Topic 12 - AQA INFO3 ICT

External and internal resources

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Using external ICT services and business support

  • Why outsource - the organisation can concentrate on their core activity, can save money, be more flexible and allows the business to make effective use of the knowledge and technical resources of another organisation. The benefits of outsourcing need to outweigh the costs. The process will have to be properly managed and monitored.
  • What to outsource - ICT functions could be outsourced. The organisation can benefit from the latest technology and software upgrades without having to invest in expensive systems ot personnel. Business processes and HR could be outsourced. This gives the business access to specialist skills when needed. Finance such as auditing of final accounts can be outsourced. Sales & marketing can be outsourced to specialist agenies. Health & safety can be outsourced to consultants who can ensure the organisation meets current legislation. 
  • Drawbacks of outsourcing - quality of service may be poor, the company may not respect confidentiality ot the company could go out of business. A contingency plan should be put in place which includes alternative service providers and standby preparations in-house. 
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Procurement of hardware/software communications

  • Why lease - the costs of buying hardware and software are quite low but upgrading often can be expensive. The advantages of leasing is that costs are certain, there is no need to tie up capital in purchasing ICT equipment, leasing is inflation proof, equipment can be updated cost-effectively and support and maintenance can be provided.
  • HR and contracting - attracting skilled ICT personnel is difficult due to general shortage of talent an an ageing workforce. It is cheaper to employ a contractor. 
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Managing internal resources

  • Facilities & power - power saving is important for the management of internal resources. 
  • Consumables  - these should always be available. A JIT method may be used. 
  • Software resources - management should decide on their software requirements so to determine how many copies of the software packages are needed. 
  • Hardware resources - records of the hardware present should be kept, make sure the hardware is up to the minimum standard and have a policy to replace hardware.
  • Communication resources - measures should be taken to limit usage such as within email. 
  • People & HR - a manager should be clear, confident and allocate tasks based on expertise. The HR department should attract and motivate employees. The should measure employee performance and put together employee benefits and compensation program. 
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