Kronos' Information Systems Solution
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Kronos incorporated mainly concentrates in workforce management by developing software that help companies control their labor costs, minimize compliance risks and improve the productivity of the workforce. In 2006, Kronos faced the challenge of consolidating its servers in an attempt of minimizing its power and cooling requirements. It also wanted to fit more servers in its data centers in order to support a significant acquisition that it had proposed. Dell offered it with a perfect solution by installing Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC storage network arrays and virtualization software. This essay focuses on ways, how the information systems solution improved the effectiveness of the client’s value-creating business processes and how it gave them competitive advantage of their competitors.
The information systems solution improved the effectiveness of client’s value creating business processes in several ways. It improved the capability of Krono’s disaster recovery. This helped in speeding the speed at which Kronos served clients despite being faced with a disaster. Before Dell provided this company with its servers, Dell/EMC storage and VMware virtualization software, it took Kronos 8 weeks to recover lost data. However, after installing these systems, it data recovery speed reduced to one week. This is because the new virtualization model separates hardware and the operating system and, thus, the information technology technicians are able to restore the data on any VMware ESX platform without the need of repurchasing new hardware equipment. This system also ensures successful resume of all applications. The fast rate of data recovery that Kronos acquired served as a competitive advantage, since they had a capability of recovering lost data at a faster rate compared to their competitors. This helped increasing consumer loyalty, in addition to building their brand.
After installation of the new information systems from Dell, Kronos improved its fault tolerance since it achieved load balance between virtual servers. This improved the effectiveness of client’s value business process since these systems could not fail or shut down due to heavy traffic. This was possible since VMware VMotion had the capability of running the entire machine instantaneously from one server to another. If one of Kronos’ application servers happened to have any performance complications due to stress, the VMotion would allocate the live, virtual machine to another host. Furthermore, this system has the capability of leveraging the shared storage provided by EMC SAN. This serves as a competitive advantage to Kronos due to several reasons. It can reduce its down time and, thus, ensure that it serves its clients efficiently at all times. This helps to create public trust since consumers receive their services immediately, at all times. Furthermore, Kronos saved costs that it would have spent in installing redundant backup systems. This money was used to expand its other business processes.
The information systems solution helped in improving the effectiveness of client’s value creating business processes by streamlining the testing environment. Before installation of virtualization in Kronos, every production system in this company had its separate test system. If a production system had multiple tiers, it needed to have as many as five servers. Incase Kronos wanted to upgrade its hardware, it was mandatory for it to purchase 10 servers. However, after it installed the virtual systems, they eliminated the necessity of having to use 1:1 physical model for testing. Furthermore, this system allowed Kronos to set up a testing environment by using unique software and then deleting it when the testing was complete. This provided a competitive advantage to Kronos compared to its competitors in the market due to several reasons. It was able to save costs that it would have incurred if it maintained physical test systems. This is because there was no need of purchasing extra servers that would assist its testing activities. Furthermore, it helped this organization to save labor costs since this testing environment does not need many information technology experts.
The information system solution helped in improving the effectiveness of client’s value creating business processes by helping Kronos to utilize its capacity fully. Before installing the virtual system, Kronos was using about 10 percent of all its available CPU power in the data centre. Furthermore, it used 40 % of its disk space, and the remaining percentage remained idle. It also utilized less than 50% of its available memory. However, the installation of the new virtual systems by Dell helped this company to utilize its capacity fully. This is because it was able to achieve a 20 percent reduction in its total power consumption. In addition to this, it consolidated its 25 racks into nine racks and thus it was able to save on floor space. It used this extra space to host other departments. In its old model, Kronos spent 6 weeks in installing a new server. However, with the adoption of the virtual server, this company only spends one day to change a server. By utilizing its capacity fully, Kronos was able to gain several competitive advantages over the competitors. It reduced its labor costs since by utilizing its labor efficiently; it could position its servers efficiently without the need of many information technology staff. Furthermore, it was able to improve its service delivery speed since it could change its virtual servers within a day.
In conclusion, the information system solution helped in improving the effectiveness of client’s value-creating business processes by streamlining the testing environment. This helped in increasing its speeds of testing servers since the virtualization software were fast. This created a competitive advantage since Kronos managed to test its servers fast in order to ensure that they functioned appropriately. It also improved its speed of disaster recovery since the servers were able to recover within one week. This helps in ensuring fast retrieval of client’s information. Furthermore, it improved the fault tolerance rate of its servers. This helps in ensuring that its servers are in operation for a long time, thus avoiding delays due to breakdowns. It also ensured full utilization of the capacity of Kronos. This is because, through virtualization, the labor of this company was utilized appropriately, and the CPUs of its servers were used effectively.