ITM301 – Computer Technology and the Networked Organization

When designing a technology, as well as network, platform for a business, its size and number of staff should be considered. The platform should be capable of arranging the business’ resources in ways that meet the business’ operation needs directly and proactively. The platform’s structure is hinged on the needs directly. That means that a mid-sized food store’s technology, as well as network, platform should enable communication between its management and every employee instantaneously (Breeding, 2013; Tanenbaum, 1996). This paper explores the principal focus areas during the implementation of a technology, as well as network, framework for such a store.

Network and Technology Architecture

The store will be best served by bus topology network and technology architecture. A bus topology arrangement of its network and technological resources is easy to set up. It helps businesses steer clear of particular data delays when data is being communicated between devices. Ethernet will be used with the topology, enabling the proactive adaptation of the platform to the store’s evolving needs such as expansion (Tanenbaum, 1996). Notably, bus topology has all the servers and computers constituting it linked a bus, a single cable, and several interface connectors. In the store, the bus will be the network’s backbone. Every computer and server constituting the network will be communicating with all the other workstations via the bus.

To enable the simultaneous transmission from the nodes on the bus, a CSMA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access) technology will be deployed. The technology controls media access in computer networks. When one is using a computer connected to the store’s network, the computer will broadcast the attendant signals to all the other servers and computers on the network via the bus. Even though the signals will be broadcast to all the servers and computers, only the intended workstation will accept them. Each of the workstations will have a unique IP address. It will only accept signals whose intended address matching its IP address (Breeding, 2013; Tanenbaum, 1996). Each workstation will discard every signal whose intended address does not match the workstation’s IP address. In the store’s technology, as well as network, structure, the bus will have terminators at its ends. The terminators will ensure that no signal bounces off the structure.

The bus topology architecture will be the most the most suitable for various reasons. First, the store since it will be easy to add more and more workstations to the network as the store and its operations expand. As the store expands, there will a need to increase the store’s points of sale. Additional points of sale may be specifically required for selling specialty food items by dedicated departments within the store. Barrel connectors will be employed in extending the bus for the connection of more and more workstations to it as need arise (Tanenbaum, 1996).

Second, the topology will allow for the easy restructuring of food unit locations and cashier locations where check-out points of sale will be required. Third, the cabling used in building the network will be used creatively around the workstations to ensure that the available space will be used quite sparingly and strategically. The cabling will enable a flexible way of using technology to meet the store’s extant and future needs and the required cable length will be rather limited. Fourth, the topology is rather easy and cost-effective to build. Fifth, bus topology allows for the addition, removal or failure of particular nodes without affecting the whole network.

Maintaining and Securing the Network

Various policies will be adopted to prevent, as well as monitor, illegal denial, modification, misuse, and access of the store’s computer network and related resources. Network security entails the approval of data access in particular networks (Dekker, 1997). A network administrator will be put in charge of the security of the store’s network. The computers and servers constituting the network will have their BIOS configured to ensure that they can be booted from own hard drives only. The BIOS will be password-protected so that they can be changed with legal authorizations only (Wright & Harmening, 2009).

Access to the sensitive data in the network will be restricted to authorized personnel via the utilization of the security resources borne by the workstations. The resources will include Windows XP NTFS permissions. Each of the workstations will only be accessed after login in with particular strong passwords. Several systems for recovering passwords will be run to identify weak passwords, which be changed on the spot (Wright & Harmening, 2009). The directories holding the data will have encryption software installed into them. Analysis software will be configured to direct working files to the directories. Secure erasure programs will be installed and run periodically. No one will be allowed to move the data from the directories under any circumstances.

The workstations will have enabled for automatic updates, particularly for the updates capable if improving workstation and network security as well as reliability. Notably, some updates are recommended for the addressing of network problems that are not considered critical (Dekker, 1997). Such updates will be allowed to improve staff computing experiences. A firewall will be installed to assist in preventing malicious software like worms and hackers from accessing the workstations and the network as a whole via the internet. The firewall will as well prevent the workstations and the network as a whole from sending harmful software or signals to external devices (Halleen & Kellogg, 2007). Antivirus software will be installed into each of the workstations to protect it from viruses.

Besides, to help protect, as well as maintain, the network, a secured router will be deployed to share internet linkage (Dekker, 1997; Paquet, 2013). The router will have inbuilt security features, including firewall and NAT (Network Address Translation) to safeguard from hackers. The administrator will obligated to create and use a normal user account and not administrator accounts when utilizing programs requiring internet access like emails. Notably, many worms, as well as viruses, can neither be run nor stored on a network’s workstations unless the administrator accounts have been logged into (Dekker, 1997; Paquet, 2013; Wright & Harmening, 2009).

Rationalization of Sociotechnical Linkages

Sociotechnical resources are the links responsible for the interrelatedness of technical and social aspects within particular organizations. While working in any of the workstations linked to the store’s network, a staff member will be facilitated and expected to exercise responsible autonomy (Jahani, Abdullah & Ramayah, 2011). He or she will be taken as a primary analysis unit of the network as opposed to a staff member. The staff member’s ability of executing given functions in the network will not exclusively predicate the overall effectiveness of the usage of the network.

The different primary analysis units of the network will have the administrator as the shared, head analysis unit (Cooper & Foster, 1971; Sitter, Hertog & Dankbaar, 1997). The network will be rather adaptable to accommodate more and more personnel as the store’s labor needs rise. As noted earlier, bus topology will allow for the addition of add more and more workstations to the network as the store and its operations expand (Rice, 1958).

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