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Technology Solution – Individual Assignment

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and completed at least the first three Sections of the Business Case with your group.

Purpose of this Exercise

This activity allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the components of a technology solution and demonstrate your grasp of the concepts covered in the IFSM curriculum (hardware, software, data, networks, etc.). This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:

Evaluate, select, and apply appropriate analytical and measurement methods/tools and system development life cycle (SDLC) – methodologies to meet organizational needs.

Research, assess, recommend/select, and implement information technology that aligns with business needs and meets business objectives.

Effectively communicate with stakeholders orally, visually, and formally in writing to determine stakeholders’ business requirements, explain how their requirements will be met, and provide ongoing audience-appropriate information.

Responsibly protect organizations’ critical information and assets by integrating cybersecurity best practices and risk management throughout global enterprises.

Individual Assignment Instructions

Using the Client Case Study and the technology solution (system) identified by your group in Section III of your Business Case, you should independently
develop the detailed technical description of the system
your group is proposing and supporting, along with how it will be meeting the business needs. You are to describe the technical components of your proposed solution, describe in detail how the system will work functionally, provide a graphical representation of your solution with supporting narrative, and address cost estimates and return on investment in narrative with supporting cost documentation. The five parts of this assignment are more fully described below. Use the numbering scheme and outline provided as you develop your paper.

Business Need and Proposed Solution

Begin your paper with a brief description of the business need identified by your Group in Section II of the Business Case. Then, describe the overall functionality of the system your group selected and included in Section III, including how it relates to the points of your business need. Do not copy Section III of the Business Case, but describe the system in your own words. Make these thoughts tell a story in a logical, complete way.

Solution Resources and Operational Components

Begin with an opening statement that addresses the path below, then name and explain the subsections and their parts.

Required Resources

Hardware

Software

Network and Communications

How these work together to provide the solution

How the Components Will Work

People. Address the people by position who will use the system and how they will use it/for what they will use it.

Data. Develop a discussion of the data needed for the system, where it will come from and how will it get into the system, how it will be used, and how it will, at a high level, flow through the system. Make sure you follow the logical flow from start to finish of the business transaction(s).

Input. Discuss system inputs. When the system is operational, what data will be input to be processed and/or stored? Again, as with all sections, follow the logical order.

Processing. Address what processing will be done by the system, and what the system is required to do with the data in order to create the output.

Output. Address and discuss what the output the system is required to produce.

Storage. Discuss where the data will be stored and how.

Security. List (using bullets) and explain the necessary security devices, software, and policies that will be required.

1. How the System Will Converge

Your paper should

1)
explain how these components work together to support the business
need identified and

2)
how the solution as a whole is appropriate to the business
described in the Case Study. The who, what, when, where and how of the system should all be covered, as you envision it being implemented and used.

3) From your description, the
reader should be able to envision how the IT solution will be setup and used by the organization
in the Case Study.

You must correctly cite and reference any resources you use in APA format.

I. Enterprise Architecture

A graphical representation/diagram shall be integrated into the textual description, along with its supporting narrative, explaining how each business location and component are being addressed.

Approach to Developing This Section. You should include at least one original graphical representation of your specific technology solution in your paper (not as a separate file). It should include all major components of the solution, all the locations of the business, how each group of users will communicate with the system (on-site and remotely), and, of course, the system solution being proposed. The file “Example Network Diagram” shows the level of detail needed and provides sample icons for use in constructing your drawing, if you choose to use them. You should include labels as to the purpose of each component, e.g. email server, database server, system administration PC, etc. The make/model/capacity of the devices does not need to be included – simply provide their generic device type (router, switch, server, etc.) and their function (email, database, etc.). For a cloud-based or hosted solution, you are not expected to identify specific hardware items used at the hosting site.

II. Cost Estimate and Return on Investment (ROI)

First, create the ROI spreadsheet described below. Then, using information from the spreadsheet, develop a narrative that explains the system costs, to include: the expected one-time investment/implementation costs; annual reoccurring costs; and the ROI and payback period. This should be derived from and supported by your calculations as developed in your spreadsheet.

Approach to Developing This Section. Using the Excel spreadsheet provided with the assignment,
first
review the “Instructions for Using the ROI Calculator” document also provided with the assignment. Then, read the “Instructions” tab, and the “ROI Calculator Example” tab. Next, complete the tab “Costs and Sources” with a list of all components that need to be acquired (either by purchase, lease, subscription, etc.), the quantity of each required and a unit cost and a total cost associated with each item. These general cost estimates may be obtained from any source, but the sources should be cited – for this you should complete the “Source of Cost” column in the spreadsheet inserting the URL where you found the cost. The categories listed are to help you be sure to include everything. Some items listed may not be part of your solution; and you may add rows as needed in the spreadsheet. Note that one-time implementation costs are separated from on-going repeated costs. Enter your items in the appropriate area. For example, software costs that are a one-time startup fee would go in the Implementation Costs, while monthly or annual subscription costs for software would go in the On-Going Costs. Every item in your description of resources and your graphical representation needs to be included on the cost spreadsheet. Assumptions that affect cost are also recorded on the spreadsheet (on the ROI tab). Your spreadsheet should show the formulas for the Total Item Cost for each item and for Sub-Totals and Totals. Display USD($) rounded to the nearest dollar.

Next, using the “ROI Calculations” tab on the spreadsheet provided with the assignment, transfer the one-time costs to that tab, in item 2.2 under year 1. Copy the recurring annual costs for those items and enter the annual cost in item 2.3; enter the annual cost in the columns for years 1-5. Then, go to item 2.1 and enter estimates for the costs of selecting and documenting the proposed solution; use reasonable cost estimates for each category; note these are entered in the “year 0” column, since they are incurred prior to the acquisition of the system. Finally, go to section 1 on the spreadsheet tab and enter several areas where the organization in the Case Study will realize savings by implementing the system. You should refer to Section IV of your group’s business case for areas where savings may be realized. You can add other areas where savings could be expected, ending with a minimum of five areas. Use reasonable estimates for each area.

If you use the spreadsheet as it is and use “Insert Row” to add rows where you need them, the spreadsheet will calculate the total savings and the total costs by year for the first 5 years. The totals are displayed in blue in bold font. The last two lines on this tab of the spreadsheet show the calculated Cash Flow (Savings minus Expenditure) and the calculated Cumulative Cash Flow (cumulative cash flow from the previous year plus the current year cash flow).

Scroll to the top of the page on the “ROI Calculations” tab, and you will see 4 charts. The lower two charts show the categories of costs and the expenditures in pie charts; this shows at a glance where the largest savings or the highest costs are. The chart in the top left shows the costs and savings by year. The chart in the upper right is the most important one. It shows the calculated Return on Investment (ROI) for the project. The ROI is calculated by computing the Net Savings (Total Savings over the 5 year period minus the costs incurred during the 5 year period) and dividing the Net Savings by the Total Expenditure. Then the payback period is calculated to determine in which year the accumulated savings exceed the project costs. Ensure that you have a positive ROI and that a payback period is shown. These will be incorporated into the narrative in Section V of your paper.

Before you complete your spreadsheet and move on, go back and review your results, making sure you can tell the story that is required in your Section V. narrative. Then, write the narrative including all the information required for that Section as shown above.

Assignment Deliverables

You should prepare this as a total package that is tied together in a professionally presented and logical manner. This includes Title Page and References Page. These are not separate deliverables, but to be considered a single deliverable with multiple parts.

· The Word file will be a professional submission, with Title, Body, and References pages/sections. The diagram will be included as part of your Word file, and must be readable.

· The Excel spreadsheet will be submitted as a separate file, but you will use the data in your Word file to tell the cost estimate and ROI story as the last section of the body of your paper.

· Your Word file will automatically be submitted to TurnItIn. Review the similarity report to ensure you have properly cited your sources.

Project Documentation Requirements — Report Format

Format will follow each of the requirements as given in the Group Project Instructions. Please refer to this document. Other than your Title Page, the document will be single-spaced. All indentions will follow a 0.25 inch hierarchical pattern.

Writing Quality will likewise follow the same requirements as given in the Group Project Instructions. If your paper does not reflect the proper formatting, follow the outline provided, and flow logically, you may not receive full credit for your response to specific requirements. This will result in a decreased grade not only for report format, but additionally may be reflected in other relevant sections.

Title Page. Your Title page should be double-spaced and centered, using Title Format: identify the business in the Case Study, the paper’s subject title, your name, class, and date – in this order. Insert a Page Break following the date.

References Page. Following the end of the Body of your paper, insert a Page Break, creating your References page, and complete it in APA style. Refer to the Writing Resources located under the course Content.

Filenames and Submission. Submit your document(s) via your Assignment Folder as Microsoft Word and Excel documents with your last name and first name included in the filename(s): TechnicalSolution_lastname_firstname.

Use the Grading Rubric below to guide you in your Section Headings, and to ensure you have covered all technical and quality aspects of the assignment.

GRADING RUBRIC:

Criteria

90-100%

Far Above Standards

80-89%

Above Standards

70-79%

Meets Standards

60-69%

Below Standards

< 60%

Well Below Standards

Possible Points

I. Business Need and Proposed Solution

5 Points

The business need and IT solution are clearly and thoroughly described.

4 Points

The business need and IT solution are clearly described.

3.5 Points

The business need and IT solution are described.

3 Points

The business need and IT solution are weakly described.

0-2 Points

Little or no description of business need and/or IT solution are provided.

5

II-A. Solution Resources and Operational Components

9-10 Points

Descriptions are thorough and cover hardware, software, and network resources and how they work together; clearly apply to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study; and demonstrate sophisticated analysis and critical thinking and sophisticated writing.

8.5 Points

Descriptions are complete and cover hardware, software, and network resources and how they work together; apply to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study; and demonstrate analysis and critical thinking and clear writing.

7.5 Points

Descriptions cover hardware, software, and network resources and how they work together; apply to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study.

6.5 Points

Some resources may not be covered completely or at all; explanation of how they work together may be lacking or incomplete; some descriptions may not apply to proposed IT solution and/or the Case Study; may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.

0-5 Points

Few or no descriptions of resources are provided.

10

II-B. How the Components will Work

13-15 Points

Descriptions are thorough and cover people, data, input, processing, output, storage and security; apply to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study; and demonstrate sophisticated analysis and critical thinking and sophisticated writing.

12 Points

Descriptions are complete and cover people, data, input, processing, output, storage and security; apply to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study; and demonstrate analysis and critical thinking and clear writing.

10-11 Points

Descriptions cover people, data, input, processing, output, storage and security; apply to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study.

9 Points

Some activities may not be covered completely or at all; explanation of how they work together may be lacking or incomplete; some descriptions may not apply to proposed IT solution and/or the Case Study.

0-8 Points

Few or no descriptions of people, data, input, processing, output, storage and security are provided.

15

III. How the System Will Converge

13-15 Points

Explanations are thorough and cover 1) how these components work together to support the business need identified, 2)

how the solution as a whole is appropriate to the business and 3) how the IT solution will be setup and used by the organization in the Case Study. Demonstrates sophisticated analysis and critical thinking and sophisticated writing.

12 Points

Explanations address all three requirements stated at left. Demonstrates analysis, critical thinking and clear writing.

10-11 Points

Explanations address all three requirements stated at left. Analysis, critical thinking and/or clear writing may be lacking.

9 Points

Some aspects of the requirements may not be covered completely or at all; explanations may be lacking or incomplete, or may not apply to the proposed IT solution and/or the Case Study.

Analysis, critical thinking and/or clear writing may be lacking.

0-8 Points

Explanations severely lacking and/or absent. Analysis, critical thinking and/or clear writing severely lacking.

15

IV. Enterprise Architecture (Graphic)

18-20 Points

Graphic illustration is professionally presented, appropriately labeled, applies to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study, and demonstrates sophisticated analysis and critical thinking; and sophisticated narrative is provided to convey the meaning of the graphic.

16-17 Points

Graphic illustration is professionally presented, appropriately labeled, applies to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study, and demonstrate analysis and critical thinking; and clear narrative is provided to convey the meaning of the graphic.

14-15 Points

Graphic illustration is presented, has labels, applies to proposed IT solution and to the Case Study, and demonstrates analysis and thinking; and narrative is provided to convey the meaning of the graphic.

12-13 Points

Graphic may not be professionally presented, may not be appropriately labeled, may not apply to proposed IT solution and/or the Case Study; narrative may be lacking in completeness.

0-11 Points

No graphic or supporting text provided or very minimal effort is demonstrated.

20

V. Cost Estimate and Return on Investment

22-25 Points

Spreadsheet is professionally and accurately presented, appropriately formatted and formulas used as appropriate. Costs are shown for all components listed in paper and/or shown on graphic. Costs are reasonable and sources of costs are presented. ROI shows a positive return and payback period is shown. Relevant text is also provided as part of the paper; narrative includes required elements.

20-21 Points

Spreadsheet is well presented, appropriately formatted and formulas used as appropriate. Costs are shown for all components listed in paper and/or shown on graphic. Costs are reasonable and sources of costs are presented. ROI shows a positive return and payback period is shown. Relevant text is provided as part of the paper; narrative includes required elements.

17-19 Points

Spreadsheet is appropriately formatted and formulas used as appropriate. Costs are shown for all components listed in paper and/or shown on graphic. Costs are reasonable and sources of costs are presented. ROI shows a positive return and payback period is shown. Relevant text is somewhat provided as part of the paper and/or includes most required elements.

15-16 Points

Spreadsheet may not be professionally presented, may not be appropriately formatted or use formulas appropriately. Costs may not be shown for all components listed in paper and/or shown on graphic. Costs may not be reasonable and/or sources of costs may not be presented. ROI may not show a positive return, and/or payback period may not be shown. Narrative may not include required elements or be missing.

0-14 Points

No cost spreadsheet included, or very minimal effort is demonstrated.

25

Report Format

9-10 Points

Report follows the format provided and uses professional and sophisticated writing with the diagram and information from the spreadsheet appropriately integrated into the narrative; follows instructions provided; uses correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; transitions and explanations of tables, etc.; references are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.

8.5 Points

Report follows the format provided and uses professional and clear writing with the diagram and information from the spreadsheet discussed in the narrative; follows instructions provided; uses correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; references are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.

7.5 Points

Report is organized, with both the Word file and Excel files submitted; follows instructions provided; uses correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; presented in a format with appropriate headings/subheadings; references are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.

6.5 Points

Report may not be well organized, and/or may not be presented as a cohesive whole; and/or does not follow instructions provided; presented in a format without headings/subheadings; and/or contains grammar and/or spelling errors; and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations.

0-5 Points

Report is extremely poorly written and does not convey the information.

10

TOTAL Points Possible

100

09/29/2020 6

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