(Solved) An Adelaide company, Jarvis and Co, have been manufacturing brass fittings for plumbing since the early 1950s

An Adelaide company, Jarvis and Co, have been manufacturing brass fittings for plumbing since the early 1950s. In 1999, with the Y2K bug approaching, they commissioned an Adelaide software company to develop a stock tracking and management package, which they have been using since. The software runs on a central server located in the main office, with dedicated client computers located in the warehouse, offices of key management staff, and on the factory floor. Backups are managed through four tapes which are kept on site.

Although it still works, the software was designed to run on a now obsolete operating system (OS/2) and over the next 20+ years it has become increasingly difficult to maintain. The company that originally developed the software has closed down; programmers with experience in the operating system are in very short supply; the operating system itself is no longer supported; and hardware capable of running the system is only available on the second hand market.

Accordingly, they have acknowledged that they need to purchase a new system. But before proceeding, they are looking for recommendations on four key questions:

  1. Given that they can no longer use OS/2, what operating system should they employ? Recommend an operating system, justifying your decision and considering total cost of ownership. (8 marks)
  2. How should they properly manage backups in the future? Provide a solution that would maximise data security. (3 marks)
  3. How should they manage the transition from the old package to the new one? Justify your decision. (3 marks)
  4. Should they be looking to purchase off-the shelf software, or hire a company to develop software specifically for their needs. What are some key advantages and disadvantages for each option? (6 marks)

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