Thinking Cap is a company offering tutorial services to students from various parts of the world. The company aims at implementing an online tutorial platform and marketing technology to increase its scope of operation. The online tutorial platform will make it easy for the tutors to interact with the students and also make it easy for the students to identify the tutors of their choice based on the subjects they undertake. The online tutorial platform will be beneficial to the company because it will attract more students and it will also make it easy for the manager to control all the activities taking place in the company (Carlsen, & Willis, 2007). The efficiency in the management and service provision will results to reduced operation costs and increased financial gains to the company. As the company expand, it must develop strategic operation measures to promote efficiency and competitiveness in the industry; therefore, the company aims at achieving this through the three IT initiatives.
Description of the Business
The Thinking Cap is company located in Manhattan and offers tutorial services, SAT preparations and the enrichment programs to students. The company has been in operation for about seven years and is planning to expand and increase its scope of operation. The company is owned by Mayzler and currently serves about 300 students. The main activity in the company involves linking the students to specific tutors for subject-specific coaching. The students are charged $110 per hour for the services enjoyed.
IT Strategy Proposal
The IT initiative will involve the use of online tutorial platform to enhance tutor student interactions and the online marketing technology to increase awareness and the utilization of the services offered by the company. The third initiative will involve introducing the monitoring and evaluation technology which will provide the students with information concerning their participation and completion of the tasks given (Carlsen, & Willis, 2007).
Online tutorial platform
The initiative is based on the fact that the company is already in services and it has an already working program. The platform will enhance the tutor-student interaction since the students will only have to log into their accounts and identify the tutor of their choice. The teachers and students will be able to interact on the platform and discuss the subject questions comprehensively as well as share reading materials.
Online marketing initiative
The online marketing technology initiative mainly focuses on marketing the tutorial services to the unmet markets. The initiative will propel the growth and expansion of the business (Hao, & Dai, 2017).
Monitoring and Evaluation Technologies
The initiative will involve acquisition of a database that will help in monitoring the issues that may emerge in the online tutorial system and track the issues to with payments. The monitoring tool will also help the company benchmark its activities.
The initiatives will be implemented using the inside resources. The company will plow back the profits earned as well as inject in some resources from the business owner to initiate the project. Considering that startup capital is not huge, the amount will be sourced from within the business. The company already has qualified IT personnel that will help in ensuring success in the initiative development and implementation.
The IT initiative is viable and profitable based on the cost-analysis findings. Based on the financial projection, the company initial capital cost will be $509,800 and the subsequent operational costs will be $349,933, $534933 and $826,933 for year1, 2 and 3 respectively. On the other hand, the expected revenue from the investment will be $1,061,300, $5,628,000 and $218,836,000 for year 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Comparison of the cost and benefit indicates that the company will gain significantly from the IT project implementation. The analysis and financial projections is based on the research conducted on other companies that have implemented such a strategy. The average return on investment value for a similar investment is estimated at 3.0 and this indicates that investment is lucrative.
Return on Investment
[Company Name] Year 1 2 3
Hardware costs $1000
Purchased software costs / licenses $800
Development costs $1000
Training costs $2000
Conversion costs $5000
[Other initial investments] $0
[Other initial investments] $0
Total Initial Investments $509,800
Benefits from Technology Strategy
Increased sales and revenue $1050000 $5460000 $218400000
Reduced personnel costs $6000 $8000 $16000
Reduced product costs $0 $0 $0
Reduced distribution costs $5000 $150000 $250000
Reduced advertising and marketing costs $300 $10000 $170000
[Other benefits] $0 $0 $0
[Other benefits] $0 $0 $0
[Other benefits] $0 $0 $0
Total Benefits $1061000 $5628000 $218836000
Costs (Excluding Initial Capital Investments)
Depreciation on capital expenditures $169933 $169933 $169933
Software licensing fees $50000 $170000 $350000
Ongoing user support and training $80000 $150000 $250000
Ongoing systems support $20000 $30000 $50000
Hosting / Cloud computing $0 $0 $0
General and administrative $10000 $5000 $2000
[Other costs] $20000 $10000 $5000
[Other costs] $0 $0 $0
[Other costs] $0 $0 $0
Total Costs $349933 $534933 $826933
Net Benefits (Costs) $711367 $5093067 $218009067
Tax $213410 $1527920 $65402720
Value after tax $497957 $3565147 $152606347
Depreciation added back $169933 $169933 $169933
Cash flow ($509800) $667890 $3735080 $1527762800
Cumulative cash flow ($509800) $158090 $389317 $156669450
Evaluation Metrics Net present value (NPV) $117926296 Internal rate of return (IRR) 654.52% Payback period (in years) 0.76 Three-year total ROI 13074.75% Implementation Timeline
The project will be completed in phases with the initial phase involved the piloting phase. The other phases will involves testing and develop then finally implementing the IT initiative in the company. The piloting stage will involve assessing the financial implications and the availability of the resources to help accomplish the initiative. Also, the efficiency of the initiative will be tested at this stage so that various loopholes are identified and addressed in the subsequent phase. The entire project is expected to take a period of one year to be implemented fully. A lot of work will be done in the initial phase and this means that a lot of the finances will be spent at this stage. The software and hardware resources will be acquired and assembled before developing the online tutorial system. In addition, the tutors will be trained on how to use the system to interact with the students from different parts of the world. The first phase will take 6 months then the subsequent two phases take three months each. The sequence is important for strategic implementation and minimizing the cost likely to be incurred because of faulty system.
Plan for Sustaining the IT Initiatives
The introduction of information technology presents with various problems including the security threats and cost of maintaining the system. The most important threat to be considering in the realization of sustainability in this case is the security. The sustainability in the project development will be achieved through testing the security integrity of the IT system and have a monitoring tool. The monitoring tool will help identify and detect any malicious activities that might be carried out by people with malicious intentions and presenting their entry in the database. The security test will be performed prior the implementation of the system at the piloting stage so that all possible security gaps are identified and appropriate remedies developed. The key performance indicators in the IT initiative will include the duration taken to implement the change successfully, the security integrity and efficiency which will be seen in terms of increased number of students served and the higher revenue generated (Li, Chang, Kravcik, Popescu, Huang, Kinshuk., & Chen, 2016).
It is expected that the implementation of the online tutorial platform will not take much time and the various stakeholders will find it easy to use the system. There are no special educations and training needed to facilitate the use of the platform and this makes it sustainable. It is expected that there will be no instances of reduced availability of the system and services interruptions resulting from the breakdown of the system because of either security compromise or system default. The regular monitoring practice will performed considering that the expected revenue generation will be higher compared to the cost expenditure (Rodriguez, 2016).
The proposed IT strategy will help improve the management process in the Thinking Cap Company deals with the subject-specific tutoring and has over thirty employed teachers. The company links the tutors with the teachers and charges for the students a specific fee for the tutorial used. As business expand, the management also becomes hectic and thus the incorporation of technology in the company's operation will help enhance efficiency and monitoring of the services offered (Rodriguez, 2016). The proposed IT strategy involves the introduction of the online tutoring platform and the online marketing technology. The tutorial platform aims at enhancing the efficiency in the tutorial services as the students can log into the platform and find their suitable tutors. The students will be able to select tutors based on the experiences and subject disciplines so that they find quality and highs standard service. The project aims at increasing the value of the company in terms of high level of customer satisfaction and increased revenue generate. Marketing is essential in business expansion; therefore, the platform will also enhances the marketing aspect of the company because the students will find it easy to utilize the services offered and even refer others to use the same services.
Carlsen, R., & Willis, D. (2007). Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference annual. Chesapeake, Va: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
Hao, J., & Dai, H. (2017). Payday Loan Marketing in Social Media Networks. Journal Of Consumer Affairs. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joca.12151
Li, Y., Chang, M., Kravcik, M., Popescu, E., Huang, R., Kinshuk., & Chen, N. (2016). State-of-the-Art and Future Directions of Smart Learning. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
Rodriguez, M. (2016). Technology Triage: Assessing and Managing Library Systems and Projects.
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