ICT INFO 3 Essential information

  • Created by: IAN
  • Created on: 30-03-17 13:46

Know how the following advances in technology

Increase of processing power: netbooks, Ipads, smartphone,

GPS:couriers, farming, monitoring transport, track stolen items,

RFID: Replacement of bar codes, stock control

Web 2.0:Blogs, wikis, forums, social networks

Robotics: In industry, artificial limbs, care robots, police drones transmitting images, space exploration

Biotechnology: Use of finger prints, retina scans, Bio-informatics – face recognition, Brain Control computing

WAN/Broadband Access:international coverage, VoIP for games

 Nanotechnology: Much smaller devices,  huge storage in small space, disease detection

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Implications of future developments and future use

Social: changes in leisure activities, employment patterns, stress

Economic: Need of skilled society, investment in research

Environmental: Carbon foot print of new production, teleworking (travel), computer controlled heating and lighting systems, automatically shutting down unused work stations, reading more online saving printing and paper costs.

Cultural:Social networking  leads to relationships over a larger area, internet  has led to wider cultural awareness , internet activities are being used for leisure e.g. games

 Ethical:Monitoring of people by the authorities e.g. CCTV, number plate recognition, mobile phone message recording, privacy -website access logs, centralisation of databases, monitoring of employees, employees using the office equipment for non-office activities e.g. household shopping, checking email, use of essay banks, social networking while at work

Technical:Faster data transfer  video now possible, higher storage capacity, music and video storage, battery life greater  so laptops can be used away from a power source for longer, more user-friendly interfaces including speech recognition

Legal :Legislation can limit new ICT usage e.g. biometrics due to the Data Protection Act, file sharing due to Copyright, Designs and Patent act.

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Enabling devices for remote and mobile working


Wireless system,  Links devices e.g. printers, phones, headsets,

digital cameras, etc.


Smaller than laptop,  Small full keyboard, Multifunctional PDA

Mobile Phone: 

Touch screen, Multifunctional device, Phone, camera, mp3 player, browser, GPS, etc.

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Topic 2 Different organisations have different inf

Type of organisation:

commercial, Industrial, Public Service

Nature of business:

E.g. a corner shop as opposed to an online business like Amazon

Nature of management style

(Look at  Business structures)

 Autocratic:Clear authority, Few decisions made lower down

Paternalistic: Decisions made in employee interests

Democratic, Employees take part in decision making,Laissez-faire,Very little management,

Staff left to get on with their work

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Different levels of task have different needs


Tactical and operational

Managing or operating

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Information needs due to:

· Type and scale of organisation: Ordering systems and customer support

·    Personnel: suppliers, customers, legal bodies

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Exchanging Information with Internal and External


·    New systems exchanging with legacy systems

·    Supply chains

·    Government  organisations: tax office, auditors

Factors to consider

·    Privacy,

·    Security,

·    Legal and government directives compliance

·    Laws of the country being operating it

·    Local, county, district national, international systems e.g. tax, auditing

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Size of organisation

·    Business structures: Flat, Hierarchical, matrix

·    Size of business: small <50 employees, 50-200 medium, 200 + large

·    Communication methods

·    Formal: Pre-arranged often with a formal structure

·     Agenda, meeting minutes, bulletin boards, policy documents

·    Informal: Not pre-arranged

·    Memos, impromptu phone calls/emails/chance meetings/instant message

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Chief Information Officer’s role (CIO)

·  As a member of the executive and being responsible for overall technological development of the business,  decisions (procurement, admin procedures

e.g. budget, recruitment, training)

·    providing ICT as a  competitive tool

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Factors influencing ICT strategy

·    Business goals - SMART

·    Available finance

·    Legacy systems

·    Geography of client – communication methods, focus on groups

·    Business fulfilment

·    Legislation – obeying the laws of the country where the business operates

·    Compliance with legislation and government directives

(local, national, international e.g. EU)

·    Management of ICT assets overtime

·    Managing an increasing volume of data

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Need for a corporate strategy covering ICT system

· Future proofing : Scalable networks, Data stored separately to database software, applications independent of operating system, over buy storage and processing power

· Procurement: procedures, ensuring value for money, tenders for large money

· Technology lifecycle. R&D – costs (Bleeding Edge), Ascent (Leading Edge)– breakeven point, maturity (state of the Art) –saves/makes money,  decline (obsolete) – costs due to maintenance not fit for purpose

· Information management  - access to ad hoc information on demand appropriate for management or any authorised employee

· People considerations – training needs due to re-organisation, geographical situation,  recruitment may be necessary

· Standards may exist for exchanging data – organisations have to exchange data both in and outside the organisation. Also within an organisation with legacy systems or alternative operating systems etc.

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Steps in implementing a policy

o    Plan to match strategy, legislation etc.

o    Publicise and train staff, procedures, induction,  bulletin boards, AUP/contract,

o    Monitor – audit software

o    Enforce – investigate, discipline procedures

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Steps in implementing a policy

  • o    Plan to match strategy, legislation etc.
  • o    Publicise and train staff, procedures, induction,  bulletin boards, AUP/contract,
  • o    Monitor – audit software
  • o   Enforce – investigate, discipline procedures
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4 Physical security methods

o    Security guards

o    Door locks

o    CCTV

o    Banning of removable devices, memory sticks etc.

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6 Software Security Measures

o Password security

o Firewall

o Virus protection

o Levels of network access

oAccess rights (read only, read/write etc.

o Audit trail

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 Vetting before appointment

  • Training and informing

 Code of conduct and responsibilities:

  • linked to signed contract
  • Separation of duties
  • Monitor
  • Investigate
  • Discipline

Disciplinary procedures:

  • verbal warning
  • written warning
  • dismissal
  • legal authorities
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Back up and Recovery

o    What to back up

o    Frequency

o    Staff responsibilities

o    Testing of backup

o    Location of back up storage

o    UPS

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Procurement policy - Supplier selection

  • Financial health, size  of supplier
  • Ability to meet delivery requirements
  • Reliability and stability of the company, future upgrade options
  • Help services available for after sales service
  • Conformance with regulations 
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Procurement policy - Purchase of hardware

  • Above a certain minimum specification
  • The advantage is low total cost of ownership
  •  Is new hardware capable of running with existing applications and system software?
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Procurement Policty - Purchase of software

Ability to be kept up-to-date so what are the upgrade options and where from(website?)

Is the new software capable of being run with existing applications and system software

Is the new software high quality (free from bugs and errors)

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Purchase of services

  • Penalties if service levels fall
  • Use of organisations standard contract 
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Training Policy

  • Job Description to Define Skills and Knowledge Needed
  • Training necessary for staff to know and obey Laws Applicable to ICT
  • Interview With Training Manager Annually to check on progress of training and set new training
  • Use of Training Plan to Identify Training Needs
  • Security Policy Training
  • Training on newly Introduced ICT Systems
  • Training Records For All Staff
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Complying with legislation

  • Appoint a person responsible for ensuring compliance
  • Make staff aware of policies
  • Regularly remind staff: emails, bulletin boards
  • Ensure staff obey – link to contract

Set in place a procedure to ensure compliance- 5

  • Check for new legislation
  • Create a policy
  • Train/make staff aware
  • Monitor
  • Have discipline procedures
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Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

  • Check for unauthorised software using auditing software
  • No illegal downloads – Forbidden by acceptable use policy
  • Check no more copies of software are being used than the site licence allows
  • Use access rights to control who can install and run software
  • (and hardware measures)
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Computer Misuse Act 1990

  •  Forbid staff from planting viruses
  • Forbid staff from doing unauthorised work
  •  Ensure checks are in place detect fraud
  • Ensure users do not swap usernames and passwords
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Freedom of Information Act 2000

  • Ensure requests for disclosure are met
  • Provide details of any codes used
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Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

  • Regular inspection of ICT workstations and room
  • Working practices for staff to change tasks
  • Training to minimise risks
  • Arrange for regular eye tests
  • Create software which is not stressful to use
  • Involve staff by allowing them to choose their own office equipment 
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Data Protection Act 1998

  •  Appoint a data controller
  •  Notify the information commissioner’s office that the organisation is processing data
  •  Adopt procedures that allow subject access
  •  Procedures to allow records to be changed should info held be wrong
  •  Staff training to educate them about the DP act
  •  Procedures to ensure the privacy and security of data help
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Factors during the development process that might

  • Complexity of system – the more complex the more likely a system will fail
  •  Lack of systematic formal methods – pre-set mile stones, review points, budget and time allocations, permission to proceed sign off at stage, handover of per-arranged deliverables.
  •  Lack of professional standards – following standard practice e.g. writing and commenting code, connecting of hardware, writing of documentation
  • Inappropriate hardware/software – hardware and software chose is not suitable for the task.
  •  Poor communication between professionals – could be between development team members or development team and clients, or within the client organisation, e.g. the managers don’t know what information the operational workers require to carry out their jobs.

Lack of management knowledge about ICT systems and capabilities (unrealistic expectations)

  • Inadequate initial analysis
  • Losing control of the project plan
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Factor that contribute to a successful development

  • Project sponsor gives info about requirements
  • Agree the system objectives with the developers
  • Details given about existing system
  • Agree deliverables
  • Agree timescales
  • Give feedback on what has been developed so far
  • Test interfaces
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Factor that contribute to a successful development

  • Divide project into a series of tasks
  • Each task given to the person most capable of carrying it out
  • Adherence to deadlines
  • Adherence to budgets
  • Coordination meetings
  • Staff realise the importance of working together
  • Staff use their expertise in their own area
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Systems development life cycle stages & its purpos

Analysis of the problem and proposed solution

Project Definition

  •  Aims and objective of system
  •  Initial fact find
  • Investigation into technical, legal, operational and schedule implications
  • Cost/benefit
  • Recommendations as to feasibility
  • Understanding of current system
  • Gathering analysing user requirements
  • Using tools and techniques to represent system: DFD, system diagrams
  • Producing a logical specification
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Design and specification of the solution.

  • Designing the system in line with user requirements
  • Creating the design specification
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Constructing the solution (writing code, customisi

o   Using the physical design to produce a working system

o   Use programming code to customise it

o   Using software tools to produce a working version

o   Producing a working solution to user requirements

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o   Module

o   Functional

o   Systems : Alpha testing using test data and test harnesses

o   User: Beta testing

o   Operational: using real life data

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Installation and Conversion

o   Installing hardware

o   Installing software

o   Conversion of previous data

o   Documentation,

o   Training and handover

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Review and Maintenance.

o   Checking solutions meets users requirements

o   Setting up review cycle

o   Setting up help-desk

o   Fixing bugs

o   Managing interfaces with other systems

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The need for Systematic Formal Methods

  •  Project management
  • Agreed deliverables
  • Milestones
  • Sign-off
  • Approval to proceed
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The steps involved in project management:

·    Creation of specification with the project sponsor

·    Allocating tasks

·    Estimating times

·    Establishing controls: budget  checks, progress reports

·    Planning for errors

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Investigating and Recording Techniques

·    Interviews

·    With Managers

·    With operational staff

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·    Observing

·    Learning about information flows and processes

·    Inspection of records

·    Organisational charts

·    Staff CVs

·    Job descriptions

·    Policy and procedure manuals

·    Previous systems and documentations

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Questionnaires collect information from all levels

·    Advantage: Useful for Collecting from Large Numbers of Users

·    Disadvantages: incomplete view is achieved because

·    Not all respondents will fill them in so an

·    Respondents may misunderstand the questions

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Scale: Large scale systems can be used by large or

A small organisation e.g. a newsagent can use a large ICT system to order newspapers for its shop and therefore compete with a large one. It would not have the expertise or resources to manage the software its self.

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The issues associated with large scale systems

·    A large number of workstations are variable age and variety of both hardware and software

·    Workstations connected by a WAN and LAN

·   A large number of operators with diverse needs, skills and geographically separated possibly in different organisations

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Installation Options

  • Inhouse – Employees know the current system and needs of the company but inexperienced in building the new one and already have work to do.
  • External – experienced in installing new system but not as familiar with the needs of the company. Once implementation is complete they will not be on hand to offer help, or tweak the system.
  • Off-the-Shelf – Probably reliable if not too new as it will have been used by many other companies but not bespoke so not an exact fit. 
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Ensuring that large ICT systems always operate as

  • Functional defects: the system does not produce the correct information given the correct data
  • Performance defects: the correct information is produced but it takes too long
  • Usability defects: the user interface is not user-friendly so data entry is slow                      (e.g. illogical menus)
  • Security defects: users can accidently damage the system or access information that should not be available to them.
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Techniques for testing

  • Test harnesses: automates testing
  • Volume testing: tests systems with different data volumes
  • Scalability: checks system performance maximum data performance
  • Prototyping: More of a technique than test uses a limited version of final product to get client feedback
  • Multi-platform: Tests system on different operating systems and data will “port” to other OS, HW or SW
  • Use of simulated environments: Tests systems in environments that are not accessible e.g. a client’s WAN
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Techniques for Testing

  • Test harnesses: automates testing
  • Volume testing: tests systems with different data volumes
  • Scalability: checks system performance maximum data performance
  • Prototyping: More of a technique than test uses a limited version of final product to get client feedback
  • Multi-platform: Tests system on different operating systems and data will “port” to other OS, HW or SW
  • Use of simulated environments: Tests systems in environments that are not accessible e.g. a client’s WAN
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Reliability and Testing

  • Designing testing to ensure reliable operation – techniques and the people involved
  • Specialist skills and facilities required for testing of network based systems e.g. WANs/performance issues, need for simulated network environment/WAN emulation
  • White box testing: Checking code is correct. Programmers look for errors in the code 
  • Black box testing: Examines the output to check that it meets user requirements
  •  Tests can be manual or automated (ideal for repetitive tests)
  • Volume testing – does it work with a large number of transactions e.g. multiple requests for data from a web server
  • Robustness testing – how does it react to a system crash or network failure
  • Performance testing – a comparison with a benchmark figure under normal load conditions
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Specialist skills required for testing Network Bas

  • A good understanding of hardware and how it functions
  • In depth knowledge of network protocols
  • Be able to select suitable benchmark tests
  • Network testing includes
  • Checking wireless security so it cannot be hacked
  • Checking the capacity to ensure it can carry the volume of data
  •  Testing for wireless strength
  • Testing to find bottlenecks
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Network Testing Tools

Hardware Installation and Testing:

·    Wiring networks

·    Testing hardware

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Software Installation and Testing

·    Installing software on servers

·    Configuring systems

·    Adding data

·    Testing functionality

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·    User documentation

·    Technical documentation

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  •  Installation teams
  • Training
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·    Successful installation plan

·    Methods of introducing systems – direct, phased, pilot and parallel changeover

·    Hardware installation plan and testing

·    Software installation plan and testing

·    Documentation - operator & user manuals

·    Resources (cross-referenced to training – plan & conduct it)

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Backup and Recovery


  •  Long term consequences: lost confidence by customers, loss of order history and customer details, making advertising and expansion planning difficult, cost of lost business
  • Short term consequences: loss of orders,

Risk Analysis

·    Identify risks: Internal/external, accidental/premeditated

·    Assess their likelihood of occurrence

·    Short and long term consequences of threat

·    Value of loss against cost of recovery

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Disaster recovery/Contingency Planning

  • Buildings: planning for temporary accommodation at short notice
  • Staff: ensuring who is responsible for particular tasks during a recovery
  • Hardware and Software: ensuring appropriate hardware and software is available
  • Make resources available: planning to give access to resources for appropriate personel
  • Distributed computing: spreading the risk 
  • Types of backup: full, incremental, differential
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·    Train staff to recover data

·    Check data can be recovered from backups

·    Train staff to work together in teams

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·    Altering to fit in with new procedures

·    Adapting to new legislation


·    Correcting faults/bugs

·    Improving usability


·    Improve performance e.g. speed

·    Add new features/functionality 

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·    Altering to fit in with new procedures

·    Adapting to new legislation


·    Correcting faults/bugs

·    Improving usability


·    Improve performance e.g. speed

·    Add new features/functionality 

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External Users

Examples – Independent financial advisors

  • Franchises
  • Car dealerships
  • GP’s

Difficulties – Dispersed location

  • Justification of time out for training
  • Finding a time for training
  • Hard to assess skill or staff

Training Methods – Training courses

  • Trainers sent to train on customers own equipment
  • Videoconferencing
  • Distance learning using CD-Rom, Internet etc.
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Internal users

Instructor based/classroom training

  •  Individual questions answered
  •  Value for money when many staff need training
  •  Personalised instruction
  •  Only available and set time and place
  • Users may forget it by the time they need it

 One-to-one training

  •   Personalised instruction
  •  Could be expensive unless a colleague

Cascade training

  • Cheaper than all going out
  • Trainer may forget skills
  •  Trainer cannot always answer problems

·Computer based training (CBT)

  •  Video walk-through available
  • Customised to needs of learner e.g. skip chapters
  •  Available 24/7
  • Cheaper than using an instructor
  • Cannot answer specific questions

·         Distance learning

  • Cheaper than instructor/learner travelling
  • Personalised learning
  • Flexible when training takes place

·Use of manuals/books/software guides

  •  Customised to needs of learner e.g. skip chapters
  • Available 24/7
  •  Can be done anyway
  •  No need for a PC
  •  Cheaper than using an instructor
  • Cannot answer specific questions
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·    Phone help desk software

·    User guides

·    On line technical help

·    On-screen help

·    Specialist bulletin boards, blogs, websites,  forums,, FAQs

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Training and supporting Customers - Interfaces

·    Keyboard and mouse

·    Voice recognition

·    Touch screen

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The Relationship between the choice of interface a

  •  Meter readings, signatures for parcels delivered by couriers need a handheld device – touch screen
  •   Pubs use concept keyboards as they are damaged by water and give limited options
  •    Processing questionnaires – mostly automated but must be useable by non-ICT literate staff
  •   MIS – used by a wide range of staff –key feature is to easily be able to construct search conditions.
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Managing the interface between Org & Cust

  • User friendliness is  vital
  • ATM – must work in difficult light conditions – so high contrast, large clear font
  • On line shopping – images and descriptions , ease of managing basket and seeing total
  • Support of customers
  •  Email acknowledgement of question
  •  Ensuring help is relevant and an option for further help is available if required
  • Opportunities for getting customer feedback so shortcomings are identified
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·    Tasks subcontracted to external company

·    Subcontracted company has more expertise

·    Leaved business to concentrate on revenue generation

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Off shoring

·    Outsourcing to another company

·    Cheaper labour costs

·    Easier to find skilled staff

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Bulk Printing

  •  Give printing services to outside companies
  • ·Able to complete the work better and at less cost
  • ·No need to buy expensive equipment
  • Used by utility companies for payroll
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Managing Hardware

  • Purchasing in accordance with procurement policy
  •  Recording all hardware stock, specification, warranty or maintenance requirements
  • Determining usage
  • Determining who gets what
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Managing Software

  • Auditing to know what software is on each workstation and application usage
  •  Matching number of licences to what is actually required
  •  Keeping track of versions and upgrade requirements
  •   Managing levels of access
  •   Managing communications
  •  Monitoring bandwidth
  •   Managing email accounts
  •   Making users aware of responsible use e.g. downloading large files
  •  Monitoring email for security
  •   Monitoring phone calls
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Managing Consumables

·  Monitoring stock levels to ensure spares are always available without over stocking

·   Monitoring usage to ensure appropriate use

·   Cost control

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Managing facilities and power consumption

  • Monitoring  that hardware is used efficiently: shutting down when not required
  •  Being involved in procurement policy to ensure energy efficient purchasing
  •  Environment control: temperature, humidity, noise
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Managing Human Resources

  • ·Recording skills, training  courses and qualifications
  •  Recording training requirements
  • Recording the skills required for each job
  • Setting up and managing training course
  • Recording attendance
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