Optimizing IT infrastructure
In the recent past, IT environment has become more complex and heterogeneous. This is because of the rapid innovation in the IT industry and the diverse needs of its clients. As a result managing IT systems that involves multiple technology platforms and multiple vendors has been difficult, expensive and time-consuming. To address this problem, Microsoft delivers system integration as a means of reducing system complexity, optimizing IT infrastructure, and enabling high performance in the work force.
System integration refers to the bringing together of the components of subsystem into a composite system so that the subsystem operates a system. In Information Technology, it is the process of linking several computing software and systems either functionally or physically. For the success of any distributed computing system, there should be integration of applications from one computer to another across different organizations.
The integrator here brings together all the discrete systems of varied techniques like, computer networking, enterprise application integration, business process management or manual programming into a composite computing system. With the above definition, the paper will examine how system integration affects the usability and functionality of a website from a case study of two websites (aquarelle. com and amazon. com) with a stronger emphasis on the usability elements from the customer’s perspective. E-commerce websites are the renowned websites that explore system integration both at internal and external levels.
The paper shall also investigate the issues and challenges facing system integration in both websites based on IT and customer’s perspectives. Amazon. com, Inc. is a Seattle-based e-commerce website which is specialized in selling a wide range of consuming products to international users. It is affiliated to other international and separate websites. The logo of the company bears an arrow flying from A to Z of its name. Its major objective is to ensure consumer satisfaction by providing all the products from A to Z as indicated in the logo.
With this expansion strategy, the company has grew from an on-line bookstore into a center of diversified products such as DVD, VHS, Computer software, MP3’s, apparel, music CDs, Video games, toys, among others. It has other affiliate websites in China, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, and Japan. On the other hand, Aquarelle is a Paris-based florist site whose main objective is to cater for customers with flowers in the service line-up. It is specialized making bouquets, in simple bunches or harmonious combinations, country-style bouquets combining flowers with fruit or woodland berries, delicate, fragrant compositions.
This has made the company to be recommended name among the florists. Just like amazon. com, aquarelle has international affiliations with other separate websites. For these two companies to successfully do their business, they need to integrate applications from one website to another and across different organizations. Usability Analysis from Customer’s perspective Usability analysis is major testing tool which helps the websites to improve on their business. Usability depends on various factors each of which defines the term in its own perspective.
Based on the elements emphasized, the definition might vary. However, all the definitions relates to how the website is useful to its users. There are two common definitions to this term. First, Palmer defines usability based on five major elements; download delay, navigability, contents, interactivity, and responsiveness. Green and Pearson, on the other hand, focus on accessibility, navigation, personalization and customization, download speed, and ease of use. The latter elements are the common usability evaluation elements known other authors based on the evaluation conducted on the later approach.
Navigation is an essential element in usability evaluation since it enhances stickiness of websites. Every navigation framework must predict users mind as a priority. In amazon. com, for instance, navigation has been designed in very effective and multiple ways which makes it easy to navigate linking panels. Amazon is a massive site with massive products and options but it has provided a simple and short navigation panel on the left so that users do not get confused on the first look. It then takes the users to several detailed pages with more long navigation bars that help the users to find what exactly they are looking for.
Similarly, Aquarelle navigation is also designed in a simple way so that users can easily navigate what they want to do on the site. But, as the initial action of users could be browsing the product catalogue the product navigation is located on the top navigation tab lists which seems slightly small and invisible. Simple navigation in aquarelle enables the users to find the required links very quickly. However, the Customers would prefer simple websites that provide service and content rather those heavy loads of graphics and flashing images.
This implies that customers value functionality and simplicity seems more than fantasy design because of the enhanced speed of download. Amazon has spread a simple and light weight graphics on each page which has increased the speed of download and enables users to complete, surf, and browse the pages very quickly. This also helps the users in optimizing their time spending on the site without getting bored. However, this differs from connection to connections since it is slow in dial up internet. On the other hand, aquarelle has provided simple content settings which have helped the users to easily download each page.