Strategy to guide acquisition (getting hold of), installation, support, training & evaluation of software.

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Software

Strategy

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Software Strategy

 Strategy to guide acquisition (getting hold of), installation,

support, training & evaluation of software.

 No strategy results in:

– incompatible programs (programs that can’t work with each other) – lack of staff experience

– software unfit for purpose

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Upgrading

Key factors when upgrading

software:-– Time

– Risk

– Support

– Cost

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Cost

 Consider benefits upgrading systems against cost to ensure that the upgrade is a positive step.

 Sometimes cost is too high to be beneficial.

 E.g. Costs involved in an operating system upgrade:

– New operating system.

– Hardware upgrades (Processor, RAM or hard disk). – Application upgrades (other programs).

– Technical support to install & maintain Operating System. – Support for users (Training).

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Cost of a customised solution

Higher

cost to develop, install and

support a custom application (a

program made especially for your

company)

Cost of migrating data (importing data

from the old system into the new one)

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Time

 Time is needed to: – Develop new system

– Test new system

– Install the new system

– Train staff

 Employees being trained are not working on their usual tasks therefore less money may be made or customers may be dissatisfied with service .

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Risk

 Risk is always present when new system introduced.

 Data may be lost.

 System may be shut down during debugging & fixing – loose usage of system.

 Downtime may make big impact on operations.

 Risk to customer relations must be considered – may result in lost revenue.

Will customers be patient while a system is being upgraded?

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Adaptability

New information systems must be easily

adapted to meet a variety of

changing

organisational needs.

No upgrade can provide all the functionality

that will ever be needed so adaptability is

crucial.

A system upgrade requiring additional

customised systems may be needed in the

future.

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Support

 From

– In-house technical support – Outside support

• Information System developer • Software company

 Cost, quality and speed of a response may be critical

to an organisations success.

 If the support given is not good enough a company may not want to upgrade.

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Evaluation of Software

Key factors when evaluating

software:-– Functionality – Performance – Usability – Compatibility – Data Migration – Reliability – Resource Requirements – Portability

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Evaluation of software

Functionality

– Comparing the features of the package

(e.g. mail merge feature) with the

organisation’s requirements (20% of

features often used)

– Too much functionality = a waste of

memory, backing store & money.

– Too little functionality = may not meet the

needs of the company.

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Evaluation of software (cont’d)

Performance

– The speed at which a computer system works with software.

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Evaluation of software (cont’d)

Usability

– Used to make sure the users can access all of the

functionality of the software through the user interface. Designers should try to make the program as user friendly as possible.

– Types of usability testing:

• Usability testing - user interface evaluated by watching

users carry out typical tasks.

• Usability inspection – evaluators examine usability of interface without the actual users.

• Usability inquiry - evaluators record users likes &

dislikes, needs & understanding of system through chat,

watching real work or questioning orally or on paper.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

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Evaluation of software (cont’d)

Compatibility

– Evaluate compatibility of the software with existing systems.

– e.g.

• Processor & Operating system

• RAM Memory (Is there enough to run the program?) • Peripherals (Are any extra required?)

• Backing storage capacity (storage required on disc and when running?)

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Evaluation of software (cont’d)

Data migration

– Ease of transfer of data from one application to another.

Reliability

– The software functions as expected.

• E.g. will not crash for no apparent reason.

Resource requirements

– Resources are the RAM memory, processor power and bandwidth used by an application.

• E.g. Microsoft Office 2007

– Processor 500 megahertz (MHz) processor or higher – Memory 256 megabyte (MB) RAM or higher

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Evaluation of software (cont’d)

Portability

– The ability of program & related data files to run on other types of computer platforms other than the one they were created for .

Support

– Level of support given from

• In-house service • Software company • On-line help

• Paper-based support (manuals)

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Training

 Helps the user learn how to use the software.

– On-the job training

• User learns how to use the system as part of his or her normal working hours.

• Taught by a colleague.

• Colleague addresses questions and queries as they are raised.

DISCUSS the advantages and disadvantages of this type of training.

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Training

– In house training

• Delivered by staff within the organisation.

– IT staff

• Most intensive than on-the job training.

• More clearly focused on learning how to use the system.

DISCUSS the advantages and

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Training

External Courses

If IT staff are not available an external

training provider may be contracted

to provide the required training.

E.g. an external course on how to use Microsoft Word.

Can be delivered in the organisations

premises or off-site.

DISCUSS the advantages and

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Questions

P221

– Q25

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User Support

 Manual

– Printed guide or a digital book about how to install and use the software.

– Examples

• Installation guide – assist the user in installing and configuring a new piece of software on a specific computer system.

• Tutorial guide – introduce user to the main features of the software.

– Can be an on-line tutorial. • Reference Manuals

– Details all features of the software and how to use them.

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User Support

 On-line help is help that is

available to the user while they are using the program.

 On-line tutorial is a tutorial that teaches you how to use the package to get you started.

– Online does NOT mean on the internet.

 FAQ’s – Frequently asked questions. Popular way of summarising the most

frequently asked problems that users have.

NOTE: Manuals, Online help, online tutorials, FAQs are

available at any time – day or night!

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Practical Task

Use the on-line help feature of Microsoft

word to find out how to create

columns

.

Search the internet for a list of

FAQ

(for

any subject) and print them out.

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User Support

Help Desk

– One central help desk to provide hardware or software support. – Desk can be internal or external. – Helps with specific problems. – Staffed by experts.

– Not always available (some are only open between 9-5)

Newsgroups

– Allow users to communicate by

posting messages and waiting for a reply or downloading information. – Several threads (conversations) can

be carrying on at once.

– Drawback is that not all users are experts and you may have to wait for a reply.

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Practical Task & Questions

Click on the

groups

link on the

google.co.uk web page.

– Make a list of some of the ‘computer’

newsgroups available.

P221

Figure

Updating...

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