In this case study, I am tasked with creating a business plan for Honest Sam University and its adaptation of cloud computing. Below is a short summary of the information provided.
Organization: Honest Sam University
Benefited employees: 875
Full-Time Faculty members: 110
Adjunct Faculty members: 465
Instructors – all under contract to teach (numbers may change each term): 28
Students, attending classes, with a majority (85%) attending classes online: 12850
Number of registered alumni: Estimated over 50,000 (changes)
Functional areas: Administrative and academic (each with its own set of business processes)
Administrative processes: Student Registration, Financial Aid, Design and Development (works to monitor, develop and enhance courses), Foundation (works to solicit funds from donors, alumni)
For my case study, I will analyze the organization and develop a business plan regarding my recommendations for cloud services use. In my work, I will research and locate a cloud service provider (CSP) that will meet all of my identified requirements and provide prices, service level agreements (SLAs), services offered, security, etc. Furthermore, I will list the various advantages and disadvantages of using my chosen CSP.
With such a large organization such as Honest Sam University, I believe that Google Cloud would make sense financially, as both their growth and the requirements of its students and teachers are growing. By transitioning to the Cloud, the university will enjoy scalable and secure platforms for handling business operations. The money saved from not having to store data on-premises, as well as using the Cloud’s computing power instead of local hardware, make the transition very appealing. While the cost of the implementation might seem large, I believe with constant supervision of what the University is paying Google for, we can quickly minimize anything we don’t require and merely pay for what we actually need.
In my analysis, several of Honest Sam University’s business operations would be ideal for cloud computing. In my opinion, Google Cloud would be an excellent choice to facilitate the university’s transition into the future of technology. First, the vast number of benefited employees can be challenging to manage regarding their benefits, such as health care and tuition assistance. By utilizing Google Cloud’s data management and databases, current data can be imported and then effectively tracked, all while ensuring the highest security and privacy settings for each benefited employee. Depending on the current software used to track and handle employee benefits, there is a good chance that the existing software can be included in Google Cloud’s analytic and infostructure modernization features.
Next, managing access and data for all of the 110 Full-Time Faculty members, 465 Adjunct Faculty members, 28 Instructors, 12850 students, and 50,000+ registered alumni can be significantly benefited by using Google Cloud’s application modernization, smart analytics, and AI & machine learning features. Trivial tasks such as accessing the university’s webpage or limiting access to prior students or workers can be automated, all while enjoying Google Cloud’s immense security features.
Due to the university’s two distinct areas of functionality, administrative and academic, different business processes need to have unique cloud implementation and management plans.
Next, student registration can be quickly achieved by using Google Cloud’s intelligent data and credential sharing. Financial aid applicants can have their data accessible at ease no matter where they are located in the world and be able to sync their accounts with existing services. Design and development of courses can be greatly benefited by using Google’s productivity and collaboration services like Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Meet, as well as build new services that leverage Kubernetes and other cloud-native capabilities. Finally, the university’s foundation can have their donors tracked, managed, and updated quickly using the Cloud.
Google Cloud’s pricing models can be customized to what Honest Sam University requires, ensuring we only pay for what we need. To enjoy Google’s Workspace, including Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, Forms, and Currents, there are several plans available. Business Starter starts at $6 a month per user and enables the University to have custom and secure business email, 100 participant video meetings, 30 GB cloud storage per user, and security and management controls. Next, Business Standard is $12 and provides an additional 50 participant video meetings and recordings and 2 TB of cloud storage per user. Business Plus, which costs $18 a month per user, enables eDiscovery and retention for email, 250 participant video meetings with recording and attendance tracking, 5 TB of cloud storage, 250 participant video meetings + recording, and attendance tracking.
For Honest Sam University, an Enterprise plan would be ideal as it includes custom and secure business email with eDiscovery, retention, and S/MIME encryption, 250 participant video meetings with recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, and in-domain live streaming, unlimited storage, and advanced security, management, and compliance controls, including Vault, DLP, data regions, and enterprise endpoint management. The cost for Enterprise per month per user would vary depending on what other Google Cloud features we require, which are listed below.
I would recommend using Google Cloud’s App Engine, which allows the University to both create and manage custom apps; its pricing would vary due to how to pricing model charges by usage per hour and instance. For example, for a B1 instance class, it would be $0.05 per hour and instance. Persistent Disk allows virtual machine instances running in the Cloud, and for an example of the pricing, an N1 high-memory machine type with virtual CPUs would cost $0.118303 hourly. By using Google Cloud, we would enjoy no up-front costs or termination fees. The final price per month, per user, will be determined at a later date, pending an in-person meeting with both your organization and Google Cloud’s sales personnel.
Honest Sam University’s cloud implementation of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) will be carefully structured as the process is quite vast and complicated. The implementation process will be performed in stages, separated by the two areas of functionality, administrative and academic. Starting with the administrative side, a complete analysis of all current systems, applications, and business processes needs to be compiled, as well as all hardware currently used and managed by the organization; this information needs to be collected and separated into categories regarding the sensitivity and usage of any data. Next, the exporting of data into Google Cloud’s services will be time-consuming yet open up valuable processing power and storage requirements that were previously held by Honest Sam University’s hardware and systems. Things such as the login process must be recreated in GCP, ensuring that password requirements and complexity are strictly followed. All university logins should, if possible, be made with Google’s SSO, thus limiting the passwords that need to be remembered and allowing them to be managed better.
For the academic side, without knowing much about the current systems used, the implementation of cloud computing will be more of a policy-based install. Due to the highly sensitive information involved with each student, security and accessibility are vital to the continuance of their ability to both access and retrieve assignments, record their personal information, and sync with other university systems. With all of the different sources of information, multiple data stores should be created and managed for the university using Google Cloud’s storage; this data will need to be supervised continuously to ensure its confidentiality, integrity, and availability. If you decide to follow my recommendations, I would recommend a meeting to discuss the future of your organization’s cloud usage and how the Google Cloud Platform is the right choice for your organization.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
William Donaldson, Cloud Manager
Google. (n.d.). Google Workspace. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://workspace.google.com/pricing.html.
Google. (n.d.). Google Cloud. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://cloud.google.com/.
Google. (n.d.). GCP Pricing – Google Cloud. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://cloud.google.com/pricing.