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INTRODUCTION

Today digital technology literally has changed every aspect of conducting a business. With every advancement of technology like cloud computing, way of doing operational activities  becomes more easy and fast. Cloud computing technology refers to a method for delivering IT services under which resources are acquired from Internet. This project is based on concept of understanding the importance of cloud technology in business. Continental Consulting Ltd. is chosen for this purpose, which offers business solutions to other companies for enhancing their operational activities. This company wants to upgrade its system with cloud computing techniques to increase productivity of business. In this regard, aims and objectives for explaining the purpose of research is described in first part with a project management plan. Secondly, a work breakdown structure and Gantt Chart for providing stages and time-frame also explained. For gathering information, qualitative and quantitative research methods are used. Lastly, final recommendation and reflection based on project outcomes are discussed.

P1. Objectives and aims of project

Every business organization in today's competitive world, desires that it employees will perform their assigned duties in scheduled time period. To achieve this goal, innovative solutions are required which makes it easier for workers to communicate, collaborate and share information without any restrictions for completing a task. Cloud Computing techniques is one of the innovative solutions like MS-Office 365 to create a streamlined working environment. Under such environment, workers are allowed to share data with other team members in quick manner. This will turn to complete a task in short-interval of time.

In context with Continental Consulting Ltd., this firm give business related solutions to other companies of UK. Therefore, it has to store large amount of data in system but due to usage of old techniques, operational activities are much affected. So, this company seeks to upgrade its system so that capabilities of business can be maximized.

Topic: “The role of digital technology in enhancing growth and innovation of small business”

Background of research:

Continental Consulting Limited is a Business and Research Consultancy and headed by Mario Bindas with a team of 22 expert consultants. This company has established 8 years before and provide business solutions to other small and medium organizations. With rapid innovation in IT industry, techniques and equipment used by this firm are now become obsolete. Due to this, it has failed to gain competitive advantages. Therefore, this firm seeks to upgrade its system so that maximum capabilities of business can be brought. The present research is going to understand the concept of cloud computing technology by which this firm can increase efficiency of business. This technique helps in keeping and sharing large amount of data on remote serves as well as access the files via internet.

Research aim

The main aim of administrating investigation in present project is “To determine effectiveness of cloud technology in upgrading system of business”. A case study on Continental Consulting Limited.

Research objectives

  • To examine the concept of Cloud Technology
  • To determine the importance of implementing cloud technology in Continental Consulting Limited.
  • To analyse the major challenges which are faced by organization due to upgradation of cloud technology in business.

Research questions

Q 1. What are the base to examine  the concept of Cloud Technology?

Q 2. What is the importance of cloud technology in Continental Consulting Limited?

Q 3. What are the main barriers that can be faced by organization due to upgradation of cloud technology in business?

P2. Project management plan which covers aspects of time, cost, quality and communication

Project Management Plan refers to a document which describes every stages of a particular project. It includes various components like planning, executing, monitoring, initiating and controlling. This plan is made to determine how activities of a project will be going on and what kind of result it obtains. Moreover, it also referred as blue print which defines roles and responsibilities of each project makers and how activities are executed accordingly. As per present scenario, Continental Consulting Ltd. wants to upgrade its system and implement cloud computing technologies for enhancement of business operations. Therefore, a PMP for this implementation process is given as below:-

Scope: As Continental Consulting Ltd. fails to keep large data of customers properly and access on time due to usage of old techniques. So, this would create a large impact on operational activities and performance of business. Therefore, introducing cloud computing help this firm to save data to a remote database. It will allow employees of this firm to access data on multiple devices and store them using various services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Thus, all these process, help this firm in operating its activities in large manner. It will give advantage to stay competitive in future at marketplace as well.

Cost: It refers to an important step under which cost for executing a new project is estimated. Thus, for implementing cloud technology in Continental Consulting Ltd., it is necessary for managers to set a proper budget. To implement this technology, three aspects are needed to be concerned first. It includes changes in infrastructure, maintenance of network and hardware storage. Thus, for these processes, near about £20K is required.

Particular

Amount

Initial Investment

100000

Expenses:

          Operational Activities

          R&D Activities

         Cost to IT Experts

         Licensing Fee

         Maintenance

 

22000

28000

16000

6000

8000

Closing Value

20000

 

Time: In order to execute entire activities of project like bringing resources for implementation of cloud technology, replace hardware and software system with new one and more, near about 6 to 8 months are required.  

Quality: For installing cloud technology in business, managers of Continental Ltd. needs to concern on entire process. It includes quality of new hardware and software components which are installed in system. Since, cloud technology is not an individual technology therefore, it compromises with three main services. It includes IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). Since, SaaS is expected for experiencing the faster growth than IaaS and makes cloud computing technology more usable tool. While IaaS includes servers, hardware and software etc. which is vital for security. In addition to this, PaaS helps in taking feedback of clients and their reviews so that major decisions can be taken.   

Risk: Creating modification in system and any aspect, may include various type of risks as well. Thus, bringing cloud technology will also involves many issues- it includes theft of intellectual properties, risk of uncertainty and more.  

Communication: 

P3. A Work-break down Structure and a Gantt Chart

In order to execute a task in given span of time, researchers can use two major techniques that are- Work Breakdown Structure and Gantt Chart. Using these two techniques, managers of Continental Consulting Ltd. can compete major activities on time in following manner:-

A work breakdown structure is a deliverable oriented breakdown of a project into smaller components. It is a key project deliverable that organizes the team's work into manageable sections. The main purpose of a WBS is to reduce complicated activities to a collection of tasks.  

Following are a few reasons for creating a WBS in a project :-

  • Accurate and readable project organization.
  • Accurate assignment of responsibilities to the project team.
  • Indicates the project milestones and control points.
  • Helps to estimate the cost, time and risk.
  • Illustrate the project scope, so the stakeholders can have a better understanding of the same.

A Gantt chart, is another technique used in project management for assigning activities segmented by WBS in a proper time framework. It is also used for tracking, monitoring the  progress of each activity as per schedule. For example: How the tasks relate to each other, How far each task has progressed and what resources are being used for each task and so on.

Usually, project managers of Continental Consulting Ltd. use both methods for simplifying the project execution. In WBS, much larger tasks are broken down to manageable chunks of work. These chunks can be easily supervised and estimated. WBS is not restricted to a specific field when it comes to application. This is important for the project managers because they can oversee the tasks more effectively than the complex activities. Tasks must be measurable and independent, with clearly defined limits.

Gantt Chart for Project Management

Progress Plan for Project Management

TASK 2

P4. Small scale research by applying qualitative and quantitative research methodologies

Research is a process to discover new knowledge and information. It is a systematic investigation (gathering and analysis of information) designed to develop an accurate knowledge and information. Research is also different than other forms of discovering knowledge because it uses a systematic process called scientific method. It involves inductive and deductive method approach. Inductive approach is used to analyze the observed situation or phenomenon. While deductive approach is for verifying the observed phenomenon or situation. Research methodology is a process used to collect information and data for the purpose of making business decisions. The methodology includes published research study, surveys(using paper, online and other modes), observation, interview and other research technique on the basis of present and historical information or data.  

Types of research methodology -

Qualitative research- It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, views and motivation. It provides insights into the problem or help to develop idea or hypothesis for quantitative research. Some common methods include group discussion, individual interview and observation.

Quantitative research – Quantitative research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data that can be transformed into usable statistics. Quantitative data collection methods are much more structured than qualitative data collection methods. Some quantitative data collection methods include various forms of surveys – Online surveys(using google forms, Survey Monkey), paper surveys, mobile surveys, face-to-face interaction, telephonic interview, online polls and systematic observation.

Types of data sources

Primary data  Primary data refers to the first hand data gathered by the researcher himself. It is a real time data. Sources of primary data include surveys, observation, experiments, questionnaire, personal interview etc. It involves cost and time.

Secondary data -  Secondary data means data collected by someone else earlier. It is based on past data. Some secondary data include government publication, websites, books, journal, magazines, online portal etc.  

In context with project makers of Continental Consulting Ltd., they use quantitative research method and primary data in order to collect data. Under this process, a questionnaire has prepared and filled by 40 respondents to analyze their opinion on concept of cloud technology. As targeted customers of this company are business clients of small and medium manufacturing organizations, therefore, questionnaire has been prepared accordingly:-   

Questionnaire

Name:

Class:

Age:

Q1. Are you familiar with the concept of cloud technology in businesses?

A. Yes

B. No

Q2. Do you think cloud computing helps in increasing efficiencies of operations in Continental Consulting Ltd.?

A. Yes

B. No

Q3. What are the main advantages of cloud computing technology?

A. Data recovery and storage of information

B. Cost effective and time saving

C. Enhanced productivity

D. Update system automatically

Q4. What are the major challenges faced by Continental Consulting Ltd. in implementation of cloud technology in business?

A. Risk of uncertainty

B. Lack of cloud computing knowledge

C. Insufficient funds

Q5. Can cloud technology enables Continental Consulting Limited to stay competitive at market-place?

A. Yes

B. No

Q6. What are the ways to overcome that challenges faced by Continental Consulting Ltd. in implementation of cloud technology in business?

A. Recruit an IT Consultant  

B. Training and Development

C. Arrange proper funds

Q7. Does upgrading technologies beneficial for Continental Consulting Limited?

A. Yes

B. No

Q8. Can cloud computing is useful for collaboration and communication for workers?

A. Yes

B. No

Q9. Do you have any suggestion regarding to determining the importance of Cloud Clouding within an enterprise?

TASK 3

P5. Data analysis

Theme 1: Most people are  familiar with the concept of cloud technology

Q1. Are you familiar with the concept of cloud technology in businesses?

Frequency

A. Yes

27

B. No

13

Interpretation: As concept of cloud technology is not new in today's modern era, therefore, as per analysis of 40 respondents, it has concluded that out of them 27 users are familiar with this. While other 13 users do not know much about this technology.  

Theme 2:  Cloud computing helps in increasing efficiencies of business operations

Q2. Do you think cloud computing helps in increasing efficiencies of operations in Continental Consulting Ltd.?

Frequency

A. Yes

23

B. No

17

Interpretation: Cloud computing technologies provides both tangible and intangible benefits to a company for generating the result on time. It makes operational process more easy and provide confidential security, sharing of information etc. In context with Continental Consulting Limited, cloud computing technology helps this firm in enhancing efficiency of operational activities. This technology mainly reduce the complexity of processes through which major tasks of business can be completed on time. As per above graph, it has analysed that out of 40 users, 23 are agreed with this statement. While remaining ones are not agreed with the same, they have different perceptions with effectiveness of cloud technologies.  

 

Theme 3: Updating system automatically is the main advantages of cloud computing

Q3. What are the main advantages of cloud computing technology?

Frequency

A. Data recovery and storage of information

12

B. Cost effective and time saving

8

C. Enhanced productivity

6

D. Update system automatically

14

Interpretation: Cloud technology provides various technologies to organisations like upgrading their system automatically, keeping information for long purpose and more. As per survey on 40 respondents, it has interpreted that out of 40 users, 12 are believed that recovery of lost data and storage of data is the main advantage of cloud computing techniques. While 14 users are in favour with automatic update process of it and 8 users give vote to cost effectiveness. Other than this, 6 respondents give votes to increase productivity.

Theme 4: Risk of uncertainty is major challenge of cloud computing

Q4. What are the major challenges faced by Continental Consulting Ltd. in implementation of cloud technology in business?

Frequency

A. Risk of uncertainty

20

B. Insufficient funds

10

C. Lack of cloud computing knowledge

10

 

Interpretation: Implementation of any new technology in business arise various challenges in front of business like insufficient funds. According to views of 20 respondents out of 40, risk of uncertainty is major barrier in introducing cloud technology in business. While 10 users think that insufficient finance is main challenge for the same and others 10 give support to lack of cloud computing knowledge.  

Theme 5:  Cloud technology enables a firm to stay competitive

Q5. Can cloud technology enables Continental Consulting Limited to stay competitive at market-place?

Frequency

A. Yes

24

B. No

16

 

Interpretation: As presently Continental Consulting Limited face issues due to usage of old technologies and also get less competitive advantages. Therefore, upgrading IT system with implementation of cloud technology will give this firm opportunity to acquire a good position at marketplace and stay competitive as well. According to the mentioned graph, it has analysed that  out of 40 respondents, 24 are agreed that this technology is beneficial for a company to gain high competitive advantage. While remaining 16 users didn't think the same.  

Theme 6: Giving training and development

Q6. What are the ways to overcome that challenges faced by Continental Consulting Ltd. in implementation of cloud technology in business?

Frequency

A. Recruit an IT Consultant  

14

B. Training and Development

16

C. Arrange proper funds

10

 

Interpretation: Since there are many barriers comes in implementation of cloud technology in business like improper knowledge. Therefore, management of Continental Consulting Limited need to find ways through which they can overcome from such situations. As per opinion of 16 users out of 40, it has interpreted that by hiring an IT consultant who give ideas how to implement this technology in working system properly. While 14 users state that if providing training and development program to existing employees then they will understand better and give support to management. Other than this, remaining 10 respondents analyse that this company needs to arrange proper funds first. It will give support to managers to face challenges in more precise manner.  

Theme 7: 

Q7. Does upgrading technologies beneficial for Continental Consulting Limited?

Frequency

A. Yes

28

B. No

12

Interpretation: From this graph, it has interpreted that out of 40 respondents, 28 are in favour with statement that upgrading technologies will be beneficial for Continental Consulting Limited. It gives advantage to this firm to stay competitive at marketplace. While remaining 12 users are completely against with this statement.

Theme 8: 

Q8. Can cloud computing is useful for collaboration and communication for workers?

Frequency

A. Yes

29

B. No

11

Interpretation: Cloud computing aid workers to share information easily with others. So, it develop collaboration and high communication among them as well. Moreover, this technology also aid workers to easily access data on multiple devices so that a particular task can be completed in short period of interval as well. As per research, it has evaluated that among 40 respondents, 29 are believed that cloud technology will really provide benefits to Continental Consultancy, in developing collaboration among workers. While remaining ones that are 11, not in favour with this statement.  

P6. Recommendation

Digital technologies play a vital role in a company in their success and growth or business. As bringing effectiveness in business operations and attracting large customers refers as main purpose of an organisation. Therefore, implementing latest technology in working system aid them to generate high revenue. Similarly, cloud technology allows enterprises whether large or small, to move some part of operational activity via internet to third party servers. It provides numerous benefits to business such as accessing files on many devices, recover lost data,  upgrade software in quick manner and more.

As currently, Continental Consulting Ltd. faces various issues like inefficiency of operational activity, fails to store and access large amount of data and more. Therefore, it is recommended to this firm to adopt latest digital technology in business like cloud computing. It will help in coping from business issues and keeping confidential data on private servers and more. But before installing this technology, it is necessary for managers to set major objectives first on the basis of issues and problems occur in business. Along with this, they should required to ensure that new software and hardware storage must be of high quality. This would help in preventing business from risk of failure and heavy financial loss as well. Another suggestion for this firm is that it should provide proper training to employees so that they can develop knowledge and skills. It will help in getting support of them in implementation of new technology and  obtain higher outcomes as well.

TASK 4

P7. Reflection

During my research I have faced various issues as well as complexity in implementing cloud technology in organization. Cloud technology is considered as complicated concept which includes deep knowledge of this term as well as its usage. This develops need of training session  for the employees who are going to use it after its implementation. In order to conduct proper research with the appropriate conclusion I have used proper available funds effectively so that all  essential part of the research can be covered in limited funds only. Time provided for the research was not sufficient as cloud implementation of cloud computing is a longer procedure which requires huge amount of time. For successful implementation of this technology I have gathered information from the employees as well as customers for understanding their point of view. This will help me upgrading and changing the software in positive manner so that employees can use it effectively without facing much trouble. It has been analyzed  that employees of the company requires proper training sessions so that they understand its effectiveness in the work which makes it secure and easier.

CONCLUSION

From this research, it has analysed that cloud computing is a part of digital technology and plays a vital role in increasing efficiencies of business. It offers numerous benefits to organisations like cost-saving potential, easy storage and access data, upgrade system automatically and more. Cloud technology via internet allows people to do their work anywhere in the world with easy installation process. Instead of keeping files on hard drive or local storage device, this new technology to save data to a remote database. Therefore, it will be beneficial for preventing business data from lost as well. This assignment also give some suggestion that a company requires like how to execute a project successfully.

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