STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The business report aims to highlight the problem areas that are creating barriers to the smooth operation of the company. In order to manage all the database of the company, the report recommends the system of SAP ERP be installed in all its system. SAP has a three-tier user/server architecture that promises high-class flexibility and user-friendliness. However, for the convenience of the companies, the vendor allows a two-tier system also. The first tier is the interface through which the user connects with the system. This stage also collects the information from the end users. In the second tier, the ERP Software process the logic of the business to offer appropriate salutations to the problem presented to it.
A Strategic Information System (SIS) helps a business or a company to gain a certain competitive advantage over others in the market segments. In today's world, when everything is being stored in the cloud, the business is digitizing all the data and storing them in the third-party cloud-storing system in order to save the cost of operations. With the help of System Information Management (SIM), an organization can store, distinguish and process the pool of information. In the following Business Report for Bradleys Estate Agent, the scope of improving the business process and information system has been discussed using the Finance and Accounting software by SAP (System, Applications, and Products).
1. Definition of Business Process
For an organization business process is the sum total of activities that the company follows to produce certain objectives (Popovič et al. 2014, p.16). This can be defined as the set of interconnected instructions to be followed by the executives to fulfil the business mission. In most cases, the business process of the company is presented through a step-by-step flowchart diagram in order to visualize the whole process clearly. A company or an organization can achieve a substantial amount of increase in categories like customer generation, consumer satisfaction and business growth (Dewi and Suprapto, 2017, p.12147).
In Bradleys Estate Agent the primary focus of the organization is planning and deciding the objectives and strategies of the company in the real estate portfolio. This helps the company to concentrate on the basics of the company motto. In the second juncture, Bradleys identify the methods and types of transactions, according to the given scenarios to gain or sale the desired properties. The next stage is very crucial for the transactions to be done in a proper way. According to Gardner et al. (2015, p.129), in order to get the preferred valuations of the properties the company includes clauses, terms and conditions and other options to get the property on lease or selling it to any other company or Client. The contract papers of the transactions are prepared after mutual consent of both parties on the terms and other conditions. In the fourth stage, the Bradleys follow up the contracts to manage the execution, payments, and negotiations that are recommended by the participants.
The part of Lease Accounting consists of a lot of calculations and reasoning that are generally done with the help of Strategic Information System. Innovative and unique information system also accompanies the company to analyze the inner functions of the business process so that it can see the upcoming and ongoing opportunities for the company’s growth and development (Turel et al. 2017, p.131).
Business processes are necessarily company-specific. The SIS helps in realizing the business processes. They serve the purpose of a backbone to the business by serving as a support system to actualize the strategies decided by the business. They allow the authorities to have a better control over the activities of the company. They are just like the initiators who operates the activity but do not actually earn a profit for the company. Rather, the company can maximize their profit and customer retention with a tactful usage of the Strategic Information System.
2. Business Requirements Document
The business requirements are the systematic sequences of corporate activities to meet the organization's targets. The business requirements are the bridge that connects the two parties to an agreement. There are a number of objectives for Bradleys that can be highlighted for the improvement of the business process:
The business process of the company should be universally appropriate for the stakeholders so that they can have faith in Bradleys. This will ensure that the investments of the stakeholders in Bradleys are in safe hands.
The solutions that the company will provide to the clients must be according to their needs. Therefore, customer satisfaction should be high on the card of the business requirements.
There should always be a scope of further improvement for the business process. It will be easy for the company to imbibe the technological and market updates very swiftly if the business process stays aware and open to the administration.
Flexibility is the key to make the transaction of the business more customers friendly. Resolving the grievances of the consumers should be on high priority of the company.
The company should keep this in mind that every single customer is different. Therefore, they should be treated differently, based on their personal needs. The contracts should carry the ability to mould it according to the requirements of the consumers.
Practically, a constructed business requirements document can provide the base of the solution of the project issues. At any point in time, any of the participants of the project can look up to the business requirements in order to get a proper direction towards the evolvement of the issues.
The system requirements are Bradley needs to achieve organization's targets and by this client can faith on Bradley blindly. The business process of Bradley is not so appropriate for the client and it is not easy to use so to gain stakeholder trust Bradley should use the SAP from which complex process can be used easily. The services which Bradley provides to its client should be according to clients needs so Bradley should use SAP software through which company will be able to know client's needs easily and from this, it is easy interaction with the clients. There should always be a probability to improve the business in near future and to improve the approaching company should use SAP by which Bradley can easily analyze individual performance and change the approach to increase the productivity. Bradley should focus on customer services and make them friendly, this can only be achieved when Bradley implement SAP software in the process, so that customer gets updated utility bills and if any customer has any queries that they can easily give their feedback. This will give Bradley to improve their services and eventually it will increase the revenue. Every customer is different and they should treat differently so Bradley should implement SAP software which keeps every individual detail, Based on their personal choice which helps Bradley to serve their services from which each customer gets better customer services of the company. SAP makes every customer data in a chart which makes Bradley understand their productivity.SAP makes the complex process simpler for the client so that they can use the software effectively and efficiently (Turel, 2017, p.117). SAP analyzed individual performance and gives this information in an open environment so that if any management or team employee wants to share their ideas which increased the productivity of the company or increased the revenue. SAP gives Bradley to analyze their account or revenue which helps in saving their estimate on the product.
4. Selection of Software and Vendor
In order to ensure the betterment of the company in the real estate sector, the organization can manage its financials, logistics or supply management chain and human resource with the help of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) by SAP. SAP provides one of the best services in this respect to the companies who are trying to serve their consumers in the best way possible. SAP has a three-tier user/server architecture that promises high-class flexibility and user-friendliness. However, for the convenience of the companies, the vendor allows a two-tier system also. The first tier is the interface through which the user connects with the system. This stage also collects the information from the end users. In the second tier, the ERP Software process the logic of the business to offer appropriate salutations to the problem presented to it. The Graphic User Interface (GUI) of SAP is one of the strong reasons for recommending this software to Bradleys. The GUI of this ERP is very light, user-friendly and not complex. The software is compatible with almost all the operating systems of the computer. Therefore it is very easy to install in the systems of the business. It gives the company the option of choosing different database vendors for operating the business. For instance, Bradleys can choose the database vendor by Microsoft or Oracle, and that will not affect the viability of SAP ERP.
5. Three ways for improving Business Efficiency
Bradley Estate Agents of UK, being a real estate agency of highly capital faces several challenges in the various field of business like project strategy and presentation, project pricing, linked with preferred supplier and transparency on cash flow. Real estate gets profit, by decreasing the cost, arise efficiencies across process and passing the benefits to the customer through optimum pricing. Real estate needs to manage project planning, site selection, and budget planning to get the effective profit from the project. Real estate should focus on using SAP as ERP to build up efficiency and visibility across the enterprise (Whittington, 2014, p.87). This will give a close view of company's spending money on projects and locations. Moreover, there are several numbers of benefits that SAP software provides to the
The three ways by which Real estate business can be improved are
Building up a strong image in service: Bradley Estate Agents should implement the SAP software in order to build a strong real estate service which attracts the customers by satisfying their needs. Through the implementation of this software, the real estate agency can build up the good image in terms of the service it provides to its customers who desire to sell or buy property. According to the idea of Tsang, (2014, p.174) Bradley estate agent should categories the customer's complaint by implementing this software. Through effective tracking of complaints or the feedback that customers will provide, they can make their service better which further helps the company to attract maximum number of them towards it.
Management of services as well as utilities: SAP software helps Bradley to give best services in a good manner to the customer. Through this software solution implementation, the company should make sure that services to the customers are available 24 hours. This measure of the company through this software implementation holds a motive that if any customer has any queries, they can clear it out any time. Bradley Estate Agents, through effective customer services through this software implementation, can attract maximum number of customers who are eager to sell or buy the property. Moreover, they should also try to manage the work smartly and make sure customer get updated utilities related to property, billing, price, and services. Bradley estate agent should make sure client gets their services which they want from the company related to as soon as possible.
Management of lease out property: Bradley estate agent should use SAP which provides contract management of the customer to manage to let out of properties. It also manages all the broker detail and links with the software in a good manner through broker management. Bradley estate agent manages the account and make sure money is coming on time with automatic billing option and also manage compound earning sharing. Bradley estate agent should not delay the important date of management and also decrease the property area with space management. Bradley estate agent should manage rent hike, earning sharing and Billing date.
6. Evaluation of the Efficiency of the Technology Implementation
Hardware Efficiency: SAP increases the hardware efficiency by increasing its availability and manageability. Availability of hardware can be increased by moving the systems in the cloud by which hardware will be available from many places. It is also an updated version so it will give customer better experience of the process.
Process Efficiency: Hardware is not the only criteria to be efficient; the processes should be work fluently. Complex processes on a frequent basis make the work incomplete. SAP provides tools which make the work easy to reconstruct a process and from SAP it is easy to interact with the right person and collaborate, if possible through social platform.
User efficiency: Hardware and process efficiency can only be valid when client can use it effectively if it's not going well then all the investment will be in vain. The company needs to change the idea to motivate their employee and make them enthusiast for the work by making their work interesting. Previously SAP was not working so well, SAP was the only tool to log in that important backend data. But now, SAP has several of UI technologies which are working on different platforms.
Monitor employee Performance: Performance of an employee can be traced by business productivity software solution from which manager can check any individual performance and guide them accordingly. The supervisor can also reinforce their employees just to make sure that project the gets off track can be delivered as per the client requirements.
Increase communication: When a company shares some information related to the performance of the company in an online platform which is accessible by all. Manager or supervisor can share their thought on the performance of which is company can achieve their objective. An open environment of information in a centralized location allows many employees or team to see their individual goal by which company can increase productivity.
Business performance: The technology or software which is available in a market today allows for advanced reporting choice and business analysis which helps company to understand their performance. It also helps to manage work together and change their strategy in which they are currently working and implement a new plan to their work from which productivity can be increased and ERP plays a great role in developing the performance of a company.
7. Security risks and breach of data
However, no matter how much the developers of a software tries to develop something extraordinary for the consumers, it is not always possible to compose a completely flawless application, especially when the software deals with and process such a huge amount of data. As mentioned earlier the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) works as the backbone of the company, providing countless modules and utilities to the organization. As the system software becomes more and more customized, vulnerabilities start creeping into it. In order to avoid this company needs to be extra-careful about it. The most common of the vulnerabilities are listed below:
The Fire-fighter control-system of the software is not so strong to keep away the unwanted intruders. This is because the security standards of the SAP ERP do not go along with the standards. For example, the anti-virus system of the software can be made stronger to stop the data breaches.
The application is flawed in having an inappropriate segmentation of duties. For example, in many cases, the users have control over such functionalities that can lead to a huge loss of data and resources if not handled properly. This can be really serious if a fake or non-existing vendor tries to process a payment.
During the customization of SAP ERP, the company needs to be extra careful so that the changes in the software do not become vulnerable. In order to do this, the company needs to apply strong carols of change management around such customized options.
An ERP breach of cyber security can be completely detrimental to a small or medium-sized local company like Bradleys Estate Agent. As a result of such breaches, the company can lose sensitive data, legal documents, and resources forever. This type of loose can cause heavy damages to the structure of the company and have the potentiality to suspend the stability of providing services to the consumers for several working days.
A user company may have to go through a large amount of operational loss just because of a single malfunction of the software. It is true that the software company keeps sending appropriate patches time to time to mitigate the risks of the software. However, it may not always be possible for the company to install all the patches. Such incident may affect the user company badly.
Another weak point of the software is that it can create a serious security risk if the user company does not update the SAP ERP for a while. An outdated ERP will not able to maintain the security stronghold over the database.
SAP files are generally stored in a different place in a different format. Therefore it is not possible for the antivirus software to scan all the files. This can increase the security risks of the company to a large extent as a number of new files, which might contain malware and viruses, are always getting uploaded to the software system by the outsiders.
There are several vulnerabilities in the application and GUI of the software, many of which do not even require a single authentication by the intruder. Therefore, such weaknesses of the software carry higher risk of data theft.
8. Guidelines for risk mitigation
Thankfully the company can mitigate the risks of security and data breaches by taking appropriate steps before it is too late. There are many small and negligible weaknesses in SAP that can be really big trouble for the company if left unchecked. The areas that the company needs to take care of regularly are listed below:
The company needs to take special care for mitigating the risks related to the processes of port management. A strong management of the ports will lessen the risks of cyber attacks.
The password that would be used as the authentication of highly important accounts such as the accounts of the administrator or the managers should be a combination of alpha-numeric. A strong password will make the authentication strong so that the hackers do not find it very easy to crack the password.
A regular update of the SAP ERP can cut short many problems automatically. The updated software will catch and apply the software patches very easily.
The company should always stay highly alert about the SAP cyber security news. The software company SAP prepares problem specific software patches for security risks such as cyber attack or data breaches.
The leadership of the company should play the role of the guard in identifying the security loopholes of the software and take swift actions in order to prevent those risks. Probable solutions will come up when the company authority and leadership will think about it.
The company must construct a team of technology expert in its IT Management Team who will look after the security issues of SAP ERP on a daily basis. In absence of such a special team, it would really be difficult for the company to manage the consequences at the time of an emergency.
Overall SAP ERP is a great way to explore the highest potential of the business by gathering all the systems together and managing them under one software system. This has the potentiality of reducing the cost of maintaining a bunch of software for a single purpose. SAP ERP gives a viable solution to manage an array of departments of a single company ranging from Accounting, HRM to the storing of Documents with the help of cloud technology. The dedicated services provided by the software work as a support system for the company for every moment. The best part of this software system is that the user can customize the software application according to the need. That means if any user company finds one more than one of the features not useful, the user company can simply go for a lighter version of SAP ERP that will be modified only for the single company. Another good thing about the software is that it gives the features to the user company at a very affordable cost. Therefore most of the small and medium enterprises find it viable to move on to SAP ERP from the regular system, a viable option.
None of the modern businesses want to stay small in size forever, because ambition is the driving force for the growth and development of the business. It would be really easy for the business to manage if the authority can control several departments like Human Resource Management, Sales, and Accounting with the help of ERP software. SAP ERP goes along with all the recommended areas described under business requirements. Especially, the Cloud-Storage facility that comes with SAP ERP is one of the best among the equals. Apart from some of the weaknesses on the security front, SAP ERP would be more or less reliable for managing the business of Bradleys Estate Agent, a company that wants to grow in volume with time. The company Bradley does business in the sector of Real Estate that will require engaging with a lot of people on its website on a daily basis. This would also mean that a huge number of data will be uploaded to the server. SAP ERP would do a good job as the manager of these data so that nothing gets lost. Therefore, the report finds it useful to recommend the ERP software of SAP to manage all its existing business issues.
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