You are an IT consultant advising your client, Boffo Research, a research and advisory firm covering the consumer technology market sector. Boffo gathers its research data by manually collecting online reviews of consumer electronic products, scanning social media sites for consumer product reviews, publishing online surveys and recording results, performing interviews with consumer electronics vendors, and operating an in-house laboratory where consumer electronics are tested and the results recorded.
Boffo’s analysts then manually copy the results into spreadsheets; review and analyze data from these disparate sources; and prepare business intelligence reports on market trends, vendors to watch, product comparisons, and similar analyses. Boffo’s research clients include buyers for wholesale and retail establishments, and the product vendors themselves.
Boffo has a small in-house software development and testing team that maintains and enhances the accounting, order processing, and research subscription solutions they developed through the years.
The explosive volume of new consumer electronic products, online reviews, and social media comments has overwhelmed Boffo’s manual data collection and integration approach. Boffo’s management has asked you to study how to automate collecting online data and integrating it into the structured data produced from in-house laboratory testing.
You plan to investigate commercial data virtualization solutions installed in house, open source alternatives for adoption and customization in house, and the purchase of a turnkey, custom-designed solution to be produced by offshore outsourcing vendors. Your deliverables for Boffo will include:
- A solution-acquisition project plan covering the high-level activities of gathering requirements, producing a requirements specification document, and preparing and distributing a Request For Proposal (RFP) to data virtualization vendors and offshore outsourcing vendors.
- A simple (3 pages maximum) Stakeholder Requirements Specification (StRS), as defined by Hoel, T., & Holtkamp, P. (2012). Requirements modelling in international information systems design – What competencies are needed and how to manage them? Proceedings Of The European Conference On Knowledge Management, 1, 466-475.
- A set of data flow diagrams that describe the processes of capturing input data (including online reviews from websites, relevant tweets from Twitter, and the structured data from Boffo’s in-house laboratory), and the processes of integrating data from the input sources for use by Boffo’s research analysts.
- A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis comparing and contrasting the risks, rewards, and readiness of Boffo for each form of solution acquisition.
- A three-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study prepared in an Excel spreadsheet. Consider the costs of initial acquisition, implementation, testing, training, change management, maintenance, and enhancement. Include human resource expenses, and storage and server costs for development, test, and production environments for work performed in house.
Include a title page and reference page. Make sure your paper follows APA style according to the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA Requirements. Use three CSU-Global Library resources and/or outside academic sources other than the textbook, course materials, or other information provided as part of the course materials. You may not use Wikipedia for any CSU-Global assignment. For this assignment, a credible source is defined as:
- A scholarly or peer-reviewed journal article
- A newspaper article
- A trade or industry journal article, publication, or website, including those from trade organizations