THE EFFECT OF PRIVACY ISSUES ON CLOUD COMPUTING AND SHARED SERVICES ADVANCEMENT

What are the effects of privacy issues on cloud computing and share services > advancement………

Background of Research project

In the recent times, cloud computing has become one among the most discussed information and communication technologies. It has caught the attention of analysts, businessmen, technologists and the media alike mostly because of the opportunities it holds. According to Dean and Saleh (2009) the biggest drivers of the information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology such as Google, Microsoft and IBM are taking position to capture the emerging market in cloud computing. Even start up and some of the unexpected players such as Amazon.com have showed great interest in cloud computing as well.

With the immense growing interest in cloud computing, Analysts have estimated that the business value of cloud computing enterprise may grow to about $60 to $80 billion in 2012 representing approximately ten percent of the overall global enterprise software and information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology services market. According to the Expert Group Report (2010) the growing interest in cloud computing is not only because of the increased tendency to outsource information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology services with the aim of extending existing limited information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology infrastructure but also because of the reduced barrier to entrance by new service providers. The cost advantage of cloud computing is estimated to be between three to five times for business applications and more than five times for  consumer applications. With the increased interest in cloud in cloud computing, this research intends to find out the possible security and ethical compromises that accompany cloud computing and the general the advancement of share services.

 

 

Problem statement

Since the advent of information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology systems, reliance by enterprises on shared infrastructure has been scaring to many in terms of upholding data and information integrity. This study seeks to find out how cloud computing and the advancement in share services has been affected by privacy and integrity issues raised in other information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology systems and the level of trust on cloud computing systems and how it affects the overall development and reliance on the cloud computing systems. Placing enterprise data in the cloud has been a matter of serious concern for many to many companies who have increasingly been questioning the capability of public cloud computing providers to offer the same level of security to their data and information just as their own in-house data centers. Depending on the level of abstraction, either operating system level or application level, and method of cloud computing adopted, either Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), varied security issues arise in the public cloud computing systems.

Objectives of the study

The study endeavors to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To develop a clear understanding of the potential privacy issues of concern with cloud computing and shared services by using suitable tools and techniques.
  2. To characterize an information essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology oriented service ethics through the exploration of approaches used in services management research and exploration of the service aspect of cloud computing.
  3. To demonstrate how service principle apply in cloud computing and how privacy issues affect the customer through the examination of privacy issues in service encounters and through the identification of privacy issues.
  4. To develop a testing framework for shared services and cloud computing as service practices and to understand the virtues associated with the practices.
  5. To employ methods including analyzing and categorizing privacy issues, developing case studies and observing the services practice.

Research questions

  1. How do cloud computing and shared information services work?
  2. What are the major privacy issues with cloud computing and shared information services?
  3. Why are enterprises increasingly adapting cloud computing in their business activities?
  4. What are the potential benefits of cloud computing and shared information services?
  5. Is it possible for cloud computing and shared information services to attain the same level of security as in-house data centers?
  6. Does cloud computing have the benefits it is reported to have by various players in the industry?
  7. How can security issues affecting cloud computing and shared information services be mitigated?
  8. What technologies facilitate the enforcement of security measures in cloud computing and shared information services?

 

Significance of the study

In general computing, issues of data security and information privacy are of major concern to organizations. Shared information services and cloud computing being new areas in the market are still taken with skepticism despite the potential gains outlined for their adoption. This study intends to reveal new information on how privacy issues affect the adoption of shared information services and cloud computing. Moreover, the study will add insight into what should be considered in terms of security and privacy concerns by people and organization adopting cloud computing and shared data services for their information storage needs.

The research will also provide a new and significant perspective to the cloud computing service providers on computing and ethics issues that they should additionally put under consideration in their delivery of service to their clients. The issues will include concerns that are hold companies back from adopting cloud computing and shared information services and the way they may approach the security and integrity issues to boost the confidence of the organizations.

Overview of methodology

Core issues for investigation

The core issues for investigation will involve security, ethics and privacy associated with cloud computing and shared information systems. According to Chow et al. (2009) security issues are the major issues that are making companies not to take advantage of cloud computing. The issue mainly concerns the security of data and information stored in the cloud (Xiong et al. 2011).

According to Zhou et al (2010) data that is located in multiple locations as is done in cloud computing complicates privacy issues. Since the data is in a public domain in the cloud, any flaw that can expose the data to external agents will expose it breaching its privacy. For instance, an employee of salesforce.com fell victim to phishing and leaked customer list which led to further phishing attacks in 2007 (Anthes 2010). As relates to ethics, there have been various issues raised concerning ethics in the use of cloud computing. For instance, the state bar association of California found out that the use of cloud computing could flout the codes and rules of practice if lawyers used it. They were advised to seek appropriate advice and counsel when using the essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology (Mohan 2011). Timmermans (2010) explains that cloud computing shifts control from users to third party and that data collected from the cloud for a specific purpose may end up being used for other purposes. Such an issue raises ethical concerns over the adoption of cloud computing. Ethics, privacy and security measures should be taken together to make data availability more compelling (Newton 2011).

From the major concerns expressed concerning ethics, privacy and security issues associated with cloud computing, it is in order for the research to mainly focus on this main issues since they are the major reasons as to why companies and organizations are shying off from cloud computing.

Data gathering methods and sources

In gathering data, several techniques will be employed such as questionnaire survey, face to face interviews, telephone interviews, document review and triangulation. According to United Nations (2004) triangulation involves the process of performing crosschecking of information by teams with different skills, viewpoints and experience; a range of techniques and tools for data collection; and different information sources on the same problem. Triangulation will be used in the final analysis of data collected using the other sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Anthes, G. (2010). Security in the cloud. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 53, No. 11

Chow, R. C., Golle, P., Jakobsson, E. S., Jessica, S., Shi, E., Staddon, J., Masuoka, R. and Molina, J. (2009). Controlling data in the cloud: Outsourcing computation without outsourcing control. Fujitsu Laboratories of America

Dean, D. and Saleh, T. (2009). Capturing the value of cloud computing: how enterprises can chart their course to the next level. The Boston Consulting Group Inc

Expert Group Report (2010). The future of cloud computing opportunities for European cloud computing beyond 2010. European Commission, Information Society and Media

Mohan, P. (2011). Up in the cloud: Ethical Issues that arise in the age of cloud computing. Ethics and Professional compensation committee, vol. 8, no. 1

Newton, J. (2011). The ethics and security of cloud computing. Infrastructure technologies, ILTA White Paper

Timmermans, J. (2010). The ethics of cloud computing: A conceptual review. Critical Research in essay/impact-technological-competency/">Technology, United Kingdom

United Nations (2004). Choosing methods and tools for data collection: Monitoring and evaluation guidelines. United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization, Office of Evaluation, Office of evaluation

Xiong, L., Goryczka, S. and Sunderam, V. (2011). Adaptive, Secure and Scalable distributed data outsourcing: A vision paper. Emory University, San Jose, California

Zhou, M., Zhang, R., Xie, W., Qian, W. and Zhou, A. (2010). Security and privacy in cloud computing: A survey. National Institute of Information and Communications essay/impact-technological-competency/">Technology, Kyoto 619-0289, Japan

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Criminology Essay Proposal

The proposal must have a title that adequately reflects the topic of focus you have chosen for the task Research Focus • The proposal will pose a research topic or problem that will be considered through the course of the paper. This should enable you to adequately respond to the essay question to be address in Assessment 3. Outline • The outline should be 750 words in length. It presents the main ideas for the essay and the provisional or working elements of the argument you will present. This should be done in form of a disposition (detailed table of contents), spelling out the main topic, titles of subheadings and contain an indication of the content of each subheading. Concepts • You will spell out which authors/theorists are going to be used, along with which concepts you will employ. You will indicate the theoretical orientation of the essay and explain how the theory will address the research question and focus topic….

 

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Human Resource Management in a Global Economy

The main purpose of the proposal is to outline the process and topic for your group research. ? Ask questions and sort through information to identify the key issues, themes or concepts the group will consider. ? Plan how the group will undertake this task. ? Put together a considered proposal. Human Resource Management in a Global Economy In your groups decide upon a fictitious Multinational National Enterprise (MNE) or Not for Profit organisation and then select a country the organisation will expand to. You are a part of an executive group that needs to prepare a report and presentation for the Managing Director of International Operations, on the viability of entering your chosen country. Your group are to identify a country and design a Strategic International Human Resource Management (SIHRM) plan. It is expected that the research for this will go beyond just the relevant textbook chapters and that you will build on the reading that that is prescribed for the subject. Each group must choose a different MNE or Not for Profit and country. ? Identify an appropriate Multi National Enterprise (MNE) or Not for Profit and describe your company and its operations. Give your reasons for international expansion. ? Decide on an appropriate country in which to operate, give your rationale for this choice. ? Analyse the country environment in which the MNE will operate and the critical HR factors that you need to consider ? Develop a Strategic International Human Resource Management plan for both expatriates and local staff.

 

REPORT ON THE MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM

INTRODUCTION

As a new member of the management accounting department, I have been asked to comment on the approach used by the company in its management control. This report gives details on the traditional approach used by the company and the implications to the company if it were to adopt the planning and operational approach.

VARIANCE ANALYSIS

In management accounting, variance analysis is commonly used in budgetary control to measure variations in actual results and budgeted results. This to say that if expected production units within a specified period of time were budgeted to be 10,000 units and actual results are actually 9,000 units then 1,000 units is the variance. It is therefore, in this case, up to the production manager to investigate and report on such variances (Proctor 2006).

Variances occur because of various reasons; inaccuracy of data used when preparing budgets/ standards and in collecting actual results, using unrealistic standards or using those which are out of date, ineffectiveness and inefficiency of management and employees in the periods being assessed, and also uncontrollable circumstances that occur and those which are beyond the control of the responsible manager (Weetman 2006).

Before variances are investigated and reported on the following factors should be considered; the material nature of the variances (minimal variances need not be investigated), the type of standard used (ideal standards are likely to yield bigger variances), the interdependence of variances. The costs of investigations and the perceived benefits of correcting the causes should also be analysed. If the costs outweigh the benefits then the causes of the variances are not worth investigating (Lucey 2009).

Variance analysis is therefore used to build up on budgetary control which is the control of company’s operations through the use of setting standards and targets in costs and revenues, measuring actual performance against these standards and taking action when these standards deviate from planned performance (Drury 2006).

For variance analysis to yield accurate results then the budgets have to be prepared on realistic assumptions. This is because, analysis of variance against unrealistic budgets will only give results based on invalid assumptions. This prompts the need for comparison of traditional variance analysis and the planning and operational variances (Heerkens and Gary 2006).

TRADITIONAL VARIANCE ANALYSIS

According to Lucey (2009) traditional variance analysis consists of:

Sales variances

Sales price variance is derived by deducting the actual selling price from the budgeted selling price for the quantity actually sold. The variance is said to be favourable where actual results exceed the planned results. Some of the causes of the sales price variance include; higher or lower selling price charged than expected, and higher / lower discounts offered to customers.

Sales volume variance is derived by deducting the actual volume sold from the planned volume at the planned selling price. The variance is favourable when planned results are less than actual results. Causes of the variance are usually unexpected price changes.

Material variances

Materials price variance is derived by deducting the actual purchasing price from the standard purchasing price for the actual quantity purchased. Where planned results are less than actual results, the variance is adverse. Some causes of the material price variance are; purchase of materials from cheaper/expensive suppliers, general increase in price of materials, different quality of materials purchased, and changes in the quantity discounts.

Material usage variance is derived by deducting the actual materials used in actual production from the actual materials used in standard production at the standard price. Some causes of materials usage variance are; different rates of scrap, difference in product design and use of different quality of materials.

Labour variances

Labour rate efficiency variance is derived by deducting the actual rate from the standard rate for the actual hours worked. Causes of this variance include; use of different materials, payment of overtime different from planned, and also using different quality of labour.

Labour efficiency variance is derived by deducting the standard rate for the actual production from the standard rate for the standard production. Causes of labour efficiency variance include; changes in working conditions, variations in idle time and use of a different quality of work force.

Variable overhead variances

Variable overhead expenditure variance is derived by deducting actual overhead rate from the standard overhead rate for the actual hours worked.

Variable overhead efficiency variance is derived by deducting the standard overhead rate for actual production from the standard overhead rate for the standard production.

Causes of these variance include; the cause of labour efficiency variances and changes in price of overhead items.

Fixed overhead variances

Fixed overhead expenditure variance is derived by deducting the actual fixed costs from the budgeted fixed costs. If actual fixed costs are more than budgeted then the variance is adverse.

Fixed overhead volume variance is derived by deducting the actual quantity produced from the budgeted quantity at the fixed overhead absorption rate. This is only applicable where the company uses absorption costing. Causes of these variances include; price changes of overhead items, production volume changes due to change in demand and changes in productivity of labour.

PLANNING AND OPERATIONAL VARIANCES

Planning variances occur when the budgets at the planning period are wrong. They are therefore the difference between the revised budget and the original budget. To correct planning variances changes need to be made to the original standards or budgets to reflect the revision. This will ensure that the variances calculated will give accurate results. Planning variances are usually beyond the control of management or staff (Coombs 2005).

Operational variances occur when budgets are revised to reflect the realistic conditions; they are the normal variances except that all planning errors have been eliminated and actual results are compared to the revised budget instead of the original budget. They are normally within the control of management.

COMPARISON OF THE TWO APPROACHES

Both methods help in; performance measurement through measuring actual results against targets, responsibility accounting by ensuring departmental mangers are fully responsible for their departments and also in management by exemption by drawing attention of management to where operations are not going according to plan (Bacal 2003).

Planning and operational variances are not alternative methods of variance analysis but only a detailed analysis of the conventional approach (Drury 2006).

They therefore have the following advantages over the traditional approach;

They help to differentiate between controllable and uncontrollable variances. They help management know which variances were caused by factors outside the company e.g. due general price changes in the market and those which have been caused by factors within the company e.g. staff turnover and loss of key management.

They help to motivate management and staff. If standards are set on a realistic basis through revision of the original budgets, the management and staff will be motivated to achieve set standards. This is because they will know that they are working towards attainable goals.

Through the revision of the old standards, realistic standards are used; this therefore will reduce the level of adverse variances that may occur as well as give reasonable favourable standards.

However, the use of these planning and operational variances can be problematic, especially when distinguishing between realistic and unrealistic standards. What might be realistic to one manager may turn out to be different to another. This therefore causes conflict between management.

Determining realistic standards can be costly and time consuming, especially when too much emphasis is placed on bad planning rather than bad management. This is why most companies stick to the traditional approach.

Both methods of variance analysis are becoming less useful as time changes; fewer companies are using manual labour because more work is being automated, and most companies are adopting just in time (JIT) operations to deal with problems of material handling (Bragg 2011).

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

With the current use of traditional variance analysis, it is possible that the company has been incurring variances which are not a true reflection of the company’s performance. I would therefore recommend that the traditional approach to variance analysis be changed to the planning and operational one. This will help the company gauge itself with realistic standards and hence major corrections can be made to the budgetary control process.

It is also important to note that variance analysis, whether traditional or not, can not be relied upon in its entirety. This is because, the service industry is rapidly changing from manual labour to machine labour, and the labour variances are becoming inappropriate as time changes. The company should also consider using JIT operations as it is the most effective method of ordering materials in today’s manufacturing industry.


 

REFERENCES

Colin Drury, 2006, Management Accounting for Business, Thomson Learning.

Heerkens, Gary, 2006, 04 – Cost Management in organizations, The Mc Graw – Hill Companies., The Professional Book Group.

Hugh Malcolm Coombs, 2005, Management Accounting: Principles and Applications, SAGE.

Pauline Weetman, 2006, Management Accounting, Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

Ray Proctor, 2006, Managerial Accounting for Business Decisions, Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

Robert Bacal, 2003, How to Manage Performance, Mc Graw – Hill The Professional Book Group.

Steven M. Bragg, 2011, Cost Accounting Fundamentals: Essential Concepts and Examples, Accounting Tools.

Terry Lucey, 2009, Costing, Cengage Learning.