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5 pages/≈1375 words
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Harvard
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IT & Computer Science
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English (U.K.)
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Informatics and Financial Applications Research Assignment (Other (Not Listed) Sample)

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Application of information systems in businesses, more specifically decision support systems (DSS) and cloud computing

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Content:

Informatics and Financial Applications
[Name of Course]
[Assignment]
[Name]
Executive Summary
Information system (IS), a key component of information technology (IT) has drastically changed the way of doing business. Today’s businesses are set up on a solid foundation of technological systems that analyse and report the best business decisions based on the data obtained. In the future, IS are set to experience a major boost owing to the technological advances seen in the digital environment where virtualization, led by cloud computing and other technologies are being incorporated into businesses. In itself, cloud computing introduces a new paradigm or environment for conducting business by sharing IT resources among many users. Moreover, it enhances the delivery of services by connecting many customers to centrally located businesses. Now, this report assesses the impact of IS especially decisions support systems in the retail industry. In addition to this, the report also outlines the opportunities that are introduced by cloud computing in the same industry. In all, this report gives an account of the use of financial applications and systems in the retail industry.
Keywords: Decision support system (DSS), Information system (IS), Cloud computing (CC)
Table of ContentsContent Pages TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc490470325 \h 1Decision support system and retail business PAGEREF _Toc490470326 \h 1Cloud computing and retail business PAGEREF _Toc490470327 \h 3Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc490470328 \h 4References PAGEREF _Toc490470329 \h 5
Table of Figures
TOC \h \z \c "Figure" Figure 1: A decision support system overview structure PAGEREF _Toc490470839 \h 2
Figure 2: Traditional Vs. cloud supported stores (Online) PAGEREF _Toc490470840 \h 4
Introduction
Decision support systems are outlined as applications that combine computer technology with communication and decision making. These systems interpret information to support the decision phases of any organization or business, this will include identifying problems, formulating plans and generating the final solutionsCITATION Rad14 \l 2057 (Radu, et al., 2014). Therefore, the central component of DSS is a collaboration where the decision phases are coordinated using the knowledge base held by the business. For instance, the retail industry (e.g. a shop or supermarket) will assess the products it sales and coordinate this information with the customers’ feedback and also with the supplier's cost to yield the best decisions i.e. maximum profitCITATION Rus14 \l 2057 (Russel & Yoon, 2014).
On the other hand, cloud computing is based on the availability of networks, cheap storage and high system performance. These outcomes are met by its defining environment where operational resources are hosted by different users and distributed to others using the internet connectionsCITATION Rus14 \l 2057 (Russel & Yoon, 2014). Therefore, through the services offered by cloud computing business functionalities supported by technology are simplified and made more efficient. These functionalities include DSS and other financial applications such as those seen in the retail industry. A good example of this convenience and efficiency is a retail store with shops in multiple locations, this store can use the same systems to support its activities by hosting it in a cloud facility.
Decision support system and retail business
DSS can be applied in all the functionalities of business so as to help in solving the many decision-making problems. In this scenario, this report considers marketing strategies and how they can be aided by DSS, thus facilitate the allocation of resources, which is usually a key problem for many retail stores. In this system, the retail business e.g. a shoe selling company, Bata Limited, will combine the analysis methodology with sophisticated computer applications to produce the management decisionsCITATION Mon04 \l 2057 (Montgomery, 2004). Therefore, the DSS must account for all the marketing variables exhibited by the business environment. Thereafter, the system will develop a modelling design based on the user’s requirements, for instance, to increase the average price of promoting the products (shoes).
right12700Predicted sales, Profits, and plans based on sensitivities00Predicted sales, Profits, and plans based on sensitivities-952522225The marketing plan00The marketing plan952512700424688012700
370522511303100137160011048900left398780Reference conditions00Reference conditionsleft3892550
13525507048500-28575461010Assumed market growth and economic shape00Assumed market growth and economic shape209550032385Marketing plan and Resource allocation model00Marketing plan and Resource allocation model19907251333500
3781425168275001352550660400028479753232154210050189865Marginal profitability and changes in marketing plan00Marginal profitability and changes in marketing planleft88904284980161290
center260985Sales sensitivity to change market variable00Sales sensitivity to change market variablecenter242570
2857500419100
2352675320040Management Judgement00Management Judgement233362531051500
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1: A decision support system overview structure, Bata Limited CITATION Lod01 \l 2057 (Lodish, 2001)
Now, consider the model adopted by the DSS as shown above REF _Ref490470673 \h Figure 1 where the management’s judgement is based on the collaboration of the different variable highlighted, such as market growth, profit margin and predicted sales among many others. In essence, these evaluations would take ages to accomplish if it was conducted using manual calculations. However, with computerised technology, the company (Bata Limited) needs only the figures involved and the predictions, including the marketing strategies, are easily outlined. Furthermore, the DSS can be tuned to fit decision plans outlined by an organization, this will include focusing on broad marketing strategies to narrow and targeted promotional campaigns CITATION Lod01 \l 2057 (Lodish, 2001). In all, decision support systems can greatly minimise the time spent on marketing decisions as they can automatically generate the models needed by retail business based on the existing variables.
Cloud computing and retail business
In any definition given for the retail industry, the end consumer (final customer) is always highlighted. Therefore, despite the field, an enterprise will be classified as a retail business if it provides goods and services to the final consumer. Now, this group of businesses have seen an overwhelming increase in the use of cloud based solutions because of the opportunities and benefits they provide. For one, these businesses realise that their customers require and demand efficient services. Moreover, this demand is intensified today by the emergence of online and mobile markets CITATION Ali15 \l 2057 (Ali & Haseebuddin, 2015).
The opportunities: First, cloud computing is cost effective as it facilitates the creation, sale and management of services. A retail business can use online stores to sell and promote products across the world, this outcome translates into lower operational costs as outlined in the figure below, where traditional retail stores are compared with online stores REF _Ref490470771 \h Figure 2. Furthermore, the same organizations can use data analytics, hosted on the web server to make sale decisions. Secondly, cloud based solutions are extremely flexible and scalable which increases the business reach. For instance, the shoe selling company highlighted above can promote its services over a wide range of environments such as mobile apps and websites. Moreover, the same business can adjust its resource requirements based on its immediate needs, for instance, it can shut down an online store without any significant financial losses. Finally, cloud computing promotes innovation, an outcome that has...
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