Introduction: Cloud Storage:
right86677500Cloud is the service model, which can be described as the integration of hardware, software and network in which data is maintained, managed and backed up remotely and made available to users over a network (typically internet).Cloud is a pay per use consumption and delivery model.
In Cloud users have a convenient, on demand access to the shared pool of resources like storage, servers and applications over the internet, while users don’t have control over the hardware structure. Thus users or any enterprise or organization does not need to spend on installation and maintenance of physical IT – hardware. Thus organizations can spend more and plan in better way on their core activities.
Concept + Application:
The healthcare industry faces many challenges in storage solutions. For example achieving uninterrupted data accessibility is absolute for every department in healthcare industry. HealthCare’s strict data retention policies and the demand for high capacity data storage, having a scalable storage is crucial. They also need the flexibility to quickly add additional storage as data requirement grows.
Cloud based storage provides the benefit of efficiency and reliability. Some of the solutions Cloud storage offers to the challenges faced by hospitals are mentioned below
Cloud service providers gives the ability to increase storage as per requirement to the hospitals without any kind of downtime.
With cloud based data storage there is no need for installing and maintaining hardware infrastructure, thus it helps in cost effectiveness.
With cloud based storage any employee or any department can access data of any patient from anywhere at any time using any device that is connected to internet.
Cloud storage also allows the users to access data on any device i.e smart phones, tablets minimizing the use of Laptops or Desktop, that further helps in minimizing the cost on IT infrastructure by allowing users to bring their own devices to the work place or even allowing them to work remotely but that is limited to certain departments i.e HR, Finance.
With the implementation of Cloud storage Doctors can even communicate to the patients via video conferencing while checking their past history data at the same time, that can even help the hospital to support the patients for whom it is not possible to reach hospital on their appointments or those who can’t visit hospital because of any other reason. That further helps in better Customer Service and increase sales of the hospital too.
With Pro’s there are some Cons too, the challenges that we can face while using cloud are mentioned below
Cloud Performance refers to the performance of servers and access speed of network and storage device. Another impact is from the number of hops that refers to time taken by resources to communicate with each other, where resources are different networking devices, storage device and different applications.
We can understand reliability as 24×7 availibity of data, means any user can access data at any given point of time. That is related to network, services, infrastructure and application provided to the healthcare institute by the Cloud service providers.
Security & Privacy:-
There is always a risk of data theft or misuse of data that is being transferred over a network. No network if completely secure. Cloud secures the data using firewalls. The Major areas that are related to security of data are:
Location where data is stored.
Control over the data.
Security of data while being transferred over the network or in between devices.
Bandwidth is one of the major factors in cloud storage. If, large number of users access data on the lower bandwidth then they will feel the slowing down of the network. Then data sharing will take a lot more time and it won’t be possible to cater to the customers as fast as possible.
As the massive volume of data already exist, we need to convert and maintain data from hard copies to digital data and more data is being generated every minute, it is very much cost effective to go for Cloud storage instead of spending a lot on establishing a data centre of our own. Moreover, as per the security ; privacy we can opt for data encryption on our end before uploading on cloud and we can also test the services and infrastructure at cloud service providers. To take care of the bandwidth issues we can ask the service provider to check with their other clients that how much bandwidth they are using for how many users and how much bandwidth they are increasing with the number of users, depending on that report we can opt for maximum bandwidth that will be suitable for us (keeping in mind that how many users will increase in a given time).
As opting for cloud storage helps in cutting cost over IT infrastructure (with the concept of bring your own device) and also helps in increasing sales (with the concept of video conferencing) which also helps in increasing the number of customers, while taking a few precautions about the cons of cloud, as a CIO of the healthcare institute, I will prefer to go with it.
Cloud Image 1 source: https://pyrus.com/en/blog/paperless-cloud-storage
A supply chain is a network that consists of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, distributors and retailers who coordinate their plans and activities in order to convert raw materials to finished goods. The required materials and products must be provided to customers in the right quantities and best quality, at the right location, at the right time and at the lowest cost. The most important supply chain processes include product development, procurement, manufacturing, physical distribution, customer relationship management and performance measurement. Supply chain information systems is one of the key areas where best value supply chain differ from traditional supply chains. Therefore, the development of IT systems for SCM that support and speed up all business activities, improving decision making and productivity, can build competitive advantage throughout the supply chain. This is accomplished through the exploitation of IT for internal and external integration of business processes. Companies need IT techniques and methods to enable the integration of their internal business functions. This can help companies to become efficient, improve their productivity, and respond rapidly to customer needs. SCM systems are information systems for logistics management, transportation management, strategic planning, warehousing, inventory, manufacturing, supplier management, and customer management.
Concept and Application
Organisations use IT and Information Systems (IS) to capture and analyse information in order to improve their performance. An organisation can use IS to analyse customer demand data to schedule their production and inventory.
Organisations can use IT in their supply chain for various reasons:-
Customer Satisfaction: – Organisations use IT systems to get updates about product availability, order status and delivery scheduling. This information is used in improving supply chain processes, making timely deliveries and responding to the needs of customers quickly.
Inventory Management:- Using IT systems Using, IT System, the organisations can keep a track of their inventory levels which in turn help in keeping inventory at an optimal level. In this way, the organisations are able to reduce wastage and increase inventory at required places.
Strategy Development: – Using IT systems, organisations can gain information regarding their customer’s needs and preferences, markets and economic conditions. This information is used by the organisations in developing their supply chain strategies and they can also plan its manufacturing, distribution and transportation functions.
Organisations majorly use two main types of supply chain IT systems. These are inter firm information system and intra firm information system. Inter firm information systems are used for communicating with customers and suppliers or warehouses, whereas intra firm information systems help in maintaining information flow within the organisation’s internal supply chain.
As, there Information Technology is evolving day by day so is the influence of IT on supply chain. A few of the new IT trends in Supply chain are mentioned below:-
Artificial intelligence: – AI carries great potential to revolutionize supply chain processes. The ability to apply AI to enhance, and even automate, decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience could make many other emerging technology trends redundant. However, although current AI solutions can find patterns and predict future scenarios, they still lack decision-making abilities. Combining pattern capabilities with more advanced prescriptive capabilities will therefore be critical to widespread supply chain uptake, enabling users to dedicate their skills to higher-order use cases such as strategic network design or capacity planning.
Advanced analytics: – Advanced analytics enable companies to proactively take advantage of future opportunities and mitigate future adverse events. Prescriptive analytics can improve decision making in functional areas like supply chain planning, sourcing, and logistics and transportation, and can be deployed to improve end-to-end supply chain performance. Processes that previously relied on human judgment can be powered with predictive and prescriptive analytics that could have a significant impact on future demands for supply chain talent.
We can never neglect the impact of IT on SCM of any organisation, as implementation of IT in SCM has helped a lot of organisations in every sector to outshine in market by increasing the level of customer satisfaction, reducing the cost by reducing wastages and improving inventory levels at required locations. To understand it in better way we can use the example of Amazon.com. If we look at supply chain of Amazon.Com it start from the customer and ends up to the customer meaning it’s a continuous process which starts when the customer for the first time makes a request for any product at Amazon, it directly goes into his virtual basket and after pressing the buy button and mode of payment he selects a mode of delivery services which includes overnight and various international shipping options. Amazon have a system where orders are recorded, registered and processed and simultaneously, customer on the other hand is immediately apprised of the status of his order and how long will it take to ship the product with the amount of shipping costs involved in it. Amazon has identified their customers as highly responsiveness. In order to respond with high uncertainty demand and availability of products, the four main components drive the outcome of Amazon are: – having several distribution centres as a storage facilities, multi-tier inventory management, highly efficiency transportation and implement information systems to provide real time information within its supply chain. All of these factors explain how both strategies of Amazon are fit together and that makes Amazon’s supply chain successful. Amazon uses the strategy of Inventory outsourcing while using its warehouses as trans-shipment centre and to divide its customers on the delivery and dispatch options. Amazon divided customer segments to match with its distribution systems and inventory strategy in order to control cost and service level. Amazon used IT to support back-end supply chain integration and execution. The company have advance warehouse management systems to support order sourcing, labour management, load balancing, process alternative and supplier collaboration. All these factors make an efficient process to support multi-tier inventory of Amazon.
Answer 3 A