Thursday, February 20, 2020

Global marketing Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Global marketing - Essay Example This marketing essay, therefore, aims to provide more insight on some of the key elements of global marketing such as the development of the global trade, as well as the growth of the world economy. Moreover, the essay critically assesses the interrelationship that exists between the aforementioned aspects of the global market. According to (Westerfield 2004, pg. 19) global marketing is wider than earlier presumed as it involves the processes of planning, producing, placing and promoting goods and services across international markets. Market globalization has majorly been proliferated by the advancement in information technology as well as the inroads made by the transport industry. In as much as organizations that deal with universal demands such as food and automobiles are some of the most notable institutions that have over time embraced market globalization, the current level of global competition often prompts countless establishments to venture into international markets. This is majorly because organizations that function domestically often face competition from other industry players who have opted to go international. Westerfield further asserts that it is imperative for the administrations of various organizations to be conclusive in carrying market analysis before beginning operations in fresh markets. This is majorly because some of the business approaches that are successful in an economy may not bring forth similar returns in a different market. Apart from making our daily activities more efficient, the advancements in both information technology and transport have opened various global economies to international trade. (Nanda 2011, pg. 108) reaffirms that the establishment of a free and liberal economy is by all standards the first step towards ensuring growth. In as much as the previous generations did not fully embrace it, the practice of international trade has been documented in various histories as demonstrated by the Trans-Atlantic trade

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Forest Industry Case Study Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

Forest Industry - Case Study Example Ontario is referred to as the 'crown' of forests as ninety percent of the forested lands in Canada fall under the province of Ontario. There are a plenty of questions that come to the mind when trying to understand the dynamics of the forest industry and the roles played by different people who are actually part of the system. Ontario's forest industry has been in the news in recent months as government and industry struggle to address economic challenges and redefine the future of the industry.' The rising Canadian dollar, the softwood lumber dispute, energy prices, outside competition, overcapacity and wood supply issues have all been cited as contributing factors effecting Ontario's struggling forest industry. In response, the Ontario government is considering a package tomorrow to support this vital industry.' Noticeably absent from the debate is a recognition of environmental performance as a key indicator of long-term success and sustainability.'' The ministry of natural resources says that it is doing everything under its jurisdiction to see to it that there is no further damage of the forests but the critics reject this. As a global citizen and a person who has been following up with this issue closely, I can definitely say that the Government has not being doing enough to protect the forests in the area and has been consistently bowing to the pressure by various industries indulging in the logging process in the area. What kinds of changes are needed in the present formulation of laws and policies to ensure sustainability of the forests' These are some of the questions I've attempted to answer through this dissertation. Economic Sustainability Ontario's forest industry has been steadily consolidating over the past 15 yrs. In the year 1991, 24 companies were responsible for processing 90 percent of the wood that was harvested. In the year 2004, 8 companies were found to process the same amount of wood that was being processed by the 24 companies in the year 2004. On the wood supply front, the government was aware of the situation that a 20 year old low in the dip of the supply of the wood was looming largely over Ontario. Even after this, the government involving itself in logging contracts with various companies draws a suspicion over its attitude. Senior industrialists clearly point out that the harvest levels in the forest have been coming down drastically but the government reviews have shown that the harvest rates are above sustainable levels. What does this infer' It can be easily said that with continuing job loss, lower productivity and harvest levels in terms of quality and quantity and decreasing competitiveness in global markets and loss of key ecological issues, Ontario forest industry is not at all economically sustainable as pointed out by the Government. Ecological sustainability For many years, its been widely understood that the continous logging of the forests has clearly resulted in the reduction of bio-diversity, forest composition and degradation of habitat. The rate of logging has clearly increased and experts put the estimates at 6.6 hectares of land per year, which is clearly alarming. In the year 2002, the practice of clear cutting by the industries in that the Environment Commisioner who termed it as "experiment on a massive scale" and observed that it was well

Monday, January 27, 2020

Developing Scientific Thinking in Education

Developing Scientific Thinking in Education Developing Scientific Thinking Abstract The essay title was chosen since developing scientific thinking is a key area of teaching in the primary classroom. The skills which are to be developed through scientific thinking are transferrable to many other areas of the curriculum, and many of the skills are central to real life experiences. The essay will discuss why the skills taught in SC1 are of importance. The aspects of SC1 which were taught were forming of hypothesis and relating conclusions to the hypothesis, selection of appropriate equipment, methods and measurements, fair testing and also analysing ways in which the investigation could be improved. The outcomes of these lessons were positive, with the children showing their ability to interact and produce their own questions which could be investigated. They selected appropriate equipment and methods with teacher guidance, and were able to formulate a hypothesis to test. The children were able to contribute ideas as to how to make the test fair, and were able to comm unicate their results in a scientific way, through graphs. The children were also able to recognise factors which affected the outcome of their experiment and suggest further improvements which could be made. In conclusion, the lesson showed that the methods used were a viable way of teaching SC1. It did however highlight several issues which would need to be accounted for in the future, such as group size; a larger group would require greater organisation, and would possibly require a different emphasis during the lessons to account for different knowledge levels and learning styles. Introduction The main justification for the inclusion of investigations within the national curriculum is to develop the set of skills and processes within the children, with conceptual understanding of science being the secondary outcome to be achieved (Watson et al., 2000). The overall aim is for pupils to be developed into critical thinkers, through the development of various investigative skills. All pupils begin school with some limited skills already developed, but these are built upon throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 so that by the beginning of Key Stage 3 (DfES, 2007) all pupils ideally possess a diverse set of skills which will prepare them for the various subjects to be studied at this level, and will also assist them in many real life experiences, particularly as they reach a stage in their life at which they must be able to use skills to form their own opinions and decisions for the first time in their lives. The science curriculum is broken down into four components, and while the last t hree sections, SC2, 3 and 4, are heavily based on knowledge, SC1 is the component which deals with the development of scientific skills, and is central to each of the other components also. Scientific Enquiry in the National Curriculum Organisation of SC1: Enquiry The SC1 portion of the science curriculum is mostly concerned with teaching pupils the mental processes and practical skills which are needed to think and work in a scientific way (Newton and Newton, 1998): Ideas and evidence Planning Carrying out Interpreting and evaluating Recording and presenting data Some of these skills are already possessed at a basic level when a child begins Key Stage 1, and will be developed throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 (DfES, 2007). Other areas of science curriculum There are three other areas of the science curriculum which are taught in parallel to SC1. SC2 is concerned with life processes and living things. This area of the curriculum teaches the pupil to be able to recognise, observe and describe a range of features of the human body, animals and plants. This area is also concerned with life processes, which pupils learn to recognise, describe and explain. SC3 is the area of the curriculum in which materials and their properties are studied. In this component children are taught to be able to classify materials through various properties. SC4 is the area of the curriculum which is concerned with physical processes, such as electricity and forces, in which children should be able to form comparisons, and learn to offer explanations as to why certain phenomena occur (National Curriculum in Action, n.d.). It can be seen from the content of SC2-4 that the ideas and knowledge which is developed in SC1 is fundamental to the remaining three components of the curriculum. The ideas which SC1 teaches are required in order for the development of the other areas to occur. For example, in SC1 the ability to interpret and evaluate is developed, and this is a transferable skill which can be used in each of the other three strands. The ability to evaluate and interpret data is essential for pupils to be able to spot patterns between the life processes of living things and to use these to make evidence based predictions about the way that life processes work in other creatures which have not been specifically studied. This is only an example of one of the many ways in which there is an interdependent relationship between the four strands of primary science education; there are many other ways in which the development of skills in SC1 impacts on the ability of the pupil to develop in other areas of the curriculum. Importance of SC1 SC1 is concerned with three main areas, which are experimentation, exploration and investigation (Newton and Newton, 1998, p. 77). These ideas are all closely related, and when used together form an effective method for introducing new ideas or concepts, or developing the level of understanding in current knowledge. It has been found in previous studies that while numerous activities are offered in the classroom in which children are able to develop skills involving observations, planning and measurement, there are less opportunities available in which children get the chance to put forward ideas, hypothesise and interpret an investigation (Newton and Newton, 1998, p. 77). Goldsworthy (n.d.) also showed that there is a distinct unbalance in the skills which teachers at Key Stage 2 concentrate on in the classroom; it was shown that half of the teaching sampled concentrated on the ‘fair test’. While this is important, there are other skills which are more easily transferred to other areas that appear to be neglected in the classroom at the present time. For example pattern seeking and exploring were found to be dealt with rarely, and using and applying models not at all. This research assumes that the reason for this is due to previous teacher training, as some years ago the emphasis was very much on the fair test; however there have been many teachers come through training in recent years that would have had more up to date training, which should see this in remission, which has not happened. This suggests that there must be other factors which are affecting the areas which are taught in the classroom. For example it could be that the concepts which are most explored in the primary classroom are more abundant in other areas of the curriculum, or it could simply be that the teachers are more comfortable with certain aspects of the curriculum, so these are the areas which are concentrated on in lessons. It could also be that a lack of knowledge on behalf of some teachers leads to confusion between the fundamental concepts involved, such as thinking that experimentation and investigation is the same thing, which could lead to there being vital areas of development which are ignored. It could also be due to time pressures, since processes leading to investigations are often lengthy (Garson, 1988, p. 62). During science activities, discussion plays a critical role, since it is through discussion between pupil and teacher that questions are raised which can be investigated and explored; discussion also leads to effective development of communication techniques. Experience is also needed for the pupils to draw upon in order to identify questions (Newton and Newton, 1998, p. 79), therefore providing varied practical activities for pupils is also essential to development in science (Newton and Newton, 1998, p. 78). Independent investigations are centred on the pupil being in control of the investigation, by setting their own questions in response to given information, and deciding the best approach to tackle the questions raised (Newton and Newton, 1998, p. 79). This skill is useful in may areas of the curriculum, since it instils the skills necessary for the pupil to conduct their own research into any area which they study, for example if the child were set a literacy task in which they had to find examples of a specific type of poem, they would use the same set of investigative skills as in science; they would assess the knowledge that they already have, identify the question to be answered, and then choose the most appropriate option to tackle the task at hand. These skills are invaluable in life, particularly in adulthood, since it is by these same investigation methods which we make many decisions, such as the decision as to which electricity supplier is the cheapest, or where you would b e able to buy a new tyre for your car. The skills which SC1 aims to develop are fundamental skills, exploration skills, direct experiment skills, and independent investigation skills. Fundamental skills which may be developed through science are the manipulation of materials, measuring skills and recording skills. These skills are fundamental not only to creating a sound scientific method of investigation and reporting for the pupils, but also to other areas of the curriculum. For instance the manipulation and measurement of materials is a skill which is particularly useful in technology lessons, such as cooking and craft; recording skills are important in any area in which information needs to be communicated effectively from the pupil to another person. It can also be seen that these skills are fundamental in life itself; measurement is a transferable skill which enables you to effectively plan and measure the time which you spend doing various tasks in life; recording skills allow a person to communicate information to anyone, not only their teacher; manipulation of materials can be an everyday occurrence, such as knowing how to make a cake. When children begin school they can already use their five senses, and can therefore observe and communicate the things which occur around them. However this is usually on a very shallow level, and exploration skills need to be developed in order to enhance these observations, and enable the child to form explanations. These skills can be put to use in many areas of the school curriculum, for example in history, where rather than simply observe events that have happened in the past, exploration skills enable the pupil to delve further into the reasons behind the occurrences. This skill is particularly useful as a life skill, since without the ability to relate reason to an occurrence, it is not possible to alter events which might occur. For example it may be observed that it is slippery when out walking in the snow, which any child would be able to recognise. However with the ability to explore why this may be, and form an explanation as to the reason, it is then possible to explore ways in which the problem may be overcome. How SC1 was used in teaching Central to my approach on teaching of science enquiry is Vygotsky’s idea of ‘zone of proximal development’ that learning should be child-centred and based on activities that encourage the development of reflection through which they gain abstract understanding. Active learning rather than passive learning, collaborative learning rather than individualised learning and the integration of contextual process skills. I have observed lessons where it seemed that the learning objectives that the teacher had for the lesson were concerned with its factual content rather than with a concern to support children’s learning by involving them in the course of learning. As discussed in the beginning of this essay, while this may lead to the acquisition of knowledge through passive learning, it is unlikely that the children are able to develop the key skills outlined in SC1 through these methods. When planning my science work with the children I considered the scientific enquiry skills to be explored in terms of those that I felt were important to develop and relevant to the topic. My learning outcomes included the following: Finding questions that could be investigated scientifically and Choosing how to achieve answers Able to explain a fair test based on predictions I felt that these learning outcomes would lead to the development of analytical skills, since they centred on the pupils exploring their own ideas, and while they were based somewhat on the fair test, this was not the sole purpose of the lesson, simply a method by which children could be shown analytical skills. I began the lesson by talking to the group about the aspect of scientific enquires and on what scientific skills they will be focusing during the lesson (see appendix 1). We talked about the steps they can make when carrying out a scientific investigation. I asked two children to stand together and the rest of the group in pairs to brainstorm any differences in the children that they observed, a process that required a dialogic discussion. After a couple of minutes I bought the group together, listened to their observations and recorded them on the interactive white board. A short extract below illustrate some of the discussion: Andrew: Simon is taller than Leo. Lianne: I bet Simon can run faster than Leo. CT: Why do you think that? What are you basing your statement on? (Pause, no response) Can you explain why you think that? Lianne: Because he has longer legs means he can cover more ground CT: Does anyone else agree with Lianne’s ideas? Andrew: No, I think it depends on how much energy you have. CT: How could we find out whose idea (hypotheses) is true? Andreas: Simon also has longer arms than Leo. Andreas: I think he can throw a ball higher, because he has got a stronger arm. CT: Why do you think someone with longer arms should have stronger arms than someone with shorter arms? Andreas: Well, because he has more muscles. CT: What could we do to find this out? Through further questioning they were able to turn their ideas into questions that could be investigated (Carrà © and Ovens, 1994, p. 6). Here are a few of their suggestions. â€Å"Whether people with longer arms can throw balls higher?† â€Å"Whether people with longer legs can jump higher?† â€Å"Whether people with longer legs can run faster?† On the interactive white board I wrote two questions, â€Å"What will I need to test my question?† and â€Å"Can we investigate with the resources available?† The pupils had a discussion as to what equipment they would use first. One question was modified to whether people with longer arms threw the furthest, since health and safety issues had to be accounted for. Prior to this lesson, the children had taken part in a PE lesson where they were introduced to foam javelin, and they decided they wanted to use these javelins instead of tennis balls to test their predictions. I wrapped up the discussion by reviewing the question with the group to check that it was well defined and focused, telling them they should think mainly about their predictions and where it fits into the cycle of their investigation and what other skills were connected to the process. The group worked collaboratively and divided the responsibilities among themselves. â€Å"Science is thus a sociable activity by nature of the inherent need to communicate between scientist†¦From all background, cultures, countries and language to communicate† (Feasy, 1999) In a subsequent lesson, the children followed their plan and recorded their results on a chart showing person in one column and length of throw in the second column. The group used their results chart to draw a graph to look for a pattern and discovered that their original hypothesis had not been correct. They drew their conclusion that the people with the longer arm did not necessarily throw the furthest. During the plenary I talked to the group about their investigation and asked them whether they were pleased with their results and the way they had collaborated. The children decided that the hardest part of the investigation was the controlling the variable; they recognized that in this instance there were environmental factors such s the wind which affected their experiment; they thought they should have tested the wind direction and speed to ensure it was accurate. They also thought that it was largely due to the technique employed to throw the javelin and how they were feeling on the day to how far you threw the javelin. From their data they agreed that although there was a pattern of those with the longest arms throwing the furthest this was not a concrete fact: â€Å"Miss, Simon threw further than you and you have longer arms than him†. The children were asked to suggest improvements which could have been made to the investigation to make it better, and they suggested on e improvement could be to perform their investigation indoors. I felt the interaction that went on whilst carrying out scientific investigations was beneficial to the children’s learning and enabled them to find out what they do and do not know. (See appendix 2) â€Å"Within†¦discussion students can be encouraged towards critical reflection, examining practice by articulating it†¦Ã¢â‚¬  (Loveless and Dore, 2002, p. 148). The children reported orally rather than writing a formal report about their investigation which gave them ownership of their work and it also gave me a chance to carry out some post assessment on their scientific knowledge. Socio-cultural theorist Vygotsky (1978) emphasised the importance of language use and social interaction within communities for the development of educated ways, of making sense of the world, such as those associated with science. Evaluation of lesson In the instance discussed here the children involved were part of a high achieving group; if the same work were to be undertaken with a whole class diverse backgrounds and learning styles would need to be accounted for, which means that there would need to have been greater organization, and possibly longer allowed for the lessons to account for a longer learning process to take place. Motives for learning must be kept from going passive they must be based as much as possible upon the arousal of interest in what there is to be learned, and they must be kept broad and diverse in expression. (Bruner, P. 80) I have taught quite a few hands-on activities in both my placements schools and I find the children are interested and motivated in doing these activities. I feel they enjoyed the open-endedness of their task and the idea that they can do investigations themselves. This was reflected in the reaction of the children to the lesson discussed above: â€Å"The more you work on our investigation, the more you find out. It made me realize how I have to sometimes change my opinion†. I feel the children did have an understanding of how to find questions which could be investigated, and also had knowledge of how to develop a hypotheses and present a fair test. Duggan and Gott (2002) indicate that those who can apply their learning in a novel situation are likely to be more creative. â€Å"Creativity in science needs to be fostered with more emphasis placed on developing understanding†. I also felt that in the lesson there were added benefits to the hands on approach in behaviour management, since none of the children presented problems with behaviour during the sessions. This is possibly because they were all actively involved in the process, which allowed no time for lack of interest by ant child. Implications for future teaching of science enquiry The results of the session were very positive overall. The way in which the children reacted showed that they already had some previous knowledge of the skills which were approached, and this must be taken account of in future lesson planning. For instance if teaching a group which has less previous knowledge more time would need to be devoted to discussing the issues such as the fair test idea in the first session. Children may also need more time to develop their own ideas if this is something they have little previous experience of doing in the science situation. Another issue which must also be accounted for in the future is the size of the group which is being taught. For instance in this example the small group size not only meant that the children were all of the same ability, but also enabled interaction between the entire group easily. If there were a whole class involved in the activity, certain aspects, such as the brainstorming may be less successful, since it would be mu ch harder to engage every member of a large group. This suggests that activities such as this would be better performed in small groups; for instance if the class were to be broken into smaller groups, each could be given ownership of a particular area to discuss. Conclusion The way in which the science curriculum is divided into four components does not mean that each of these components should be taught in isolation. The first of these components is arguably the most important, since it is the one which is based on the idea of teaching skills rather than knowledge, and this unit is fundamental to teaching each of the other three. The fact that Science Enquiry is aimed at developing investigative and exploration skills suggests that practical sessions are fundamental to the lessons. From my own experience I have found that children react very well to practical sessions, and show capability of developing their skills through interaction. The success of these sessions also suggests that the format would be very useful in other areas of the curriculum, such as topic work, where they could be used to demonstrate to pupils that the skills which they are learning are applicable to many other areas outside of science. It also encourages greater development of skills that will be essential to pupils in many real life experiences. References Carrà ©, C. and Ovens, C. (1994) Science 7-11: Developing Primary Teaching Skills. New York: Routledge. DfES (2007) Science at Key Stages 1 and 2. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 2nd May 2007]. Duggan, S. and Gott, R. (2002) What sort of science education do we really need?, International Journal of Science Education, 24 (7), pp. 661-679. Feasy (1999) Primary Science Literature, Hatfield: ASE Garson, Y (1988) Science in the Primary School, London: Routledge. Goldsworthy, A. (n.d.) Acquiring Scientific Skills. THIS IS IN THE NOTES, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT BOOK. Loveless, A. and Dore, B. (2002) ICT in the Primary School, Buckingham: Open University Press. National Curriculum in Action (n.d.) QCA [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 3rd May 2007]. Newton, D.P and Newton, L.D. (1998) Coordinating Science Across the Primary School. London: Falmer Press. Watson, R., Goldsworthy, A. and Wood-Robinson, V. (2000) SC1: Beyond the Fair Test, in Issues in Science Teaching, London: Routledge Falmer, pp. 70-74.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Arhurian Romances Essay -- essays research papers

Chretein de Troyes, Arthurian Romances   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  From the Classical age through the medieval age, women were greatly disrespected. They did not have any say in anything and were not appreciated. In Classical texts such as The Odyssey, the women were treated as if they were animals. They did not have the respect of others and some were thought of as whores. In the stories of Erec and Enide, Lancelot, and Perceval, we see a dramatic change in this, due to the system of government that Arthur entails giving them the freedom and rights they deserved. The new man to woman relationship brought about in these stories is very different then the past stories we have read from the classical age. This system gave great honor and respect to women, which became part of the chivalric code that was followed by the knights and royalty of that time.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The courtly relationship between man and woman is the theme created throughout the stories in the Arthurian Romances. The ideas of courtly love and chivalry are su mmarized in these stories. We see many instances where knights go out of their way to please their woman. Once a knight chooses his woman, she thought of as his chattel, or property. He can do what he pleases with her and she must listen to him or possibly be killed. He respects and loves her as long as she is loyal and faithful to him. If someone were to interfere in his or her relationship, they would fight ‘til death or until someone begs for mercy. The knights fought for the most beautiful and did what they pleased with them. They fought for them if necessary to keep respect for themselves and for their maiden. This is what the chivalric ideology was based on and so the knights followed and respected it.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  In the story of Erec and Enide we see how some women affect the lifestyle and choices that the knights make due to their love. The woman was the prize possession to every man. They were won in various games that were played by the knights. Different cere monies were held to award to the winner the most beautiful woman in the land. We can see here that women were so important that a knight had to prove he was the best at what he did to gain her hand. These types of games were normal in this time since the woman was respected so much more. Competition was also based on who was th... ...confess all his sins and feels guilty about all he has done. He meets up with the lady he raped and her knight on a quest. He confesses all he has done to her along with his other sins and this infuriates the knight. They battle and Perceval defeats him and sends him to his maiden. All he defeats he send to his maiden as a gift to show her that he still loves her. Through his atonement and courtly love, Perceval returns back to normal and remains King Arthur’s faithful knight. In conclusion I feel that the medieval period allowed the women to gain a powerful status in society. They gained honorable reputations and were respected by everyone. The chivalric attitudes that the knights obtained allowed for an uprising of the public status between the sexes. Their attitudes toward each other had a tremendous change from the classical era to the Medieval one. We can still see the medieval attitude today towards some women. Some men go out of their way to help the lady. Men open doors for ladies and keep them warm. Instead of them being called knights, they are called gentlemen. This can be an indication of the existence of medieval knights and the chivalric code they followed.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

“Life of Pi” vs “The Odyssey” Comparative Essay Essay

Life standed on the sea is very grueling and risky. Only a few are able to face the challenging tasks of such a situation using their wits and persistence. In the book Life Of Pi and the film The Odyssey, the journeys of the main characters are surprisingly parallel, considering the works were written over 20 centuries apart. Both of their journeys contain stages similar to the archetypal hero journey, including the Separation/Departure, Initiation and The Return. Although both Pi and Odysseus face extraordinary challenges, Pi’s character is more intriguing because through his first person narrative, the reader is drawn to his sensitive nature, his vulnerability and his unique personality while Odysseus is interesting because of the hero stereotype re represents. In the Separation/Departure stage, both men are reluctant at first to start their journeys, but due to forces beyond their control, they depart for phenomenal adventures at sea. For instance, when Pi’s family reveals that they are moving to Canada, Pi is reluctant and does not want to leave. Pi shows his hesitation when he says â€Å"Why enter this jungle of foreignness where everything is new, strange, and difficult?† (Martel, 86). He was â€Å"thunderstruck† (Martel, 88) at the thought of moving by also saying â€Å"It was like Timbuktu, by definition a place permanently far away† (Martel, 88). Pi has created a familiar world of family, filled with religions, his mentors and peace, but is now crossing to an unknown territory far away. Likewise, Odysseus did not want to leave for the Trojan War as he would be leaving his family. He is called to the battle just after his son Telemachus was born, and he is hesitant. Odysseus loves his family, even though he is seen as a typical brawny warrior. This shows that he wants to stay behind to care for his son and wife but nonetheless carried out his duty because he is a brave soldier at heart. The resemblance between those two here is that they both enjoyed life at home, but had to embark on their journeys due to political turmoil – For Pi it was Ghandi’s takeover of India that caused his family to leave, and for Odysseus it is the declaration of the Trojan War. In the start of their journeys, Pi crosses the threshold when the Tsimtusm sinks, and this forces him to get on a raft to start his adventure  at sea. This can be seen when Pi describes the sinking of the boat which â€Å"†¦made a sound like a monstrous metallic burp† (Martel, 107). Pi also expresses his terror when he says, â€Å"Tell me it’s a bad dream. Tell me it’s not real. Tell me I’m still in my bunk on the Tsimtusm and I’m tossing and turning and soon I’ll wake up from this nightmare† (Martel, 107). This shows the crossing of the threshold for Pi as he is the only human survivor who enters this unfamiliar place. This crossing from his familiar life to a much more dangerous one creates a struggle for him to return to his ordinary world. Similarly, for Odysseus, he crosses the threshold a few times and it starts after the Trojan War when he ang ers Poseidon. This is seen when he boasts that he defeated the Trojans by himself, thus angering Poseidon who makes him suffer. His arrogance creates a much more difficult journey home because Poseidon repeatedly sends him off course preventing his return home for many years. Both character cross the threshold in different ways, It is forced upon Pi whereas Odysseus brought it on himself. This is considerably accurate since Pi is innocent and did nothing to incur his fate and the struggle that he had to endure. However Odysseus’s crossing of the threshold is because of his ego which he has to pay the price for boasting about himself winning the war. In short, both characters were reluctant to cross the threshold, but in Pi’s case his situation seems more devastating as he is still young and has to bear with the total loss of his family. Throughout their initiations, Pi and Odysseus must face many challenging trials on their road to survival and eventual reward. Pi’s main trials are the danger of the tiger and the overall risk of surviving from hunger, thirst and nature. With Richard Parker, Pi has to constantly find a way to train him, as he sometimes describes: â€Å"Let the trumpets blare. Let the drums roll. Let the show beginâ₠¬  (Martel, 182). This shows the importance of training to him. He will call himself â€Å"THE PI PATEL, INDO-CANADIAN, TRANS-PACIFIC, FLOATING   CIRCUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!† (Martel, 183). Also in order to avoid starvation he must eat meat, as he recounts it for the first time by saying â€Å"It was a great discovery when I found that a fresh-tasting fluid could be sucked out not only from the eyes of larger fish but also from their vertebrae† (Martel, 235). He describes turtles as â€Å"†¦a bowl of hot soup – became my favourite dish† (Martel 235). These quotes show Pi’s effort to train the  tiger and using his wits to outsmart him along with the discovery of using aquatic creatures for meat / food sources. Back to Odysseus, After being cursed by Poseidon his journey back home consists of nothing but horrific trials such as the Cyclops and Lotus eaters. For example after Odysseus sets sail Poseidon creates a fog causing them to meet a troublesome foe, by trapping them in the Cyclops’s cave. However Odysseus gets the Cyclop drunk and stabs him in the eye, allowing them to escape. This portrays his cunning bravery which saves mo st of his men and himself. One similarity for both character’s road of trials is that they are all bigger than life. None of their challenges are ordinary or even realistic. However Pi’s challenges are constant throughout the novel and there is no real relief or change of pace for him. On the other hand Odysseus’s bizarre challenges are constantly changing and creates an episodic storyline. Also he stands with many of his crew and watches them die during some of those trials while Pi faces his challenges alone. Many months later, after Pi survive on the sea for 227 days he is rewarded a chance for recovery at an algae island before the final lap of his journey. When he sees the heavenly island at first, he expresses that when he â€Å"†¦take in green, after so much blue, was like music to my eyes† (Martel, 285). Also when he eats the green vegetation he comments â€Å"saliva forcefully oozed through†¦ â€Å"I tore at the algae around me† (Martel, 288). After surviving on the sea for so long, he is finally given fresh food and water, allowing him to stay alive until he reaches mainland. Odysseus also receives a break when he drifts along to Calypso’s island, after all the terrors he endures. There he is taken care of by a beaut iful woman named Calypso and she gives Odysseus the rest and treatment he needs. This shows that by overcoming all  the challenges thrown at him, he is rewarded a chance to take a break, even though Calypso intended to keep him there forever. The similarity here between the two is that both rewards offer some kind of recovery, allowing them to take a breather before arriving at their destination. Yet Pi’s reward is generally smaller / less satisfying compared to Odysseus because Odysseus still knows his family is back home while Pi still has to bear the loss of everything. All in all, while Pi had a sustained and prolonged struggle with the tiger and starvation, Odysseus’s road of trials is more  varied and exciting to watch. Both heros did, however, get a rest near the end. When a hero is close to being home, though grateful for being alive, their return usually contains one final task that he/she needs to complete. Pi crosses the return threshold when he is found on the shore of Mexico and while being helped by the local people, he tinges with the sadness of the loss of his tiger. He states that he is rescued when â€Å"†¦a member of my own species found me† (Martel, 316). Expressing his release from hell, he also says â€Å"I wept like a child† (Martel, 316). So although relieved to be cared for, he is still grieving the loss of his family and Richard Parker. For Odysseus’ crossing of the threshold it occurs when he arrives home by boat, happily, with Athena changing his appearance to help him. He is seen happy when reunited with his old friend (the goatkeeper) and his son Telemachus. However he finds out he has one more obstacle to face in order to achieve happiness. Though he is cheerful to be home, his happiness is a bit diminished when wondering if his wife had kept their promise. He becomes quite angry angry and fired up with what he sees back in the village, certainly not the peaceful reunion he had hoped for with his wife. There is not much similarity between their crossing of the return threshold except that they both return on land, but Pi is very ill and fatigued while Odysseus seem not. Nonetheless Odysseus still has his famil y, while Pi’s is certainly dead. Also Odysseus has another challenge to face at home while Pi has no physical challenge but must now rebuild his entire life from scratch. After being saved, Pi’s last small obstacle is in the hospital when interrogated by investigators from the sunken ship. As Pi   describes his story, they challenges his tale by saying â€Å"Mr. Patel, we don’t believe in your story† (Martel, 324). They also says â€Å"It doesn’t hold up† (Martel, 324). Finally Pi says, â€Å"I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you† (Martel, 336). Because his adventure is so bizarre, these men did not really accept it. But since he had very vivid imagination, he makes up a completely new version of the journey to say to them and makes everyone satisfied. Back to Odysseus, when he arrives back at his homeland Ithika, he finds one more task which he directly confronts in disguise. When he reaches back to his village, there is many men causing chaos fighting to win over his wife. There is a contest to determine the future husband and he  joins to end the madness. Odysseus has to engage in yet another battle, first by completing the contest by stringing his bow and shoots an arrow with it into the twelve lined up rings perfectly. Then he transforms back into his normal self and kills all the suitors, ending the drama. Compareing both of their magic flight, it is a much tougher task for Odysseus as it is Physically more demanding. Pi’s last challenge is minor and it causes us to wonder the validity of his entire journey. However he is still quite physically and mentally drained. Therefore, while Odysseus showed his physical ability once again Pi is obviously suffering in a more profound way filled with grief and future uncertainty. These two characters both showed strong characteristics to complete their journeys, and while they shared similar stages there is more sympathy towards Pi due to his loss of innocence. By examining the Separation, Initiation, and Departures, they all include important stages for the hero to move on. The general process seems to be that the hero leaves his home to a new unfamiliar place, gains experience / skill, and returns home with boon or new knowledge. With these said, though Pi and Odysseus’ adventures shared similar plots, it is important to note that Pi is a single person surviving on the raft, with no other companions other than the Royal Bengal tiger. On the other hand Odysseus has his crew throughout some of his  journey. It can be argued that Pi had a tougher time at the sea, but to be fair Pi is only 16, whereas Odysseus is an adult stranded out wild for many years. His exploits were exciting and entertaining but his personality had no depth. Pi is much more vuln erable and he elicits our pity. Because he is so clever, poetic and even humorous at time, he is more appealing to us throughout the extraordinary challenges.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Homosexuality as a Master Status - 3194 Words

Homosexuality as a Master Status What defines a person? Is it something physically and biologically determined? Or is it behavioral and psychological? Perhaps it could be both. In most circumstances, people do not get to choose which of these characteristics define them. People judge other people—that is just part of human nature. Sometimes a person can have one trait or characteristic that tends to overshadow all else. Sociologists have come up with a name for this social phenomenon; it is master status. In order to describe how this works, status must first be defined as the position or role a person occupies in a group (Neubeck, Glasberg 2005: G-10). Then master status can be understood as the one status, among several that each†¦show more content†¦The only control that homosexuals have over this label is whether or not they choose to accept it. One way that homosexuals have found to fight this label is by putting emphasis on the fact that being different is not t he same as being inferior (Neubeck 2005:267). A highly debated issue concerning homosexuality is whether sexual-orientation is biologically determined or if it is a socially learned behavior. One case study done about this topic gathered that â€Å"the homosexual desire seems in most cases to be implanted in those who develop an unusually strong attachment for one parent† (Cory 1951:67). This seems to suggest that homosexuality can be influenced by family structure or other sociological elements. On the other side of this argument, there is the belief that people are born either gay or straight. Even though there is no scientific or genetic evidence to prove this, there have been many studies done and most homosexuals interviewed take this view-point. McIntosh states, â€Å"[homosexuality] is still commonly seen as a condition characterizing certain persons in the way that birthplace or deformity might characterize them† (1968:182). To support their cause and to fight for acceptance in society, it would be benefici al to convince people that sexual orientation is biologically determined. â€Å"Research indicates that people who believe that homosexuality is a choice are more likely to condemn it than are those who believe gays and lesbians are born that way†Show MoreRelatedThe Ass, The Witch, And The Roman Empire1232 Words   |  5 Pagesrelationship with Photis, a slave girl he encounters, and his relationship with her is built purely on his own needs. Because of his status as a well-to-do male he is held at higher standards and so he uses these standards and status to fulfill his own agenda. He exclusively use her body for either his sexual desires or uses her for her close relationship to Pamphile, her master and a witch, to further please his fanaticism with supernatural forces. He lusts over her body while watching her prepare dinnerRead MoreSexuality Is Defined By Sexual Orientation1538 Words   |  7 Pagessexuality were deemed necessary to improve a man’s masculinity st atus. In many of the cultures studied, men were expected to learn about sex extensively, to perform their role as a husband once married, as well as possible, done by engaging in sexual activities with younger men. However, once married, a man would no longer need to gain such masculinity through such methods, establishing them as inappropriate only after marital status was gained. In such cases, particularly in Melanesian society,Read MoreThe Odyssey, By Plato And The Triumph Of Odysseus1517 Words   |  7 Pagesconception of love may not have been the prevailing notion of the time, it is undeniably true that homosexuality and bisexuality were regarded as superior to heterosexuality. In The Odyssey, Homer speaks of a wine-dark sea what we might understand to be purple. Although they did not have the word purple, purple was still part of the lexicon just in a different form. Similarly, bisexuality and homosexuality have always been a part of the human experience even when they did not have the language for itRead MoreBaudelaire s Political Ideas Stem From The Hypocrisy Of The Ruling Classes996 Words   |  4 Pagescreator) as the dominant political view of organized society. Furthermore, he viewed the people of the â€Å"professional classes† as slaves. For instance, the elite power of the poet is projected in the poem â€Å"Benediction† as a commentary on social and class status in Baudelaire’s aristocratic political view: Skyward, to where he sees a Throne blaze splendid, The pious Poet lifts his arms on high, And the vast lightnings of his soul extended Blot out the crowds and tumults from his eye (Baudelaire 11). InRead MoreSignificance of Language in Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew529 Words   |  3 Pagesexpression; sirrah is more than just a statement, it actually performs an action and convey identity. A clear example of the term sirrah as a performative is seen throughout the play when Tranio, who is a servant, after switching his clothes with his master Luciento (and vice versa), says to Biondello: â€Å"But, sirrah, not for my sake but your master’s, I advise/ You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies† (I.1.238-239). It is clear that Tranio â€Å"inquires into the construction of identitiesRead MoreDiscrimination Against Homosexualsandafrican- Americans1319 Words   |  6 PagesDiscrimination against homosexuals and African- Americans both entail feelings of shame and pain for the victims. Back in the 1960s, homosexuality and being an African American caused people to look down on you. Racial segregation was in full swing, with the black population being victimized, brutalized, and essentially being considered second class citizens. Being a homosexual during this time also meant that society would shun and also consider you as a lesser human be ing. James Baldwin (1924–1987)Read MoreAmerica The Beautiful Essay Assignment789 Words   |  4 Pageswith the concept of morality in mind. He also arrives at many notable points concerning the concept of morality in American Society and History. These points include: decisions based on status, slavery, the treating of immigrants, and family values and education. When it comes to making decisions based on status, such as race, income, age, gender, I think there are some morally acceptable and immoral areas. To me, it would obviously be considered immoral to differentiate the services and privilegesRead MoreThe Persecution of Same-Sex Sexual Orientation during the Holocaust2464 Words   |  10 Pagespersecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Germany, as well as other factors that could change Hitler’s tolerance towards the party and society. This will be achieved by exploring a number of papers concerning the promulgation of sexuality, the dogmatism of homosexuality, and primary sources from victims of the persecution to determine and analyze the overall impact of the article’s revision on the campaign attacks against homosexuals. Although important in considering the intensified persecution of homosexualsRead MoreThe Broad World Of American Theatre1691 Words   |  7 Pagesof her made me mad – made me desperate† (Fuller 98). Clearly, the LGBTQ theme of At Saint Judas’s is evident throughout Fuller’s controversial and avant-garde play. However, gay theatre at the time was still greatly limited due to the taboo of homosexuality during the era. Because of this pervasive intolerance in society, the next twenty years for LGBTQ theatre remained particularly quiet. As the 1920s quickly approached, the blossoms of gay theatre began to bloom considerably. The rise of BroadwayRead MoreSocial Constructs And Its Effect On Society3459 Words   |  14 Pagessocial statuses can also prove very effective. The degradation of one person’s social status can also benefit the other. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a philosopher, proposed the theory of master/slave dialectic, stating that the master status depends on the slave status and that the slave is more free than the master. The only way the master has any sort of power and control is by exploiting the slave. The master has a lot of responsibilities to adhere to, and has to conform to the norms that are

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Information systems strategy - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 16 Words: 4882 Downloads: 4 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Information Systems Essay Type Analytical essay Tags: Network Essay Did you like this example? PART 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose of report: This report has been requested by Mr Frank Hedge, the CEO of Myer Department Stores- Australia. The reports purpose is to investigate and analyse the strategic role of information technology (IT) to Myers business, including an IT infrastructure audit. Cloud computing is evaluated, and recommendations made for its partial adoption. 1.2 Limitations: This report is limited by the lack of IT infrastructure details provided by Myer. Assumptions were made when required, to enable completion of the report. Don’t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Information systems strategy" essay for you Create order 1.3 Scope of the report: This report focuses on Myer and the potential use of cloud computing within its IT infrastructure. Divided into four main sections, the report covers Myer; IT infrastructure challenges; cloud computing costs/ benefits and recommendations for cloud computing adoption. It has been compiled from research literature and phone/email interviews with two Myer store managers. 1.4) Myer and its industry Homepage URL; Myer is Australias largest department store group with 65 stores and approximately 14,000 employees. It is present in 25 of Australias top 30 retail centres and attracted 185 million customers in 2009 (Myer 2010). Myer generated net profits of $106.8 million for the first half of the 2011 financial year (AAP 2011). Myer operates across major segments of the Australian non-food retail industry as a department store chain. This industry consists of four segments; household goods, clothing soft goods, department stores and other (eg newspapers, books) (Myer 2010). Myer competes with other department stores, discount department stores, and single store operators as well as internet retailers and direct retailers. Within the department store segment, David Jones is Myers main competition though the former targets a slightly higher income group (Myer 2010). Competition exists with other retailers on price, store location, product range and customer service. Additionally, consum er demand hinges on factors such as disposable income which are sensitive to macroeconomic conditions eg interest rate rises (Myer 2010). The industry has struggled recently, due to weak consumer confidence and increased competition from cheaper overseas internet retailers (GST free and strong Australian Dollar) (Brooks 2010). 1.5) Myers products services: Myer offers approximately 600 000 product lines from 800 suppliers globally including categories such as; clothing; beauty and cosmetics; electrical and homewares (Myer 2010). Myer provides additional products and services such as; Myer One customer loyalty program, over 3 million members. Gift cards Myer corporate sales- eg corporate gifts, office fit outs, VIP nights Insurance (home, contents, travel, car) Bridal gift registry Myer Visa Card (Myer 2010). 1.6) Myers corporate mission corporate structure: ‘At Myer we strive to offer customers a wide and relevant choice of brands, rewards and ideas in a way that makes them feel both welcome and inspired, (Myer 2010, p.3). Myers corporate structure is shown in Figure 1.1. Head office operates under a hybrid of divisional (eg apparel, electrical division) and functional groups (Finance, marketing etc). A national retail store manager oversees regional store managers, who oversee individual store managers. Head office functional groups, directly manage their particular function (eg HR) in the individual stores (Myer 2010; S Johnson 2011, pers. comm., 20 April). (Adapted from: Myer 2010, pp. 25-7). 1.7) Myers major business processes: Laudon and Laudon (2010), note business processes are sets of activities to produce a product or service. Due to its variety of offer, Myer has many business processes such as; Sourcing product to offer in store. Automating administrative processes. Reducing stock theft. Creating visual merchandise displays. Analysing potential sites for new stores. Refurbishing existing stores. Making sales (Myer 2010). 1.8) Myers business strategy Myer has invested substantially in its business since 2006 ($500 million) realizing a world class supply chain, improved retail execution and focused customer service (competitive advantages) (Myer 2010). Myer aims for additional margin and sales growth using specific strategies of; Opening 15 new stores in next five years. Revitalizing instore environments for a better customer experience. Expanding the Myer One program. Implementing a new point of sale system (POS) improving productivity customer service. Implementing a CCTV system to reduce losses (Myer 2010). 1.9) Myers relationships with external entities: Myer has significant relationships with a variety of entities which include; Its 800 global suppliers (Myer 2010). Global sourcing offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai (Algar 2011). Partnership with Melbourne Institute of Technology for paid internship for students (RMIT 2011). Myers involved with philanthropic and community programs including children and womens charities and Melbourne Christmas Carols (Myer 2010). PART 2: IT INFRASTRUCTURE: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES(727 words) 2.1) Description of Myers IT infrastructure: Laudon and Laudon (2010 p. 191) describe IT infrastructure as, ‘the shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firms specific information system applications. It includes investment in hardware, software, and services†¦that are shared across the entire firm†¦. Myers IT infrastructure was analysed according to Laudon and Laudons (2010 p. 203) model which comprises of seven components. The required information was obtained from Myers Head Office IT department and interviews with two store managers (Appendix 1). A summary of each component is presented in Table 2.1. The IT infrastructure differs between head office and individual stores, due to centralization (Slotty 2009). TABLE 2.1 Summary of Myers IT infrastructure ecosystem. Component Head Office Individual Stores 1) Computer hardware platforms Client machines- eg desktops (mainly IBM types eg Lenovo), laptops smart phones used. Servers- IBM types eg x86. Mainframes- N/A Floor staff- terminals only. Managers- Desktops (eg Lenovo and some older HP), mobile phones (voice only).IBM server/s present. 2) Operating system platforms Clients- Microsoft Windows 7. Servers- Linux Clients- Mainly Windows 7. Servers- Linux 3) Enterprise software applications An Oracle portal is present (middleware) to bring together Myers newer systems. SAP HR is a legacy system via the portal. Staff have access only to relevant systems via the portal. 4) Networking/ Telecommunication Networking hardware by IBM working with Cisco. Telecommunicating services by Telstra (voice data). LANs WANs based on Linux. Wireless internet in head office. As per head office, though wireless internet not available. Intranets (within store and with head office) extranets with suppliers exist. 5) Consultants/ system integrators IBM supplies a range of IT services to Myer, eg networking, desktop, applications, help desk. IBM supplies a range of IT services to Myer, eg networking, desktop, applications, help desk. 6) Data management storage Myer uses a 3rd party data center for main storage. Myers data accessed via Oracles retail data warehouse software (RDW). Localized content saved to a local server. RDW software available to managers for limited functions eg comparison of sales. 7) Internet platforms Website uses Microsoft.NET software as well as Java. Not aware of hosting services or hardware used.Website most likely outsourced. Stores internet access- email (managers only). Only electrical division has world wide web access. (Adapted: Myer IT department; Interview with two Myer Store managers 2011). The key findings from the analysis of Myers IT infrastructure presented above, are as follows; Computer hardware platforms: Client machines (desktops) are not standardized across Myer. A small number of servers exist at multiple locations (65 stores) doing replicated tasks (localized data storage, networking etc). Operating system platforms: Client and server machine software is licensed per computer with Windows variability on client machines. Large information asymmetry exists between managers and sales staff due to their limited access to software (Laudon Laudon 2010). Enterprise software applications: While an intranet portal exists to link to Myers applications, only newer applications (eg Mymerch- merchandising, POS) are fully integrated. Many legacy systems remain isolated and not integrated. Networking/Telecommunications: Myer operates both analog (phone system) and digital (data) networks using two providers (Telstra and IBM). While Myer accesses the internet, it also operates private networks (intranet) in the form of LANs and WANs. Networking is not possible between individual stores. Consultants System Integrators: Integration and implementation of new IT infrastructure is outsourced to IBM, including training. Data management storage: While the majority of Myers data is stored with a third party vendor, localized data storage occurs at individual stores (65). Internet platforms: Physical infrastructure and maintenance of Myers website is outsourced to third parties. Information asymmetry exists, with very limited access to internet for individual stores. Myers network infrastructure is further illustrated in Figure 2.1, which outlines information flows. Note information does not flow between stores, only between stores and head office. (Adapted: Myer IT department; Interview with two Myer Store managers 2011). 2.2) The issues and challenges of managing Myers IT infrastructure: Myer faces several challenges and issues in managing its IT infrastructure. Laudon and Laudon (2010) identify challenges arising from platform and technology change, management and governance and investing in infrastructure prudently. These challenges are also influenced by the strategic role of IT to the business and the impact of the industry in which the organization operates. By revisiting section 1.8 it can be seen that IT plays an important strategic role in achieving Myers medium term goals of increased operating margins and sales growth by; Facilitating increased supplier and sales volumes from new store initiatives (eg hardware and software required). Optimizing productivity, cost savings and customer satisfaction via implementation of new applications (POS system and CCTV loss prevention system). Catering for an expanded Myer One loyalty program (increased data storage and analysis needs for targeted marketing) (Myer 2010). As a result of ITs important strategic role, the challenges of managing Myers IT infrastructure are intensified. This is best demonstrated by specific examples; The challenge of platform and infrastructure change: To best accommodate expected future growth, improved productivity, cost efficiencies and increased data needs, infrastructure components need to be easily scalable (Armbrust et al 2010). This will be particularly true with regards to Myers hardware software platforms, its enterprise software applications and its networking, internet and data storage platforms. Currently, significant pressures exist within Myers industry. Consumer spending is down and offshore internet retailers are offering cheaper prices due to the strong Australian dollar and absence of GST (Brooks 2010). This poses further challenges to Myer to adjust components of its IT infrastructure quickly to generate database driven marketing programs or improve its operating efficiencies (Myer 2010). If cloud computing platforms are considered as future components of Myers infrastructure, then appropriate use guidelines and practices will be needed. Service level agreements (SLAs) for example would commit cloud computing vendors to minimum levels of performance and reliability for Myers systems (Hinchcliffe 2009). The challenge of management and governance: The management and governance of Myers IT infrastructure is significant, considering its strategic role, further evidenced by the commitment of $500 million to its IT program since 2006 (Myer 2010). Aspects to be considered include the location of IT control (centralized or decentralized model), the allocation of IT costs to functional groups or stores, the strategies and policies for using IT and measuring effective return on IT investments (Laudon Laudon 2010). The challenge of investing in IT infrastructure prudently: Considering the significance of IT infrastructure for Myer as it seeks its business goals, this is a crucial challenge. Whether Myer should rent or buy its infrastructure components will be further investigated in section 4 of this report. (Laudon Laudon 2010) PART 3: CLOUD COMPUTING ITS BUSINESS BENEFITS COSTS(986 words) 3.1)An overview of Cloud Computing: Zhang et al. (2010) note cloud computing is not a new idea. While many definitions abound, from an organizations perspective, ‘Cloud computing is an architecture in which companies consume technology resources as an internet service rather than as an owned system (Brandel 2009, p. 1). Most people have already experienced cloud computing through the use of Hotmail, Gmail or Facebook (Wyld 2009). Recent improvements in internet bandwidth, virtualization of servers and storage, open source software, adoption of Web 2.0 standards, has pushed cloud computing strongly into the business sphere (Kennedy 2011). Mell and Grance (2011) claim that cloud computing consists of five crucial characteristics, three service models (software, platform and infrastructure as services) and four deployment models (private, community, public and hybrid clouds) which are outlined in Tables 3.1 and 3.2. Potentially cloud computing can deliver to a business most of its IT needs (from computing po wer to collaboration tools to software) as an on demand service, wherever and whenever required. As long as an internet connection exists, computing becomes location and device independent (Agger 2009). TABLE3.1 The crucial characteristics, and service models of cloud computing. Crucial Characteristics Description/ Outline On-demand self-service Consumer can provision their computing capabilities automatically without needing human interaction with a services provider. Broad network access Capabilities are accessed via network, through standard mechanisms, promoting use by mixed client platforms (eg mobiles, PDAs). Resource pooling Providers computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. Resources dynamically assigned/reassigned dependent on demand, include storage, processing, memory, bandwidth Rapid elasticity Capabilities can be rapidly elastically provisioned, to quickly scale out rapidly released to quickly scale in. Purchased as required. Measured Service Cloud system automatically control optimize resource use by using a metering capability relevant to the type of service. Resource usage can be monitored, controlled reported for the utilized service. Cloud Service Models Description/ Outline Software as a Service (SaaS) Offers renting application functionality from a service provider rather than buying, installing and managing software yourself. Examples include and Gmail. Platform as a Service (PaaS) Provides a platform in the cloud, upon which applications can be developed executed. Eg Microsoft (Azure), Google AppEngine. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Vendors offer computing power storage space on demand. Eg Rackspace Amazon EC2 (compute) S3 (storage). (Adapted from: Mell Grance 2011, pp. 2-3; Department of Finance Deregulation 2011, pp. 12-3) TABLE3.2 The deployment models of cloud computing. Deployment Models Description/ Outline Private (internal) cloud Cloud services are provided solely for an organization are managed by the organization or third party. These services may exist on/off site. Community cloud Cloud services are shared by several organizations support a specific community that has shared concerns. Services may be managed by the organizations or a third party and may exist off site eg government. Public cloud Cloud services are available to the public and owned by an organization selling cloud services eg Amazon.EC2. Hybrid cloud An integrated cloud services pact that includes a cloud model something else (another cloud model, back end systems, etc), eg data kept in private cloud database, used by program running in public cloud (Adapted from: Mell Grance 2011, pp. 2-3; Department of Finance Deregulation 2011, pp. 12-3) 3.2) Current trends in Cloud Computing: Present studies suggest, ‘†¦the number of organizations using cloud computing to rise to 43% within four years as they continue to cut their costs (Cross 2011 p. 1). In addition to greater cloud computing use in general, there are several trends within cloud computing concerning areas such as; User type deployment models- ONeill (2011), notes small to medium enterprises using cloud computing are typically accessing public clouds for cost savings compared with private clouds. Alternatively larger enterprises use private clouds (third party or onsite) for greater control. Governments (federal level) are trialing SaaS and Ouellette (2011) believes state and local governments will soon follow. Purposes for using cloud services- Its principal use remains as a testing/developing environment and/or as a platform for less critical services and applications (Knorr Gruman 2010). Synder (in The Australian 2010) believes moving core applications to the cloud is still to come. ITs changing role- Hakala (2009) believes the need for IT workers performing maintenance tasks will contract as cloud computing is embraced and employees can ‘self serve directly from the cloud. Innovation- Cloud computing will continue to be a conduit for business innovation due to its low costs and rapid scalability of IT resources (Kennedy 2011; Information Age 2011) Pricing- Cloud computing pricing (especially commodity) continues to become cheaper and simpler for users. Thibodeau (2009) suggests models utilizing a set number of hours for a range of cloud services. SLAs improved security- Improving cloud computing reliability via strong service level agreements (SLAs) continues (Hinchcliffe 2009). Colley (2011) Violino (2010) expect most businesses will demand independent certification of cloud providers reliability in next few years. Cloud providers are targeting improved security to allay user concerns. Working groups such as the Cloud Security Alliance are focusing on this issue (Thibodeau 2009). Violino (2010) noted a need for better access control and identity management within and across clouds. Improved performance and service- The performance of cloud services rises, as more managed service providers enter the market (Ouellette 2011) and performance monitoring standardises (Thibodeau 2009). Typically IT staff connect cloud services individually, though cloud aggregators and integrators are emerging to smooth this barrier (Knorr Gruman 2010). 3.3) The business benefits of Cloud Computing: Cloud computing offers many benefits to business. Leighton (2009 p. 5) asserts, cloud computing will ‘transform the way IT is consumed and managed, promising improved cost efficiencies, accelerated innovation, faster time-to-market, and the ability to scale applications on demand. Sagari (c. 2010) notes the level of benefits cloud computing brings to an organization will vary dependant on the types of services utilized, the business processes evident and the degree of integration achieved. Major business benefits can include; Reduced costs (set up ongoing) * Increased flexibility response times Scalability increased efficiencies * Increased business focus. Increased innovation * Improved mobility Armbrust et al (2010) maintains, one of the most impressive benefits of cloud computing is scalability (elasticity of resources). The business pays for its hardware needs (servers, storage) on demand with the cloud providing great elasticity. Business needs can be scaled up or down as required, saving time, money and improving revenue in peak periods (Zhang et al. 2006; Waxer n.d.). Additional business benefits offered by cloud computing include; Smoothed cash flow * Increased strategic role for IT Reduced business risk * Improved sustainability. Greater computation power * Improved business continuity These benefits are further expanded in Appendix 2 with business examples and their references. 3.4) Cloud computing solutions for Myer: Section 4 details specific cloud computing recommendations to be adopted by Myer. In contrast, Table 3.3, outlines cloud computing solutions best suited to Myer for the aspect identified in column one. The reasons for these choices are as follows; Servers for serving applications- Amazon EC2 has been the market leader in this area and for good reason (Huang 2010). It exceeds Microsoft Azures new offering and it has a superior range of operating systems to use (eg Linux, Myer using), compared with Googles App Engine (Amazon 2011). Servers for storage- Amazon S3 was preferred over Microsoft Azure and Nirvanix for the reasons noted in Table 3.3 eg a price leader, very easy to use and highly reliable, SLA exceeding 99.99% (Huang 2010). Client productivity software- Microsofts new Office 365 retains the known office layout of which Myer staff are familiar. Additionally it incorporates email, calendar collaboration tools. Superior in features to Google Docs or Zoho (McAllister 2010). Private cloud- If recommended to Myer, Amazons virtual private cloud is a good solution. It integrates easily with a firms existing IT infrastructure, including firewalls and security systems (Amazon 2011). Applications- As an application development platform, has been suggested for its long history of business application development. Furthermore, to use this environment, subscription to CRM applications are required, which may be beneficial to Myer ( c.2011). TABLE 3.3Most suitable cloud computing solutions for Myer. Aspect Model Vendor Reasons Selected Servers-serving/ processing IaaS Amazon: EC2 Reputation, elastic, flexible- supports many uses and languages, ease of use, payment flexibility- on demand basis $/hr. secure. SLA- 99.95%, Storage IaaS Amazon: S3 Very easy to use, price leader (eg $0.15/GB/mth) and highly reliable SLA exceeds 99.99%. Client productivity soft SaaS Microsoft: Office 365 Familiar Microsoft Office platform via the cloud, email also other tools. Eg $6/user/mth, SLA 99.9% Private Cloud Multi Amazon Amazons virtual private cloud- integrates easily, firms security systems wrap around it. Applications Multi Salesforce / Salesforces-CRM application- sales service cloud, for application development platform. (Adapted from: Amazon 2011; c. 2011; Microsoft 2011) 3.5) Costs of cloud computing to Myer: Typically the IT industry uses ‘Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to determine the total cost of a technology implementation (Laudon Laudon 2010). Table 3.4 provides an estimate of the costs to Myer in implementing the cloud computing solutions listed in Table 3.3. As can be seen, support, maintenance, space and energy costs pass to the cloud provider and hardware and software acquisition costs are essentially avoided. Some training costs of the IT staff involved in implementing and/or the staff using the cloud services would be incurred (Aggarwal McCabe 2009). A small amount of ongoing support to Office 365 users may also be required. Integration issues and costs are not expected, as the servers and software to be sourced via the cloud will not be critical systems. Additional infrastructure costs (eg bandwidth) resulting from cloud computings greater internet reliance, may occur. Downtime estimates from providers SLAs are less than typical IT departments of large compani es ie 44hrs/yr (Mann 2010). Moving data into and out of Amazon S3 storage, will incur costs (Amazon 2011). Finally, Aggarwal and McCabe (2009), reported TCO savings of some 50% over four years, for medium sized businesses implementing CRM software from the cloud, compared with on-premise deployment. TABLE 3.4 Total cost of ownership (TCO) for Myers cloud computing solutions. Infrastructure Component 1) Servers Processing (Amazon EC2) 2) Servers storage (Amazon S3) 3) Client soft. (eg Microsoft Office 365) 4) Applications Development ( Hardware acquisition Nil cost Nil cost Use existing Use existing Software acquisition Db small cost Nil cost Eg $6/user/mth Nil cost Installation Minimal cost Data in $0.1/GB Data out varies Need web browser Need web browser Training Minimal to IT Minimal to IT staff. Minimal to IT staff. Self taught to IT (2 -3 hours) Support By provider By provider Minimal By provider Maintenance By provider By provider By provider By provider Infrastructure Internet cost Internet cost Internet cost Internet cost Downtime 4.5hrs/yr. 52mins/yr. 8.75hrs/yr. 8.75hrs/yr. Space energy By provider By provider By provider By provider Cost to use service ~ $0.50/hr using Linux OS ~ $0.15/GB/mth Eg $6/user/mth $15 to $75/user /mth (Adapted from: Laudon Laudon 2010, p. 224; Amazon 2011; Microsoft 2011; c.2011 ) PART 4: RECOMMENDATION OF CLOUD COMPUTING ADOPTION/ ADAPTION(785 words) 4.1) Competitive forces model for IT infrastructure Investment: Specific recommendations for the adoption of a cloud computing strategy by Myer will soon be made. These recommendations will be based on the preceding analysis and also take into account the ‘competitive forces model for IT infrastructure as described in Laudon and Laudon (2010 pp. 222-3). Table 4.1 summarises the main points of this model as it relates to Myer. TABLE 4.1: Competitive forces model for IT infrastructure investment of Myer Model components Outcome 1) Market demand for Myers services (eg customer, supplier enterprise): Myers point of sale (POS) system supply chain improvements are based on extensive research of their services. These systems improved efficiency speed, and are satisfying customers, suppliers staff (Tindal 2010) Information asymmetry especially with sales staff is affecting performance. Current IT investment (CII) is meeting this aspect. 2) Myers business strategy: Myers five year goals are to increase operating margins sales growth. Major initiatives which are being implemented (section 1.8), are delivering many of these aims. Cloud computing capabilities could provide further cost savings. CII is mostly meeting this aspect. 3) Myers IT strategy, infrastructure and cost: As noted in section 2.2, the IT strategy is closely aligned with Myers goals and helping to drive growth and improved margins. Further centralization of IT (cloud computing) would reduce costs (Table 3.4 for TCO). CII is mostly meeting this aspect, cut costs further. 4) Information technology assessment: $500 million of IT investment over the last 5 years has Myer well situated in terms of technology uptake. It was previously lagging. Adoption of some cloud computing aspects at this date (maturing market) is positive (Gartner 2010). CII is mostly meeting this aspect, trial cloud service 5) Competitor firms IT services: David Jones is using IT by growing its etail business, maximising its store credit card system (David Jones 2010). Myers IT investments bring competitive advantage to its supply chain superior customer service compared with other department stores (Myer 2010). Internet is bringing challenges to Myer. CII is mostly meeting this aspect, cut costs further 6) Competitor firms IT infrastructure investments: Benchmarking Myers IT infrastructure spending against competitors was not attainable. Its expected Myer is at the forefront of IT investment in their field. CII is meeting this aspect. (Adapted from: Laudon Laudon 2010, pp. 222-3) The competitive forces model above, can help determine if Myers spending on IT infrastructure is adequate to sustain, grow and compete in their field (Laudon Laudon 2010). From this review, it appears Myers current level of IT investment is sufficient to attain their stated goals of improved sales growth and increased operating margins (ie decreased costs). The following points though, should be noted; Information asymmetry is affecting the performance of sales staff. Cloud computing initiatives and further centralization of IT could reduce costs. Cloud computing is maturing, providing a good time to trial services (Gartner 2010). Internet retailers (especially overseas) are challenging Myer, cost cutting is required. 4.2) Recommendations: Based on the results of the competitive forces model above, and sections 1 to 3 of this report, the following recommendations concerning cloud computing adoption by Myer, will now be made; The servers at the 65 stores to be replaced by Amazon EC2 and S3 cloud computing services. The client machines (eg desktops) throughout Myer to migrate to Microsoft Office 365 (SaaS) Head office sales/marketing staff to trial CRM software (SaaS). to be utilized as a development and testing platform for non-critical applications. Investigate the use of a private cloud by Myer in the future (next 3 years). As discussed in section 4.1, Myers current level of IT investment is not inhibiting business growth. Rather, the cloud computing recommendations made, offer possibilities for increased productivity and cost reductions. They also provide opportunities to trial and test cloud solutions with non-critical systems and data, which should ease concerns over provider reliability or data security (Strickland 2008). Amazons S3 data storage for example is backed up at several diverse locations in the event of failure (Amazon 2011). Training of IT staff or other staff will be minimal as outlined in section 3.5. There should be no major issues or concerns regarding the successful implementation of these recommendations. Leighton (2009) noted, cloud computing can bring cost efficiencies, faster innovation, as well as ability to scale. These are all attributes Myer desires. The reasons for each of these recommendations will now be explained. Recommendation 1: Replacing the servers at the individual stores with cloud solutions will decrease operating costs (section 3.5). Servers currently performing networking and non-critical application serving can be replaced by Amazons EC2. Servers used for localized data storage at individual stores (excludes data in the data center) can be replaced by Amazons S3 service. This will help solve scalability issues, mentioned in Section 2.2. This recommendation further centralizes the role of IT at Myer as the maintenance of the servers at 65 stores will pass to Amazon. In large organizations such as Myer, a centralized role is advantageous due to cost efficiencies and increased production (Slotty 2009). Recommendation 2: Replacing Microsoft productivity software (eg office, outlook) on desktops/laptops with a cloud version (Office 365) will further drive cost efficiencies (section 3.5). Continuing to use a Microsoft product is comfortable for staff, and they can test ‘software as a service. Providing sales staff with access to some of these communication and collaboration tools will reduce information asymmetry and improve performance (Laudon Laudon 2010). Ideally, desktop hardware and operating systems (eg Windows 7) would also be standardized across Myer to improve efficiencies (Slotty 2009). Recommendations 3 4: Recommendations 3 4 achieve two goals. Firstly head office sales/marketing staff can trial the leading CRM cloud software for minimal cost ( 2011). They may find some functions useful to their work and/or generate new ideas for Myer applications. Secondly, IT can use the sister site, as a development and testing platform for non-critical applications. This provides the benefits of flexibility, rapid scalability for testing and allows greater innovation to occur as trialing new products becomes inexpensive and easy to provision (Knorr Gruman 2010). Recommendation 5: Myer should investigate the future use of a private cloud to further streamline operating efficiencies and drive innovation. This cloud could be outsourced to a third party or built in house and managed by a cloud provider eg Amazon virtual private cloud. Its envisaged this cloud would host all data and core enterprise systems. While potentially several years away, as data security and reliability of cloud services continues to improve, this is a stronger possibility (Hinchcliffe 2009). Finally, its advised that Myer also moves fully to an internet based architecture for its networks (eg LAN WAN). Its analog phone system could be moved to the internet via VOIP technology, further reducing costs (Laudon Laudon 2010). These measures would help to open up lines of communication between stores, which are currently missing. PART 5: CONCLUSIONS This report has investigated the strategic role of Information technology (IT) to Myers business and particularly the position cloud computing can take in its future. After extensive consultation with Myer and relevant literature several points were noted. Myer is operating within a challenging retail environment with increased competition from overseas internet retailers. IT infrastructure investment and systems of Myer are generally sufficient for their stated goals of continued sales growth and improved operating margins. Information asymmetry between staff members exists, as does restrictions to internet access. A detailed cloud computing analysis produced several recommendations for the partial adoption of cloud services. Migration of non-critical data and replicated systems at individual stores to a cloud environment, would provide Myer with further cost efficiencies, increased innovation and the ability to scale infrastructure quickly. Minimal disruption to Myer and it s staff would result from the cost effective implementation process. Finally, improving internet access and reducing information asymmetry amongst staff will deliver improved performance and continued sales growth for Myer.