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Unit 16: Managing Communications, Knowledge and Information

1. Introduction

The term cloud computing effectively defines and explains the overall practice of using specific networks of specific remote servers that are hosted over the internet to serve the purpose of storing, managing or processing data and information, rather than using local servers and personal computers. In recent times with the advent of technology, the use and implementation of cloud computing have emerged to be among the key technical aspects for business organizations for storing and accessing valid data and information (Hofmann, 2010). With the use and implementation of cloud computing, it is much easier for organizations to manage their records, and other valuable information and data into a single database that can be effectively accessed from anywhere provided there is an internet connection. The use of cloud computing can be significantly used as a specific virtual domain, that can be utilized for attaining a specific collaborative data storing infrastructure that uses different servers in addition to unhindered access to shared computer networks. The use of cloud computing not only makes the storing and managing of company data and information more manageable but at the same time helps in reduction in the operating costs or expenses of the respective organization. However, there is also a number of limitations facing the use of cloud computing technology. The overall system is prone to cyber security issues that can lead to loss or damage or data in addition to technical failure of the system in general. The following report will focus upon conducting a detailed analysis and assessment of the key advantages as well as disadvantages and limitations of the use OF cloud computing with reference to the organization of Wesfarmers, Australia.

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2. Project Aims and Objectives

The undertaken research aims to make a comprehensive interpretation of the key disadvantages and advantages associated with the use of cloud computing with reference to the company of Wesfarmers, Australia.

The objectives of the research have been discussed as below;

  • To analyze the significance of cloud computing in the modern-day business environment for Wesfarmers, Australia.
  • To identify the benefits that the use of cloud computing can offer to Wesfarmers, Australia.
  • To investigate the limitations or disadvantages of cloud computing for Wesfarmers, Australia.
  • To measure the impacts of cloud computing upon business growth and performance of Wesfarmers, Australia.
  • To evaluate the strategies for strengthening cloud computing systems for Wesfarmers, Australia, for better business growth and development.

3. Project Scope

In the modern-day age, cloud computing has emerged to be one of the key major technological platforms that have eased the management and storing of data for business organizations. Although the use of cloud computing has been widely popular across the globe, a number of organizations are significantly unaware of their implementation and use for strengthening the business processes and operations (Subashini, 2011). The research will analyze in-depth the overall use and implications of cloud computing in modern-day business organizations. In addition, the research results and outcomes will also explain in detail the advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of cloud computing such as in Wesfarmers, Australia. This will offer the necessary information to the business organizations in the context of correct use and utilization as well as management of the cloud computing systems.

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4. Literature Review

Considering the competitiveness in the business environment across the globe, the use and implementation of cloud computing can offer business organizations a virtual interface and analytical framework for easy managing or store of valuable information and data. In addition, the use of cloud computing technology can also help organizations in respect to access seamless exchange of resources and information as needed through having proper access to the internet. This also reduces the overall operational costs and expenses resulting in greater or improved organizational productivity. There are a number of advantages as well as disadvantages associated with the use of cloud computing that has been discussed in detail in the following section of the literature review;

As per the works of, Baciu, (2015), the key major advantages associated with the use of cloud computing technology have been showcased in detail as below;

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  • The use of cloud computing systems can significantly benefit an organization in the context of driving down the overall costs and expenses. This happens as it helps in mitigation of the expenditure upon upgrades and hardware. In addition, the use of the cloud can also help in improving the overall cost efficiency and effectiveness through matching the revenues or demand patterns with the costs.
  • With a highly manageable services platform, the use and implementation of cloud computing can be said to be highly reliable as well as consistent when compared to the in house information technology (IT) infrastructure. The overall cloud service providers offered 24* 7 support overall 365 days in a year, thereby o0ffering very highly reliable services and support for their clients and customers.
  • In addition, the implementation of cloud computing technology also assists an organization in accessing highly simplified as well as enhanced information technology (IT) maintenance and management capabilities by central resource administration along with vendor managed infrastructures and others. All the specific resources save from the updates or maintenance of the information technology (IT) infrastructure is seen to be managed or maintained by the respective service provider

(Aljabre, 2012). This offers the users specific simple and manageable web-based user interfaces that can be used effectively for the purpose of accessing services, applications and software, which does not need any installation, just access to the web and valid authorization to use the interface.

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  • In addition to the above-listed advantages, the use of cloud computing technology and resources can also benefit an organization in attaining a specific strategic edge over their key competitors or rivals in the market. This can be achieved by the organization by the deployment of critical applications delivering substantial business benefits and not needing any specific upfront expenses and minimized provisioning time.

On the other hand, as suggested by, Velte, (2010), the overall disadvantages associated with the use and implementation of cloud computing technology has been described in detail as below;

  • In times of technical outages, the overall business processes can remain suspended temporarily; In addition, failure to have proper internet access can result in the individual’s being unavailable to access the data and information stored in the cloud platform.
  • Although the best possible security standards are implemented by the cloud service providers the overall data and information stored in the cloud platform are still exposed to security threats and risks. In addition use of cloud computing technology also specifies the overall need of the organizations to enable the service providers in accessing valuable information and data. In addition, the ease of accessing and procuring the cloud services may also offer the nefarious users the ability in scanning, identify as well as the exploitation of the loopholes or vulnerabilities within the context of the respective system. Although the chances of occurrences of such security threats are nominal it puts the organizations susceptible to high risks and challenges (Agrawal, 2011).
  • Although the cloud platform is seen to be highly flexible in nature as well as offering higher integration, the overall switching of the cloud services has still not completely evolved. The migration of the services and support from one specific vendor to the other is seemingly difficult. In addition, organizations can also face support and interoperability issues while integrating and hosting the present cloud application in any other platform.
  • In addition to the above-mentioned disadvantages, the cloud platform and the infrastructure is completely managed, monitored and controlled by the respective service provider. Therefore the overall control of the user or customer is relatively reduced. In this context, the customers only have proper control over the services, applications and data but not the specific backend infrastructure developed by the service provider.

5. Research Questions

Primary Research Question

The primary question that will be addressed in the research has been identified below;

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using cloud computing technology in organizations such as Wesfarmers, Australia?

Secondary Research Questions

The secondary research questions can be explained as below;

  • What is the significance of using cloud computing technology in Wesfarmers, Australia?
  • How can the use of cloud computing technology promote higher operational efficiency and productivity in Wesfarmers, Australia?
  • What are the strategies that can be effectively implemented by Wesfarmers, Australia for optimum and secured use of the cloud computing technology?

6. Research Design and Methodology

6.1 Research Strategy

The selected research on the analysis of the key disadvantages and advantages associated with the use of cloud computing will implement both qualitative as well as quantitative research strategies. The use of these strategies can be briefly described as below;

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6.1.1 Qualitative Research Strategy

In regards to qualitative strategy, the use of qualitative techniques will be incorporated to evaluate and interpret the data and information collected from the secondary data sources. In this context, the overall information and data attained from the journals, articles and past research will be qualitatively analyzed and the results will be discussed and showcased in the form of journal and article analysis and discussions (Flick, 2015).

6.1.2 Quantitative Research Strategy

In regards to quantitative research, the incorporation of mathematical or statistical techniques will be done to analyze the information gathered from the primary sources. The information will be gathered through surveys among sampled respondent groups. This information will be mathematically analyzed and accurate outcomes will be achieved. To serve the purpose Microsoft Excel would be used. The research results will be effectively represented in graphical formats.

6.2 Data Collection

Data collection refers to the gathering of the research specific information or data that are collected from different sources. In the research on the identification of key disadvantages and advantages associated with the use of cloud computing, both secondary and primary data collection methods will be applied. This is justified for enabling the attainment of precise and accurate information and data from relevant and appropriate data sources. The application of the data collection processes have been described as below;

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6.2.1 Primary Data Collection

With respect to primary data gathering, the focus is expected to be on conducting a wide research survey between the sampled respondent groups. The overall sample size of the respondent group will be 50 and they will be employees and staff of Wesfarmers, Australia. The survey will be commenced through a specific questionnaire that will consist of sets of close-ended questions. Thus the generation of the questionnaire will be the major aspect of the data collection survey (Panneerselvam, 2014). A specific Likert scale will be used to evaluate and measure the overall feedback achieved from the completion of the survey and convert the feedback to numerical information. This information will then be interpreted by mathematical and statistical analysis and key research outcomes will be generated.

6.2.2 Secondary Data Collection

In regards to the collection of secondary data, interpretations will be made from different valid and authentic secondary data sources. Such data sources will include articles, journals or past research conducted in a similar research area or field. Prior to the collection of the information and the data, the overall authenticity of the data sources needs to be properly checked and monitored. The information and data thereby gathered will be analyzed qualitatively so that valid research outcomes can be obtained.

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6.3 Sampling and Sample Size

In respect to the sampling of the respondents’ for the research survey, the chosen research on the analysis of the key disadvantages and advantages associated with the use of cloud computing will implement a specific simple random sampling procedure. This sampling will help the researcher in the selection of a correct and accurate sample of respondents from a larger population or sample size for the commencement of the research survey. The use of this sampling procedure has a certain number of advantages or benefits. This sampling can be used for facilitating the selection of specifically random samples of participants and respondents which can improve the accuracy and precision of the research information and data the analysis of which will yield valid outcomes and results. In addition by using this sampling procedure, the researcher can also offer the individuals within the respective population equal chances to get selected for the survey. By using the technique of random sampling, the focus will be upon a sampling of near about 50 participants or respondents for the initiation and commencement of the research survey.

6.4 Research Validity

The overall research procedure will be made highly valid and reliable by the implementation of the necessary steps or approaches. In this context, the implementation of the research procedures and the steps will be repeatedly checked so as to minimize any errors in implementation. During primary data collection, the questionnaire developed for the survey will be tested or validated through a pilot study (Williams, 2011). In addition, the overall authenticity of the secondary data sources will also be validated before the collection of data and information so that higher accuracy can be obtained in the context of the research outcomes and the results. Both the qualitative as well as quantitative analysis will be done with higher precision and care so that appropriate and desired research results are obtained.

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7. Research Limitations

Research can have certain sets of limitations. The limitations faced in the selected research have been described as below;

  • The overall collection of data and information may be hindered owing to the restriction of the time frame. The research survey may not be completed within the said time resulting in the inaccuracy of data and information. In addition, it may also be difficult to have proper access to secondary information sources within a short time.
  • The respondents for the survey may not take active participation in the research resulting in the inaccuracy of the feedback and responses.

8. Timeline of Research

The overall research timeline is explained as below;

                                   Schedule of Research Activities Implementation
  Overall Duration of Research Activities
 Undertaken Activities 1st Week 2ndWeek 3rd Week 4th Week 5th Week 6th Week 7th Week 8th Week
Reviewing of the Literature                


Data Analysis                
Recommendation and Conclusion                

Fig: Research Timeline (source: self)

9. Conclusion

The research outcomes are expected to highlight and analyze the use of cloud computing in an organization. The results will analyze in detail the overall benefits as well as the limitations that are seen to be associated with the use of cloud computing within an organization.

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Algebra, A., 2012. Cloud computing for increased business value. International Journal of Business and social Agrawal, D., Das, S. and El Abbadi, A., 2011science3(1).

Baciu, I.E., 2015. Advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing services, from the employee’s point of view.

Flick, U., 2015. Introducing research methodology: A beginner’s guide to doing a research project. Sage.

Hofmann, P. and Woods, D., 2010. Cloud computing: The limits of public clouds for business applications. IEEE Internet Computing14(6), pp.90-93.

Neuman, W.L. and Robson, K., 2014. Basics of social research. Pearson Canada.

Panneerselvam, R., 2014. Research methodology. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Subashini, S. and Kavitha, V., 2011. A survey on security issues in service delivery models of cloud computing. Journal of network and computer applications34(1), pp.1-11.

Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R. and DeVault, M., 2015. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Velte, A.T., Velte, T.J., Elsenpeter, R.C. and Elsenpeter, R.C., 2010. Cloud computing: a practical approach (pp. 1-55). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Williams, C., 2011. Research methods. Journal of Business & Economics Research (JBER)5(3).

Agrawal, D., Das, S. and El Abbadi, A., 2011, March. Big data and cloud computing: current state and future opportunities. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Extending Database Technology (pp. 530-533). ACM.

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