As an IT analyst for BallotOnline, a company providing voting solutions to a global client base, you are working to convince the organization to move its infrastructure to a public cloud. With the growth the company is experiencing and the internal data centers maxed out, you want to get the executives on board with moving to a public cloud rather than trying to expand the current infrastructure.
This project will be completed in a series of steps, in which you will explore cloud technologies and cloud architecture and how they can be used in the organization.
Your presentation with audio narration will educate the executives on cloud computing and its benefits (and drawbacks) to the company. To complete your analysis, you will need to cover the following:
- description of cloud computing
- basic capabilities of the cloud
- advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing
- analysis of economic implications
- IT business needs
- SWOT analysis
Step 1: Describe Cloud Computing
There are six steps in this project. In your final narrated PowerPoint presentation, you will be assessed on your ability to convey your understanding of cloud computing and how it can be used to benefit your organization, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing and providing a detailed business analysis covering financial considerations, business requirements, and an analysis of threats and opportunities.
Your supervisor, Sophia, BallotOnline’s director of information technology, has tasked you with creating a presentation that will convince the executives that using cloud-based computing to accommodate BallotOnline’s future growth rather than trying to expand the current infrastructure will help the company do business faster and at lower cost while conserving IT resources.
Step 2: Research Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Now that you have defined important terms and summarized the basic capabilities of the cloud, it is time to explore the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.
Currently, BallotOnline is running at full capacity and needs to expand its IT infrastructure to accommodate its growing needs. Instead of expanding current on-premise IT infrastructure by building or acquiring a new data center, Sophia has suggested that the cloud may be more efficient and cost-effective than adding more traditional physical data center space.
This information that you research will be useful in your final presentation in the last step.
When you have completed the research, move to the next step, where you will consider the budgetary aspects of a move to the cloud and the implications for the organization.
Step 3: Analyze Economic Implications
Now that you have weighed the benefits and drawbacks of cloud computing, it’s time to take a close look at the economic implications of a move to the cloud. All organizations (for-profit, nonprofit, or government) have finite budgets. Management must allocate these financial assets appropriately so that the leaders can make sound business decisions and meet the objectives of the organization.
Information technology (IT) is a key strategic function to help support the objectives of an organization. Businesses first used information systems to replace paper-based methods of helping management perform these functions, and that use continues today. Managers must be able to understand different IT models to make the best financial investment decisions for the organization.
The financial requirements for the cloud computing model are different than the financial requirements for an on-premise model. Cloud computing shifts budgets to a pure operating expense model, whereas the traditional on-premise computing model requires both capital and operating expense allocations.
Several free calculators to help estimate the cost of cloud services exist on the web, including the AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator and Azure TCO Calculator. Alternatively, you may find other calculators to estimate your cloud cost. Most cloud providers have their own cloud cost estimator tools. If the calculator that you selected does not show on-premise data, then you can recalculate using one of the other calculators that do provide this data.
For your economic analysis, enter the information from BallotOnline’s IT Budget and Infrastructure Summary into your chosen calculator to estimate TCO for the current physical IT infrastructure configuration. Then estimate TCO for a comparable configuration in the cloud to estimate the potential cost savings.
Write the summary of the economic implications, showing the savings and how you arrived at them, and upload it to the dropbox below.
Step 4: Define the IT Business Requirements
After considering the economic aspects of the cloud, the next logical step is to narrow the particular requirements of cloud computing for the organization. It is important that your presentation works toward building a business case for cloud computing.
Your presentation must address BallotOnline’s business requirementsand critical IT requirements related to data storage. Make sure you classify the requirements into functional (behavior) and nonfunctional, as per the requirements definition link.
The business requirements should be explicit directives specifying what the solution should deliver for the business, formulated using imperative language (system should, or must, or will do this and that) rather than a general description of cloud solution features.
Upload your list of requirements to the dropbox below for feedback.
Submission for Project 1: IT Business Requirements
Your supervisor, Sophia, recommends that you include a SWOT analysis in your presentation, since the BallotOnline company executives will want you to go over both the advantages and disadvantages of cloud adoption and any important internal and external factors that may influence the success of the project.
Demonstrate your critical-thinking abilities by identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of adopting cloud computing.
First, articulate each of these areas for the SWOT analysis:
- Identify the key strengths (advantages) of adopting cloud computing.
- Identify the major weaknesses (disadvantages) of adopting cloud computing.
- Are there any opportunities that cloud computing enables the organization to take advantage of?
- What are the threats that an organization considering adopting cloud computing needs to consider?
Next, evaluate how to achieve the following outcomes to add to the SWOT analysis:
- How can you use strengths to take advantage of opportunities?
- How can you overcome weaknesses to take advantage of opportunities?
- How can you use strengths to avoid threats?
- How can you minimize weaknesses and avoid threats?
Use the SWOT analysis template to organize your ideas.
When you have completed the SWOT analysis, move to the last step, which is the final presentation.
Step 6: Prepare a Presentation on Benefits and Possible Drawbacks of Adopting Cloud Infrastructure
In this step, you will prepare your presentation for the BallotOnline executives. This presentation should present them with a compelling business case and cover the benefits and possible drawbacks of adopting cloud infrastructure, data on cloud economics, and a demo of some basic cloud capabilities.
These asynchronous presentations must include an audio narrative.
Your presentation will include an executive summary along with the following from previous steps:
- Overview of cloud computing
- summary of service and deployment models
- summary of cloud compute and storage infrastructure components
- advantages and disadvantages
- economic analysis
- IT business requirements (provide a concise description of what each bullet should ensure)
- SWOT analysis
When you are ready to submit the assignment for grading, upload your narrated presentation to the dropbox below.
Submission for Project 1: Final Presentation
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