3.08a Establish specifications for selecting hardware/software systems What
3.08a Establish specifications for selecting hardware/software systems What is Hardware? Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements that constitutes a computer system. Computer hardware refers to the physical parts or components of a computer such as the monitor, mouse, keyboard, computer data storage, hard drive disk (HDD), system unit (graphic cards, sound cards, memory, motherboard and chips), etc. all of which are physical objects that can be touched. Refers to objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives, display screens, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips . Software Computer software, or just software, is any set of machinereadable instructions that directs a computer's processor to perform specific operations. Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs
used to operate computers and related devices. A computer without software is like a book full of blank pages -- you need software to make the computer useful just as you need words to make a book meaningful. In contrast, software is information stored by hardware. Software is any set of machine-readable instructions that directs a computer's processor to perform specific operations. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system. Components Of Hardware Systems The main components of a computer hardware system are: input; processing; output. Input devices - include the keyboard, mouse, microphone, cameras and scanners, joysticks and touch-screens. Processing devices - include the CPU (central processing unit), GPU (graphic processing unit) and APU (audio processing unit). Output devices - include the display and printer.
Reasons For Establishing Hardware/Software Specifications To provide consistency and compatibilities among users; To maintain a clean productive system/network environment; To enable the computer system to grow with evolving technology; To provide a basis for maintaining system operability and reliability. Considerations In Establishing Hardware/ Software Specifications User needs Capabilities Ease of use Compatibility Mobility Technical support Security Performance Cost
Licensing Reliability Upgrades/updates Training Resources That Can Be Consulted About Alternative Information Technology Products Manufacturers Consultants Catalogs Product reviews in computer magazines or on the internet Internet newsgroups Procedures For Establishing Specifications For Selecting Hardware/Software Systems The main steps of the selection process are listed below: 1. Requirement analysis: System configuration requirements are clearly identified and a decision to acquire the system is taken in this step. 2.
Preparation of tender specifications: After studying the feasibility and deciding upon the configuration, tender documents are prepared for the benefit of vendors to clarify the details of various specifications, as listed below. i) a) b) c) d) ii) Purchase procedure and schedule: it includes Date of tender submission Evaluation criteria Scope for negotiations, if any and Expected usage environment and load pattern Equipment specification Detailed technical specifications of each item required for both mandatory and optional items. iii)
a) b) c) d) e) Quotation format: Format for stating technical details and quoting prices Whether deviations from specifications should be specifically listed Prices and levies (duties, taxes etc.) could be quoted as lumpsum or required separately. Required validity of the quotation. Earnest money deposit required, if any. Procedures For Establishing Specifications For Selecting Hardware/Software Systems Proposed terms of contract a) b) c)
d) e) f) g) v) Expected delivery schedule. Uptime warranties required Penalty clause, if any Payment terms (Whether advance payment acceptable) Arbitrary clauses Training needs. Post warranty maintenance terms expected. Any additional information required. 3. Inviting tenders: After the preparation of tender specifications, tenders are invited. Invitation of tenders may depend upon the magnitude of purchase (estimate equipment cost). It may be through i) Open tender (through newspaper advertisement) ii)
Limited tender (queries sent to a few selected vendors) iii) Propriety purchase (applies mostly to upgrade requirements) iv) Direct purchase from market. (applies mostly to consumables) 4. Technical scrutiny and short listing : This step involves the following activities. i) All tendered bids are opened on a pre-defined date and time. ii) Deviations from the specifications, if any, in each bid are noted. iii) A comparative summery is prepared against the list of tendered technical features. Additional factors to considered are: i) ii) iii) Financial health of the vendor (from balance sheets) Nature and extent of support (from information provided on number of support staff per installed site an cross-check with selected customers) Engineering quality of products (factory inspection of product facilities, QA procedures and R&D) Procedures For Establishing Specifications
For Selecting Hardware/Software Systems 5. Detailed evaluation of short listed vendors: This step primarily involves getting any finer technical clarifications. Visits to customer sites and factory inspections may be planned. If any specific performance requirement is stipulated, the offered product is to be examined at this stage through suitable benchmark tests. For benchmark tests, standard benchmarks may be used as adequate performance indicators. 6. Negotiation and procurement decision: Because of the extensive competition, computer system vendors may offer significant concessions. Negotiations are held to maximize these concessions. However, price negotiations are often not permitted by some organizations. When price negotiations are permitted, the committee members should have a good knowledge of the prevailing market prices, current trends, and also the duty/tax structure. i) ii) iii) iv) Computer magazines Vendor directories. Contact with other users
Past personal experience. 7. Delivery and installation: In this step, the vendor delivers the hardware/software to the buyers organization, where it is matched with the specifications mentioned in the purchase order. If conforms to these specifications, the vendor installs the system in the premises of the organization. 8. Post-installation review: After the system is installed, a system evaluation is made to determine how closely the new system conforms to the plan. A post-installation review, in which system specifications and user requirements are audited, is made. The feedback obtained in this step helps in taking corrective decision.
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