The report is to be based on the following case study scenario about blockchain technology.
E-commerce is a common concept in the contemporary business world. Banks and other financial institutions play a major role as all types of organisations across the world are engaged or entering the field of online business transactions. However, over the years e-commerce has faced numerous challenges due to authentication and other security issues.
You are the Head of ICT in a medium sized financial organisation that was established around 10 years ago. It started as a community bank in rural New South Wales (NSW) to service retail customers. Now it has both retail and corporate clients, and has various retail branches within NSW and online business operations. The Head Office of your organisation is based in Sydney. The organisation is now exploring options to expand the business in the next five years to other States of Australia and to the Oceania region, as well as expand its e-commerce activities. As a part of this expansion plans, business needs to address some of the authentication and other technology problems it has faced during the last few years while it was implementing its online business model. It is also considering new applications and technologies that could be used to strengthen its online business and resolve some of the current problems.
The CEO of your organisation has recently heard about blockchain technology and its various uses in e-commerce. She has asked you to investigate the technology and types of applications that use blockchain method as the underlying technology to consider if your organisation should adopt it. You have to complete this investigation in the next three weeks and draft a report with some recommendations for the next Executive Management meeting.
Your research and the subsequent report should cover the following tasks:
1. Definition/s of blockchain technology and the most up to date developments in the field. This investigation must consider three to five different types of applications that use blockchain technology. You should investigate examples from various industries within Australia and other parts of the world. Especially investigate the current uses in the banking and finance industry but also include examples from two other industries as well – consider your likely corporate client range such as companies from the supermarket or hospitality industry (you can consider other examples as well). Your report should not just focus on generic technology but must identify actual examples of uses in the market.
2. Based on the findings from the previous section, propose three blockchain technology based applications your organisation can use to expand its e-commerce business in the next five years. As a part of this analysis, consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of the applications you have investigated in the previous section, and the various risks (positive and negative) with respect to the solution/s you propose. Then recommend the best three options from your investigation that will address the current problem of your organisation.
3. Additionally, explore the ethical, social and legal considerations that your organisation should consider as a part of the proposed solution. Discuss some proposals to address these concerns and make relevant recommendations.
Your analysis and proposed solutions in tasks 2 and 3 should provide three to five recommendations at the end of your report. Make sure that the specific recommendations at the end of your report have been evaluated as a part of your report discussion.
The report should be at a strategic level and must not consist of highly technical or operational details as some of your Executive Managers are not from an information technology background.
Please note that you will need to make some assumptions about the organisation in order to write this report. These assumptions should match the information in the case study and not contradict with the objectives of the report. They should be incorporated in the introduction of your report when you describe the organisation and outline the problem to be solved. Relevant assumptions should be incorporated when addressing tasks 2 and 3 above. To avoid loss of marks, do not make assumptions that are not relevant or contradictory, or will not be used in your report discussion.
Specifically your report should include the following (word count details are approximate guidelines):
Title page: Unit code and name, assessment number, Report title, assessment due date, word count (actual), student name, student number, email address, campus lecturer/tutor, and Unit Coordinator. If applicable, add extension request ID and the new due date. Must be formatted to a standard required for a professional/business report. Check week 6 materials for example of a professionally formatted title page. Not included in the word count.
Executive summary: should include the purpose of the report, the problem including key issues considered and how they were investigated, your findings, and overview of your recommendations. This part should be approximately three quarters of an A4 page but must not be longer than one (1) A4 page. Not included in the word count.
Table of Contents (ToC): should list the report topics using decimal notation. Need to include the main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers, using a format that makes the hierarchy of topics clear. Because you are including a ToC the report pages should be numbered in the footer as follows: title page has no page number; and main text to have Arabic numerals commencing at 1. Create the ToC using MS Word’s ToC auto-generator rather than manually typing out the ToC. Instructions can be found here https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Create-a-table-of-contents-or-update-a-table-of-contents-eb275189-b93e-4559-8dd9-c279457bfd72#__create_a_table. Not included in the word count.
Introduction: provide a brief description of the organisation as given in the case scenario including any assumptions, a concise overview of the problem you have been asked to research, the main aims/purpose of the report, the objectives to be achieved by writing the report (include the tasks outlined in the case study) and how you investigated the problem. Provide an outline of the sections of the report. Should be approximately 300 words.
Body of the report (use appropriate headings in the body of the report.): Define key terms you will use in your report that are directly related to the problem and the technology considered. Then present your ideas on the topic and discuss the information you found in your research that was relevant to the report’s objectives. Provide an analysis of the information that you gathered. Ensure that you explore the tasks listed in the case study scenario. In your discussion, examine the issues from a global perspective as well as from the local perspective (of the fictional organisation that is the centre of this report).
Do NOT use generic words such as ‘Body, Body of the Report, Tasks’ as section headings.Create meaningful headings and subheadings that reflect the topic and content of your report. Should be approximately 1700 words.
Conclusion: restate the purpose of the report and key issues investigated and the related findings based on your research and analysis. Explain the significance of your findings for addressing the problem stated in the case scenario and any limitations. State how your report has achieved its objectives and any future work to be considered. Should be approximately 300 words.
Recommendations: 3 to 5 recommendations required. The recommendations must be based on your findings and proposed solutions discussed in the body of the report. Provide some guidelines for the organisation with respect to the future directions for your organisation based on your discussions. Format according to the Report Writing Guidelines discussed in the Unit. Should be approximately 200 words.
Reference list. Not included in the word count.
Appendices if necessary. Not included in the word count.