In the preceding phases, an analysis of the business requirements for Kelly’s salon was conducted. For example, in the second phase of the project, a functional business analysis was conducted for the case by defining the steps, process and the expected outputs from the proposed system. In the third stage, the various IT requirements for the case were analyzed. During the third stage, we listed the various IT requirements together with the importance and explanation for the particular requirements’ raking. In this phase, we shall propose an Information Technology solution to enable the business to attain its strategies of cost leadership and enhance the customer and employee scheduling processes. This proposed system will make use of the existing technology together with other current technologies to improve the business operations of Kelly’s salon. We propose cloud computing to transform Kelly’s Salon within the shortest time possible. Most IT projects currently make use of cloud computing by deploying services, infrastructure, and platform as a service.
Proposed IT Solution
For this project, we shall deploy Salon Ultimate software to improve the business processes at Kelly’s salon. Salon Ultimate is a cloud –based software application that has the capability to automate several salon operations. The application can also be deployed on-premise apart from the cloud model. The software application streamlines several daily tasks within the salon environment such as appointment booking, billing, customer tracking, etc. The customer and employee scheduling process is still being done manually at the salon, and the solution is expected to streamline these processes through automation.
The model of the application that will be deployed at Kelly’s salon is the cloud model. Thus, Kelly will not need to spend a lot of money on setting up the infrastructure for hosting the application. Accessing the application requires a user just to have access to the internet and browser. Users will sign into the application using the assigned username and password to enable them to use the application. Confirmation of appointment booking will be sent to the customer and the employees in the form of an email or a text message. This model of deployment is cheaper since any costs of application development and maintenance will be absorbed by the vendor. Currently, the vendor charges a single location license and installation at $249 ("Salon & Spa Ultimate | Cloud-based salon management and marketing software," 2017).
i) Vendor Agreement
In this phase, the business negotiates with the vendor for the supply of information technology solution. At this stage, the cost of the solution implementation and business requirements shall be examined.
ii) Hardware and Telecommunications
The solution will be deployed as a service in the cloud environment (Rouse, 2016). Kelly Salon will not need to invest in expensive infrastructure for hosting the application. To use the system, the user will just need to purchase a license and have access to the stable internet. There will be a mobile application version of the system which the users will download and utilize on their android mobile phones. The business will outsource internet services from an ISP.
The common system modules are already available. Therefore, Kelly’s salon will not need to develop the application from scratch. The system will be configured to match the specific needs of the organization after it has been deployed. The configuration will be conducted between both, the technical team of the business and the vendor.
iv) User Acceptance Testing
Immediately the system configuration is completed, user acceptance test will commence. Configuration ensures that all the customer needs are satisfied by the system (Kendall & Kendall, 2010). Testing is with the system users to so that they do not reject the system later.
v) Employee Preparation
Several employees are normally resistant to change more so when the change is impacting them indirectly. The workers should be prepared adequately for the change before it can be implemented. The employees also ought to be trained on the various system functionalities to ensure that they are not surprised by the system. Training should be conducted by the application vendor and should form part of the contract and should not be billed separately.
vi) Data Migration
This stage involves transferring the system code from the test environment to the production environment. The work schedules and additional data in the old system are imported into the new system and appropriately configured to satisfy the business needs.
vii) System Use
Customers and employees are the major stakeholders of the proposed IT solution. The system will be used by customers to book appointments with their favorite barbers. On the other hand, the system will be used by employees to form the work schedules as well as performing other tasks such as leave booking. A help facility will be integrated into the system to enable users to search for tutorials on how to accomplish various tasks.
This system will be deployed as a service. Therefore, any updates to the system are the prerogative of the system vendor.
Adoption of technology in business has revolutionized the way business processes are conducted. Those organizations that do not want to implement technologies in their processes will lag behind and risk being ousted from the business. The proposed IT solution will enable Kelly’s salon to improve its processes as well as gain a competitive advantage. The customer scheduling process that was initially done manually will now be automated.