect of computation, networking, and storage which provides an option for the developers to purchase resources on-demand instead of buying the hardware. Choosing this option e enables the city or any organization to make use of virtualization to servers, applications, and storage using a particular API or dashboard. The city then would have been given the full permission to control the infrastructure, therefore, imitating data centers but only removing the aspect of having the management done physically. In other words, the only difference is that there is a creation of “a virtual data center” but now with the help of the cloud. The city employees would then have been involved in the management of the applications, operating systems, data, and middleware. The vendors will take the role of managing the servers, drives, and storage. The undoing of this service is that it cannot fit the context of the needs of the company, as still, the staff will need to operate all the facilities. The only difference is that the service is just virtual and therefore the same skills required in a data center are still necessary for this scenario.
Cloud services go beyond determining the architecture; that is, it extends to settling for the type of computing model which involves deciding on whether public, private or a hybrid cloud can best fit the needs. Public cloud is a model in which the city can opt for a free, premium or a subscription service. In this instance, the third party providing the service will take over the task of developing and managing the email service. Public service offers the services at a low cost yet maintaining the aspect of scalability and elasticity (Eid, Al-Jabri & Sohail, 2018). That is, the city will be charged on a subscription basis. The city’s selection of public service is justifying in that, they will have less constrained financially and at the same time have the requires some employees performing tasks that they can. It can even offer the city more time to think on how to restructure or train employees on technical skills that might help them in future to use a different approach, for example, virtualization but maintain the functional services. Their choice of a government public cloud is also right in that; they will ensure that information is not visible from outside the borders and eliminate the risks of outside the border access. Their needs as well are predictable, that is to offer communication through email service. The challenge for the city is that this approach will provide low visibility and the risk of exposure of data.
If they would have opted for a private cloud, then it means they could have sought a vendor who would provide dedicated services for the city alone. It provides the isolation of the services and access is only possible through a privately-secured network. It offers specific customizations to the organization with the advantage of gaining greater visibility and the ability to control the infrastructure. It offers stringent regulations. This approach is always the best for any organization in that security is always assured, and there are fewer risks of unauthorized access to confidential data. The city should have used this approach in that, its best suites government agencies which require a lot of regulation. The only challenge that may have hindered the city from choosing this option is because of the cost that accompanies it. That is, for high performance and availability, the city ought to invest more, but their biggest outdoing is that they are limited by finance.
The hybrid approach, on the other hand, mixes public and private solutions. It allows the organization to share applications in both private and public cloud deployment. In this option, the city’s management and the chief information officer would have classified data and workloads into two categories. They would then decide on those processes which are sensitive and use the private environment. For those less sensitive services, they can implement them in the public cloud. The reason why this exists is to provide an alternative way of managing spikes in the network traffic that usually occurs occasionally. However, this model can be costly as well as its requirements for putting up strong compatibility and integration so that the two models can communicate effectively and limit the risk of compromising the services. In that case, the city would have incurred more finances in ensuring compatibility and the challenge of deciding which services were sensitive than the other. It could even involve more than one vendor thus creating a lot of issues of conflicts that may arise in the process.
Implementation of the Cloud Service
From the case of Pittsburgh, it is evident that to ensure a cloud service is efficient and fits the needs of the organization. It is necessary to take into consideration the strategic position of the organization’s leadership to be able to understand the long-term plans and the state of the city, organization or that company regarding staffing needs, technical expertise and financial position. Once that is done, come up with a proposal involving other stakeholders. It has been evident over the past that less involvement of internal and external stakeholders can lead to the failure of the scheme. The consultation should be done early enough to understand their position and the improvements to be done on the plan. It is also crucial to ensure that enough time is devoted to the decision-making process so that all the staff and the administration can get to voice their concerns and even understand the implication of adopting a given approach
Cloud services can offer a great deal in saving the organization from the problems that come as a result of financial, the infrastructure of staffing challenges. Pittsburgh approach and success can be attributed to the careful involvement of stakeholders, through the decision-making process, setting of timelines and enough budgeting to the process. So, the success of implementing a proposal lies in how it approached. That will then determine whether the proposed idea is worth implementing it or not since not all services can be easily migrated to the cloud.
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