Computer systems architecture | Information Assurance | University of Maryland University College

 

The Problem

Your team has been assembled to provide Information Technology consulting services to a newly formed fictitious company.

Your team is to select one the following:

  • A semi-custom designer jewelry company
  • A designer furniture and accessories company
  • A specialty sporting accessories company (hiking, climbing, water sports, etc.)
  • An urgent medical care company
  • An automotive accessories company
  • An upscale cooking supplies company
  • A medical supply company
  • Other (requires instructor approval)

This medium-sized company was formed by combining several smaller companies within the same industry into a single entity. Each of the smaller companies had their own IT system, and some were not so good, usually because the systems were cobbled together from different sources over the years. The new organization intends to avoid that undesirable outcome.

This organization intends to bring all of the disparate systems together into one comprehensive system. The plan is for another team to implement an ERP system such as SAP or PeopleSoft as the core application for managerial control. That part of the transition will be outsourced to another team and is NOT part of your group’s charter.

Your team was assembled by selecting individuals from some of those smaller companies described above, so you have never worked together before. Also, the levels of experience and training for the various team members can be quite variable.

Your mission is to develop an overall systems architecture plan from top to bottom for the new organization. This will involve several different platforms from the data center to the smartphone level including some levels in between. You may or may not be concerned with the specific source or brand name for a platform or subsystem as your team sees fit.

The team needs to consider all the possible roles that need to be supported in this organization that includes light manufacturing, procurement, sales, distribution, and customer support. A good portion of the sales staff will operate from mobile platforms while traveling to customer sites. The primary business channel is wholesale to other businesses but the organization intends to provide some in-house retail operations through brick & mortar facilities as well as online operations.

The overall assignment is to develop a comprehensive plan for the systems architecture for this fictitious organization in a form that would be appropriate as a PowerPoint slideshow for management. You may consider this as the means of presenting your conceptual plan.

2. Organization

The purpose of the groups will be to prepare material for a class Group Project Presentation. It simulates an actual group presentation in class.

During the second week of class, the groups will be formed with approximately the same number of students in each group (plus or minus one). For each, a private discussion area has been created in the Discussion area.

3. Format

Each team will prepare a short PowerPoint presentation (in the neighborhood of 20 slides) along with any relevant notes – either as notes on the slides or as a separate Word document.

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