Sample Research Proposal Essay On: Legal and Ethical Issues Related to the Use of Computers Technology Essay
The following proposal looks into the need to improve the knowledge and usage of information technology, specifically cloud computing adoption in the corporate sector in Developing countries. This proposal seeks to analyze the situation in developing countries in regards to small and medium enterprises, the challenges they face, the solution to these challenges and their potential to thrive through the adoption of cloud computing. The manufacturing sector especially, has not really been keen in using Information technology in production and until recently when the mobile phone gained popularity, they basically operated with minimal or no technological applications including very little usage of personal computers. However, in light of an increasingly technological world and the effect of globalization there is need for these countries to keep up if they are to compete with countries abroad in the area of production and marketing.
The aim of the research study is to find out how conversant the players in the corporate and manufacturing sector are with cloud computing and exactly why they have not been keen on adopting cloud computing considering its advantages. This will enable governments to make more informed decisions on how to assist their economic sectors adopt cloud computing with the objective of improving production efficiency and enhancing economic growth.
Cloud computing is defined as providing the service of computing and is therefore not viewed as product. The service avails the utility of information, software and shared resources usually over the internet or a network.Cloud in this case, is used as a metaphor for internet or network. The end users can use the services they need and do not necessarily require to be conversant with the physical source of these services or where they are configured.
Inan increasingly technological world, the slow adaptation of technology in economic sectors of developing countries is worrying. The objectives of the research study will be to find out exactly why this sector has not been really keen on moving under the cloud, and coming up with means of encouraging them to adopt cloud computing. The hypotheses statements that need to be proven include;
- Adaptation of cloud computing by economic sectors in third world countries will improve production and enhance economic growth.
- Sectors and companies that have adapted cloud computing have experienced economic growth as a direct result of improved production.
Developing countries are experiencing leapfrog technological advancement. This means they move from a state of poor or no technology to adoption of the latest technology unlike developed countries that have moved towards modern technology progressively. An example is the case in Africa and other developing countries, where most of the population can only now access internet services because they own cell phones with numerous technological applications such as internet services unlike developed countries that could access the internet through computers connected to internet servers, way before internet applications were enabled in mobile phones.
The leapfrog technology in this case is used to mean an adoption of modern technology from a situation of minimal or no technological use therefore skipping old technological applications. Leapfrog, as the word implies indicates the lack of a progressive technological growth but a sort of jumping from the first stage of technological advancement to the current one.
Cloud computing involves the availability of ready access to applications and computing services via the internet. It came up as a result of remote computing sites being easily available for the public via the internet. These web based applications are taken to places where they can easily be accessed by the public in the same way they would if these programs were installed locally in their computers.
In the corporate sector, the small and medium enterprises are yet to incorporate intense technology in their activities. A good number of the big companies however, are technologically advanced. The study will therefore inform the sectors that are yet to advance technologically especially the small and medium enterprises since they make up the bigger percentage of the economic sector.
The objective is to assist these countries’ economic sectors transition into technology application that saves on costs, is more effective and is sure to improve production. In summary, cloud computing possesses agility, scalability, security and reliability. It also exhibits performance and is able to save on costs compared to traditional service provision. Multi tenancy that allows centralization, utilization and efficiency by sharing costs and resources across a large pool of consumers or users is also an important feature in cloud computing. These are the reasons it is bound to improve the efficiency of business transactions and productions which will in turn improve economic growth.
Problem Identification and Objective of the Study
While large enterprises have successfully adopted cloud computing, small and medium size enterprises, have not had such a smooth transition and have found it challenging to adopt cloud computing. As a result, most of them are not really keen on adopting the cloud.Yet the small and medium enterprises make up for more than two thirds of the economic sector. This is a major concern because the country’s long term plan includes ensuring the growth of small and medium enterprises with the aim of significantly improving the economy by raising incomes and reducing unemployment. For this objective to be achieved, the SME sector in developing countries must adopt more efficient ways of production and operation through cloud computing.
Lately however, SMEs in developing countries have been facing stiff competition from other low cost production centers abroad, especially China, and many SMEs in these countries are having a hard time keeping up. The recent global economic depressions have caused these countries’ economy to slow down along with economies abroad, particularly the European Union and the United States of America. As a result of the global slowdown of most economies and the existence of low cost production centers abroad such as China there is need to provide low cost production methods and techniques for SMEs and one effective way of lowering production costs significantly while improving the levels of efficiency in production is the adoption of cloud computing by SMEs in developing countries.
The following are the major advantages of cloud computing that would address the problem identified above. Consumption based billing, self-management, dynamic computing infrastructure, IT service. Consumption based billing especially saves on capital costs since the businesses do not have to own the software.
Proposed Methodology of the study
The target population will be SME entrepreneurs in both the urban and rural areas in a few chosen developing countries. Data will be collected both quantitatively and qualitatively by means of face to face and telephone interviews. Due to the large number of small and medium enterprises in developing countries, and their variation, cluster sampling will be applied. Small and medium enterprises will be clustered according to the nature of their production, and then a constant number of enterprises will be randomly picked from each cluster.
A pilot study will be carried out in the Nairobi, Kenya Industrial area to test the efficiency of the research instruments and to ensure the smooth running of the research study by identifying problems that may arise and addressing them before the research study begins. The study will then be carried out in major cities in Africa, Johannesburg, Khartoum, and Lagos as well as three randomly selected rural areas. The thesis statement is
‘The adaptation of cloud computing by small and medium enterprises in developing countries is bound to significantly improve the country’s economic growth.’
Small enterprises will include enterprises whose turnover ranges between 30 to 100 thousand dollars. Medium size enterprises will include enterprises whose turnover ranges between 100 thousand and a million dollars.Data analysis will be carried out by the researcher as well as economic and research experts.
The projects’ costs will include travel costs, research material costs, and human resource. This study is also lengthy and will probably take eight months to a year. An experimental research or pilot study will need to be carried out before the main research begins. An experimental research method like the name suggests involves carrying out an experiment with the aim of observing and deducing habits or behavior and what causes or triggers them. It is carried out by manipulating an independent variable with the aim of studying its effect on a dependent variable. It is especially used in science and psychology and carried out by choosing a random sample as a representative of the population being studied and using the sample as an experimental group. This method is purely observational and the experimental group is rarely involved in the experiment except for being observed.Another advantage of experimental research is that the researcher can control the variables. This way, the researcher can actually manipulate the variables to ensure conclusions are drawn from a wider range of findings.
In addition to this, a research team complete with a research leader, researchers, and analysts will need to be put together before the study begins. This team will need to be trained on research skills and ethics as well as on the topic they will be researching on. Researchers must be conversant with the study they will be involved in so that they know what information to collect to avoid scenarios where information collected is irrelevant or important information is not collected.
There will be need to avail research material including questionnaires, cameras, tape recorders and other stationary for the researchers.
The first step to implementing cloud computing in small and medium enterprises in is through creating awareness about its availability, its advantages, its place in assisting the small and medium enterprises sector achieve its objective which is minimizing costs and maximizing profits and its accessibility. Clients often exhibit a lack of comprehension which is a major problem. There is a lot of ignorance surrounding the topic of cloud computing and how it works. There is also a lack of professionalism in the management and running of many Small and medium enterprises in Developing countries, mostly due to the low levels of education especially higher education in the country. Often, the management is reluctant to adopt new technologies partly due to ignorance and lack of exposure.
Small and medium enterprises in developing countries have enormous potential to adopt cloud computing. That these enterprises are run with minimal or no technological assistance successfully is an indication of the improvement that the adoption of cloud computing applications would bring about to the n economy since it would lead to more and efficient production in addition to minimizing operational costs.
Funding is essential for awareness creation and advertising. This would require that there are demonstrations virtually for free just to prove the authenticity of the cloud. Funding is also required for ease in the supply of these applications from the providers who need to cover transport costs and software creation costs. The implementation process requires that the business objective be identified, followed by the identification of the product required to bring this objective to fruition which requires funding.
The governments in these countries need to get actively involved in the implementation and adoption of cloud computing in Developing countries. Leapfrogging technology in a sense is an advantage in the sense that it is easier to adopt new technology rather than make a transition from old technology to new technology. Leapfrogging technology by small and medium size enterprises in developing countries into the cloud is a good move in that it is bound to hasten the development process and in addition to this save on massive infrastructural and development costs that would have been unaffordable otherwise.
The research will definitely observe appropriate ethical behavior and be keen to be sensitive in the face of societal and professional issues that may arise. For instance, the researchers will have to acquire full consent from their interviewees to collect and use the information they gather. It is important that they communicate their intentions and ensure there are no misunderstandings from the onset. It is considered unethical to gather and use private information without the consent of the party whose information has been gathered. There needs to be a professional approach to the whole data collection process so that it does not distract the interviewee’s workflow. In short, it needs to be done at the interviewees’ convenience.
In addition to these, general professional ethics will be observed. These include ensuring data used is accurate and taking measures to ensure wrong data is not used in the analysis. Ensuring the sampling and collection of data follows basic principles that must be followed to ensure accurate analysis such as lack of bias, accurate sampling and representativeness. The researchers must be able to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstanding and misrepresentation of data.
Duquenoy, P., Jones, S., & Blundell, B. G. (2008). Ethical, legal and professional issues in computing. Australia: Thomson.
Berleur, J., Brunnstein, K., & Fédération internationale pour le traitement de l’information. (1996). Ethics of computing: Codes, spaces for discussion and law /edited by Jacques Berleur and Klaus Brunnstein. London: Chapman and Hall.
Baase, S. (2012). A gift of fire: Social, legal, and ethical issues for computing and the Internet. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Forester, T., & Morrison, P. (1995). Computer ethics: Cautionary tales and ethical dilemmas in computing. Cambridge, Mass.