Computer in Business

You have been asked to advise small businesses on teleworking, also known as remote working,
which involves employees completing their tasks not from a central office but at a distance, which
could be working from home, working in a library or cafe, or even could involve working
temporarily at a client’s office.
1. Choose a list of technologies that you could point to whenever someone asks for advice. So if
someone comes to you and says, “what would you suggest I use to…,” and then they specify a task,
you will be able to give them options from your list. You should include a range of technologies for
different budgets that have different features. You should include technologies from the following
categories (note we know that these overlap):
a. Hardware
b. Software
c. Networking
d. Data storage and data sharing
e. Video conferencing and other communication
f. Technology to make teleworking more comfortable, healthy, and less lonely
g. Printing and more importantly, alternatives to printing
h. Technology to deliver presentations remotely online and at a client’s premises
Format your list in some suitable way, perhaps as a table. For each item you should specify the
technology name, a supplier for the technology, and a price (an actual price from the supplier). If
you feel that it is not obvious why a particular item has been included in your list, then give a short
description (a few lines at most) of what it does and why it is relevant. Some of the technologies
may involve monthly payments, so make this clear in your price information. Assume you do not
have to pay VAT.

2. Create a simple Decision Support System (DSS) that will allow an employee to undertake an
analysis of their teleworking costs. They should be able to use your DSS to enter technologies (from
your list in Task 1) that they think they might need, utility costs such as electricity, and connectivity
costs such as broadband. You may think of other costs. You may also wish to have users estimate
what percentage of their utilities etc. are being used for work, or come up with some other way to
do this – someone working at home can’t claim their gas bill is entirely being spent on work! On the
other hand there may be savings – commuting costs is the most obvious one. Your system should
allow these to be entered. Maybe users should be able to enter details such as how far they commute
and by what method. The employer is offering a lump sum for technology purchases and the DSS
should allow this amount to be entered. Then the DSS will create an estimate of the costs of
teleworking and calculate a ‘fair’ amount that the employer should be paying each month for
running a home office.
All of this will become a DSS shell – cells linked up with formulae as appropriate. It will be a
spreadsheet structure that any employee could enter their own specific data into. So it shouldn’t
matter how the user commutes or what their electricity costs are – the employee should be able to
enter any amount and everything will still work.
Produce a report with the following. Include charts and graphs as appropriate.
a. Present and explain your DSS using screen shots and bullet points as explained in class.
b. How much does the employer need to offer to make teleworking attractive? Re-run the analysis
with i) basic IT ii) a mid-priced selection of IT and iii) top quality (and therefore top priced) IT.
c. Present with a brief explanation and your formulae, two different ways of calculating the ‘fair’
employer contribution.

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The overall word count does include citations and quotations. The overall word count does include
the references or bibliography at the end of the coursework. The word count does include figures
and tables. Any appendices are included in the overall word count.
You should prepare and submit your coursework in the following format:
Font: Verdana 11 point
Spacing: 1.5 spaced
Margins: Normal (2.5 cm)
Referencing: Harvard citation style

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