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Network Development Analysis

Essay by   •  December 27, 2010  •  Essay  •  902 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,438 Views

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Network Development Analysis

The scenario

Information technology and enterprise networks have become the core of many organizations. Critical business functions often depend on a fully functioning IT infrastructure: no network means no ability to generate revenue. To this end, an organization's growth and evolution should be reflected in the growth and evolution of its network

That having been said, a west coast furniture retailer (Alpha Company) needed to consolidate their position in the furniture retailing industry and has strategic growth plans in terms of stores roll out and sales turnover in the next few years. The retailer's first objective was to expand their operation to the East coast then the Midwest and finally the South. After purchasing new land and building assets Alphas next objective is to make a detailed evaluation of their technology needs and propose an information system and information technology strategy that would form the basis for developing applications for their entire range of retail operations -- from supply chain to corporate support.

The objective

Create a robust information systems infrastructure to enhance supply chain efficiency as well as front office applications that will position the company for future growth. Those applications will include order entry, customer profiles, and general account maintenance in a call center as well as a web-based interface. The applications that support the processes that are not directly seen by the customer (order processing, production, inventory control, and accounting functions) are typically considered the back office applications. The back office applications are also referred to as the enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. Both back office as well as the front office applications need to be deployed on yet unpurchased hardware in the minimum amount of time with the minimal amount of monetary resources possible. In general they need to develop and deploy the infrastructure and associated software in a well thought out methodical approach.

The solution:

Alphas IT Department began with an Enterprise analysis in order to understand the business objectives, strategies, critical success factors, key performance indicators and the existing support processes. Alphas IT department then proposed an information systems strategy with business processes and outlined a broad applications framework for each. The functions, the basis for developing or purchasing off the shelf applications and its advantages were presented for each proposed application. The technical architecture as well as hardware and network requirement were analyzed according to the business process that they would support or more specifically the application that they would host. Attention was also given to future hardware and software options which may be required to meet projected growth and the potential of possible network expansion.

Once arriving at an acceptable solution, engineers can construct a test network. During this testing phase, Alpha documented modifications and changed requirements. These can then be used to refine the solution until it meets and resolves all requirements and issues.

In this network model (BELOW), various network functions have been isolated to minimize exposure. The point of minimizing various network functions is used in order to minimize the risk associated with securing a network and the firewall rule set should reflect this position. Personnel should have access to the resources



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