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is a company specializing in designing, manufacturing, and producing energy generation components. The company is a family-owned business that has operated for four generations and is currently owned by Sabelle Arnold. Since the current owner bought the company from her father four years ago, it has experienced a 17.5% growth. Though the company operates in two locations, Chicago, Illinois, and Fresno, California, its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure has enabled it to operate as if it is collocated, and staff share information efficiently. Leveraging IT has made the company experience exponential growth, and expansion is inevitable courtesy of the success attained by the sales team. The company aspires to expand its operations in the Eastern and Southern parts of the United States of America to serve the local population. This essay investigates the existing IT infrastructure at and how it may be improved to meet the company’s growing needs.
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SWOT Analysis of the Existing IT Infrastructure
The existing IT infrastructure was designed by the owner to ensure that communication between staff and clients is effective. A SWOT analysis is an effective tool that offers the organization an overview of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to assist the management in its subsequent planning. The strengths can be used to overcome the inadequacies, while the possibilities can be leveraged to facilitate growth in the dynamic corporate domain.
The company has installed an effective intrusion detection system to monitor and analyze the traffic entering and leaving the organization’s network. The intrusion detection system protects the organization from cybercrime, the most significant threat in the 21st century. The company has hired highly qualified staff who analyze the plans and ensure all decisions are made from an expert point of view. The IT staff profiles and budget offers a significant strength to the organization. Since the power supply is one of the requirements to run the IT systems, the company has invested in power backup and Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems to achieve sustainability in power supply.
The IT infrastructure is composed of tier-one careers and provides site interconnectivity, allowing for remote administration, hence minimizing data loss in the system. The use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) makes the network more secure, and unauthorized personnel cannot access the site. The VPN and remote access allow the IT managers to monitor data flow in the two existing locations and the new offices to enhance productivity in the discourse. The company has numerous servers located in secure areas with restricted access, and only authorized people can access the servers, increasing security. Further, the IT infrastructure is aligned to the six sigma canons, which is crucial in identifying and solving discrepancies.
Despite having adequate IT hardware and software to take care of its upcoming challenges, it has some weaknesses that must be addressed to guarantee continuity in the organization. The company uses MAC filtering and WAP encryption to secure its wireless connectivity. It is cumbersome to connect numerous devices when an organization operates on WAP. As plans to expand to the Eastern and Southern parts of the USA, it may be challenging to supply internet to all the devices. Further, the MAC filtering and WAP encryption can easily be bypassed, making the network vulnerable to attackers. The number of IT staff is limited, which may overwhelm them with work, and maintaining continuous monitoring may be cumbersome. Storage is an essential factor in any IT infrastructure, and there has been no mention of storage facilities and the file structure since the company’s inception. The limited storage facility may not support the expected expansion.
The proposed expansion to the Eastern and Southern parts of the United States of America signifies massive opportunities for growth. The IT infrastructure further shows opportunities to be leveraged to make a more successful company. A lucrative opportunity is upgrading its intrusion detection to monitor all the access done to ensure safety is maintained at all costs. A chance to upgrade to WAP 3 is essential to offer maximum security to the organization’s network. As the company expands to serve more customers, an opportunity to hire additional IT staff to maintain the systems is inevitable. A shared network drive is a crucial opportunity the company can leverage to ensure that all software updates, such as antivirus, are stored and updated from a single source.
A significant threat facing is using a single Internet Service Provider (ISP) without a redundant plan. Using a single ISP makes the organization vulnerable, and when the internet is jeopardized for whatever reason, the entire organization’s operations would be affected. The current IT infrastructure supports only 20% expansion, and the desired development of about 50% may not be supported, and overloading the system may lead to failure and loopholes. As cybercrimes escalate in the information age, the company is under the threat of viruses, malware, and phishing. The expansion may threaten the organization with being attacked by hackers.
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SWOT Analysis Results
The conducted SWOT analysis proves that is a successful organization, and leveraging its strengths can make it expand and be competitive in the dynamic market structure. The weaknesses and threats in the company can quickly be resolved using the conspicuous strengths present in the organization. The latest intrusion detection technology and highly specialized IT staff is the antidote to the weaknesses witnessed in the organization, and leveraging the strengths is likely to improve the company’s competitive advantage.
Leveraging the Current IT Infrastructure Report to Improve the Company
The presence of the intrusion detection system makes the network secure, and hackers and other cyber criminals cannot access the system. Consequently, the communication between the staff members cannot be intercepted, and the services cannot be jeopardized. The secure communication can be extended between the sales representatives and the Research and Development (R&D) to incorporate the customer’s concerns to the products generated by the company. Site connectivity is a strength that the organization can use to connect all the sites and share insights and evaluations to make the organization more united to solve the upcoming challenges. Since communication is the backbone of organization operation, the IT strength of interconnectivity makes it easier for the company to organize and coordinate online meetings and facilitate remote work for efficiency. The service delivery is likely to be more effective once the staff members communicate effectively.
Opportunities in the IT Infrastructure to Bring New Services
A significant opportunity that can be leveraged in the organization to improve services is increasing the number of employees and making them work remotely to collect more customer information. Additional staff being allowed to work remotely makes the organization work efficiently. Since it has an interconnected internet facility, it can hire employees all over the USA and enable them to work remotely, increasing the company’s popularity. Further, the company has highly qualified staff and a secure website that can be upgraded to improve services, such as allowing customers to access the website and make payments online without jeopardizing customers’ privacy. Information about the organization can be made more visible on the internet through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make the company more present in the online domain. As the world shifts towards the information age where all activities are conducted online, can leverage the secure internet service to connect itself to the pool of customers.
Weakness and Threat’s Impact in
The inadequate storage is a threat to the sustainability of the organization’s connectivity. Once the storage becomes limited, there would be a risk of the employees not being able to access the system, and a communication breakdown would be catastrophic to the organization.
relies on a single IPS for its connectivity, and the Wi-Fi services expose the organization to hackers and insider threats as the company intends to expand. Hackers accessing the system may jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. For example, when hackers send a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, the organization’s staff members may not be able to access the report.
Further, hacking may expose the company’s information to competitors. The company’s security protocol makes the organization susceptible to attacks, which must be prevented before exposing the company to cyber criminals. The risk of data loss is the weakest link to the company, and when data is lost, the company is likely to collapse indefinitely.
Weakness with the Greatest Impact on the Organization’s IT Infrastructure
The company exists in the information age, where data security is the most important concern for any organization. The threat with the most significant impact for the organization is the data breach due to the vulnerable network. The WPA used to secure the organization is one of the most insecure services in the market and therefore exposes the company to hackers. The intensity of the threat grows as the company intends to hire additional staff to serve the two new locations as intended by the management. When more users are added to a network that is already flooded. Therefore, the company will incur massive losses if they don’t invest in data security to ensure that the information does not get into the wrong recipients. The exposure to threats such as viruses, DoS, and man-in-the-middle attacks may plunge the company into a series of financial crises, leading to closure. Sabelle Arnold and her IT team must invest in information security to protect the organization from the impending danger of security breaches.
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Potential Solutions to Improve the IT Security at
The impending danger that threatens the organization can be subverted if the correct research strategies are implemented to develop the best solution for securing the company’s network. The first step is analyzing the current trend and technologies in information security from journals and data Security companies to obtain the most feasible solution. Apart from reading journals and visiting internet sites, speaking to internet security experts is a way of getting solutions to the challenges affecting the organization. The personal research strategy is joining professional bodies and attending fares because technological advancements are often discussed in such forums. After visiting the relevant fairs and sharing ideas with peers, the next stage is to list all the possible solutions to internet security and list them in the order of the most feasible to the company.
Data and information security are essential at because it helps in keeping the intellectual property safe, prevent all related financial losses, help maintain customer trust, and make the organization compliant with data standards. The potential solutions include installing firewalls to eliminate unauthorized access, enabling authentication and full authorization before access is guaranteed, and data encryption. The hardware-based security is also essential because it offers the first layer where attackers target it. Once all the layers of the IT infrastructure are protected, the entire system becomes secure. Data backup, resilience, and adequate staff training on IT security at the organizational level. A two-pronged strategy of leveraging the latest technology and training the staff is the best solution to maintain information security and protect the organization as it expands to the Eastern and Southern parts of the USA.
Technologies to Improve Data Security
Intel Data Security Technology is one of the current technologies that can be used to secure the data at the organization. Two of the essential services that can be obtained from the technology are data encryption and user authentication in the system. Data encryption is an important technology ensuring no third party can access the information. Data encryption technology ensures that the message’s sender encrypts the data using a specified pin, and the user requires the pin to decrypt the message. The man-in-the-middle attack and denial of service are not possible. The organization can explore symmetrical and asymmetrical encryption to minimize the risk of hackers. It is imperative to note that user authentication and specified authorization make it possible for only authorized users to access the system.
FortiGate Technologies, commonly known as Next Generation Fire Wall (NGFW), is a trending firewall technology that allows a company to consolidate all security measures. The technology is best fitted to solve the challenges at because it offers an intrusion prevention system, offers Secure Sockets Layers (SSL), and ensures that passwords are automatically changed after a specified period to eradicate phishing attacks and maintain security of the system at all times. The technology is further desirable because it has an inbuilt antivirus capacity that keeps updating to protect the company from known and unknown threats in the organization. The FortiGate technology is an antidote for the company because it constantly scrutinizes and examines all data and information that flows inside and outside the organization network. Any threat detected in the network is flagged and forwarded to the security department for action.
How to Stay Informed About Emerging Technologies
The corporate domain is dynamic, and organizations must stay informed on the trending technologies to remain relevant in the industry. Different strategies can be applied to have the company stay competitive and be informed of the trending technologies. Subscription to technology journals and sites makes it possible to receive emails that make it possible to understand any trending issues and incorporate them into the company for the effective running of the business. The company must formulate a special technology team under the research and development department to remain informed about the trending issues in technology (Tariq, 2019). Sidney Jeffry is the best person to head the knowledge department because of his passion for trending technologies matters which can help the organization gain the latest information about the trending technologies. Sidney and the team in the knowledge department under the R&D department should join a professional body to be aware of the current knowledge and share it with peers in the company.
The company should devote special times weekly to discuss emerging technology trends and decide on the best one to leverage. Being active in social media and other technology platforms where technology companies post updates is an exceptional source that can help the organization remain updated on trending issues in information technology. Watching TED talks on trending technologies makes a difference in the organization’s trends, and would be updated on the latest technology advancement to leverage in. The company may further adjust its operation policies to ensure all the IT staff are certified annually after passing an exam on the trending technology to ensure that all the workers who are licensed to work for the organization have the relevant skills and knowledge of trending technology.
Emerging Technology to Make Gain Competitive Advantage
The current challenges in the dynamic corporate landscape make the organization more aggressive in gaining a competitive advantage.
could exploit cloud computing to make it efficient and more secure in the competitive business domain. Leveraging cloud computing offers the company high speed for quick development, encourages collaboration, and offers automatic integration and software updates. The current challenges will not be experienced once the organization starts using cloud computing as its emerging technology. It is imperative to note that the company’s storage challenge is solved as cloud storage offers unlimited memory, which is more effective for the desired expansion. Fast and effective virtualization are special features embedded in cloud computing, and once the company uses it, low costs software becomes available. When the company lowers the software cost, more resources become available for investment, and will gain a competitive advantage.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an important emerging technology that can make flourish and perform better in the corporate landscape. The main benefit of the IoT is the optimization of communication as all the devise become connected, and communication from one person reaches all the required personnel and thus make decision making easier. The emerging technology simplifies marketing, customer service, and communication, increasing the company’s growth probability (Solod et al. 2020). Once the company leverages the IoT technology, it will ensure that resources are well allocated and improve work safety. Operations will be efficient and more customers will be satisfied, making the company more competitive.
Recommended Solution to Address the Main Weakness at
Firewalls serve as the best solution to the organization’s network security threat. As hackers and cyber criminals work hard to penetrate the network, a firewall monitors the traffic that comes in and goes out of the network. Firewalls have served as the first defense mechanism for networks for the past twenty-five years, and must leverage the latest firewall technology to avoid all possible data breaches (Tariq, 2019). When the company installs the FortiGate firewall, the protection is enhanced, and the threat of data breach is wholly eradicated, which makes the company network safer. As the company expands, hires more employees, and incorporates them into the IT infrastructure, the firewall offers maximum security and reports any suspicious activity. The recommended solution is advantageous because it monitors all the network traffic, stops all virus attacks, prevents hacking, promotes privacy, and stops all the spyware that jeopardizes network security.
Analysis of the Different Alternatives to Solve the Company’s Challenge
The recommended solution to make thrive despite the changing nature of the market is firewalls. The option is arrived at after a comprehensive analysis of the available options. The firewall’s advantages outdo the disadvantages of cost, user restriction, and complex operations since the staff at the company have the required skills to perform all the internet security checks for data to be protected from all the dangers associated with the system (Tariq, 2019). Security and data breaches pose a considerable threat that may affect the company’s existence. Since the owner has maintained exponential sales growth, additional data security investment will likely make the organization more profitable.
Cloud computing is an emerging technology that helps organizations access unlimited storage and cost-adequate data security. The significant advantages of using cloud computing to solve the organization’s challenges. The company is not expected to pay the administration fees, and there are no hassles in managing the site. Cloud computing is easily accessible and makes it possible for the software used in the company to be updated automatically, which makes it easier for the company’s safety to be assured in the long run (Tariq, 2019). However, the option is also disadvantageous because it offers the company does not have control over the storage facility as it is a shared platform. Denial of Service attacks is more prone when the company uses cloud computing. Further, downtown is one of the most significant disadvantages that make cloud computing not valuable.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnected nature of devices in an organization that minimizes the use of human effort in delivering the organizational mandate. The pros of IoT are improved personal safety and security, saving time and effort, minimizing human action, and making work easier for the workers (Solod et al., 2020). As the company expands to serve local customers in the Eastern and Southern parts of the USA, IoT makes the job easier and increases the connectivity between the clients and the company staff. However, IoT is disadvantageous because it has raised privacy concerns, highly depends on the internet, and increased the unemployment rate since most of the tasks are performed by machines making it complicated. As the company leverage the use of Io, it must work to eliminate the disadvantages before implementing it.
Data encryption converts messages into unreadable forms while sending them to discourage a third party from reading the files. Once the recipient receives the information, they convert it into readable records using a secure pin. Application of the option makes information safe in the organization, and the threats may be eliminated. The advantage of the method is that it is exceptionally secure, and data sharing is faster (Solod et al., 2020). However, the option is hazardous when it is compromised. Compatibility is an issue when using data encryption, and failure to send compatible files may lead to time wastage in the discourse. If chooses data encryption, compatibility must be assured at the start of the implementation.
Communication Plan to Introduce Technology Initiative to Stakeholders
As plans to expand to the Eastern and Southern parts of the United States of America, all the stakeholders need to know about it and be updated on the process. A communication plan is an essential tool in the organization to ensure that all the relevant stakeholders get the information at the right time without delays. It is imperative to note that requires a communication policy that states the channels to be used and the nature of the information to be delivered for each channel. The communication in the organization happens at different levels as powered by the IT department to ensure all relevant stakeholders perform their duties. The knowledge team under the R&D department researches the best technology options to leverage for the company’s benefit. The team then submits the report to the company executive committee to discuss the best choice and brainstorm on the correct technology to invest in for the company.
The executive meeting resulted in the company’s decision on the most promising technology to invest in. Once a decision is reached by the executive committee, an employee convention is called to brief the employees on the new product and ensure they have the proper knowledge about it. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) may be conducted to underscore the areas that need improvement on the side of the staff, and once training is complete, the employees are assigned the relevant roles (Foster, 2018). The communication plan starts with the internal stakeholders involved in the business’s day-to-day running. During the meeting with the employee and other internal stakeholders, the open-ended discussion must allow the stakeholders to interrogate the benefits of improving the present IT infrastructure. Further, the internal stakeholders are allowed to investigate the project’s impact on the company’s wellbeing and make a decision for the benefit of the company.
It is important to communicate with the external stakeholders to ensure that they understand what is happening in the organization. Customers and shareholders are the most important stakeholders who deserve to know the occurrences in the organization. Once the rollout of the new technology start, daily meetings must be scheduled to evaluate the outcomes and make the necessary changes when the need arises. The sales team must complete all the employees aware of the new technology and receive feedback for incorporation in the subsequent planning (Foster, 2018). Table 1.1 below summarizes the communication plan required for the organization when introducing the new technology.
Table 1.1: Communication Plan to Introduce a New IT Initiative
Justification for the Communication Plan
Consultation is paramount when introducing a new product to a dynamic market. Through discussion, the research team will consolidate all the ideas for an improved company and allow the executive to decide by being advised on the pros and cons of each option by the specialized research team. The communication plan is effective because it allows employees to air their grievances and undergo the required training before rolling out the program. Further, the communication plan includes a TNA to understand the specific knowledge gap for the training to commence. The daily update is essential because technology is dynamic, and new versions are produced daily. Having a daily meeting for the period of project implementation offers an opportunity for the employees to be updated on the trends in technology and allows them to provide feedback. Once all the employees are included in the communication plan and understand the change, they will own the project, and productivity will increase.
The communication plan is justified as it offers both the internal and external stakeholders an opportunity to understand the prerequisites for the new project and how it benefits
The interactive forums powered by the IT infrastructure are more likely to pass why the new technology is paramount for the firm’s expansion. Constant research on technology domain matters is vital because it helps the company remain relevant and competitive. has an effective team, and expanding to the Southern and Eastern parts is the first step toward globalization.
Foster, A. (2018). A Communication Plan for Organizational Effectiveness in a Youth Development Organization (Doctoral dissertation, University of the Pacific). Web.
Solod, A. R., Popova, A. V., Kalinina, Y. A., & Sinitsyna, A. M. (2020). Creation of Integrated Quality Systems for Standard Solutions of It Infrastructure Organization, Information Security of the Construction Complex at the Real Estate Object Life Cycle (Construction Stage) stage. In 2020 International Conference Quality Management, Transport, and Information Security, Information Technologies (IT&QM&IS) (pp. 148-152). IEEE. Web.
Tariq, M. I. (2019). Agent-based information security framework for hybrid cloud computing. KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems (TIIS), 13(1), 406-434. Web.
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