5.2 - Operational Issues

Exam Board:

OCR

Specification:

2016 - Unit 1 

What are operational issues?

Operational issues refer to potential problems that could disrupt the workflow and efficiency of an organisation.

 

Operational issues relate to processes within an organisation and the way that the company operates on a daily basis.

Security of Information

Definition: Organisations must ensure that data is stored securely to minimise the chances of data loss, corruption or manipulation. Having information stolen through a hacking attempt, for example, would negatively impact the company and its customers and possibly lead to consequences such as poor publicity, a loss of business and reputation, fines and bankruptcy.

Health & Safety

Definition: Ensuring that employees, clients and visitors are physically protected on-site.

 

The organisation should create a health and safety policy that staff need to read and possibly sign at the start of their work placement.

 

The policy should include information about how to avoid injury when using the systems, how to safely maintain the equipment and whom to contact for help.

Disaster & Recovery Planning

With important data often stored on a computer network, it is absolutely vital that a detailed and effective disaster recovery policy is in place in the event of data being lost due to an unexpected disaster.

Disasters include natural disasters (e.g. fire, flood, lightning), hardware failure (e.g. power supply unit failing), software failure (e.g. virus damage) and malicious damage (e.g. hacking).

There are three clear parts to a disaster recovery policy:​​

Before the disaster:
 

  • All of the possible risks should be analysed to spot if there are any weaknesses in preparation.
     

  • Preventative measures should be taken after the analysis, such as making rooms flood-proof or storing important data at a different location.
     

  • Staff training should take place to inform employees what should happen in the event of a disaster.

During the disaster:
 

  • The staff response is very important – employees should follow their training and ensure that data is protected and appropriate measures are put in place.
     

  • Contingency plans should be implemented while the disaster is taking place, such as uploading recent data to cloud storage or securing backups in a safe room and using alternative equipment until the disaster is over.

After the disaster:
 

  • Recovery measures should be followed, such as using backups to repopulate computer systems.
     

  • Replacement hardware needs to be purchased for equipment that is corrupted or destroyed.
     

  • Software needs to be reinstalled on the new hardware.
     

  • Disaster recovery policies should also be updated and improved.

Organisational Policies

Definition: Creating policies that outline acceptable computer and network use.

 

Workplaces and schools often require people to sign an acceptable use policy (AUP) before being allowed to use the network.

 

An AUP may include the philosophy of the organisation, rules for the personal use of IT resources and the consequences of breaching the policy. An AUP is similar to codes of practice from 5.1.

Change Management

Definition: Change management is a formal approach by an organisation to lead a change in the way a business or project is run. This may include changing budgets, redefining expected deadlines, amending resource use or changes in personnel.

Advantages of change management:

  • Reduces the likelihood of things going wrong during development.

  • Creates a clear log of changes and improvements that are to be made.

  • Allows changes to be approved and discussed before they happen.

  • Formalises the process and sets out clear rules for changes.

Disadvantages of change management:

  • Can make the process of change more complicated.

  • Can reduce the responsiveness of developers if everything must go through a
    formal process.

  • Can be challenging to implement successfully.

  • To work effectively, it needs everyone to follow the process.

Scales of Change

There are two main reasons why major change will occur in an organisation.

Change Drivers

Definition: Companies must change to stay up to date with the times and new technology.


Change drivers are factors that force a business to change, such as:
 

  • New legislation

  • New competitors in the market

  • New platforms (e.g. mobile technology and games consoles) to sell products on

  • Economic changes

  • Changes in business practice

  • Social changes

Change Needs

Definition: Companies must change if the needs and focus of the organisation are altered over time.

 

This reflects the changing needs of the business, often due to advancements in technology, such as:
 

  • New equipment (e.g. replacing a slow network with a faster fibre optics network)

  • Customer interaction (e.g.communicating with customers in new ways, such as social media apps)

  • Workplace shifts (e.g. providing remote access for employees to access work and services at home)

Questo's Questions

5.2 - Operational Issues:

1. Describe 3 possible consequences to an organisation if data is not stored securely. [6]

2. Describe the purpose of a health and safety policy and state 3 things that may be included in one. [4]

3a. Describe, giving specific examples, different types of possible disaster. [5]

3b. Describe the steps an organisation should take before, during and after a disaster occurs. [10]

4. Describe 3 things that may be included within an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). [3]

5a. What is change management? Give 2 examples of when change management may be used. [4]

5b. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a company deciding to implement change management. [8]

6a. Describe the difference between change drivers and change needs. [2]  

6b. Describe 3 examples of change drivers and 3 examples of change needs. [6]

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