Colony Nursery and Landscaping Benefits from the Cloud
Columbia Southern University
Colony Nursery and Landscaping has come up with an outstanding program that rewards their customers, that make a purchase though them, with points used towards rewards with the companies. These can include free services or discounted prices on future jobs. Colony Nursery and Landscaping has opened up a new store a few hundred miles away and wants to implement the awards systems with both companies stores and use one program shared by both. The problem is, they cannot afford to purchase or maintain the system on-site, and will need to do this from a distant location. Also, taking into consideration Information Silos between the company will also pose an issue. Can the cloud be a resourceful tool for the company to use to mitigate this issue at hand? Will a different enterprise resource planning (ERP) system be used in its place to compensate the needs of the business? The cloud has many benefits, which could benefit the company and will be discussed throughout the paper.
The cloud is a great computing system that will help alleviate the Colony Nursery and Landscaping’s problem of combining a program to track reward points for customers, utilized by both store locations. The cloud has many advantages and benefits that the company can use to put them on the top of the industry. For example, the cloud will eliminate the information silo issue and the company will benefit from the advantages of using the clouds services for affordability and ease of use, sought after by Colony Nursery and Landscaping. Also, implementing the rewards program on the cloud would put the company at a competitive advantage. This will allow them to get more business by providing rewards for using their services and keeping track of program from anywhere in the world will assist the company is being a step ahead of its competitors. With the implementation of a new service for the company, they will need to reengineer their business processes from the old way of doing things to the new way utilizing the cloud services. Once the company gets started, they will take off to success.
Utilizing the cloud services takes away the issue of information silo. According to Kroenke & Boyle, information silo is the condition that exists when data are isolated in separated information systems (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017). As it states above, when you have one multiple stores of the same business scattered in different areas, and all using a different system and database to store and get information, it makes it hard for them to be on the same page. These can pose a problem for companies like Colony Nursery and Landscaping. Business data will not match because the systems currently being utilized do not talk to one another and will have different numbers. Data integrity will be at risk at this point. For example, if someone uses this company at one location, moves, and wants to use the company at their new home location, there is no way to validate the current reward points of the customer hiring for a job. By delaying the reward points to the customer may lose his business. What if he had free services granted by the other location, but since the new location cannot see it in their database, they cannot grant him that reward, even though it was granted from the same company. Moving is a large expense and maybe that person was relying on his reward points to help him financially. When companies used localized databases that are not shared between each other, this can make the company as a whole confused. Numbers will not match, upper management cannot easily determine company’s overall information without having to combine numbers from all locations, and if the system goes down, then what happens to the information stored on the local hard drive? If it wasn’t backed up, then it is lost and that company location as well as the company on the organizational side would be negatively impacted. Switching to the cloud would be the best answer for this growing company.
Many companies are moving to the cloud due to the massive benefits that it gives. According to an article by Dave Anderson, he states the five main benefits to using the cloud are data protection, regulatory compliance and data residency requirements, scalability and flexibility, cost efficiencies, and access to data anytime, anywhere. (Anderson, 2013). Data is automatically backed up in the cloud, saving the need to worry about data loss in the case of a local system crash. With the costs associated with data loss and security software programs, switching to the cloud that has this already covered will save serious money. Dave Anderson stated, “First, reap the powerful cost savings by only paying for what you use. The second element is that most cloud computing platforms provide the means to capture, monitor, and control usage information for accurate billing. A single, comprehensive data protection platform can eliminate the threat of risky fines from compliance breaches or data loss, while also reducing the need to invest into multiple security tools.” (Anderson, 2013). This just provides evidence to what I had stated above. By using the cloud, Colony Nursery and Landscaping will solve their essential issues from affordability of a system they can use to the implementing a one source location for their implementation of an accurate rewards program for their business. Colony Nursery and Landscaping won’t have to buy security software for their computers and separate databases to pay for a lump of storage space that may never be used. With the cloud offering you to pay for only what you utilize and providing the security needed as well as automatic backup, the cloud would be a tremendous financial move for the growing company. Using the rewards program will put Colony Nursery and Landscaping over the top with customers and other businesses. Everyone will want to use them for business when they know they get something in return from the company. It is a full circle investment for the customer. They put into the company and in return, the company gives back to them. This will want customers to come back more and more just for that reason. Also, they will have a step forward on the business side. They will take business away from local competitors and will have a system to back them up that many have yet to discover. Many are still researching cloud services for their business’ and are still using local databases and hard drives to store important files and documents. By using the cloud, all locations will see the same information and the upper management will be able to see what is happening from anywhere in the world. They can keep track of their business without the need to travel to each and every location to gather the information they seek. They have it at the palm of their hands using a smartphone, tablet or computer that has internet connectivity.
Now, with the company using this new program to implement their rewards program and run their business as a whole, there needs to be some business process reengineering. Margaret Rouse states in her article titled Business Process Reengineering, “Business process reengineering (BPR) is an approach to change management in which the related tasks required to obtain a specific business outcome are radically redesigned. An important goal of BPR is to analyze workflows within and between enterprises in order to optimize end-to-end processes and eliminate tasks that do not provide the customer with value.” (Rouse, n.d.). With every big change to a company, they have to learn to use and incorporate the new processes associated with it. Instead of opening a local program on the company locations computer and updating their information, they will now have an access ID and passcode to access the cloud server and update the information from there. Also, management will also need to learn the security protocols, edit the backup times and frequency, how to get information quickly from all locations on one page, etc. This all will take time and, in my opinion, should take trainings and send management to the sites for hands on training with employees. They will also need a new way of advertising the new reward system and how customers can go online to redeem the points or claim rewards set by the company. Management at Colony Nursery and Landscaping will need to rebuild their business module to create an evenly distributed process used and understood by all parties of the company in order to make the cloud work. Out with the old and in with the new.
The cloud services will provide Colony Nursery and Landscaping a great platform to create their wanted customer rewards program, as well as run their growing business entirely. With the opening of an addition store hundreds of miles away, communication is key with both stores and the upper management. With utilizing local systems and processes, information will be lost and will not match what everyone has due to the updating not reaching the correct locations in a timely and effective manner. With the companies concern for cost and affordability, the cloud will alleviate the need to purchase expensive security software, backup databases, and large storage space that they may never even use. The cloud offers everything Colony Nursery and Landscaping will need to start their customer rewards program and more. The problem they will face is the habit of the old way of doing things and accepting the change the cloud will make and ease the process of tracking data, customer service, and upper management oversight. The cloud truly is the way of the future for Colony Nursery and Landscaping.
Anderson, D. (2013). Top 10 tips: Why you should use the cloud and how to do it securely. ITProPortal. Retrieved from https://www.itproportal.com/2013/05/02/top-10-tips-why-you-should-use-the-cloud-and-how-to-do-it-securely/
Kroenke, D. (2018). Using MIS (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson
Rouse, M. (n.d.) Business Process Reengineering (BPR). TechTarget Network. Retrieved from https://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/business-process-reengineering
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