Business Plan: Business Intelligence Bi Plan

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Business Intelligence (BI) plan

Business Intelligence Plan

The international economic community is now focused on the financial crisis which commenced within the United States and soon spread out across the rest of the world. Additionally, recent emphasis is being placed on the riots in the Middle East and Africa, such as those in Egypt and Libya, which generate a primary impact materialized in an increase in the price of crude oil (Nunnally, 2011). However, before these two sets of concerns were raised, the economic community centered its issues on one simple word -- globalization.

Globalization is the phenomenon which allowed the propagation of the financial crisis from the U.S. To the rest of the globe, and it is also the phenomenon which made it possible for the rebellions in the Middle East and Africa to impact the rest of the global community. Globalization is generically understood as a mechanism which allows economic, political, technological and other values to transcend boundaries and impact the corresponding values in other global regions. The learner noted that process is often referred to as westernization or Americanization, with reference to the trend of the western and American values impacting the rest of the global community, and with little globalization being completed from the eastern hemisphere to the western one (Beck, Sznaider and Winter, 2003).

Despite the trends and the approaches to globalization, fact remains that the phenomenon has generated a series of mutations within the business community. The learner noted that the most relevant example in this sense is represented by the fact that globalization made possible the implementation of David Ricardo's theory of the comparative advantage. In other words, with the aid of globalization, economic agents became able to transcend boundaries and benefit from the comparative advantages of other countries (Goldstein, 2007). Some of the most relevant of these advantages refer to a cost efficient labor force, a well skilled and developed labor force or an abundance of natural resources. The capitalization on the countries' comparative advantages would often be completed through processes of outsourcing and offshoring.

In light of the above presented context, the current endeavor strives to create a plan for the outsourcing / offshoring of the information security operations from the firm to other companies in emergent economies. In the construction of the project, several issues are raised and addressed, such as:

Outsourcing and offshoring

Rationale to outsourcing / offshoring

Technical rationale for outsourcing

The role of the launch and analytical team

The estimated costs

Coordination and control

Training programs

Auditing approaches.

As all these issues are addressed, the plan comes to an end with a section on conclusions and recommendations. The conclusions subsection restates and centralizes the most important findings of the current endeavor. The recommendations subsection is more complex and it offers a series of recommendations to be taken into consideration before actually launching the outsourcing / offshoring processes.

2. Outsourcing and offshoring

At a primary level it is necessary to make the distinction between the two concepts. From a general standpoint, the two concepts are synonymous in the meaning that they both imply that the economic agent renounces the completion of specific activities in-house and has them done by tertiary parties. The difference nevertheless lays in the location of the destination firms. In the case of outsourcing, the company completing the services could be located in the same town as the firm or in a nearby region. In the case of offshoring however, the destination company is located in a different country, overseas. The lines below integrate the definitions of the two concepts:

"Outsourcing is an activity where the supplier provides for the delivery of goods and/or services that would previously have been offered in-house by the buyer organization in a predetermined agreement" (Tho, 2005).

"Offshoring occurs when companies move processes and productive factors abroad, whether they are conducted by separately owned suppliers (offshore outsourcing) or by fully owned (captive) subsidiaries. Almost always work is moved to locations with lower costs" (Beutler, 2009).

3. Rationale to outsourcing / offshoring

As it has just been mentioned in the definition presented above, the main reason in favor of outsourcing / offshoring is represented by the ability to reduce operational costs. This would also represent the number one priority on our company's agenda. In other words, through the outsourcing of the information security activities, our firm would be able to complete the same activities, but under more financially beneficial circumstances.

The organizations to which the information security operations would be transferred would be able to deliver the services at lower costs. The transfer of the operations to another company -- domestic or offshore one -- generates financial gains at the following levels:

The current team of technicians handling the information security activities could be downsized to as such generate cost savings with the personnel expenditures

Our company would no longer require technical equipments to continually conduct the information security operations

Our company would no longer be in the constant need for hardware and software updates in order to ensure the highest quality of the information security act

Our company would no longer have to spend money on training programs through which to prepare the technicians to handle the new pressures of the information security activities.

All the above mentioned situations generate cost savings at organizational level and the savings can then be used to support the firm's development at other levels, such as interactions with the customers or the increase in the levels of customer satisfaction. Aside from cost savings however, the suggestion to outsource / offshore the information security operations is also based on the operational benefit such a resolution would create. In other words, the information security activities are not the focal point at our organization, but they represent a secondary action which supports the company's main line of businesses. Nevertheless, by the elimination of this secondary set of information security operations, the firm would be able to benefit from more time, energy, and resources to focus on its core processes, and develop them. In other words, the outsourcing / offshoring of the information security activities not only generates cost savings, but also creates a setting in which the firm can develop more competitive strengths and improve its competitive position through the sustained focus on its core processes.

Also, according to a recent survey conducted, outsourcing and offshoring operations are not only perceived and completed with the objective of cost efficiencies, but they are also given consideration due to other abilities, such as those to:

Increase the companies' access to talented staffs

Increase the firms' geographic expansion

Support the organizations' reinvention of their business models

Promote innovation (Outsourcing Weblog, 2007).

With all these benefits in mind then, the suggestion is that of outsourcing the information security operations to a tertiary party, especially to a firm specialized in such operations. The rationale for this suggestion is based on the previously mentioned benefits of such a strategic decision.

4. Technical rationale for outsourcing

As it has been mentioned throughout the previous section, a major benefit of outsourcing is that the organization is no longer forced to technologically maintain the information security operations. In other words, the firm is no longer in need to constantly update its hardware and software, to update the services and the knowledge. All these operations would be completed by the new partner to whom the according operations would be outsourced.

4.1. Technical hardware

The technical hardware to completing the information security is extremely complex as well as it is expensive and often difficult to maintain. The organization has constructed its infrastructure on multiple servers and computers which monitor the information being handled within the firm. The scope of the technical hardware is that of protecting the "machines and the peripheral hardware theft and from electronic intrusion and damage" (Answers, 2011).

And just like any other technologic hardware, it is easily outdated by the latest developments. These developments -- integrated with the aid of updates -- are enormously beneficial for the firm as they generate efficiencies. Nevertheless, the learner has noted that they are also costly and can be difficult to purchase and use (Jaffe and Lerner, 2004). Also, within the organization, situations have been encountered in which an investment in technical hardware has only managed to generate return after several months since its implementation.

The situation raised concerns as a few additional months afterwards, new updates were available and ready to be implemented. In such a context then, it sometimes happened that an update did not generate any financial benefits; it was however necessary as without it, the company would have registered weakening of its competitive position. In a context in which the information security operations would be transferred to a different organization, the firm would no longer have to handle the hurdles of technological updates as these would all be completed by the partner's firm.

4.2. Software

At the level of the software, the company has traditionally used an in-house internet, or an intranet, defined as… [END OF PREVIEW]

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