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IS424/IS324 Final Exam r9.2 Please answer two of the following questions, one from Group A and one from Group B. Limit your answer to 600

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

Please answer two of the following questions, one from Group A and one from Group B.

Limit your answer to 600 words maximum PER QUESTION (no minimum limit, but I will

deduct points if I don’t believe your answer is complete or is too shallow.) The thought is

that you are writing a one page memo about 500 words is about one page small type (10

pt), single spaced

The two sources you cite (and you must cite your sources) do not count toward your word

limit; nor does the memo header. Spelling and grammar does count (up to 20% of the

grade) —you are writing this memo to your boss. Let’s presume he was an English major

(and has taken IS324).

File Management Instructions: READ THESE BULLETS CAREFULLY

• You must turn in this exam as TWO MS-Word readable files on D2L (pdf okay, rtf
NOT). This exam is due 9 pm Thursday March 21, 2024 (You must submit by
this time. I will NOT accept email submissions.)

• Note that you are submitting each memo as a separate document in D2L

• Make sure to use correct memo format (with To:, From:, Date:, and Subject: fields –
these do not count against the word limit). Be sure to reference your work (you
MUST provide references, failure to do so will result in my grading STARTING at 80%
and going down from there). References do not count in the word limit.

• Be sure that you follow the course standard memo structure (statement of issue,
recommendation, background/justification, references), even if the memo request
doesn’t specifically ask for these. Do NOT use url shortener (I want the full url for all
citations)

• You must indicate the question you are answering clearly in the subject line of your
memo. [You’d be surprised; sometimes it is hard to tell which question people are
answering if they don’t say.]

It is possible for you to spend 4 hours on this exam. That is not my intention. If you spend

more than 4 to 6 solid hours, you have spent too much time on this. Many of you won’t

even spend that much time.

Page two is context for your answers. It describes a fictional company where you have just

been hired. Questions begin on page four. Answer two questions, one from Group A and

one from Group B. Watch for restrictions based on the other question you answer.

In every case, the answer is in the form of a memo to the character in the story. Make it so.

Kanza Arif

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

Ottoman Empire is a growing brick and mortar retailer with just over 150 US stores specializing

in upscale furniture and fixtures. OE sells directly to the end user as well as to interior

designers; it also has a line of custom built furniture. Ottoman Empire currently does not have

(or immediately plan for) a significant online sales presence, although it uses the web for

customer support and marketing.

OE’s corporate offices are in downtown Chicago, IL. It has seven regional offices and

distribution centers in: Manlius, NY, Columbia, SC, Copperas Cove, TX, Lincoln, NE, Medford,

OR, Santa Barbara, CA, and Chicago, IL. The company grossed $395 million in sales last year and

netted a $35 million dollar profit. It is growing at a rate of about twelve percent a year and

opening about 10 new stores each year.

Borden Drousy, the CIO, works from the corporate office. Each regional IT staff is run by a

Technical Director. So there are seven IT centers with the Chicago operation doing corporate

support as well as regional operations. The IT centers are connected by rented T3 lines back to

Chicago. Each of the 150 stores has a T1 line into its regional center. Chicago is running an

open source ERP system called ERPNext. Right now ERPNext is housed primarily in Chicago

(on-premise) and distributed out to the data centers and retail stores via the leased lines.

In addition, OE manages its email using an MS-Exchange product hosted in Chicago, and has

rolled out MS-Office w/MS-SharePoint as its officing solution. MS-Exchange and the OE

website are hosted on three load-balanced in-house servers in the corporate data center.

ERPNext runs on an 8 core application server with mirrored onsite backup. There are fifteen IT

staff people in the corporate office (development, ERPNext maintenance, computer operations,

and staff tech support) and an average of five in each regional office (the number due largely to

travel demands among regional staff to visit retail stores for repair, maintenance, and upgrade

of hardware, and software.)

You have just finished your MS at DePaul University and have been hired onto the corporate

staff as an IT Analyst reporting to the CIO. Your responsibilities are to analyze, evaluate, and

execute plans for modernizing the IT infrastructure in a way that will support growth of the

company toward doubling its current size over the next ten years.

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

What follows are a series of memos from the CIO (and others) to you. CIO Drousy and his

friends like to receive back single page memos (about 500 words) that clearly and concisely lay

out issues for them. They don’t like being told basics they already know; and they don’t like to

read a lot of extra fluff. But they do want meaty information. Borden permits his staff to

provide background sources and citations outside of the 500 words so he knows where to turn

if he wants to dig deeper. Oh, and one of his mottos is: “I can read Wikipedia myself! Tell me

something I don’t know.” The word count is measured by Word (which includes everything so I

will give you UPTO 600 words, after which, I stop reading!). Word count trumps page count.

When he issues a research memo, he expects a clean, clear, and complete response within the

week.

There is a pool of ten memos in his hopper right now. Pick two of them (one from Group A,

one from Group B) and develop some answers for Borden and his friends.

Kanza Arif

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

Question A1.

From: Donatello Nobatti, Technical Director

To: You

Re: On the sly

Lotta B. Essen, our MicroSoft sales rep has been pushing unified communications solutions and

telling me that BYOD is the next big wave. I’m not convinced but don’t have enough

information. What are the considerations (pro and con) for moving forward with a BYOD plan

(what are the best practices in developing a policy or do we just do chaos)? What are other

firms doing to get this beast under control? Can you give me a memo on this?

Question A2.

From: Ima Hacker, Chief Security Officer

To: You

Re: Lost in the clouds?

I am up in arms that we might be considering changing our enterprise architecture by moving

our systems from our site to a commercial cloud vendor. Now that I’ve brought it up, Borden

wants background (he knows what cloud computing is).

Can you draft me a memo that lays out the security trade-offs among our current site

architecture and the principle cloud options we might consider?

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

Question A3.

From: Candace B. Rittenoff, Chief Financial Officer

To: You

Re: Money for nothing?

I am wondering why we are paying six figures to Microsoft each year when there are open

source alternatives to Exchange Server and MS-Office.

What are the trade-offs between open source and commercial officing software? Is open

source actually free? If not, how do we cost it against commercial software? What factors

other than price should we be considering? Memo, please.

Question A4.

From: Ed Amame, Chief Accountant

To: You

Re: Can you hear me now?

Even though we are running T1 and T3 lines among all of our offices and stores, our corporate

voice phone bill from AT&T is in low six figures a month. Is AT&T providing us with something

we can’t do ourselves? Are there lower cost IP Telephony (VOIP) options for us to consider?

Are there considerations we need to factor in other than price? Can you get me a one pager

on this? (NOTE: I don’t want to change the WAN configuration, just the voice phone bill.)

Question A5.

From: Otto DeLupe, Chief Marketing Officer

To: You

Re: Face time or Facebook?

I think we should be doing more with Social Media. We have a website and Facebook page,

what else should we be doing to connect with our customers? What I really need to know is

what you recommend for developing a social media strategy? Are there any downsides to

getting more involved? Can you give me a page on this?

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

PART B

Question B1. (you may not choose this if you did A2)

From: Orson Buggy, PC Support Manager

To: You

Re: On to something, or just a lot of SaaS?

I think we should be moving everything to the cloud. I have been pitching Borden Drousy lately

on PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS. Given the cyclical nature of our business, should we be moving our

ERP or MS-Officing systems to one of these? What criteria will determine which of these

architectures, if any, is a better fit for us?

I’d like a memo, but mind you I am not looking for a solution recommendation here—rather a

sense of the recommended method and criteria for figuring this out.

Question B2 (you may not choose this if you did A5)

From: Bjorn A. Payne Diaz, Marketing Director

To: You

Re: It’s life, but not as we know it

I want to launch a major social media campaign using Facebook, Twitter, and several other web

properties.

What IT infrastructure will we need to support it (consider increased web traffic, phone calls

and anything else you can come up with)? What in-house technology implications (and related

overhead costs) might this campaign have? How do we go about evaluating IT costs for this as

part of establishing a business case for my campaign proposal? Can you get me a memo on

this?

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

Question B3. (you may not choose this if you did A3)

From: Noah Vale, Exchange Server Manager

To: You

Re: You’ve got mail! (and maybe a little virus too)

Independent of Candace’s questions (see A3), I have been complaining to Borden about spam

and viruses, and other DoS2 attacks into our systems. I am spending way too much of my time

troubleshooting problems that don’t deal directly with advancing our business operations. I’ve

got him thinking: perhaps we do need to move our email environments to a Web2.0 SaaS

solution from our current Exchange Server solution.

I want to make the case but need to know: what questions do we need to ask? How do we go

about making the evaluation between hosting an Exchange server ourselves and offloading

email to a hosted solution? Is there a third option we should consider along with this?

Question B4.

From: Nick F. Thyme

To: You

Re: It’s just like being there, only better

I am developing a business case for using collaboration technologies to hold virtual meetings

rather than have our corporate staff fly all over the country to regional offices. I believe virtual

meetings can save us into six figures in travel costs each year.

Help me prove I’m right and that it is this simple (virtual collaboration is this simple, isn’t it?).

What kind of technology infrastructure (hardware and software) do we need in place to run

effective virtual meetings? How will we know what to buy? How will we know how to

implement this? Are there other, non-technology issues to consider? Will these meetings be

just as good as sending our executives on a plane (Leading a virtual meeting is just like leading a

face-to-face meeting, right)?

What does Borden need to know in order to evaluate my proposal?

2
DoS = denial of service

IS424/IS324 Final Exam

r9.2

Question B5. (you may not choose this if you did A1)

From: Borden Drousy

To: You

Re: The naked truth

I had to work from home last week and found I was very productive (even though I could only

get to the webmail application – what is this VPN thing I hear about?). I am thinking about

permitting several of our IT staff people (keep this between us for the time being) to

telecommute on a periodic basis. I am separately researching policy and HR implications of

telecommuting. What I’d like you to find out for me (and report via memo) is: what are our IT

infrastructure implications for VPN? (mind you I don’t want a complete redesign of our WAN

just the parts to support telecommuting to HQ).

Do we save infrastructure money if some of our staff periodically telecommute? Or, will this

cost us money? What if we have them telecommute all the time? Do we require any new or

different infrastructure than we currently have in place? Are there security issues? How do we

cost out infrastructure implications for a telecommuting project?

Can you get me a memo on this?

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