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InstructionsScenario: A company called Colony Nursery and Landscaping opened a new store
located a few hundred miles away from its original location. The company wants
to implement an award system that awards their customers with points whenever
customers make a purchase, but the two stores are not able to share
information. Colony Nursery and Landscaping will need to implement an
enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that will solve the information silo
problem by collecting and making this user data available. Colony Nursery and
Landscaping is hoping that by providing customers with this award system, they
will be able to maintain competitive advantage. Colony Nursery and Landscaping
cannot afford to purchase, develop, or maintain this system on-site, so they
are investigating cloud solutions.In addition, for many organizations, Colony Nursery and Landscaping included,
information silos make it difficult to tap into needed information. Discuss
whether or not the problem of information silos can be solved by using the
cloud. Some organizations do not have the resources to construct or maintain
their computer infrastructure, so they utilize cloud services instead to reduce
costs and improve scalability. In this assignment, you will discuss whether or
not the cloud offers solutions for Colony Nursery and Landscaping and identify
an application that the ERP system could provide. Compose an essay that
includes the elements listed below.Define what an information silo is.Explain why information silos are a problem for organizations.Discuss why organizations are moving to the cloud.Determine whether or not using cloud services, such as a cloud-based host
for data storage, would solve the ERP information silo problem at Colony
Nursery and Landscaping.Explain how using the ERP system and awards program would provide a
competitive advantage for Colony Nursery and Landscaping.Discuss why the implementation of an ERP system might require business
process reengineering for Colony Nursery and Landscaping. Be sure to explain
the business processes that will be affected (e.g., the customer awards
system). Use diagrams or tables as needed, but this is not required.Your essay must be a minimum of two pages in length (not counting the title
and reference pages), and it must be formatted in APA style. You should include
an introduction section that gives background and context to your reader. You
must use at least two scholarly resources as references. Any information from
these resources must be cited and referenced in APA format.

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The Cloud, Processes, Organizations,
and Information Systems
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit IV
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
4. Explain how information systems can be used to gain and sustain competitive advantage.
4.1 Examine how an organization can use enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to maintain
a competitive advantage.
6. Assess the key issues involved in managing the components of IT infrastructure.
6.1 Define the term information silo.
6.2 Discuss how the cloud can help organizations manage resources and eliminate information
6.3 Explain why implementation of ERP systems may require business process reengineering.
Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity
Unit Lesson
Chapter 7
Unit IV Essay
Unit Lesson
Chapter 6
Unit IV Essay
Unit Lesson
Chapter 6
Unit IV Essay
Unit Lesson
Chapter 7
Unit IV Essay
Reading Assignment
Chapter 6: The Cloud, Q6-1 – Q6-7
Chapter 7: Processes, Organizations, and Information Systems, Q7-1 – Q7-7
Unit Lesson
In Unit III, we discussed the basic concepts of hardware and software, open source software development,
and database management systems. We also compared the differences between native and thin-client
applications. Lastly, we explored mobile systems and the characteristics of quality mobile user experiences.
In this unit, we will discuss the cloud and how the cloud works, the types of business processes, and
enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
The Cloud
Many of you already use the cloud and may not be aware of it. So, what is the cloud? When we use the term,
the cloud we are not referring to a weather phenomenon but, instead, to a technology (Figure 1). This
technology is a service that provides storage for data, such as documents and images; synchronization
capabilities for electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets; and other resources that can be
obtained over the Internet (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017).
BBA 3551, Information Systems Management
If an
x STUDY chooses
Titlein-house computing, it
retains control over its physical
computing resources and knows
exactly how its computing
resources are secured and
protected. For most organizations,
cloud-based hosting is a viable
option. Any organization that is
not required by law to have
physical controls on data could
benefit from cloud computing. If
an organization is required by law
to have control of its data, it may
have to create its own
infrastructure. A financial
institutional may be one example;
this type of institution may need
control over its data because of
requirements (Kroenke & Boyle,
Software as a Service, Platform
as a Service, and Infrastructure
as a Service
Be careful not to confuse the
cloud with the Internet. The
Internet can be described as a collection of computers connected together using Internet Protocol (IP) to link
devices, such as computers, servers, smartphones, and tablets, from around the world. The Internet can also
be described as the largest network in the world. Unlike the Internet, the cloud is a computing technology that
provides resources and services over the Internet (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017).
Figure 1: The cloud
Another service is software as a service (SaaS), which eliminates the need for proprietary e-mail and local
servers. Instead, businesses can choose SaaS cloud services, such as Google or Outlook, for e-mail rather
than setting up local e-mail servers. Another example is Microsoft (MS) Office. Users can use the online
version of MS Office instead of downloading the entire suite to their computer and then having to download
and install updates to the software every time MS releases an update (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017). An
organization that provides software as a service (SaaS) provides an operating system (OS) and application
programs in addition to the hardware infrastructure.
The second category of cloud hosting is platform as a service (PaaS). In this platform, hosted computers, an
OS, and a database management system (DBMS) are provided by the vendors. An example of this can be
seen with MS Windows Azure. This is further discussed in the Unit IV Reading Assignment.
The third category of cloud hosting is infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which is when a bare server,
computer, or disk drive is hosted in the cloud. A bare server or computer is where a blank virtual machine is
provided to customers so the customers can install their own software. The Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud
(EC2) provides bare servers, and its Simple Storage Server provides, in essence, an unlimited, reliable disk
drive in the cloud (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017).
Further Discussion
Because of the availability of cheap computing infrastructure, such as those available in the cloud, there may
be more startup businesses that can quickly and cheaply acquire the computing infrastructure they need. In
turn, the demand for people who know how to create, use, and manage information systems (IS) will continue
to be strong. Also, companies will still need help in determining the right cloud-based computing options. They
will need help in building their databases on the cloud. They will need help in learning to use the cloud-based
resources, and they will still need training so that their people are comfortable with the systems obtained from
the cloud vendors. Under existing conditions, businesses emphasize technical expertise. In the near future,
BBA 3551, Information Systems Management
businesses will need to emphasize detailed understanding of their customers’UNIT
needsx for
the cloud-based
environment. The focus will be on what you can do with cloud-based offeringsTitle
to make the business more
efficient and effective instead of just providing the technical expertise to create the infrastructure. Services will
be very people-oriented and will not be as technical. It is not likely that everyone on the information
technology (IT) staff can adapt to the more people-centered focus of the business. Unfortunately, some highly
technical people are not well suited to provide training and support to businesspeople (Kroenke & Boyle,
What was learned here is that technology continues to evolve. For some, these changes may confuse and
frighten them, but business professionals should recognize change as opportunities for the future and let go
of the past. Business professionals should also recognize that, like technology, businesses also change and
Why is it important to understand processes? Processes are essential for developing IT systems because
processes detail day-to-day operations. In order to build a successful IT system, developers must understand
how the business operates. One way to document processes is to use a data flow diagram. A data flow
diagram uses symbols to represent how a system should function. For example, before you can build a
system, you will need to understand how the current system works and what the users of the system expect it
to do. Once you have this information, you can create what is called a process modeling diagram that outlines
how the new system will work. This involves creating a dataflow diagram that illustrates all this information
(Kroenke & Boyle, 2017). Figure 2 below is an example of a dataflow diagram, which shows logical steps in a
process for developing a system.
Figure 2: Using a modeling process for developing a system
Problem With Information Silos
Information silos are instances where information is stored and isolated from other IS. For example, let’s say
that your organization has four locations—one in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, and Philadelphia. In Dallas,
the IT team successfully developed a database system essential for documenting and recording customer
testimonials. In Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, the IT teams have been struggling for several
months to implement a similar system, but there was no repository of information or any sharing of
information between the four locations to help the organization implement the system successfully in all of
those locations (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017).
BBA 3551, Information Systems Management
Figure 3: Sharing resources between organizational locations
To sum up, information silos prevent the sharing of information. Successful organizations cannot operate in
information silos. Organizations must share information in order to obtain high levels of achievement and
sustainable results (Figure 3).
You are probably wondering why you need to understand ERP. Well, it is important to understand ERP
because it is used to improve customer relations through better business processes. ERP systems can be
used to forecast customer demands, which helps companies to anticipate inventory, product trends, and
service trends. ERP systems is a software infrastructure, and it integrates an organization’s business
Figure 4: ERP modules
(Yeung, 2013)
BBA 3551, Information Systems Management
processes such as budgeting, customer services, human resources, supply chains,
UNIT xand
(Figure 3). For example, when organizations combine an ERP system with another
Title core process, such as a
supply chain management system (SCM), this can help improve supply chain performance and better
management of inventory (Kroenke & Boyle, 2017). See Figure 4 below for examples of the different modules
of ERP.
Information silos prevent organizations from performing efficiently because the data is stored in separate IS.
This happens when each department in an organization works with and stores its own version of data. For
example, at a grocery store, the accounting department processes sales and payroll, the delivery department
processes deliveries and inventory, and the human resources department processes employee data. An
information silo occurs when the human resources department changes an employee’s pay rate but does not
make this information available to the accounting department. As a result, the employee does not get his or
her new pay rate for the next pay period.
To fix this problem, the organization needs to consolidate all of its data in one place such as in a single
database (enterprise application). In addition, the old way of doing things will need to be discarded, and a new
business process will need to be developed for using that database. The organization can reduce costs
(implementing and maintaining the system) by using cloud services such as a cloud database. In essence,
this IS can also be described as a distributed system because the data can be distributed among the
departments using computing devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
The grocery store solution was an example of an enterprise application. There are three types of enterprise
applications: customer relationship management (CRM), ERP, and enterprise application integration (EAI).
Using an ERP solution will integrate all of this disparate data so that each department knows what the other is
doing, and each department can access data in real time.
Kroenke, D. M. & Boyle, R. J. (2017). Using MIS (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Yeung, S. H. (2013). ERP modules [Image]. Retrieved from
Suggested Reading
The following chapters, which are located in the textbook in uCertify, are not required for this unit, but the
sections still contain beneficial information. You are highly encouraged to read them.
Chapter 6: The Cloud, Q6-8
Chapter 7: Processes, Organizations, and Information Systems, Q7-8
Learning Activities (Nongraded)
Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.
To test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit, complete the activities listed below.
BBA 3551, Information Systems Management

Chapter 6 Active Review
Chapter 6 Using Your Knowledge
Chapter 6 Collaboration Exercise
Chapter 6 Review Questions
Chapter 6 Cards
Chapter 7 Active Review
Chapter 7 Using Your Knowledge
Chapter 7 Collaboration Exercise
Chapter 7 Review Questions
Chapter 7 Cards
The activities are located within the chapter readings in uCertify. The Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 Active Review
sections, Using Your Knowledge sections, Collaboration Exercises, and Review Questions are located at the
end of each chapter. The cards can be accessed by clicking on the Cards icon within uCertify, which is
located to the right of the chapter title, and the icon in uCertify resembles the image shown below.
BBA 3551, Information Systems Management

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