Letter of Transmittal
As a requirement for CIS8100 Assignment 3: E-commerce Implementation Report & Prototype Website, I am submitting my discussion of the implementation plan and a discussion of the implementation issues likely to affect the proposed e-commerce for which the prototype website relates. The complete report includes a discussion of the implementation plan, mobile web presence, e-commerce security environment, and information security in social media. The report also contains a section on conclusion and recommendations.
It is my hope that the paper meets the requirements.
Towards the end of implementing an e-commerce strategy, a website for “I do Business Australia” was created. The detailed implementation of the website will be performed using the systems development life cycle (SDLC). The business can use the mobile web for its business, necessitating an understanding of the factors to consider in choosing the mobile platform to use. The business operating online has to contend with a myriad of security issues, which means that effective measures to ensure security of information should be implemented. Social media is a powerful tool for the business but has unique privacy challenges that should be addressed ethically.
With the advancements in technology, businesses have better chances of operating online. “I do Business Australia” is such a business that is using the e-commerce model for its operations. The initial step is the creation of the website that will market it followed by exploration of other platforms where it can operate, including mobile and social media (Neves, Castro & Cônsoli 2010). The issues surrounding the e-commerce model and the measures to mitigate them are discussed.
For the implementation of the designed website to enable the e-business, the systems development life cycle (SDLC) is the methodology of choice. To begin with, planning is critical to ensure that the new system is required to work towards the achievement of the strategic objectives of the business (Laudon and Traver 2016). Under the methodology, there will be a series of steps that will be followed.
The analysis phase is the point at which a detailed assessment of the business environment will be carried out, including the objectives that will be met once the website is implemented. It is necessary that the website helps in achieving some objectives for the business instead of letting the website decide how the business will be carried out (Laudon and Traver 2016). The system functionality will be aligned to the information requirements for the website to be supportive in meeting the business objectives. At this point, the business objectives that are usually met by a website are translated into a number of functionalities and further into information requirements. For the business, given the reality that the website is meant to drive the business objectives, it is necessary for it to be designed in a digital form. If the business needs can be met by implementing the website, then it will support the business, which means it will be a critical part in the running of the business (Gardner 2011). The investment will be worthwhile, which means that the website can be designed.
The stage involves defining the means for delivering the functionalities for the benefits of the business. At this point, the system design specifications will be developed, which is the checklist of all the components that will make up the website and the way they interact with one another to achieve the overall objective. The systems design will be separated into two components. The first component is the logical design, at which point a data flow diagram is constructed (Laudon and Traver 2016). The model will indicate the information flow on the website, the performance of information processing, and the databases that will be in use. The second one is the physical level. The level indicates a stage of translation of the initial component into physical resources. At this point, there will be a determination of the necessary hardware and software, and the networking capabilities that will allow the operation of the website.
With the design in place, this is the point at which the actual site will be created. At this point, the decision will be made as to whether to outsource the new site or develop it from scratch in-house. The decision will be made depending on the cost of developing the new system (Laudon and Traver 2016). In the case of “I do Business Australia” because of the availability of the expertise and the tools to create the site, it will be more cost effective to develop it in-house. The hosting of the website is another critical decision that will need to be made. For this decision, the company will reap the benefit from the website through outsourcing to rid the business of the burden of managing the hosting infrastructure (Jeston and Nelis 2014). At this point, the real work begins with the business, having in place the website for use in the productive purposes.
Testing and Continuing Maintenance of the System
During this stage, the system is already completed and ready for testing to ensure that it is operation to meet the desired objectives of the business. Quality assurance professionals perform the testing of the new site (Laudon and Traver 2016). System testing will be done on the site, in which case the whole system will be tested together to avoid the cost involved in testing a module at a time (unit testing). Following the testing and implementation of the site, maintenance will continue through the period of its use through continuous checking, testing, repairs, and updates to ensure that it continues to meet its objectives.
Building a mobile platform for the business could be critical for the operation of the business. In the process of using the site for the business, it will be taken in mind that there have been an increase in the number of the users of the mobile devices. In addition, it is more convenient for the consumers to use their mobile devices to browse and shop as opposed to the use of the personal computers (Laudon and Traver 2016). Hence, for the “I do Business Australia,” use of the mobile platform is a significant step towards increasing the customer base. To achieve the objective, there are important factors that will be put into consideration.
The available budget for the development of the mobile platform is a key factor to consider in making the decision. There are various aspects of the mobile platform that will be determined by the budget set aside for its creation. For example, the available funds will determine whether the business will opt for a mobile application or a website. Depending on the budget, there could be a choice of one mode over the other, and if the funds are available, the business could benefit in coming up with the two models, including the creation of both the app and the website. The cost will also inform other decisions such as the type of mobile devices and the operating systems.
Another important factor to consider will be the technology for use in designing the mobile platform. In fact, this will depend on other elements such as the cost and popularity of the mobile platform that will be used. There are various mobile platforms from which to select when making the important decision. Some of the platforms that can be used include Android, iPhone, Black-Berry, and Windows (Laudon and Traver 2016).The decision will be based on the cost of the platform that will be identified for use and the number of people who are likely to have access to the application or website depending on where it is used.
Mobile Application or Mobile Website
Among the most important considerations in the decision to create the mobile platform is whether to use an application or a website. For some businesses, the decision could be made where the two can be used (Hoehle & Venkatesh 2015). The mobile website is created just like any other website that can be browsed to display information (Fling 2009). Applications refer to the programs that are downloadable and get installed. Each one of them has benefits and drawbacks, necessitating care in making the important decision. For “I do Business Australia,” since the site has already been created, it will be more beneficial to use it as a website and as an app. While the cost could be high, the returns will be higher, making it cost effective.
Depending on the target market, the business will require the most effective mobile platform to reach the target consumers. For “I do Business Australia,” the target is mostly the high and middle-class men and women. Hence, the decision should be guided on the mobile platform that is most likely to reach these individuals. With that in mind, the business will most likely benefit from using both the website and the app and from different mobile devices and operating systems to be able to reach as many of the target consumers as possible (Fling 2009). Indeed, this is especially critical because the business is offering services as opposed to goods.
The Purpose of the Platform
The purpose intended for the mobile platform is another factor that will guide the decision on which option to use (Fling 2009). In the case of “I do Business Australia,” it is critical to note that it is operating within the service industry. Hence, reaching as many clients as possible is the most important purpose. In this case, it becomes critical to use a platform that will achieve the purpose.
E-Commerce Security Environment
In designing the website and implementing the e-business, “I do Business Australia” is designed in such a way that the existence of the myriad security threats is acknowledged. There are various security measures that will be put in place to ensure that online business achieve an improved environment for the general e-commerce security (Laudon and Traver 2016). Before discussing the individual security measures to adopt in protecting the business environment, the importance of having in place a security policy and procedures is acknowledged. The reality is that security cannot be taken seriously if the organization has not entrenched it within its policy (Dutta, Guo and Choudhar 2013). With the policy in place, the individual measures will become a part of the business operations. It is plausible to note that the new site will use a combination of the measures to ensure a high level of security.
The security measure operates in such a way that the data or text being transmitted is in encrypted. On the receiver, with the decryption key is able to read the cipher text. One of the forms of security used is symmetric key cryptography where decryption of the message or text is done only by the person with the secret cipher as utilized in encrypting the data (Li et al. 2012). The key is normally exchanged in person between the sender and receiver of the delivered text or message. Another method that would be used in encryption is the public key cryptography. In fact, the approach is even better than the symmetric key cryptography because using this method does not require the in-person exchange of the key (Laudon and Traver 2016). In this case, there is the use of digital key that is used for the decryption purpose. Digital signatures and hash digests are safer than the already discussed methods. The method is usable in public key cryptography, in which a hash function is used to provide the message with a digital signature. Digital envelopes are useful when one has to send large documents where they are encrypted with the use of symmetric key, which will be used for the purpose of decrypting the document.
Digital Certificates and Public Key Infrastructure
Proving identity in the online environment can be very complicated unlike in the physical environment where one can easily show an identifying document (Laudon and Traver 2016). In fact, this is the problem that is addressed with the use of the digital certificate with analogous public key infrastructure. With the certificate, it becomes easy to prove the digital identity.
Securing Channels of Communication
For security at this level, there could be use of secure sockets layer as well as transport layer security. The protocols are used in ensuring that the communication initiated through a network is secure (Laudon and Traver 2016). The protocol also uses some form of encryption to ensure that the communication is secure from any attack that is likely to occur at any point in the communication channel.
Using the VPN protocol, it is possible for the remote user to have access to the LAN, securely (Laudon and Traver 2016). The protocol makes use of authentication and encryption to ensure that the information on the network is safe from unauthorized access.
There are security precautions that are particularly for use in protecting the communications taking place through the networks (Sehgal et al. 2012). Among these are the firewalls and proxy servers. These measures are used in such a way that there is a virtual wall built around the network, including the servers, clients, and all the other interconnections (Laudon and Traver 2016). The wall provides security of everything that is going on within the wall.
Protecting Servers and Clients
Protection of the servers and clients can be achieved through operating system security enhancements. The system will work through taking advantage of the automatic updating security elements of the operating system. For the new system, the use of the operating systems provides an automatic security measure (Laudon and Traver 2016). Another way of achieving security is the use of anti-virus software. Installation of the anti-virus programs that are available in the market will prevent some attacks like viruses.
Information Privacy in Social Media
The social media has become an important tool for the salespersons to market their goods and services. Hence, it is one of the channels that “I do Business Australia” will have to consider to reach a majority of its customers (Laudon and Traver 2016). However, even as the business is going the social media direction, it is critical to realize the security and privacy problems that are inherent in the social media, affecting the business and the customers. The problem for the customers is evident in the reality of divulging their personal information which jeopardizes their privacy.
The Problems the Customers Might Face
The privacy issue related to the social media, and which could affect the customers, are inherent in the very nature of the applications. The third-party platform apps have the potential of causing individuals to divulge a great deal of their personal information. The over sharing of the data from the user is a concern that is evident in the use of the social media (Laudon and Traver 2016). As the customers of “I do Business Australia” are sharing information on the application, there are concerns of their personal information being accessed by unauthorized persons, suffering the potential risk of identity theft. With the ease at which the customer can post information on the social media, it is no wonder they are tempted to post various details, especially their personal information (Correa, Hinsley and Zuniga 2010). Also, the anonymity offered by the social media is the reason many users are findings themselves in trouble after their personal information is accessed from the social media and possibly used to harm them. Privacy is becoming an elusive idea in the use of social media as a marketing tool.
Minimizing the Impact of Security and Privacy issues
Conclusions and Recommendations to the Business
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|Planning||15 days||Analysis to establish the need for the new system||On schedule|
|Systems Analysis||15 days||Matching the problem to the needs||On schedule|
|System Design||15 days||Creating the data flow diagram||On schedule|
|Acquisition of requirements||5 days||Acquisition of the necessary hardware and software||On schedule|
|System Development||1 month||Development of the actual website||On schedule|
|Hosting||15 days||Finding a third party host for the website||On schedule|
|Testing||10 days||Testing the completed website||On schedule|
|Implementation||15 days||Integration of the new system into business operations||On schedule|
|Maintenance||Ongoing||More testing, repairs and updating||Ongoing|
|Evaluation||5 days||Evaluation after a month to see if objectives are being met||On schedule|