The second chapter of the book, Essentials of Systems Analysis and Design, 4ed. explains the various sources of software for outsourcing companies. The first source talked about is from the information technology firms. This source is only utilized when there are no off-the shelf solutions and also when there is an unavailability of resources required by a firm to produce in-house software. The other methods provided in the book are packaged software which is off-the shelf and can meet up to 70% of a firms needs, enterprise solutions software which increases the efficiency of all the business processes though at times may need a restructuring of operations in a firm to adopt the systems, open source software and in-house development software (Valacich, George and Hoffer, 2009).
To use off-the shelf software is cheap. However, as every business understands, cheap is expensive. To use off-the shelf software will mean bending a firm's processes to fit into the software purchased. Thus it would be better to use in-house software custom made for the firm though they might be costly.
In choosing a custom software developer it is critical to put certain factors in mind. The firm should first provide a clear definition of the processes that the software will be expected to support in the business. Since, the technological world is dynamic then a top producer of the software is essential so as to change and grow with the business.
Second, the better priced developer should be determined. This is determined by other factors such as the reputation of the firm making the software for you and the reduction of the risks that may be involved in application of the custom made software in the business processes.
Third factor o be considered should be the manageability of the software. It becomes difficult when the nachines cannot be managed effectivwely ny the server. Thus to ensure such a headache does not come by it is essential to ensure that the server are manageable. It should be easy to add or replace hardware and also to add or remove programs.
The fourth factor that should be put into consideration is scalability. In case the business or firm expands, it will also need to expand its performance from the servers and thus a proper system easy to upgrade should be considered.
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Fifth, comes in the factor of speed and performance. It is imperative to determine how fast software developed can perform the day to day business processes. This is because for most outsourcing firms speed equals the amount of revenue brought into the firm. An easy to upgrade to faster speeds software is thus crucial.
Finally determination of how easy and cost effective is the custom made software. This is done with regard to prospective growth and development of the firm.
It is in order to say that in a system analysis and design there are various sources of risks. Some of these risks are; software security, security of important business information and records and impacts on the business should the software fail to tackle the processes designed for effectively.
There are other risks that may be involved while performing a system analysis and design. One is that the user may not be sure about the exact and precise requirements of the system. This may arise owing to the fact the information gathered from the analysis may be incorrect.
Another factor concerns the management of time and the budget to be used. In a system analysis, sticking to the budget is very important. It is also very essential to consider managing time effectively because mismanagement of time means adding the costs.
The final aspect of risks that may arise involves the lack of trust between the user and the developer of the software. This may come as a result of change in policies in one of the stakeholders or the unprecedented change of design by the developer or the user (outsourcing firm).
During the various stages of project management a manager should devise ways of coping of the risks involved. First, the manager should affirm and consolidate the various business needs and prioritize them in order of importance and sensitivity to the business. Second, the manager should provide a clear definition and description of the requirements and give a detailed allocation to the design requirements to the vendors. Finally an analysis of the effectiveness of data base software should be determined and an effective procedure for the application of this software given. In doing this a manager will have reduced the risks of software crushing and messing with crucial business processes.
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