Professor

  • Category:
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  • Document type:
    Case Study
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7Comparing Websites

Comparing Websites

Executive summary

University website offers aspiring and already existing students with adequate information relation to the courses they are planning to pursue. It can be concluded that the two websites tend to compare greatly when it comes to their business processes in that they offer the student with the capability of gaining admission to the university through online means and each students is able to know about the university prior to commencing their study.

Assumptions

One of the major assumptions made is that the online registration system has just been implemented in the organization. Another major assumption is that I have worked in the university IT department for some time.

Introduction

This paper sets out to offer a management report and the report will include the number of key areas that as outlined below

  • The main business activities in the website

  • Online admissions information system

  • How business process in the universities has changed as a result of advancement in technology and computer based information system

  • Enterprise computing

  • Information security and

  • A comparison between two websites and in this case the two websites that have been used are the UNSW (University of New South Wales) website and UТS (University of Technology Sydney) website.

Analysis

  1. Main business activities on the website

The website of the UNSW (University of New South Wales)offers information about the university. For instance there are contact information that can be used to communicate with the organization for example by making a call and also through the various social media sites such as Facebook, pin interest, Instagram, LinkedIn and UNSW YouTube just to mention a few of them. The website also offers information on the faculties and through these individuals visiting the website are informed on the courses that are available at the university, when the courses commences and the requirements for each of the courses. This assists aspiring students to make their choices in the right way. Additionally, the already existing students are also informed about the courses on offer that semester, when the semester begins and when it ends thus they can register for the next semester on time and avoid any kind of interruptions during the semester.

One main business process that shows the main activity on the website is online admissions. Not all university websites have the function of students to enroll online but the UNSW website seems to be an exception. Through the website one is guided through the process of online admissions which entails the acceptance or deferring of the offer, enrollment, Id cards, IT Services, Orientation and settling in. this business activity ensures that students can enroll for the various programs offered at the university despite their location thus making the registration and admission process easier. Additionally, there is an enrollment support call centre which main aim is to assist the students who may be experiencing difficulties in the enrollment.

Another main activity of the website is that it offers individuals with the opportunity to search and at the same time apply for the various academic programs that are available in the university. (http://www.futurestudents.unsw.edu.au/find-degree). UNSW recognizes that while a number of students are well aware of what they want in terms of the careers and degrees they want to pursue some are not good at choosing and thus they have developed an approach to assist them in getting there by offering them the much needed support. They have done this by having a ‘find a degree tool’ which enables students to search the courses they want to pursue based on Faculty, through this they can view all courses under a certain faculty and thus make a selection.

Rich Picture

Apply for course

Commence study

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Quality of education

Students

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Search for academic articles

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Search for news

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Make use of the news

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Make use of acquired information in your studies

Professor 6Professor 7

Major Concerns

Professor 8 lter’s work system framework

The Alter’s work system framework has four main elements which include the participants, processes and activities, information and technology (Alter 2012). The major participants in this cause are the existing and future students to the university who may be in need of the services and products provided by the university. In relation to the UNSW website, the processes and activities that are involved includes the online registration, searching of available books, journals and other academic materials. In relation to the element of information, students may enquire about the various different courses and when satisfied apply for the course they feel they want to purchase and in doing so check their eligibility for the chosen course. The technology in this case is the computer that the students uses to ame searches and apply for the course. Additionally, the computers that are used at the university so as to process the applications made y the students through online means. The other technological aspect is the internet infrastructure in place since it enhances the delivery of services to the students in the most effective manner (Alter 2013).

  1. Online admission information system

The online admission information systems uses and stores data relating to the course that one is taking, date of commencement, personal details such as name, date of birth, place of origin or nationality , ID number, sex. All the above data and is used and stored in an online information system is compulsory and each applicant need to fill all the areas. There are a number of decision support tool that the system offers and this includes a guide into selection the course that one needs to study. The system is easy to use since it has links that directs one step to step making it easier for even the first time users of the system (Lindsay 2000).

  1. How the business process have changed in the universities with the advancements in the technology and computer based information system

The business process have greatly changed in the university with the advancement in technology and other computer based information system in that it enhances the online admission of students. Prior to advancement in technology students had to search for course by visiting a number of universities websites and when one finds the preferred university the application process was also tedious since they had apply for course manually and this took a long period of time. This has really changed with the advancements in technology. Another way in which the business process has changed is that students are also to search for reference material for their work through the website. This has really eased studying at the university. Prior to these, students needed to go to the university library and search for the needed item. Advancement in technology has eased this process by ensuring that students access the books online and also in knowing if the required resource is available. This saves a lot time and enhances the learning process of the students (Rainer & Cegielski 2009).

  1. Enterprise computing

Enterprise computing refers to information technology that is business oriented and it is also critical to the operations of a company. Enterprise computing includes all different types of enterprise software such as relationship management and database management just to mention a few of them. Therefore, in simpler term enterprise computing is viewed as a collection of the business software solutions that sets out to solve common problems that exists in the organization for instances streamlining of processes and resource management (DeGregor 2011). A good example of enterprise computing is Customer relationship management (CRM) which refers to those strategies, practices as well as technologies that companies make use of so as to manage and at the same time analyze customer interactions and data all over the customer lifecycle and this is mainly done with the aim of improving the business relationships with their customers, and thus assist in the retention of the customers and also in driving the sales of a company. Through CRM companies can compile information relating to the customers through the different points of contact between the company and the customer which may include live chat, telephone, direct mail, and social media and also through marketing materials. CRM also offers the customer-facing staff detailed information about the personal information of a customer for instance their preferences, concerns and purchasing history (Davenport, Harris & Kohli 2001). Another example of enterprise computing is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which is referred to as a business process management software that allows a firm to make use of a system which has integrated applications so as to management the businesses and also automate a great number of the back office functions which are related to the human resources, services and technology. Thus ERP tends to integrate all the facets of an operation, for example, planning, manufacturing, and development, sales and marketing into a database, user interface and application.

The other example of enterprise computing is the Enterprise application integration (EAI) which is defined as a business computing term for the methods, plans as well as tools that are used with the aim of modernizing, coordinating and consolidating the computer applications that are available in the enterprise (Cortada 2003). Supply chain management (SCM) refers to the management of the flow of services and goods and it mainly entails the moving and storage of the raw materials as well as that of the finished goods from the point of origin to the point where they will be consumed. The channels, interlinked networks as well as the node businesses combine to ensure the provision of the products and services that are required by the consumers in the supply chain (Halldorsson et al. 2007).

A great number of universities make use of various types of enterprise computing to assist them in the day to day operations of the university and to enhance service delivery to their consumers who are students. The UNSW (university of New South Wales) makes use of a number of enterprises computing which includes but are not limited to CRM. Through CRM the university is able to keep and maintain constant communication with the existing students and also with the aspiring ones. This will enhance the sustainability of the university in future since they will have a great number of students studying in the institution.

  1. Information security

With the advancement in technology, the computer security threats seem to be inventive as time goes by. They are masters when it comes to manipulation and disguise in that they constantly evolve and always find new ways to steal, harm and annoy. Therefore, individuals need to arm themselves with resources and information that will safeguard them against the growing and complex nature if the security threats (Cortada 2003). This will enable them to stay safe when operating. The university website faces a number of security threats. One such threat is the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This kind of threat mainly takes place when a malicious user of a website combines a zombie of computers with the intention of sabotaging a server of a website. This kind of security threat occurs when the hacker request the zombie computer to make contact to a certain website continuously. These increase the volume of traffic and thus lead to overloads and it at times becomes slower to the legitimate users. There are even time when websites and server may shutdown completely (Cortada 2003).Another major security threat is the SQL injection this threat seems to be somehow similar with the cross-site scripting but in this case the malicious SQL statements are inserted into the website. The main intention of such statement is to manipulate the database in a number of ways, for example, by having access to sensitive information or at tomes deleting the information entirely and this can be a major headache. Another security threat relates to backdoor Trojans. In this security threat the some software acts as legitimate downloads and while granting access to third party applications and this makes the software privy to the personal information that have been stored in devices and at times they are granted the ability to manage a network.

Such threats to the website and the university and other websites all over the globe need to e seen and considered as a major area of concern. Thus there need to be technical, data and human safeguards that can protect the websites from such kind of threats. To avoid losing critical ad useful data when such security threats occurs, the university IT personnel need to ensure that they make regular backups to critical data. This will ensure that the university has a trusted source of data in instances when the network is infected with virus. Additionally, the backups would also be stored offsite. Additionally, there needs to be regular monitoring of the logs and system. The regular monitoring of the network as well as the system logs will play an essential role in the identification of the computer virus that may be infecting the website or any other attacks against the website (Cortada 2003). The unusual traffic patterns could indicate that some malicious activities are taking place and that the website security has been compromised. Firewalls would also be employed sp as to protect the networks. In this regard, it would be essential for unwanted traffic to e blocked through the use of firewalls. Users also need to be trained on the benefits of anti-virus software and that they should always be up-to-date to ensure that they offers the required level of protection when need be.

The university can put a number of processes in place and this ensures that private admission information is not shared or corrupted. For instance, the university can implement both logical (authentication, authorization, passwords and encryption) and physical (restricted access and locking of areas hosting the storage server as well as the networking cabinets) security. The university can also make use of a tiered data protection and security model which may include a number of perimeter rings of defense so as to counter threats. The multiple layers of defense are of great benefit in that they isolate and protect data in instances when the defense perimeters are compromised from the external and internal threats (Cortada 2003).

  1. Comparison between website of UNSW (University of New South Wales) and UТS (University of Technology Sydney)

Though university websites tends to offers similar kind of information there also exists a number of differences and more so in the manner in which the information is presented to the target audience. A similarity that exists in terms of the business processes in the two website is that both of them offer the student with the capability of gaining admission to the university through online means. Through the two website the future and aspiring students can be bale to determine which courses are offered at the university and as a result make choices based on their qualifications as well as based on their career aspirations. This is based on the fact that the future and aspiring students can check their eligibility criteria and apply for the courses that suites them well (UTS 2016).

In relation to offering of services and products no notable difference is noted. As a matter of fact both websites seems to offer the students with the services and products in the same way. For instance both websites have a section which deals life at the university. Thus, students can make a comparison between the two universities and based on these and the course they intend to pursue make informed decisions (Markus & Mao 2004). Additionally, both offer information to assist those who may be experiencing difficulties when using their site. As a matter of fact there have a number of avenues through which ones can communicate with them and these avenues includes but are not limited to Facebook, pin interest, Instagram, LinkedIn and telephone numbers ( UTS & UNWS 2016).

Conclusions

In conclusion, it is evident that the business processes in the universities have changed greatly as a result of technological advancements in universities and other enterprises need to make use of the advancements to make their businesses better. The two websites that have been compared have a number of similarities in that both of them have online registration for courses and they also offer adequate information to students and others who may be in need of that information and this is mainly done through the use of online means.

References

Alter, S 2012, ‘Challenges for Service Science’, Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, Vol. 13, Issue 2, No. 3, pp. 22 -37.

Alter, S 2013, ‘Work System Theory: Overview of Core Concepts, Extensions, and Challenges for the Future’, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 72-121.

Cortada, J 2003, The Digital Hand: How Computers Changed the Work of American Manufacturing, Transportation, and Retail Industries, Oxford University Press, USA.

Davenport, T.H., Harris, J & Kohli, A 2001, ‘How do they know their customers so well?’, MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 42 No.2, pp.63-73.

DeGregor, D 2011, Customer-Transparent Enterprise: Beyond 20th Century CRM, Motivational Press, Henderson.

Halldorsson, A., Kotzab, H., Mikkola, J & Skjoett-Larsen, T 2007, ‘Complementary theories to Supply Chain Management’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 12 Iss. 4, pp. 284-296.

Lindsay, J 2000, Information Systems – Fundamentals and Issues, Kingston University, School of Information Systems.

Markus, M & Mao, J 2004, ‘Participation in Development and Implementation – Updating an Old, Tired Concept for Today’s IS Contexts’, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, pp. 514–544.

Rainer, R & Cegielski, C 2009, Introduction to Information Systems: Enabling and Transforming Business, Wiley, New Jersey.

UNSW 2016, Find a Degree, viewed 8 September 2016, http://www.futurestudents.unsw.edu.au/find-degree

UTS 2016, Course Search, viewed 8 September 2016, http://www.uts.edu.au/future-students/find-a-course/search?short_courses_search_api_viewed=