Specification and Design Report

Specification and Design Report

Students Name:

Student’s Number:

Student’s Email Address:

Project Title: Roles of Cloud Operation Management Framework in improving the ability of IT managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services

DA Class ID:

Name of DA:

Name of GDI:

Name of SSM:

The Specification

Step Short Description 
Hypothesis A Cloud Operation Management Framework will improve the ability of IT managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services.
Research Methods literature review.Review different organization structures for IT functions.Interviews with selected IT managers from different sectors (small/Medium) and cloud technology architects. Conduct surveys on selected group of IT managers for cloud operations.
IT Artefact A framework that includes set of processes for cloud operations, roles and responsibilities related to cloud operations, and KPI’s to measure the success of implementations.
Evaluation A survey will be sent to selected IT managers in small/medium business who are not part of the interview and research process the survey will framework in order to ascertain if it will improve the ability of IT managers to manage the cloud services organisational resources.

The Context of the Research

In the emerging markets, the cloud computing services consumption by the end-user businesses have been uneven (Yeboah-Boateng & Essandoh, 2014). A significant majority of the cloud computing vendors are the large western corporations including Google, Amazon and Salesforce.com which majorly prefer offering their services directly to the large corporations. While the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are significantly attractive clients, vendors find it uneconomical offering their services to this market segment in large volume as a consequence of high costs of distribution and the need for set-up, integration, testing and customer development (CompTia, 2016). As a best traditional practice, this gap in the supply of information technology (IT) products to the SMEs has significantly been solved by the IT channel partners forming a significant part of the wholesalers/distributors and value-added resellers (VARs). As a consequence of the business change towards the adoption of the cloud-based business models, the IT channel partners and providers have had their business models significantly distributed by the involved players (Schein & Lewis, 2015). To ensure a successful merger of their practices, it is essential to establish a successful cloud operation management framework that successfully leads to improvement of the capacity of IT managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services. Part of the framework could include setting the roles of the IT managers could include delivery of the infrastructure as a service (Iaas) with a combination of enhancements including Network as Service (NaaS), Software as a Service and Platform as a Service (PaaS) (Manvi & Shyam, 2014).

Problem Statement

In essence, cloud vendors including Microsoft and Amazon represent a critical role in their performance for assisting IT solutions providers in transforming their distinct channels for aligning with the available technology. In the Middle East region, a significant number of IT managers and partners have not been in a position of harnessing a comprehensive transformation of their business models to be in tandem with the cloud-business model. It is hence critical identifying all factors that pose as unique challenges and barriers available in the vendors, partners and the IT managers. This is a critical aspect that is yet to be adequately investigated in the context of emerging markets such as UAE.  Through this, it is possible to establish processes for cloud operations, roles and responsibilities linked to cloud operations, and KPI’s for measuring the overall success of implementations.  The current study hence assists in identifying the extent in which the vendors can assist in intervening for ensuring the partner’s leverage from the readiness of their cloud computing and associated organizational resources for cloud services and cloud-related technologies. In regard to the IT service provider failure of enhancing their channels in line with the cloud-business model which can end up compromising the capacity of leveraging and maintaining their position in the existing IT value chain.

In the Middle East region, the uptake of the SMEs is still significantly low (Danaher & Chong, 2014). Substantially, the IT service providers have an implication of increasing the overall cloud consumption through the delivery of services in a manner meeting the local end-user business needs which are not possible with the large vendors and IT managers to directly meet their needs. In this case, end-users have a likelihood of benefiting from cloud business model innovation which could potentially harness the capacity of retaining their current and attracting new clients and using cloud technology in creating new products and services and utilizing payment methods.

Dissertation Questions

In this study, the objectives would include the following;

  • To establish relevant opportunities for cloud services in the UAE market and the resources available
  • To investigate the role of IT managers in the management of the cloud services organizational resources in the UAE market
  • To investigate the adequacy of measures being taken by IT managers and service providers in ensuring their channels are cloud ready with resources available
  • To investigate the challenges faced by IT managers and partners in their process of transitioning from traditional to cloud business models
  • To establish the role that IT managers can perform in ensuring that they have sufficient organizational resources for implementing cloud services

To be in a position of achieving the identified research objectives, the following research questions would be answered;

  • Which are the relevant opportunities for cloud services in the UAE market and the resources available?
  • What is the role of IT managers in the management of the cloud services organizational resources in the UAE market?
  • Which is the existing adequacy of measures being taken by IT managers and service providers in ensuring their channels are cloud ready with resources available?
  • Which are the challenges faced by IT managers and partners in their process of transitioning from traditional to cloud business models?
  • What is the role that IT managers can perform in ensuring that they have sufficient organizational resources for implementing cloud services?

Ethical Implications

In this study, the ethical implications would take a center stage as it involve sourcing of relevant information and data from individual respondents. First, the ethical issues were sourced from the University as the basic requirement for all studies that involve human respondents. One of the assurance that was provided to the respondents is to ensure that they sign the consent letter as a sign of agreement for their participation in the current study. This improved the level of confidence by the respondents in answering the questionnaire due to their direct relationship with the researcher. Additionally, a cover letter was also used with all the essential information for active participation and support by the researcher with leveraging from the trust held by the respondents. Further, the researcher elaborately explained to the respondents that all the sourced data would be treated in high confidentiality and only used for the academic purposes. Hence, the ethical issues were addressed by the collection of quantitative and qualitative data and not identifying their names or identities. All these aspects were anchored on the view that active involvement or participation in the collection of the quantitative and qualitative was voluntary with no coercion to participate in the study whatsoever. For the sake of avoiding any form of misrepresentation of the respondents, a transcribed copy of the interview was offered with the aim of reviewing and editing the data on the basis of their relevance.

Anticipated Outcomes

It is anticipated that at the end of this study, a framework would be developed that highlights the approach that can be used to examione the issues of cloud computing and utilization of the resources from the end-user perspective and the legal and ethical issues. The resources that would be identified would be evaluated on their extent of managing a successful transition from the traditional channels to the modern cloud-ready channels which are critical for all the involved stakeholders in the organisation. Essentially, the current study offers a fresh theoretical perspective regarding to the role of the IT managers in the IT industry in the organizational resources development specifically in context of the area of cloud computing. Further, an additional literature sources would be developed in the context of this study. In particular, the lack of sufficient literature sources in context of the Kuwait market on effective cloud operation management framework to improve the ability of IT managers in managing associated organisational resources for cloud services.

Literature Survey

The factors that support services crucial to a contemporary, modern business are not only found internally within the organization but externally as well. There is a demand for noteworthy, not just satisfactory, collaboration between the numerous stakeholders partaking in the decision making and designing process, arrangement and delivery of a service (Noor et al., 2018). Moreover, there is a requirement to adopt to ever-varying business environment, market trends, shifting regulatory and consumer needs. Without a broad and effective IT service management approach, how can a company possibly continue its operations, much less competitive, in this progressive digital marketplace? Though, this is certainly a problem with numerous current ITSM executions, ITSM has not been executed in a wide-ranging and practical manner. Several “bottom-up” strategies emphasize only on the operational elements of administering IT, such as establishing a service department with partial risk management responsibilities or fulfilling operational processes. In short, most ITSM executions really do not have well-defined services, but simply do what they do (Noor et al., 2018). This practice has resulted in ITSM only being regarded as costlier or a commodity and not as a fundamental business asset.

Since governance is not described or is inadequate, several change management processes have become excessively engineered and administrative in nature. Conventional approaches have been unable to effectively implement IT service management. Presently, the processes associated with ITSM have been transformed and typically commence with innovative strategy, governance and infrastructure which are operated from top-down (Kumar, Raj, and Jelciana, 2018). The strategy and idea of utilizing IT applications in attaining customer needs must be planned, sponsored, and appropriately administered through well-planned policies and effective standards. ITSM has been represented by automated–numerous practices such as quality management, software engineering and information security management. Business executives acknowledged that corporate objectives had to be closely linked with IT policies and resources if IT processes were going to expand their significance and value while adjusting costs.

Over the last decade, a number of corporations have started to implement best practices for effective ITSM such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Virtualization and Cloud computing are two separate technologies but are closely linked. Components for these technologies are moderately similar to ITSM and comprise lessening of IT capital and operational outlays, enhanced service quality, and augmented adoptability and offering competitive edge (Noor et al., 2018). Virtualization is utilized to execute IT resources when and where they are required. Cloud computing operates within virtualization systems to build an internal or external infrastructure for retrieving IT resources via private or public networks, frequently through self-service and automated resources.

Cloud computing has established itself as a trend in the contemporary and continual advancement of information technology (IT). In this high-tech mode, data dispersed on digital storage servers, exceptional data centers, offers users with the sense of physical data storage device, with quality and easy access and are integrated into the business processes, which were involved in the business architecture (Kumar, Raj, and Jelciana, 2018). Hence, considering the orientations of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, corporations are determined to use the services of this type of expertise for the purpose of supporting existing and new activities, and increasing the need to resolve organizational issues. In broader terms, cloud computing primarily offers services that are needed in standard procedures and are founded on well-known administrative processes. In spite of being integrated with an internal computing structure, cloud computing offers innovativeness, real-time availability, and undoubtedly competitive advantage. It appears that the scope of cloud computing is broadly linked with ICT and its digitalized processes. In the space of its usual execution, cloud computing simply requires an internet connection and effective IT architecture, with well-described standards, to process the events and prearranged activities (Kumar, Raj, and Jelciana, 2018). However, it is uncertain whether companies that have adopted this technology in their transactions, are effectively equipped to adopt the kind of provisions that the framework of cloud computing offers. Moreover, there are also protocols that alleviate risks and unreliability due to lack of information and not a glimpse of precise security standards.

The standpoint of linking ICT capacities and processing requirements is built on the hypothetical arrangement named as process virtualization theory, which focuses on progression of digital processes from physical activities. In fact, through the opportunities of change that ICT offers, it is perceived that process virtualization signifies a technological alliance that provides companies with improved efficiency, more adoptability and greater efficiency, in order to strengthen the attainment of the anticipated objectives (Souri, Navimipour, and Rahmani, 2018). In executing this technology, processes are developed and organized in virtual settings which subsequently reduce physical infrastructures, diminishing both displacement and the need for third-party service providers for data storage and / or delivery of information for the purpose of acquiring products or services. In other words, cloud computing has been considered a new computing model in which ICT amenities are offered in the sense of their usefulness by third parties, and by which users have modified their existing infrastructure to obtain such services. This idea is built on the input of virtual tools, comprising from e-mail to broad digital servers, where users can share resources, utilizing them when required, with low-cost IT resources.

When implementing cloud computing, enterprises should assess the service provider’s offerings, capacities, as well as existing and potential market trends for the purpose of developing an effective strategy to attain customer needs (Kumar, Raj, and Jelciana, 2018). IT service management must systematically evaluate the cloud computing environment to address the following challenges: Does the company need to develop its own system? ITSM must decide if the computing infrastructure is costly and less adaptable, hence, a virtualized cloud computing saves capital. Which business processes will be transferred to the cloud? IT Service Management should take into consideration the new applications or organizational processes as trends evolve. The cloud can considerably decrease time to market when introducing new functions and processes.

As a consequence of the progressive IT revolution as a strategic change, a significant number of entities are integrating digital business platforms. This means that a significant number of operations in organisations are digitized (Shein et al., 2015). Cloud computing represents one of the significant technologies relying on digital platforms. Accordingly, there has been a suggestion that relevant channel partners lead to ensure their readiness for the cloud business model in channels digitisation.  The relevance of digitization has significantly been underscored by the International Data Corporation (IDC) which is a survey involving more than 500 channel partners and IT managers in the United States. From the survey, it is evident that there has been a significant decline in the business of reselling of IT products including the hardware and infrastructure software. For instance, it was evidenced from the study that in 2015, there was a 41% of overall revenues by the channel partners involved in the reselling process as opposed to 53% of a similar business that had been implemented in 2014 (IDC, 2015). This is a significant strategy benefitting the IT managers as they transition from the reselling of the products to eventually offering services in their digital platforms.

Currently, available research indicates that the best practice in cloud management framework implementation must consider the factors of portability and interoperability issues. These are issues in the IT field leading to the managers being forced to implement services standardization (Di Martino et al., 2011).  Standardization is an approach that is inclusive of the creation of strategic specifications in equal measures with interfaces that can be potentially used by all involved cloud services organizations. Despite the efforts being initiated, Petcu et al. (2011) pointed out that the IT managers can only succeed in this only if it is in IaaS. The organizational resources for cloud services including storage, database and notification services have not in any way contributed to the establishment of unified API. Kumbhare et al. (2012) observed that IT managers with the willingness of standardizing their services for the sake of increasing the overall marketing consumption among the IT partners and eventually the end users or the organizations facing immense challenges. A related challenge, in this case, includes possible tampering with available critical data. In the current research, this is perceived as being an instrumental aspect in the context of the view that privacy issues are still a significant barrier of increased use of cloud services in the IT field.

As part of the cloud management framework, the IT managers must be in a position of bundling the product provided from diverse vendors and as such increasing the overall management proposition to end users demanding adoption from different vendors. Additionally, different channel partners are best positioned in providing value-added services through a decoration of diverse cloud services with increased functionalities including the data ciphering and provision of pre-fetching strategies (Wu et al., 2013).  Other studies have demonstrated that IT managers have a potential of enhancing management of their cloud services to the channel partners through well-developed interoperability significantly limited. In the organization resources cloud services, there are three distinct services provided which in turn imply redefining the overall roles of cloud managers and channel partners in improving the overall consumption of cloud services amongst the end users. According to Dhar (2012) and Bayramusta and Nasir (2016), the three distinct services include the infrastructure as a service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the Software as a Service (SaaS) as shown in figure 2.1 below. In light of this, Fouquet et al. (2009) pointed out that the IaaS is inclusive of the provision of the hardware and IT infrastructure management in factors such as the storage and process of available information. The service equally facilitates the provision of potential virtual hard disks which are readily accessible by the consumer from diverse virtual machines.

Conduct of the Project

In this project, there are a total of five phases that formed the primary area of focus. They include;

No Phase Status
1 Complete the project proposal Completed
2 Complete the specification and design document Completed
3 Complete the Research In progress
4 Complete implementation and evaluation In progress
5 Finalise and submit the dissertation In progress

As a consequence of circumstances that had not been factored in the initial phase of this study, the author was forced to request a deadline extension which was offered by the University.  As a consequence, the project plan ended up being significantly revised with the study risk assessment equally reviewed. Further, the original project proposal indicated that the questionnaires and interviews would be sourced through a full and comprehensive discretion of the author. All the survey process is through a clear awareness of the author and all other stakeholders who are important for this research.

The design

Initially, it was required that there would be a need for undertaking successful risk analysis through the use of cause and effect diagrams. The statistical tool and approach used in the current study was instrumental in guiding the researcher to understand the issue of focus and important in appreciating the roles of the cloud operation management framework in improving the ability of the IT managers in managing the associated organizational resources for cloud services.

A survey was further developed and participant information sheet (as shown in appendix 1 and 2) and tested on the IT managers and other users of the IT information in the UAE. After an approval of the study reliability, a survey was created and shared using the SurveyMonkey platform since it was viewed that the approach was critical in attracting a significant response rates and accessible to the most of the IT companies in Kuwait. The author already had a sufficient experience with working with the survey monkey and as such was best positioned in gathering sufficient and detailed information and data on the issues of focus and study.

After the generation of the survey link, it was later shared with an email to a total of 55 respondents involved in the IT management best practice in different IT companies. Nevertheless, only a total of 50 respondents successfully rebutted the questionnaire successfully. For the purpose of successfully interpreting the survey responses, different graphs were used to demonstrate the results analysis.  The link of the survey monkey platform was (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/R7N5N28).

Through the adoption of the collected survey results and the rest of the data, it was possible to generate the IT artefact. The data from the survey would be analysed through the use of SPSS software with the interviews data being analysed through the use of content analysis. The implementation of the IT artefacts would be used by the IT managers in small/medium business who are not part of the interview and research process. This would also be used as a strategy of ascertaining if the process would be used in improving the ability of the IT managers in managing the cloud services organizational resources.

Statement of Deliverables

As highlighted in the initial segment of the current document, the project timeline has been changed slightly hence the expected deliverables which they had been adapted which include the following;

  • Proposal
  • Literature review of the different available cloud operations frameworks.
  • A Specification and Design Document.
  • Project plan.
  • Progress reports.
  • Ethics forms.
  • PIS and consent form.
  • Survey that target IT managers to identify the current organizations cloud operations.
  • The analysis of the IT managers interview’s outcomes.
  • The artefact in the form of a framework for Cloud Management. 
  • An evaluation survey for the proposed artefact Cloud Management framework to IT managers.
  • Evaluation survey result and report for Cloud Management framework.
  • Final dissertation.

Plan

As it had been observed in the earlier section of this document, as a consequence of situations that were not controllable, it was essential to request a deadline extension which was gladly awarded to me. Hence, the project plan has been critically been reviewed and a final plan generated. This project can be identified as being on the appropriate track based on the latest plan available.

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Appendix 1: Survey Design Work Document

Prior Experience

In my active work operations, I normally use the surveys in establishing the areas that are required in offering more training or an increased guidance for identifying essential knowledge. In my first degree in university, I equally used the survey in normal learning and also in the school. In the past years, I have successfully used the SurveyMonkey, SNAP and google forms as a strategy of collecting the data with SurveyMonkey being my primary preference in any of my research work.

Research

I have an elaborate understanding that all the potential respondents targeted in this study have a broad access to internet in their workplaces and as such I would have to share with them the email addresses to use in the process. Being IT specialists, all the respondents have a broad understanding of the information and issue of focus from their access to the internet. I expect that there would be 70% overall responses within a period of 4 days from the web surveys. Nevertheless, frequent reminders would be used to request the respondents to remember to answer the research survey.

Resources

Personal Laptop – Available

Microsoft O365 – Licence Available

Skype For Business (To meet CIOs in deferent countries) – Licence Available

Microsoft Forms – Licence Available

OneDrive – Licence Available

Internet Connection – Available

Participant Information Sheet

1.0 Title of the Study

A Cloud Operation Management Framework will improve the ability of IT managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services

2.0 Version Number and Date

Version 1/ 12/9/2018

3.0 Invitation Paragraph

It is my humble request to you to participate in the current study. Prior making a final decision on your willingness to participate in this study, it is essential for you to be in the know of the underlying factors of the current study current and the areas of your involvement. Kindly take your maximum time to go through the provided information carefully and in-depth to understand the content of the study. Please be free to ask any question or clarification that you feel is essential to facilitate your understanding of the topic. The study is open, and you can share it with your friends, relatives and anybody else you feel would be instrumental in assisting you to understand the research. We would like to insist that your participation in this study is out of your free will and not through coercion or being forced to participate in the current study. Your participation is out of your free will.

Thank you for going through the invitation letter

4.0 Purpose of the Study

This study would focus on the evaluation of the cloud operation management framework and the extent to which it improves the ability of IT managers to manage associated organisational resources for cloud services.

The rationale of this study is that over the last decade, a number of corporations have started to implement best practices for effective ITSM such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Virtualization and Cloud computing are two separate technologies but are closely linked. Components for these technologies are moderately similar to ITSM and comprise lessening of IT capital and operational outlays, enhanced service quality, and augmented adoptability and offering a competitive edge. Virtualization is utilized to execute IT resources when and where they are required. Cloud computing operates within virtualization systems to build an internal or external infrastructure for retrieving IT resources via private or public networks, frequently through self-service and automated resources.

The research objectives would include;

  • To develop a framework inclusive of a set of processes for cloud operations, roles and responsibilities related to cloud operations and KPIs for measuring the success of implementations
  • To analyse the different service management perspectives associated with cloud operations
  • To understand the current structure and operations applied in the management of organizational resources in cloud services
  • To recommend the best cloud management framework applicable for implementation in the IT field

5.0 Reasons for Your Selection to be part of this Study

As an expert in the cloud management sector and information technology, you are the best suited for taking part in this study. The broad knowledge and experience you possess in this field would be instrumental in assisting the research in achieving the already set objectives. This study would utilize primary data sourced from experts like you as you would offer instrumental and relevant data to aid in the success of the study.

6.0 Whether it is a must to take part in this Study

It will take approximately 10-15 minutes of your time. Participation is voluntary, and you are allowed to opt out of the survey at any stage for any reason. Your participation is greatly appreciated, and all your responses will remain anonymous. It is hence not a must for you to take part in this study as there will be nobody to coerce you to participate in this study.

7.0 What to happen to Respondent in the Study

The first thing that you need to understand is the reason we are carrying out this study. The reason for carrying out this study is to expand on the already available literature on the cloud operation management framework and its implication in improving the ability of the IT managers in managing associated organizational resources for cloud services. In this case, your participation will revolve around these aspects, and you would be required to offer more information regarding these issues.

This research will follow a quantitative research approach. In this case, you would be required to fill a survey that would be provided to you by the researcher. The researcher will be the facilitator of this research, and there would be no third parties involved in the research process. After issuing the survey questionnaire to you, sufficient time will be provided for you to complete the study. This will take a maximum three days for you to return a fully answered questionnaire.

8.0 Expenses and/or Payments

There are no expenses to be accrued in this study or payments offered to you. This is since this study is purely academic. Also, you would answer the questionnaire from your area of resident and work hence there is no need for travelling.

9.0 Risks for taking Part

There are no risks of taking part in this study

10.0 Benefits in Taking Part of this Study

You will benefit from this research from the results that would be gained from this study. This is since this study would provide relevant information on the role of cloud operation management framework in improving IT managers and their ability to manage organizational resources which would be instrumental for your active participation.

11.0 Occurrence if not Unhappy with the Problem

In any event you are not happy with this study, you can withdraw from the study, and your responses would be discarded and not used in the study any further. The researcher would not ask you to explain your reason for withdrawal as that would be your private decision.

12.0 Confidentiality of Participation

You are assured that your participation in this study will be held with utmost confidentiality.  The data will be collected from you through electronic means or through a Survey platform which does not require you to disclose your identity. The data would be stored under a lock and key where only the researcher and the instructor would have access to the data. The data would be saved for a maximum of 5 years where it would be disposed of.

13.0 Use of the Results of the Study

This is a purely academic study. In this case, the study findings would be used as a facilitator for the researcher to graduate from Liverpool University. The thesis would only be published on the University website. Unless you have been consented to disclose your data, your participation will always remain anonymous.

14.0 What to happen if you Stop Taking Part in Study

You can withdraw from this study at any time you feel appropriate without any explanation. You are also assured that the researcher would not in any way conduct a follow-up to understand your reasons for withdrawal. The reasons would remain secret to you. Any response that you would have provided to the researcher would be discarded.

Questionnaire Design Document

Training used in Constructing the Survey Questions and Designing Research Approach

For the purpose of achieving a high response rate and have respondents who are adequately prepared in participating in the research survey, a commitment was gained prior to commencement of the actual data collection. Nevertheless, different scholars have nevertheless had differing opinions pertaining to the efficacy of the pre-notification contact and its potential of increasing the response rates. For instance, on the one hand some of the researchers have found out that pre-notification contacts have a potential of increasing the overall response rates for existing sample sizes.  On the other hand, several researchers have made observations that pre-contact lacks any significant impact on response rates and could substantially increase the mainlining costs particularly in the large sample studies. In this study on the role of cloud operation management framework in improving the ability of IT managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services can be categorized as a large-scale study.

For this reason, the training which was in the form of pre-contact was not employed in the current study. Nevertheless, a follow-up which was prioritized in this study had been identified as being a more effective strategy on their verge of increasing their overall response rates and an acceleration of the response rates. Accordingly, in the current study, the follow-up was used other than the pre-contacts as the best practice in designing of the research approach.

For the researcher, the training that was obtained from the RMT class was instrumental as it guided the researcher in understanding the best practice of constructing the survey questions. The knowledge gathered was used in a point to point questioning by all the involved study respondents who were deemed as being fit in participating in the current study.

Research

In order to have detailed research in the current study, two steps were followed. The first step included articulation of the questions that the research was intended to address. This was followed by determination of the hypotheses around which the questionnaire was supposed to be designed from.  The two steps were anchored on the need of implementing a piloting exercise that was informed by the need to develop essential adjustments for the administrative aspects of the study. Part of this was doing research on the length of time that the entire questionnaire answering would take and the entire respondents that would be used in successful completion of the current study. Further, a detailed research was done to ascertain the availability of the targeted respondents to ensure that at the time of issuance of the questionnaires they are not involved in other activities. Their involvement in such activities would be a limiting factor for their successful participation in the study.

Further, the research process was instrumental and was used in making decision on the information that needed to be collected. Also, additional assistance was sourced from the secondary data. The secondary data included the data appraisals and exploratory research that are in line with the available literature in the same area of study.   In this case, the researcher was supposed to have an understanding of the same and similar problems in the past, the different factors yet to be examined or discovered and the steps that have been used by researchers in the past to develop their questionnaires. Also, the researcher exploited on the use of a small number of preliminary informal questionnaires offered to the targeted respondents as a strategy of gaining a realistic glimpse of the reality which was instrumental in providing a glimpse of the reality that was instrumental in clarifying on the distinct ideas on the essential information for the process.

Additionally, the research process included asking whether the used questions were essential and needed. This was done for the sake of avoiding any temptation where questions that do not critically evaluate their contributions on the attainment of the research objectives were not included as specified in the current study proposal and chapter one which would surprisingly been strong. From this background research, the researcher made a decision that no question would be included unless the data sourced offered an increase to it by use of a direct test of the different hypotheses used and established in the current research design.

Resources

This study would be characterized by a sufficient resource which would be used in the collection of the data from the different respondents. This from the steps of the preparation of the questions, issuance of the questionnaires, involvement of the respondents in the research. Additionally, some of the resources would be used to facilitate the respondents in participating in the current study and have an active answering of all the questions from the initial step to the last.  All the resources were used to ensure that the most appropriate questionnaire was used in defining the targeted respondents, selection of the methods of reaching their respondents, determining the question content, wording of the different questions, sequencing of the various issues, evaluating the length of a questionnaire, pre-testing process of the overall questionnaire and developing the final questionnaire. All these steps are supposed to be done mechanically and sequentially for setting he questionnaire to its final form and all the resources being used.

Different researchers have expressed varying views in regard to the effectiveness of incentives in enhancing response rates. While some studies have found that monetary incentives can have a positive effect on response rates, others have clarified that the effect does not apply in all contexts. In research contexts where the respondents’ efforts cannot be adequately compensated financially, it is recommended that such incentives should not be used. Accordingly, no monetary incentives were offered in the current study. 

Non-monetary incentives could, on the other hand, include gifts or the promise to send a summary of study results upon completion of the study. There is no consensus among researchers that these incentives have a significant influence on response rates. As such, non-monetary incentives were not offered. However, all respondents were appreciated for their efforts to take part in the research.

Questionnaire and Achieving the Set Study Objectives

As aforementioned, the questionnaire was set in a manner that it answered all the set research questions and objectives. There are three factors considered in the questionnaire that ensured that the core objectives of the study were achieved. They include;

Opening Questions: In research, the opening questions are supposed to be easy for a successful answering and not in any manner being a significant threat to the respondents. The initial set of questions are critical since the different respondents first exposure of the questionnaire and setting a realistic tone for the nature of the overall task to be carried out. In an event they find the initial question as being challenging in terms of understanding, or past the scope of knowledge and experience, or embarrassing in some manner, there is a high likelihood of breaking off immediately. In an event, on the other hand, they find the opening question as being easy and pleasant in answering, there is positive encouragement for proceeding with the process of answering the questions.

Question flow: From the questions, they were arranged in a manner that they flow in a psychological and well-organized order. Through this, one question leads easily and naturally to the next. The questions on one subject or a specific aspect of the study were grouped. This was done to avoid an instance where the respondents were disconcerting due to keeping shifting from one topic to the other or being asked to return to the same subject that they assume have a positive potential of offering their distinct opinions about earlier.

Question variety: In the research, it is possible for the different respondents to be bored promptly and become restless in an event they are asked similar questions for several minutes or more. This process has a direct implication in improving the overall response rates and as such having varying questions to the respondent’s task from time to time. The relevance of the closed-ended questions that were used in the questionnaire even if they were not analyzed had a positive implication in providing a high-level essential relief from a long series of questions. These are the questions where the involved respondents have been forced to have a limitation in terms of their replies in their pre-coded categories. In overall, the questionnaire was comprised of clear and elaborately worded and response options identified. Also, clear prescribed definitions and explanations were offered to ensure questions are handled effectively and consistently by all the respondents.

Closing Questions: At the end of the questionnaire, the questions that can be identified as being less importance were included in the questionnaire. This was done with the aim of avoiding the issues of the impatience and fatigue that generally characterise a questionnaire respondents’ activities at the end of the questionnaire. Potentially, the different sensitive questions were structured at the end of the questionnaire with an aim of avoiding respondents cutting out

Questionnaire

Section A: General questions

  1. Please indicate your gender
  2. Male
  3. Female
  4. How would you categorise your business?
  5. Small
  6. Medium
  7. Large
  8. How long have you been working as an IT manager in your business?
  9. Less than 2 years
  10. 2-5 years
  11. 5-8 years
  12. Over 8 years
  13. To what extent do the following factors characterise an increased adoption of cloud computing services?

(1=very low extent; 2=low extent; 3= average; 4= high extent; 5= very high extent)

Factors influencing the adoption of cloud computing services                              1 2 3 4 5
The need for enhanced technological development          
To ensure an organisation is in line with the occurrences of their external environment          
Reducing the costs associated with the increased use of information systems          
Making their operations high effective and agile          
Ensuring that the IT managers are managing their organisational resources for cloud services          
Extensive use of technology services through innovativeness          
To ensure standardization of all organisation operations           

Section B: Cloud Operation Management Framework Improving Ability of IT Managers in Managing Associated Organisational Resources for Cloud Services

  • Which are the available opportunities for cloud services and resources available to exploit the opportunities?
  • presence of big data opportunities
  • IT managers actively involved in managing and sourcing insights from the sourced data
  • The business potential of mining structured and unstructured data for management and marketing insights
  • Improved understanding of all customers’ needs and deploying more focused management of organizational resources of the cloud services
  • Massive computing infrastructure
  • Active management of cloud services for market responsiveness
  • IT managers play an instrumental role in ensuring a successful transition from traditional to modern cloud operation management framework and management of organizational resources for cloud services. Which of the following do you believe represent the roles of IT managers in the cloud operation management framework?

(1=strongly disagree; 2= disagree; 3= neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree)

Roles of IT managers in the transition from traditional to modern cloud operation management framework 1 2 3 4 5
Integrating a stable hardware and software system to ensure reusability of cloud and extensibility of their overall operations          
Improving the processing power of the organisation by connecting remote computers in different geographical locations          
Ensuring that the organisation IT department is integrated with other operations of the organisation for increased coordination          
Creating awareness to the organisation management on the impact of cloud computing integration          
Maintaining an updated framework comprised of all management data          
  • It is essential for an organisation IT managers and IT managers to ensure that they are best positioned in the IT model of their organisation. To what extent do you believe that IT managers play an instrumental role in the management of organizational resources for cloud services?
Position and Roles of IT Managers and Channel partners 1 2 3 4 5
Possessing sufficient knowledge on the cloud operation management framework with the available resources          
The ability to manage the organisational resources for cloud services including storage, computing applications among other services          
Consumers switching from a single provider to others which is as a consequence of high switching costs arising from diverse technologies of technologies          
Providing end users with appropriate web interface assisting overall end-user organisation and management of deployable and diverse accounts          
Intermediary roles to increase the opportunities of end-user to access high quality and most effective and available cloud services          
  • How have the following challenges affected the IT manager’s effectiveness in the management of organizational resources for cloud services?

(1=strongly disagree; 2= disagree; 3= neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree)

Challenges encountered by IT managers and channel partners in overcoming service management in cloud operations 1 2 3 4 5
Lack of sufficient financial capabilities limited to vendor determined applications without alternative choices          
Technical challenges for achieving successful compatibility and integration of cloud computing with IT infrastructure          
Lack of sufficient knowledge for the transition from traditional to the modern cloud computing system          
Lack of support from the organisation management in providing them with the essential organisational resources for the cloud services          
  • Which of the following measures do you agree are the most effective in increasing organisation readiness for cloud business framework? The measures also lead to successful mitigation of the challenges

(1=strongly disagree; 2= disagree; 3= neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree)

Measures of increasing organisation readiness for cloud business framework 1 2 3 4 5
Adopting the appropriate service strategy by the IT Managers          
Service strategies in Cloud-based Business Model          
Adopting an appropriate deployment model          
Integrating successful digital business platforms          
  1. The IT managers have sufficient capability and knowledge in managing all organizational resources for cloud services characterized by a coordinated cloud management framework. Do you agree with this statement?
  2. Strongly disagree
  3. Disagree
  4. Neutral
  5. Agree
  6. Strongly agree

Thank you for your participation

Project Plan and Timing:

Task Duration Start Notes
Proposal preparation  1 month  1/7/2018  
Proposal Approval  2 Weeks    
Ethic Forms Draft 2 Weeks    
Ethic Forms Review 1 Week    
Ethic Forms Approval      
Literature Review  2 Weeks 19/8/2018  
Specification and Design   2/9/2018  
5th Month Progress Report   1/10/2018  
Design Survey (Questionnaire/Survey/Interview) 2 Weeks 14/10/2018  
Survey Distribution 2 Weeks 28/10/2018  
Analysis and Review (Questionnaire/Survey/Interview) 2 Weeks 11/11/2018  
7th Month Progress Report   1/12/2018  
Design artefact cloud Management Framework 4 Weeks 25/11/2018  
Evaluation by using (Questionnaire/Survey/Interview) 2 Weeks 23/12/2018  
Analysis and Review Evaluation to add Feedback (Questionnaire/Survey/Interview) 4 Weeks 06/01/2019  
Prepare Draft Dissertation 2 Weeks 3/2/2019 1st week of Feb 2019
Final Write Up 4 Weeks 17/2/2019 3rd week of Feb 2019
Project Completion and submission      

Risk Assessment:

Risk Detail Mitigation Plan Notes
People Poor participation from IT managers Prepare key stakeholders map to identify key managers and develop communication plan This risk did not occur
Process No enough time to complete the research due to natural of work Use travel time to complete tasks, define milestones/timeframe to monitor the progress with DA This risk initially occurred but it was mitigated successfully
Technology IT manager cant access Microsoft Forms Use another tool that compatible such as SurveyMonkey and google docs The technology issue was handled effectively and the problem did not occur whatsover

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