Teleworking (Staff/ Employee) Advantages
- Can work at convenient times to fit in with family and social commitments.
- Avoids the stress, frustration and time lost by commuting to work.
- Avoids the cost of commuting to work.
- Useful for disabled people who have mobility problems.
- Useful for single parents who can't get to work during normal hours due to childcare commitements.
- No need to move house or relocate when you get a new job.
Teleworking (Staff/Employee) Disadvantages
- It may be difficult to concentrate and work at certain times due to general noise by other family members.
- Need to ensure that the employer provides and maintains the ICT equipment required.
- Need to ensure that the employer makes some allowance for the cost of heating and lighting a home office.
- Employee has no one to ask if they have a work related problem without making contact with the company.
- There is a general lack of social interaction for teleworkers which may make them feel isolated and unhappy.
- The work/life balance is confused by not working regular hours and not leaving the home
Teleworking (Employer) Advantages
- Can solve problems with the skills shortage by using workers outside of the emloyer's region.
- Costs are reduced as less office space is required.
- Reduction in office overheads for utility bills.
- Fewer maintenance staff, caretakers and cleaners are required for the office.
Teleworking (Employer) Disadvantages
- There is difficulty in holding and organising meetings-either virtual or physical.
- Difficult to supervise workers and determine how hard they are working.
- There are security risks for data and equipment when located away from the office.
- Difficult to maintain the ICT equipment that has to be Purchased for Teleworkers.
Teleworking Advantages in Society
- Less traffic congestion as there are fewer commuters to work
- Less environmental damage through reduced air pollution and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Teleworking from remote areas helps the local economy.
Open Source Software Advantages
- The software is free.
- The code is continually being developed in a collaborative way so new features are regularly being added.
- The code for the software is available so it can be modified to solve a specific problem.
- Can be downloaded from the internet.
Open Source Software Disadvantages
- Software updates are usually unscheduled and sporadic (Occurring at irregular intervals or only in a few places).
- It may lack some of the features of its proprietary rival.
- Generally less well-packaged and lacks the dedicated support of proprietary software.
Proprietary Software Advantages
- Software is coded and modified by the manufacturer who provides automatic updates.
- The manufacturer normally provides support for their package, such as help pages, wizards and online video instructions.
- The software manufacturer tests the system extensively before release to ensure the software is robust (sturdy).
Proprietary Software Disadvantages
- The software may have many complex features that are paid for but never used.
- The software is often large and complicated and takes a considerable time to learn.
- Competitors may have bought the same software system so you will not have any competitive advantage.
Bespoke Software Advantages
- It is tailor-made to meet the company's requirements.
- Using bespoke software solutions can give the company a major advantage over their competitors.
- It can be created to work with the company's business procedures for which there is no proprietary solution specific to these needs.
- It can be designed to be intuitive and easy to learn, since it will have no non-required features.
Bespoke Software Disadvantages
- Software development costs higher than buying off-the-shelf proprietary software.
- There is less chance of finding all software bugs than with widely used proprietary software.
- Bespoke software development time is longer than buying off-the-shelf- proprietary software.
- It is difficult to recruit experts to develop bespoke solutions.
Language Translation Software Advantages
- AquaInflatables can communicate with the manufacturing company in Chine as most of the workers there won't be able to speak English.
- Text is translated almost immediately.
Instant Translation Disadvantages
- A special font will need to be installed on the user's computer to view the Chinese language hieroglyphs.
- Language translation is affected by the context in which it is used, so minor translation errors could cause the business problems.
- Language translators may not be able to cope with the slang words used in a particular country or business.
- More accurate than hand-drawn designs
- Can create new designs by modifying old designs which saves time.
- Can view drawing in detail by zooming in.
- Objects in a drawing can be copied and pasted to make a consistent image.
- CAD software packages contain frequently used objects that can be used in a drawing to save time.
- The inflatable boat designs would be constructed in a three-dimensional format, which is usually how physical objects like boats and buildings are designed.
- The company will have to purchase expensive software.
- There is a need to train workers to use this complicated software.
- A CAD system can only be used if the organisation has a computer system.
- There is a need to create a suitable file backup system to prevent losing any work.
- Many people lost their jobs when CAD/CAM was introduced.
- The designs used by the computer-aided manufacturing process can be set up to cut the accurate amount of raw material or fabric for the product and so minimise any wastage.
- The production process will be faster than traditional manufacturing since it is automatic.
- Produces accurate results for large-scale production operations.
- Can operate 24/7 with no reduction in the quality of products.
- Useful for large-scale production as it saves time.
- Mass-produced products will be identical.
- Setting up the automatic production line is expensive- custom-made machines will need to be purchased.(Start-up costs of softwre and machinery is expensive)
- Not cost-effective for low volume or one-off production.
- There is a cost involved in training staff to use the software and machinery.
Cloud Computing Advantages
- Cloud providers typically provide software which can be used be many different organisations, so the organisations benefit by avoidind the purchase of the software and the purchase fo the hardware to operate it.
- Data can be obtained by staff who are teleworking wherever they have an Internet account to log in.
- Scalability is a useful feature for a web server- if the website is hosted by the cloud and the site becomes popular, the cloud provider will automatically increase the server/transaction capacity.
- The use of equipment is rented from the cloud which is initially cheaper than purchasing equipment for a new project.
- Special hardware environments are not required and organisations can leave the cloud companies to organise data backup and security, including disaster recovery.
- Cloud computing is useful when an organisation needs to trial a particular type of softwre, ro when precise transaction costs need to be known in advance.
Cloud Computing Disadvantages
- The web service provided may be unreliable.
- There is a concers about how secure data is when it is stored globally.
- The organisation may become dependent on proprietary cloud applications and services so that it is difficult to opt out of the system.
- One cloud company may not be able to provide all the software packages provided, meaning that multiple cloud companies are needed.
- Legal issues (Data Protection Act) may arise if the cloud operates outside of the European Union.
Thin Client Computing Advantages
- The installation, updating or removal of software only needs to be added at the server which saves time and creates a consistent system.
- Backing up and recovery are fast as it can all take place at the server and there is not need for any user involvement.
- It makes use of low specification computers as thin clients; they are easy to maintain and set up.
- There is less maintenance on a thin client computer to carry out as hardware and software upgrades are not necessary; this saves time and the the cost of upgrading PCs.
- Security is improved as all data can be kept away from the network in a secure location.
Thin Client Computing Disadvantages
- The system is dependent upon the server so, if it fails, the whole system fails. (This can be protected against by using a mirrored server that can automatically take over in the event of a failure.)
- There is a limit to the number of thin clients that can be run from a server; this is dependent upon the specification of the server.
- Users of thin client computers may find the operation of software slower when the server is heavily loaded.
RAM Advantages and Disadvantages
- The contents of RAM can be changed
- RAM is needed so that it is possible to multi-task by switching between multiple windows or multiple programs that are open
- It is volatile memory so data is lost when the system is powered down.
- When RAM is full the system operation slows down as programs and data that are loaded but not currently in use will be stored on the hard disk and then retrieved when required.
- Can improve customer interaction with the business
- Gaining a competitive advantage- if you have a website and your competitors don't, then your Internet presentation will reach more new potential customers.
- Customers will find you on the Internet- most buyers will look at products online, so it is important to have a web presence; they can also buy products online using ecommerce.
- Cost effective- customers can contact you through the website which is cheaper than using traditional methods like paticipating in exhibitions or contacting customers personally.
- Using memorable website addresses makes it easy for customers to find you- web addresses can be advertised in newspapers, on the back of cars or on posters. People see the address and often look it up on the Internet out of curiosity.
- Place product catalogue on website- this can be useful to customers as they have all the information they want. it can be printed by the customer or downloaded and viewed, without waiting for a catalogue to arrive in the post. it will also save the cost of printing and posting.
- Website presentation- site is set up to show the company at their best, giving the customer a good impression of the business.
- Can be used to promote latest products and to give details of special offers and promotions.
- The business can get members by sending emails to known customers with links to blogs and social networks.
- Blogs can be used to drive people to your website, which might help to improve your site ranking by search engine optimisation (SEO).
- The content can be kept up to date and users notified of special offers.
- It is a cheap form of adverising compared with television, press and magazines.
- Once someone subscribes there will be sufficient new content to keep them interested and promote customer loyalty.
- The business can use embedded video/audio content to create dynamic advertising.
- The business can give loyalty points and special offer codes to subscribers to help increase sales.
- It's a large task to set one up as a significant amount of content will be displayed.
- Must be updated regularly.
- Myst contain dynamic and up-to-date content.
- During registration Aqua-Inflatables can obtain the email addresses and names of forum members which can be used for marketing.
- Forums encourage increased website traffic and repeat visitors; this helps Aqua-Inflatables to build a relationship with customers or potential customers.
- Aqua-Inflatables can answer questions to help educate users about their range of products and their performance.
- Can be seen by the general public (but can only be commented on is a user is registered).
- Businesses are able to add a forum to their social networking site in addition to the website-based forum they run-form of free marketing.
Online Catalogue Advantages
- They can contain lots of useful features such as a table on contents, thumbnail images, full screen viwe, sound, zoom-in control, embedded videos, download or print control and page navigation and page number indication.
- A potential customer can view the range of products available in an online catalogue immediately if they have Internet access
- It is more convenient and faster than waiting for a conventional catalogue to be posted.
- It is easier to search through an online catalogue.
- You avoid the cost of printing out copies of the catalogue to send to homes, instead you only have to create one catalogue that everyone can see on the Internet.
- Online catalogues can be set up for many comuting devices, such as PC, Mac, iPad or smartphone.
Expert System Advantages
- You don't have to hire specialist workers for the help lines as the expert system gives them all the information they need.
- Can answer a wide variety of queries.
- Based on expert knowledge- provides the non-specialist user with a series of logical steps that an expert would have taken to solve the problem.
- If the actions recommended are unsuccesful, the expert system will ask further questions and offer further advice until a solution is obtained.
- The advice is consistent.
- Advice is precise due to the problem being condensed to a specific issue with the use of a series of questions.
VoIP Advantages and Disadvantages
- Calls are cheaper than using a conventional telephone network which is important when dealing with suppliers on a worldwide basis.
- There is no service available when there is a power failure so VoIP cannot be used.
- The quality of sound reproduction is often poor.
SMS Advantages and Disadvantages
- Allows messages to be sent from one mobile to another anywhere where there is service.
- Messages are recieved quickly.
- Brief, informal method of communicating with business partners.
- Text messages are limited to 160 characters, including spaces.
- Not ideal for formal business conversations.
Instant Messaging Advantages
- Can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection.
- Its quick.
- You can:
- create a chat room for a business group
- Chat face to face using webcams to transmit video
- Share files and web links
- Employee does not have to spend time travelling to meetings
- The company does not have to pay travel and hotel expenses.
- Meetings can be arranged at short notice via email.
- Can be used on laptops and smartphones
- Time zones could be a problem for meetings ith multinational companies.
- Even with a fast broadband connection there can be delays in responses from people at the meeting.
- Everybody needs the equipment (computer, webcam, Broadband Internet connection, Microphone) and it needs to be in good working order.
Email Advantages and Disadvantages
- Attachments can be included with the email, such as an order for a supplier. the attached document can be encrypted to maintain business privacy.
- The email communication can be copied to others for record purposes, using CC or BCC feature.
- Copies of sent items are automatically kept for business records.
- Signature and company contact details can be added tothe email automatically using a signature.
- Email contacts and address details can be added to an address book.
- There are only brief time delays involved with sending and recieving emails.
- Emails can be customised to include company logos, background colours and disclaimer notes.
- Can be used on smartphones with Internet access.
- Junk mail is a major distraction for business users as their inbox fills up with unsolicited email and this makes it difficult for the user to see the important ones.
- It is a secure and efficient methos of communicating with manufacturers.
- Service and access are always available (24/7); this helps with contacting worldwide organisations in different time zones.
- It helps designers to automate the supply and manufacture of products as the various manufacturers in China can access the relevant product design details from the Aqua-Inflatables extranet.
- Involves security features such as username, password and firewall to prevent external unauthorised access.
Distributed Database Advantages
- Less risk of total database failure as database is distributed and not dependent upon one server and one storage location.
- Increased speed of response to local database queries.
- Data localised so less network traffic jamming up the system.
Distributed Databade Disadvantages
- The system is dependent upon high-quality communications links.
- Possible security issues as database is distributed over a wider area.
- Possible data inconsistency as two versions of the database are running in parallel for a period.
Project Management Advantages
- Essential too keep a project on track.
- Making sure the best people are chosen to perform the tasks.
- Everyone knows the deadlines.
- Everything is organised.
Gantt Chart Advantages
- This method can help to set realistic time frames and organise the order in which the project activities are carried out.
- Gantt charts are widely understood as a graphical representation of project activities.
- It is a useful method for scheduling small projects that fit on a single page or computer screen.
- Very visual- you can easily see the different projects and how some are dependent on others being completed.
Gantt Chart Disadvantages
- Each bar on the chart indicated the time allocated to complete the activity, not the amount of work involved. A short bar could indicate a large task (10 people working for five hours) whereas a longer bar might indicate a small task of one man working for ten hours.
- If dependencies are shown between the various activities, the Gantt chart becomes cluttered and difficult to understand.
- It is important to visualise the whole of a project; therefore, this is not an appropriate method for larger projects that cannot be viewed on one computer screen.
- A survey can be easily managed by email, mobile devices or over the Internet.
- Data can be created from a servey's results faster than by interviewing other methods.
- A survey is an efficient method of gaining data from a large number of people.
- People may not give accurate answers.
- People may answer questions to show themselves in a positive light.
- Some 'strength of choice' answer options are subjective and may mean different things to different people.
- Data from a survey taken a number of years ago may not be relevant, accurate or up to date any more so the survey will have to be taken again.