White Paper Review: Gain Agility by Migrating ERP Workloads to Public Cloud Infrastructure

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment

10 OCT, 2019

Lukman, J.

Paper Source: http://secure.wis-digital.com/SAP_partner/2019_WhitePapers/Google_ERP_in_the_Cloud.pdf

The word “cloud’ or “cloud computing” have become cliché, even amongst the not-very-tech-savvy. In the early days, cloud usually referred to as just storage alone. Today, we use the terms ‘cloud storage’ to refer to databases that exist in cloud servers and “cloud infrastructure” as hardware/virtual servers where applications can be run. In some quarters, this is referred to as Infrastructure as service. In addition, an entire software can also be housed in the cloud i.e. the application, the infrastructure and other services it requires to function.

The paper highlights the fact that many companies are realizing the disadvantage of using the current systems as they predate the era of machine learning IoT etc. Programming languages and concepts of software development have long evolved and the paper posits that corporate establishments must keep up with modern trends. The paper posits that traditionally, ERP systems are deployed using on-site infrastructure and that corporate establishments are fast adopting the more appealing, cheaper, less complex, more flexible and easier to maintain cloud based solutions.

The paper argues that a key advantage of adopting cloud solutions is the fact that costs usually associated with maintenance is channeled to other parts of the business likely to add more value. In addition, the advent of big data and AI, companies are migrating the backbone of their data management and AI systems to the cloud it is cheaper and much more efficient in processing large data sets. This importance cannot be overemphasized as the cost of the infrastructure needed to compute large sets of data for the purpose of machine learning is pretty high.

When Linus Trovalds came up with the concept of open source, it was thought that open source software will not be monetized. Today there are proprietary versions of open source software. The author posts that some open source cloud based applications have strengthened cloud systems with customization and integration capabilities.

In conclusion, the author reiterated severally the importance of migrating existing software systems to the cloud. The benefits includes cost saving, competitiveness, flexibility and scalability.

Reference

Cook, J (2019) Cloud Migration Risks and Benefits Available Online: https://cloudacademy.com/blog/cloud-migration-benefits-risks/

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White Paper Review: SYSPRO’s Executive Guide to Selecting and Implementing an ERP System

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment

Lukman Jaji

October, 2019

Paper Source: Source: https://www.syspro.com/dl/WP/SYSPRO-Executive-Guide-To-Selecting-Implementing-and-Operating-ERP-ALL-WP.pdf

In recent times, many companies have come to the realization that operational proficiency correlates directly with the capability to automate core processes while minimizing human intervention. These core processes vary from one form of information management or the other. ERP systems help in automating core processes that would hitherto be extremely time consuming, less accurately, efficiently and effectively executed, and most importantly, would have required several hands to execute.

The paper reiterates the fact that Enterprise Resource Planning solutions have become a major backbone in the operations of companies and corporate establishments. From human resources management to procurement, to supply chain and management of finances, ERP systems are an integral part of the success or failure of an establishment in delivering on its mandate. The paper does give some strategic approach to selecting and implementing ERP solutions with particular emphasis the need for business objectives drive the entire selection process. The paper also outlines a number of questions business executives must answer in order for investments in these systems yield maximum benefits for the establishment.

The paper is silent on legal issues which should be of utmost concern to business executives.  The question if what kinds of licenses are available, how easy will it be for the company to migrate their data from the said system to another, should incase a change is required. This will prevent being locked into a path dependence and guard against company operations being grounded.

Furthermore, the paper posits that ERP systems are usually expensive and that the specific business objective being pursued and how much the ERP system will contribute to realizing that objective should inform the company’s investments.  What the paper is silent on, however, is the purchasing a complete ERP solution may be expensive, but some it is possible to buy only the modules that are required by the company. This will be less expensive than purchasing a complete ERP solution.

The paper also outlines certain ERP systems selection strategy to be followed, which have proven to have worked over the years. It makes a strong case for ensuring that the implementation strategy is followed is followed, as this will ensure success in this phase. In addition, the paper mentions that how easy or hard it is to operate the ERP system will be the yardstick to measure success and failure. Once the system is deployed, a systems maintenance and user upskilling strategy needs to be in place.

The paper concludes that companies usually use one ERP system for a fairly long time. With this background knowledge in mind, it is important that executives ensure the right system, that fits the company’s business objectives is selected. The paper is silent on the issues of infrastructure needed to effectively and efficiently run an ERP system. Even though it calls for further reading, an issue such as the hardware needed, and a significant part of the overall cost of the system should have been mentioned.

Reference:

SearchERP (2019) Available Online https://searcherp.techtarget.com/essentialguide/ERP-hardware-and-infrastructure-Laying-the-groundwork-for-excellence

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ERP Systems Overview (Video)

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment
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Webcast Review Webinar: Ten security controls for effective cyber-security

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment

Lukman Jaji

October, 2019

Introduction

The webcast was presented in 2018, and was about security controls for effective cybersecurity. It was organized and facilitated by the Center for Internet Security, to educate individuals on their own cyber security controls. The webcast was of high    quality and was properly organized with appropriate visuals.

Quality of the Speaker

 The presenter Giridhara Raam was also clear and gave full explanations of concepts. The webcast is easy to understand even for non-IT specialists. The presenter is a cyber security analyst and a General Data Protection Regulation researcher. The speaker has a little bit of a Indian accent.

Audience

The intended audience for the webinar include IT/IS professionals, students undertaking information technology related courses and general public because cybersecurity affects all individuals and they would gain immense knowledge on the concept.

Content

The content is conclusive and easy to understand even for Non-IT professionals. The speaker introduced the concept of cybersecurity well and widely. The body of the webcast was also well organized and the content delivered appropriately, with the speaker giving examples throughout the webinar. This makes listening to the webinar more interesting. The content also ensured that it engaged the listeners/watchers, mostly by using the question and answer method. Some of the relevant content is also displayed on the video to enhance visualization and absorption of the content.

The webinar touched on the Security controls well and these were grouped as;

  1. Basic controls, which include inventory and control of hardware and software assets, continuous vulnerability management, controlled use of administrative privileges, secure configuration for hardware and software, and maintenance and monitoring of audit logs.  
  2. Foundational Controls which include email and web browser protection, malware and boundary defenses, control of network ports, data recovery capabilities, data protection and wireless access controls.
  3. Organizational controls; these involve the implementation of security awareness and training, incident response, software security and penetration tests.

Through the webinar, I was able to learn about authorized and unauthorized software and my role as an Information system professional in order to enhance the security of Information and computers. From the presentation, the speaker seems to be very knowledgeable about the topic of cybersecurity. The presentation is very educative and would be recommended for further learning on cybersecurity. Students and professionals will gain immensely from this webinar on the subject of security. The content displayed on the screen however, does not run concurrently with the speaker as the speaker is lagging behind.

Webinar Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSPY_rn8uWY&gt;

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Journal Article Critique 2 Social Networks and Web 3.0: Their Impact on the Management and Marketing of Organizations

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment

10 OCT, 2019

Lukman, J.

Garrigos-Simon, F.J., Lapiedra Alcami, R. and Barbera Ribera, T., 2012. Social networks and Web 3.0: their impact on the management and marketing of organizations. Management Decision50(10), pp.1880-1890.

Introduction/ Statement of the Problem

The purpose of the paper is to analyze the importance of social networks in the new context, the effect of Web 3.0 on the management and marketing of organizations and how organizations can fully exploit these changes. It also purposes to explore the relevance of community managers and crowdsourcing to cope with the changes. Therefore the intent of the paper is very clear and further description of the topic.

Literature Review

The author of the article does not provide a clear review of literature. However, just after the introduction, there is some text provided that gives a description of the subject. Though not clearly labeled, there are texts about the importance of social networks, web 3.0 technologies, community managers and crowdsourcing.

Methods

The study puts emphasis on the use of social networks and the conception of the corresponding new business models, stressing on the significance of community managers and crowdsourcing processes.

Comment

The methodology or research design utilized is not clearly stated or described. The methods of data collection are also not stated in the paper.

Findings

The paper explores the possible sources of competitive advantages open to organizations in the light of recent innovations, and highlights the developments that they should implement to improve the decision management process and exploit new situations.

Comments

The findings were not well labeled in the report, it was hard to make assumptions on what was the literature review and what were the findings. However the analysis was well written and is easy to understand even to the average reader.

Conclusions

The paper provides a further description of the items of study. The descriptions looks like a short summary. The items summarized are crowd-sourcing, community managers, web 3.0 and social networks.  The impact of the items is however not clearly stated. From the conclusion I cannot tell the influence of the factors on organizations. The author has however recommended for further studies to analyze the impact of social networks on firms.

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Journal Article Critique 1 Internet of Things and Supply Chain Management

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment

Ben-Daya, M., Hassini, E. and Bahroun, Z., 2019. Internet of things and supply chain management: a literature review. International Journal of Production Research57(15-16), pp.4719-4742.

13 OCT 2019

Lukman J.

Problem

The modern business environment is ever changing and this affects the supply chains as well as other business operations. The customers are also demanding more and more as days go by in terms of price and quality. The external environmental is also getting harsh because of the tough economic times and social strife. In order to survive such occurrences, there is need for companies to adopt mitigation measures and structural flexibility to enable an environment that is pleasing to the customers and bringing economic benefits to the company. Information technology has been an enabler of effective supply chain management. It has helped enhance communication and transmission of data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest invention in the IT world. IoT enhances supply chain management by enhancing visibility, agility and adaptability. It increases responsiveness rates as databases are in real time and it also will enable remote management of supply chains.

Comments

The problem statement concurs with the topic of the paper and was clear to comprehend. It is as well captured well in the abstract. I however, felt that more could have been done to introduce the Internet of Things well especially to readers who might not be accustomed to such terms before one proceeds to read the rest of the paper. The introduction though was educative. 

Historical Background

The historical background was provided in the paper. In my opinion there was too much irrelevant information provided in the text. Basically the author provided numerous description of IoT. The text would have attained maximum relevance if the IoT description was reduced. The definition of IoT is very long and there is no provided background of Supply chain management which is also a variable in the study.

Review Methodology and Summary

The review methodology for the study employed was a systematic literature review and a bibliometric analysis. This was appropriate though some of the keywords for search engines utilized were not previously mentioned in the introduction or title, a word like ‘Industry 4.0.’ the bibliometric analysis was appropriately displayed.

Literature Review

There was a clear review of literature with numerous authors cited in the paper. Most of literature though cited was about the role of IoT and none was seen that showed the impact of the IoT on supply chain management. The author also cited gaps in the literature available for the the impacts of IoT on supply chains.

Discussion and conclusions

The discussion is provided for IoT and supply chains, though the impact of IoT on supply chains is not clear as stated in the introduction. Conclusion is definite and it also provides future directions for future research.

Overall Critique

The report is a very comprehensive report on the matters of IoT and provides an in-depth understanding of IoTs and their role in supply chain management. There was a need of a list of objectives for the study to give the researcher a sense of direction and probably not leave out some parts such as, the impact of IoTs on supply chain management. The discussion did not provide a comprehensive coverage of the results. Also a lot of technical language was used throughout the text making it complicated. Overall the paper, which was a literature review followed the appropriate guidelines.

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Theory Post 2 SAP vs Oracle

October 13, 2019 Leave a comment

13 October 2019

Photo Courtesy of, CERT Devoteam

SAP and Oracle are two companies that deal with Enterprise Resource Planning systems. They can be termed as some of the top companies in the market for ERP systems, with SAP leading the market (Snellman, 2017). This could be because SAP began as purely an ERP systems vendor while Oracle began their operations by offering Database Management Systems. So what is SAP? SAP stands for Systems, Applications and Products. The software they offer are used to manage businesses and their processes. They also customize their products, systems and applications according to their client’s needs. SAP began with their first product, SAP R/1 which helped clients to obtain an understanding of their business with real-time data processing. Then there was SAP R/2 which assisted customers to manage big worldwide enterprises. Next was SAP R/3 and SAP ECC which helped the clients to benefit from the servers internet and the development of functional components, which would help improve business processes. The last and the latest invention is SAP S/4HANA which is common for cloud computing (SAP, 2016).

Oracle is also a software that manages enterprise processes. The software available are finance and accounting software, supply and procurement, project and risk management. It helps in the automation of office functions that were initially hard to manage. Oracle cloud system is known as oracle Fusion Application (Troesch and Schikora, 2011).  The oracle cloud solution helps manage the processes of a business and, therefore, enhances productivity and work efficiency. Oracle vendors offer consulting, customization, implementation, upgrade, support and special offering such as testing.  Oracle has evolved over the years from inventory control packages, to material requirements planning (MRP), MRP II, ERP 1.0, ERP 1.0+ and finally ERP 2.0 which includes cloud, mobile and analytics (Oracle, 2017).

There are several major differences between SAP and Oracle. One of them is there area of operations. SAPs main area of operation is Enterprise Resource planning, while Oracle is mainly a Database management system sector. In terms of functionality, SAP manages business processes on real time, while Oracle manages data in enterprises. SAP runs on ABAP language, while Oracle runs on SQL. SAP implementation costs are higher than Oracle implementation costs. SAP ERP incorporates business applications while Oracle is applied in enterprise backgrounds for data-level functionality. SAP offers the business a broad solution for all your enterprise level requirements, while Oracle functions on several platforms, would offer a solution for all data associated requirements (Panorama Consulting Group, 2012). Selection of the appropriate vendor depends on the budget and needs of the company/client.

References

  1. Oracle, 2017. Your Complete Guide to Modern ERP; A Handbook for Today’s Innovative Business Leaders. Handbooks for the Modern Enterprise, second edition, vol. 1. Accessed on 10, Oct. 2019 at: <https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/assets/ebook/complete-guide-to-modern-erp/pdf/modern-erp.pdf&gt;
  2. Panorama Consulting Group, 2012. Clash of the Titans; an Independent Comparison of SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics. Available at: < http://panorama-consulting.com/resource-center/clashof-the-titans-sap-vs-oracle-vs-microsoft-dynamics/. >
  3. SAP, 2016. An Introduction to SAP, SAP-Leading the Digital Transformation. Commerzbank Sector Conference. Accessed on 10 Oct, 2019 at: <https://www.sap.com/docs/download/investors/2016/sap-sept2016-investor-presentation-commerzbank-frankfurt.pdf&gt;
  4. Snellman, D., 2017. Difference in Cloud ERP Systems: A comparison.
  5. Troesch, E.M. and Schikora, P.F., 2010. Co-Opetition between SAP and Oracle: The Effects of the Partnership and Competition on the Companies Success. Journal of Business Case Studies (JBCS)6(4).

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