Custom Website Solutions
Hostnow offers knowledge and expertise to help your business benefit from information technology. By developing/and or adapting innovative business solutions to your business, you can save time, money and ultimately increase your profit margins!
Business System Solutions
Whether it's internal business requirements or external internet solutions, we can provide an innovative and affordable solution for you. Our experienced staff can analyse your business needs to define a computer-based solution that will meet the individual needs of your business.
For example, we can:
- free up your staff from repetitive tasks that can be automated;
- replace your slow paper-based systems with efficient computer-based systems;
- combine your existing multitude of databases and spreadsheets into one easy to use database solution;
- create reports that let you analyse your business at a touch of a button and
- streamline information transfers with your suppliers and customers.
In essence, if you can think of a computer-based business problem, we can offer an effective solution!
For further information or to discuss your business needs, please contact us.
At Hostnow we pride ourselves on both the solutions we offer and the professional way in which we develop them.
Why Use Professionals?
Problems caused by poorly developed systems can range from loss of assets, to loss of customers and revenue, to management's making wrong decisions based on inaccurate or untimely information, to wasted time and decreased productivity.
Causes often sited for the lack of success in developing viable information systems include the following:
- Systems developed that did not support business strategies and objectives.
- Poor systems planning and inadequate project management.
- Failure to define or understand user requirements and get users involved in systems development.
- Negligence in estimating costs and benefits of the systems project.
- Creation of a myriad of design defects and errors.
- Acquisition of computers and software that no one needs or knows how to use.
- Installation of incompatible or inadequate technology.
- Negligence in implementing adequate controls.
- Development of unstructured, unmaintainable software.
- Inadequate implementation tasks.
Hostnow eliminates the causes of systems failure by using methodologies, modelling tools, and techniques to design and build information systems that not only meet the needs of the users but also deliver them on time and within budget. Hostnow does this by:
- Stressing user involvement in systems development.
- Implementing systems planning and using project management techniques.
- Developing alternative system designs for evaluation before making major commitments to final design, technology and software development.
- Designing systems design components functionally.
- Using the detailed functional design as a guide for software design, coding and testing.
- Preparing clear, complete, and current documentation.
- Using a coordinated planned approach to systems implementation.
- Performing post-implementation reviews.
- Designing for and performing systems maintenance.
In developing system solutions, Hostnow aims to achieve the following goals:
- Functionality - systems do what they are supposed to do reliably, easily, and efficiently.
- Maintainability - systems are easy to understand, modify, and test.
- Flexibility - systems are portable and can adapt to changes.
- Timeliness - systems are completed on time.
- Low Cost - systems are completed within budget.
- User Commitment - the users (both user-managers and end-users) are committed to the success of the systems.
- Operational Control - systems add or improve an operational task critical to the organisation's objectives.
- Management Control - systems support critical management decisions.
- Strategic Planning - systems have strategic value.
Phases of Systems Development
The front-end phases represent the conceptual aspects of systems development. These are:
- System Planning
- Systems Analysis
- General Systems Design
- Systems Evaluation and Selection
Hostnow stresses that user involvement in the front-end phases are of the utmost importance. The main reason for conducting the front-end phases are to determine exactly what users need before designing a system in detail.
The back-end phases consist of functional aspects of system development and are chiefly designer and technologist driven. The back-end phases include:
- Detailed Systems Design
- Systems Implementation
Hostnow produces a document deliverable for each phase that discloses the results of work conducted during that phase. Users and managers get the opportunity to request changes or sign-off on the documented deliverable if they agree with what has been developed to that point. Continuation of the systems project into the next phase depends on review and sign-off by these people.
Hostnow will include with each document deliverable a revised Project Schedule Report for the rest of the systems development.
The System Planning Phase
In this phase, Hostnow establishes a broad strategic framework and clear vision of the new information system that will satisfy the users' information needs.
Hostnow conducts systems planning sessions with senior management and users to find how the system can support the organisation's business plan. Proposed systems projects are evaluated and prioritised. Feasibility factors, which refer to the likelihood of the system being successfully developed and used, and strategic factors, which relate to the information system's support of business goals, are weighted for each proposed project. The resulting scores are evaluated to determine which systems project receives the highest priority.
The System Plan Report is the chief documented deliverable produced by the Hostnow in this phase. It covers resources and funds required to develop and operate the new information system, all the systems project proposals that will make up the total information system, and the feasibility and strategic factor scores for each systems project proposal.
The Systems Analysis Phase
Hostnow investigates and begins to answer many questions about the system during this phase. Major tasks performed by Hostnow include:
- Establishing the systems scope in terms of duration, complexity and expense.
- Gathering facts from existing systems, forms, documents and reports as well as interviewing and observing users.
- Analyse the facts to create models to represent the relationships between data and the flow of data.
The document deliverable produced by Hostnow in this phase is the Systems Analysis Report. This report defines the reason and scope of the system and summarises the findings produced from the gathering and analysis of the facts.
The General Systems Design Phase
During this phase, Hostnow creates conceptual design alternatives for user review. These alternatives allow managers and user to select the design best suited to their needs.
The essence of the general system design phase is to describe, in fairly broad, high-level terms, how each systems design component of output, input, processors, controls, database, and technology platform will be designed. A description of the design components is the main content of the General Systems Design Report produced by Hostnow.
The Systems Evaluation and Selection Phase
This phase entails a process by which systems value, the costs and the benefits of alternative general systems designs are compared, and one is chosen for detailed design. The evaluation and selection phase is a process that seeks not only a workable design, but also the best possible design for meeting user requirements.
Hostnow's informed systems evaluation and selection decisions come from two sources:
- Systems Value, which is measured by feasibility factors, strategic factors and design factors.
- Cost/Benefit Analysis, which measures costs, tangible benefits and intangible benefits.
The Systems Evaluation and Selection Report, produced by Hostnow, is the documented deliverable for the forth phase. This report contains a systems value scoring summary and a cost/benefit analysis.
The Detailed Systems Design Phase
In this phase, Hostnow designs all components in detail, such as:
- Layouts for inputs and outputs for both screen and printed material.
- Processes for converting inputs to outputs.
- The database to allow for ready access to interim data.
- Controls that are needed to protect the new system from various threats and errors.
- The technology platform.
At the conclusion of the detailed design process, Hostnow compiles a Detailed Systems Design Report. It contains the specifications for each system design component integrated into a whole. This report represents a complete guide for software designing, coding and testing, equipment installation, training, and other implementation tasks.
Hostnow asks that for each component the users and management personnel perform a system design walkthrough to find design flaws or omissions, so that changes can be made prior to implementing the system.
The Systems Implementation Phase
Now the system is ready for construction and installation. In this phase, Hostnow coordinates and conducts the following tasks:
- Software design, coding and testing
- Site preparation
- Equipment installation
- Documentation preparation
- Post-implementation review
Hostnow produces the Systems Implementation Report for the final phase. This report includes the systems, software, operations and user documentation, as well as the Post-implementation Review Report.
Systems Maintenance & Support
Information compiled by Hostnow during the post-implementation review is used to perform initial maintenance. Hostnow will support your system long after the initial development has finished. Period reviews, audits, and user requests will continue to be the principle sources for performing systems maintenance throughout the systems life span.