The web platform, in this instance, is developed as a shopping service for beauty products, with an auxiliary delivery service. Its development is an alternative to the presence of a physical store, and the advancement of the current information website to a fully-fledged interactive system for browsing and purchase forms the basis of the project.
The Core Team
The core team will include a systematic selection of developers, contributors, and user review base (cos-development). The execution of the project is set out in the setup of the program schedule and the development plan. In this regard, the development team will include a combination of web and app developers teaming up to integrate the proposed platform onto both web and app-based. The contributors are primarily from the existing business, including owners and its marketing and strategy innovations teams. These participants form the decision-making process throughout the project development and implementation phases, and in this way, transfer the requirements of the owners’ interests in expanding the business platform. As such, the combined effort of the developers and contributors will allow the user reviewers to participate directly in the cos-development approach. This is an ideal setting, where the consumers make crucial contributions to the entire project’s progress, and in this way, allows the interests of the business owners and its users to align before the final implementation and launch.
In general, the core team is tasked with the creation of the entire development plan, from which the project undertaking can occur. Creating this development plan requires the establishment of resource availability both in a financial capacity and implementation onto the proposed platform. In addition, the team is to establish the resource application schedule, from which resource availability is made to fit into a timetable, from which the entire project implantation will occur. Within the schedule, there is the need to design criterion to avoid interruptions to the entire plan and establish workarounds available in case of these interrupts (McLaren & Zhou, 2013). As a role within the initiation and establishment of the project, there is a necessity for the team to consider the hypothetical expectations of the users. From such a perspective, the team should take into consideration the customer requirements, and by the integration of continuous participation of such users in development, it is possible to meet the required criteria.
Using the measurable organizational value as a tool for assessing the returns that an investment system may offer includes the value that an organization can yield. In this case, defining the value includes determining the viability of the project within the environmental variables relevant to the project. The inherent immeasurability of the project as an IT-based venture limits the interest in comparing the effectiveness of the entire project to its input value. However, the initial projection of the productivity of this website indicates that it will be possible to increase the user experience and simultaneously increase interest in the product on offer by the web service (Marchewka, 2015). As such, the value addition will emerge from the growth in the value for the end-user, and from such increased utility levels, the business can take advantage of the increased clicks to further sales. These utilities include the growing ease of navigating the interface, bettered access of utilities, and the catalog.
Apart from improving the user experience, it is possible to project that the enhanced interface makes the user more at ease while interacting with various facets of the web interface. From a financial point of view, the initial input into the entire endeavor is reflected in the increased responses of users to the services available on the interface. However, it is important to note that the returns on these improved utilities are hinged onto the reducing cost of maintaining the services, and with the desired effect being increasing the clients’ frequency in logging onto the platform there is a growth in value.
The advancement of the current platform to form a more interactive and usable web service for clients is ideally the most suitable position for the expansion of operating capacity for most business concepts. However, there are alternatives from the integration of both physical and online setting to the transference of functions into an exclusive web-based business. This alternative appeals to businesses that can take advantage of an online presence to the level of abandoning the current business model to pursue a virtual alternative, especially when it presents a larger TBO to the current costs of establishment and operation of the alternative (McLaren & Zhou, 2013). In this case, the assessment of the alternative is in the comparison of its feasibility to the current potential of the business maintaining the alternative. With the initial idea of expanding the scope of the business through its expansion of the web presence and marketing options, this possibility presents a larger potential for taking over the online market and forfeit its physical consumer base.
A second alternative is in the forfeit of the expansion of the online presence, and instead, apply the resource allocation to expanding the current user base through advancing the marketing policy. This alternative appeals to the possibility of increased risk in the innovative approach taken in the development of an online market and takes sanctuary in the status quo and its potential on a known feasibility and risk status (Alhawari, Karadsheh, Nehari Talet, & Mansour, 2012). However, its potential is limited in scalability, especially since the initial intent of establishing a new market is in advancing the scale of the business to an extensive market level. The advantage of this system is determined by its reduced risk due to the currently available knowledge from experience amassed over time in this alternative.
Feasibility and Risks
Efforts into improving user experience present a number of limitations and increased risk, in particular with the changing of the interactions that are on offer for the client to use. The feasibility of this project is reflected in its interest to define the customers’ experience online and use this knowledge to align the products on offer to the interests that are exhibited. Initial intents of the endeavor included the betterment of online interactions, easing utility, and allowing more exploration of users (and increasing their login sessions). Therefore, the feasibility of this development is captured in the ability to improve the quality of user experience, increase the efficiency of the business and product presentation, and save costs in customer acquisition, and in this way, reduce the working asset. As such, the business can align the revenue generation process to a more efficient marketing and sales model while minimizing risk.
Risks presented by this venture occur majorly from the interdependency of the proposed business model to the stability of the web service outside of the initial business operation. These risks emerge in the limitations that the implementation of the web platform presents to the entire business. Firstly, the online business includes the risks of creating a limited scope of interaction for consumers, especially in this business space where the users may prefer a physical interaction with products and associated services (Alhawari et al., 2012). In as much as there are increased opportunities for client acquisition and login time, there is a possibility of a reduction of consumers purchasing products due to the absence of human and physical interactions. Additionally, the possibility of online business failure, in this case, presents the largest risk of losing the initial investment, from which collapse of the basis protocols implemented could occur.
The computation of the cost of ownership is entrenched into the resulting expenses to be incurred in the execution of the project. In this regard, the efforts into offering a solid value of the fully burdened costs include the tangible inputs and the intangible outputs such as an enhanced user experience and their satisfaction levels from using the web service (Marchewka, 2015). However, it is still possible to compare the monetary value of each additional effort, and in this way, the viability of this undertaking can be measured in monetary value. Software replacement and upgrading, both as an attempt in the reduction of the issues currently experienced by users and in increasing usability, are necessary as a valuable assessment tool. In this case, the necessity of the installation of additional utility tools on the platform is motivated by the current limitations for clients in interacting with the catalog and browsing options. Its cost to the owner can, therefore, be summarized as follows;
- Initiation and establishment costs – $3000
- Labor costs – $2500
- Fully burdened costs – $7000
From these initial estimates, a comparison of the overall cost of customer acquisition is considerably higher for similar benefits as the integration of alternative business strategies. The inclusion of the proposed concept presents a total cost of $7000, inclusive of initial implementation and maintenance operations. The breakdown of this cost on a qualitative level includes the new software and web platform installation, expected changeover costs into the new platform, the necessity for training workers, and the facilitation of support and upgrades of the system in the future.
Resultant benefits from the endeavor are captured by both tangible and intangible returns to the service, and establishing the procedure is significant in deciding on the viability. Costs, in comparison to expected benefits, also rely on the measurability of the impact of the endeavor on the monetary worth of the web platform (Marchewka, 2015). These advantages include the increase in demand for the service offered, an increase in the time clients stay logged on, and more efficient data analysis from such customers’ usage. By increasing the user-friendliness of the interface, it is possible to postulate that service utility will increase and the cost of customer acquisition through advertising will decrease in a similar measure. For the clients, a bettered web experience on this platform serves to increase their interest in staying on longer and browsing more options to their liking. To the organization, this is a direct benefit due to the betterment of the total utility of the service and exclusion of initial costs in advertising. Online interactions, in this case, are not only more functional (in comparison to physical interactions and access to the products on offer), but they also allow the business to assess their clients’ behavior, and in this way, present them with more products.
In this case, data analysis is majorly comparative, and the quantitative and qualitative returns are reflected majorly on a financial level, in that the ability of the business to use the new platform to acquire assets and ensure their operational functioning for the business purpose of customer acquisition and sales. The benefit, therefore, includes the increased agility of sales processes, bettered interactions with consumers and reduction in costs of courting customers, increase in return customer numbers, and increasing efficiencies of planning marketing strategies due to eased data analysis. The platform allows the owners to expand the scope of the business, and in this way, bettering the potential of the business for further monetary benefits.
In analyzing options, a scoring model is deemed more applicable to the integration of new platforms for the opportunity increase, from which alternatives can be analyzed and compared. As such, the initial position of intent in establishing and implementing the proposed system is compared in the score to the retention of the status quo versus a fully-fledged implementation of a web platform. This choice, from an analytical standpoint, will allow for a more concise application of comparative evaluation, from which modifications to the project can be proposed. However, the choice may directly influence the decision-making that is relevant to the presentation and usage of resources in the design and implementation of the project objectives within the resource allocation. Its significance in resource allocation means that the scoring model may limit the expression of the financial value of features of the project versus investment from which the comparison of TCO to TBO would be carried out.
Additionally, the interest of creating an alternative for the business to expand within the virtual space presents a larger opportunity for the business and its clients. In comparison to the maintenance of the current status, this offers a broader market on a similar budget, and for a more sustainable period. The instantaneousness of this business progress approach presents immense possibilities as compared to the repetitive interests of using marketing as a tool for acquiring clients. On the other hand, the possibility of engaging a dedicated web service and phasing out the physical operations of the business present a larger risk for the business (Alhawari et al., 2012). The initial interest of this project is to present the business with diversity and options for expansion with minimal risk. An alternative that limits the options for the business counters the interest to reduce the risks that the business is facing.
Support for the Recommended Project
With the expressed position of establishing a functional web platform for the marketing and sales of beauty products, this project recommends the establishment of an extension of an existing business. Through the establishment of a web presence, the business stands to integrate itself as a customer acquisition platform for the physical business and as a sales platform for the consumers preferring the online experience. As a dual purpose, this interest is hinged on the possibility of using the current business to take advantage of the current abilities of a physical store to appeal to clients. From the consideration of the development life cycle, it is possible to identify the potential of the project and its interest in expanding options for the current store, which is committed to the operation of a physical store. In the present usage of web presence as a tool for furthering the business, this project will magnify the ability of the business to reach out to new consumers and interact with a diversity of online parties, and in this way, expose itself to more business.
The justification of this interest is captured in the comparative aspect of the costs and benefits expected in the short and long term projections. In the consideration that the present cost of customer acquisition through traditional marketing options and the proposed option of expanding web presence are similar, transference is possible. This form of transference of costs is interested in gaining more tangible and intangible benefits for the owners and the clients. Through easing the interaction for both parties, the business will stand more potential for engaging consumers and reduce the costs with time. With the application of IT in business, the inevitability of this transition is imminent, and the current position of the business is optimal for the engagement of the clientele on a new platform that is expected to be better preferred.
Alhawari, S., Karadsheh, L., Nehari Talet, A., & Mansour, E. (2012). Knowledge-based risk management framework for information technology project. International Journal of Information Management, 32(1), 50-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2011.07.002
Marchewka, J. T. (2015). Information technology project management: Providing measurable organizational value (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
McLaren, T., & Zhou, Y. (2013). Creating and evaluating business cases for complex IT investments: Towards a new process theory. CONF-IRM 2013 Proceedings. 22. Retrieved from http://aisel.aisnet.org/confirm2013/22