This proposal will cover the hardware and software I have chosen for the second phase of the project that are supported by reasons, prices and justifications. Since the Chief Technology Officer wants cost efficiency and chooses the proposal with the lowest cost, the final cost of the cheapest hardware and software is $24528.67, while the cost of my recommended hardware and software is $104764.94 and the cost of the most expensive but best hardware and software is $154220.46.
This section contains some assumptions I made while doing this report. The 6 management staff need computers and are included in the 20 staff thus I do not have to buy 26 computers. iStar Infrastructure Pte Ltd job scope does not require staff to travel around constantly and work is done in an office, this is because the case study does not state what they do, and I need this information when deciding which computer to buy.
§ Part 1: Hardware
There are many types of hardware available for purchase. Therefore, I will justify my choices of hardware in this section.
For the computers the staff will use, I have chosen to use desktop towers instead of laptops and desktops all-in-ones. Laptops and desktop all-in-ones are more expensive to buy, upgrade and repair than desktop towers and the money saved can be spent other necessary equipment like monitors or keyboards. Although the difference in price may not be much, saving $500 per computer for 20 staff makes a big difference. The main reason why laptops and all-in-ones are more expensive is the miniaturization of parts to make the devices compact and portable. Desktop towers also are easier to upgrade and repair because there is free space in the tower allowing easier exchanges of hardware but are bulkier as a result. Therefore, desktop towers are the most suitable rather than desktop all-in-ones or laptops since they are cheaper, and portability is not needed as the staff will be working in the office.
For the Enterprise Servers, I have chosen to use tower servers instead of a server racks or blade servers. Tower servers are cheaper to buy and maintain than the other options. Although tower servers take up more space, it is not a problem since only 1 enterprise server is needed per country. In the future, conversion kits can be bought to upgrade the tower server to a rack-mounted server to save space. Since there are only 20 staff, the tower server is an ideal choice rather than a rack or blade server as it is cost-effective and recommended for small businesses.
For the mobile devices, I have chosen to use smartphones instead of tablets. Smartphones are smaller than tablets and are more portable. This allows the management staff to use their phone anywhere without hassle as they can place their phone their pocket. Smartphones have longer battery life than tablets, allowing the staff to use their mobile devices longer without worrying about the need of charging. Although tablets have a bigger screen size, it is not needed as it will not be used by the job scope of the staff. Communicating with a phone is easier than a tablet as one can text and make phone calls easily rather than using a heavy bulky device. Therefore, the smartphone is a better choice than a tablet to use for working as it is easier to communicate and transport around than a tablet.
1.1 Introduction of hardware shortlisted
For each of the hardware needed, I have chosen 3 potential devices that are the most suitable for iStar Infrastructure Pte Ltd. More detailed comparisons are in 1.2. The following hardware were chosen because of their prices and features that they have.
The 3 potential Desktop Computers are the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910, Lenovo IdeaCentre 310s and ASUS ROG G20CI. The 3 potential Tower Servers are the Lenovo ThinkServer TS150, Dell PowerEdge T630 and Asus TS500. The 3 potential Smartphone Devices are the Microsoft Lumia 650, Microsoft Lumia 950 and Moto G5s Plus.
1.2 Considerations/Comparison of Hardware specifications
Here are 3 Desktop Tower computers I have shortlisted after researching,This are the equipment I recommend buying to use the desktop tower. The K200 keyboard is cheap but has many features like being spill resistant, having media keys to set macros and speed up work by having to press less keys and it is thin and lightweight. The mouse is also cheap but has many features like 7 programmable buttons to make work more efficient, for example it has a forward and backward button and has an ergonomic design which makes it easier to grip and comfortable to use as it fits nicely into the hand. The monitor’s image quality is excellent and has a big display that is 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels IPS panel, allowing the user to multitask more efficiently and be more productive. Purchasing the ASUS desktop tower comes with a Zen Grey Wireless keyboard and mouse.1.3 PricingCalculating the price of my recommended hardware, the price of each Lenovo ThinkCentre M910 Tower is $1858.99, the ASUS TS700 is $7509.00 and the Lumia 950 is $898.00, the keyboard, mouse and monitor costs $19.00, $15.86 and $411.78 respectively. The final cost for the hardware after buying computers and keyboard, mouse and monitor for 20 staff, 3 enterprise servers for each country and 6 mobile devices for the management staff is $ 748220.127.116.11 Final Recommendations with justificationsFirstly, I recommend the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910 for the desktop tower. It has a PCIe SSD storage which has a higher transfer speed than a SATA SSD, allowing the user to be more productive by being able to work faster. Combine this with its Intel i7 core processor, the computer can easily handle demanding tasks without struggling. The tower also has a unique security feature, the user can physical remove their hard drive from the bay at the front of the tower to prevent access from unauthorized third parties. The bay is secure and lockable, so users need not worry about physical theft of their hard drives. The tower has a dust shield at the front to reduce dust intake by up to 57% (Lenovo, 2017) and can easily be removed and washed. Dust is bad as it negatively affects performance and reliability so having this improves the tower’s life span. The tower is highly customizable, so it can be built to fit the needs of the user. Therefore, I feel the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910 is the ideal computer as it is not too expensive but is powerful.Secondly, I recommend the ASUS TS700 for the enterprise server. It is easy to manage as its ASMB6 dashboard enables dashboard system health monitoring, networking bonding support and many more. It also has 8 hot-swap hard drive modules for easy upgrades and large storage capacities. It comes with a conversion kit that allows it to be rack-mounted and saves space. As the company is still very small with only 20 staff, this server the ideal choice in terms of price and the Dell PowerEdge T630 or a rack server can be bought as an upgrade in the future. Lastly, the smartphone I recommend is the Lumia 950. Users can multitask easier while typing as they can type with one hand by long pressing the spacebar to trigger it. The Glance Screen can be customized to show information like weather, time, social notifications or emails and makes it more convenient for the user as they do not have to unlock the phone and saves time and trouble. The Windows store on the phone has been redesigned as well and grants the same Windows experience across devices, making it work great with the desktop computer. The screen is scratch-resistance increasing the life span of the screen. Therefore, the Lumia 950 is a great choice as it works well with the desktop computer and is not too costly.§ Part 2: SoftwareThere is a lot software choose from used to run the hardware to and in this section, I will justify my choices. For the operating system I chose to use Windows instead of Mac or Linux. Windows has a larger selection of commercial software available compared to the Mac or Linux as Windows has a massive user base. Therefore, using Windows gives the users a higher chance to find a software that a user desires and they do not have to worry about compatibility issues. Windows is also easier to use than a Linux as it was designed to be user friendly and requires little training if any at all, allowing the staff to be able to use their computers without the need for training which saves time and money. Therefore, the Windows operating system is the one I chose to use for the hardware.For the office software suite, I chose to use Microsoft Office instead of Google Docs. Although Google Docs is free, it does not have as many features as Microsoft Office like the basic placement of images. Google Docs requires the Internet to use and can be unreliable. For example, if Google servers were to go offline, the staff would not be able to work. Therefore, I chose to use Microsoft Office as the office software suite as its features allows for more professional work.2.1 Introduction of software shortlistedFor the operating system the hardware will use, Windows 10 professional for the desktop. Windows Server 2016 for the enterprise server. Windows 10 for the smartphone. For the software used in the computer, they are Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium, Adobe Creative Cloud for business and AVG Business.2.2 Considerations/Comparison of Software functions
Here are the operating systems the hardware purchased will be using,All hardware purchased comes with an operating system as it is included in their price tag. All the computers use the Windows operating system. All servers can use the Windows server operating system too. Both the Lumia 650 and 950 runs on the Windows operating system while the Moto G5s Plus uses the Android. Unfortunately, I am unable to find a one-time purchase for the Office 365 Business Premium and Adobe Creative Cloud software and listed the monthly subscription instead. The final cost calculated will be the cost for an annual subscription of the software.2.3 PricingThe cost of the office software suite subscription for 1 person is $196.08 annually. The cost of an adobe creative cloud subscription is $1248 annually. While the cost of AVG Business for the desktops is $50.39 and $7.99 for smartphones. Therefore, the total cost of the software for 20 staff and 20 computers and 6 phones is $29918.104.22.168 Final Recommendations with justificationsFirstly, I recommend the Office 365 Business Premium plan over the Business and Business Essentials plans. The Business plan includes all applications like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Access and their web version counterparts and access to OneDrive. While the Business Essentials plan includes services like Exchange, SharePoint Skype for business, Microsoft Teams and Yammer and email hosting with a 50GB mailbox and with a custom email domain address. Microsoft Teams allows teams in the department to communicate with each other while Yammer allows staff to work and communicate with each other across the organization. Management staff can host a video conference for up to 250 people. However, Business Premium plan is a combination of each two. Therefore, it will be the most effective plan as it is the best of both worlds and subscribing to that plan is cheaper than subscribing to both.Secondly, an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is recommended for the designers as it comes with many useful designer applications like Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and Creative Cloud services. It has UX design tools like Adobe XD or Dream Weaver for web design as well as photograph manipulation tools and video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro. Since Adobe Creative Cloud has a ton of tools and freedom, the staff can effective create whatever they want. Finally, an anti-virus subscription is recommended to have a safer working environment online and prevents security risks. AVG has many features to ensure that. Like an Identity Protection and Ransomware Protection to protect users from spyware and ransomware. A Data Safe encrypts and stores valuable things like documents onto a password protected virtual disk on a user’s PC. The File Shredder securely deletes files to prevent recovery ever again. There is online protection like Surf-Shield that checks webpages before the user opens them and displays a safety rating and a Network Antivirus to protect the cloud from malware by using a proactive AI Detector. Therefore, AVG is the anti-virus software I recommend the staff use because of its many features.§ Conclusion
Although the hardware and software aren’t cheap. It will have a higher return on investment as the hardware chosen has a longer life span and is more efficient, allowing staff to be more productive and reducing the chances of a breakdown thus reduces the cost of the maintenance. The final cost of the recommended of hardware and software is $74827.60 + $29937.34 = $104764.94.