Smart Outsourcing (SMO) provides the best opportunities for IT Outsourcing in the UK. Two main centres are in Europe, the Netherlands and Nordics (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark).
SMO also sells other computer components like CPU (Central Processing Unit) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) 64-Core, AMD 32-core and AMD 16-core but both CPUs are by far the best sellers.
Business has fared well since the Company set up production in 2020. Indeed, there has been a steady increase in net profits every year since start up. Recently the Company has noticed various trends among customers, including an increasing interest in skills such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. One of the older machines in the production line seems to be labouring and breaks down more regularly these days.
Accordingly, as a work placement from the University of Roehampton, you have been set a number of tasks, the results of which should be presented in business report format for SMO Ltd (word length 2000, excluding graphs/figures/references) and written in English.
These tasks are detailed in the following pages and generally concern (in alphabetical order):
• Customer information
• Production information
• Quality assurance information
• Recommendations for factory improvement
• Summary CPU information
Your report should not be simply be a list of tasks. Rather, it should read as a professional business report with an introduction, sections, summary, references and appendices, all in Word format.
All tasks are worth ten marks each.
Please Note: Academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the academic work you produce at the University of Roehampton. You are expected to complete coursework which is your own and which is referenced appropriately. The university has in place measures to detect academic dishonesty in all its forms. If you are found to be cheating or attempting to gain an unfair advantage over other students in any way, this is considered academic misconduct and you will be penalised accordingly.
Avoiding Academic Misconduct
When you write an essay, report or dissertation you should always cite the published sources to which you quote, refer to or use as evidence, otherwise you are likely to be committing plagiarism, which is a form of academic misconduct with potentially very serious consequences. References need to be made both within the text and in a list at the end.
The aim in doing this is to ensure that somebody reading your work can easily find these sources for themselves. This applies to whether you are using a book, a report, a journal article or an Internet site. You will probably know from your own experience how much easier it is to find a reference when a reading list or bibliography is clear and unambiguous. There is help available from the library and online, including a range of videos such as those given below:
Do remember you can submit your work as many times as you like before the final deadline. It is a good idea to check your Originality Report and ensure that any potential plagiarism is eradicated for your work by rewriting in your own words and referencing correctly. The staff on the BLASC desk in the LRC will be able to advise on this.
Additional helpful resources can be found here:
The best way to avoid academic misconduct or plagiarism is to use your own words at all times; do not cut and paste from other work.
Illness or other mitigating circumstances
By submitting an assignment you are declaring yourself fit to take the assessment therefore please make sure that if you are unwell you understand our mitigating circumstances process. The most important thing to do is keep us informed if you are experiencing problems! See our regulations on this link: https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/globalassets/documents/corporate-information/policies/student-code-of-conduct_april-2019.pdf
Group work and academic misconduct
Work submitted by agroup is the responsibility of the group as a whole. In the unfortunate event of the work being judged to have been plagiarised, the only circumstance in which it is possible that the responsibility for the misconduct would only fall on the group member who actually committed it, would be if there were clear evidence that that member had dishonestly misled the rest of the group as to the source of his her contribution. This would require clear and contemporaneous evidence of group discussions of the sort which should be available if groups follow the advice given about keeping a log of group proceedings. If the group work is simply allocated amongst the members of the group without any sort of group review of the outcomes, then all the group members are taking on themselves the risk that some element of the work is tainted by academic misconduct. If you are unclear about any of this, you should refer to the University’s guide to Plagiarism for further explanation.
You have been asked to write a brief overview of IT Outsourcing Services and specifically the Denmark/ Sweden IT Outsourcing industry and you have found a suitable report The European Market for IT Outsourcing (Note: This report is also available in Moodle).
Write a brief overview based on the two sections IT Outsourcing and Denmark/ Sweden Industry. Your overview should be no more than two paragraphs. You should not copy verbatim the information contained in the report. The proper Harvard reference for this report should be included as one of your references in task 10.
SMO has provided you with current information about Top European countries with enterprises: ICT Skill Shortages in 2017. The figure below represents ICT Skill shortages. For example, Austria has 78% of ICT skill shortages and only 22% vacancies could be filled in in 2017.
a) Generate a stacked column for the Top European Countries with Enterprises.
Having received further information the Financial Services Sector is most interesting using the table below:
Services Sector in billion €
b) Produce an appropriate scatter diagram based on this new data. Use your diagram to make a linear forecast of the Financial Services Sector.
Having gained a better understanding of the outsourcing market, you decide to start analysing the Germany market focusing on Application Outsourcing. See Figure 3 below.
Figure 3 IT Outsourcing in Germany Market from 2016-2026
Unfortunately, the chart (figure 3) has many information. Therefore, you have decided to make your own table based on the Germany and in particular, Application outsourcing from 2016 to 2022.
From your graph, create a line chart for Application Outsourcing. Give a brief summary of the potential expansion to this country.
Currently, all of SMO operations are carried out on two separate production lines, one driven by a new PC machine and the other by a relatively older machine. Recent monitoring of each machine show that the probability of failure in the new one is 0.3 % and in the old one is 0.7%. Given that the quality assurance department insists on a probability of 99.999% that at least one machine is working at all times, advise SMO if this condition is being satisfied.
The idea of buying a new PC machine to replace the older one arose at the last management team meeting. The older one would not be sold but could be used as backup if necessary. If SMO does decide to replace the older machines and buy new ones, the finance dept has indicated that the maximum monthly payment they could afford, based on current profit forecasts for the next six years, would be £2000 p.m. The Company’s bankers would be able to offer an interest rate of 4% to borrow the £95,000 cost of the new machine. What range of months would you recommend that the loan is taken over to keep within SMO’s budget?
SMO makes hardware components in its factory in the UK and currently uses two machines to fill the components. A sample of 30 components from the first machine has a mean weight of 190 g and a standard deviation of 40 g. A sample of 40 packets from the second machine has a mean weight of 180 g and a standard deviation of 10 g.
State the six-point procedure for hypothesis testing and test if the two machines are comparable in terms of putting the same amount in packets?
The company has asked you to complete a Pros & Cons table similar to the one shown in figure T7) to help in deciding about buying a new server to replace the old one. Update the table and include it in your report.
Figure T7. A ‘pros and cons method’ table for buying a new server.
The company monitors customer satisfaction via social media and through its website. Each customer is asked to complete a short survey containing the questions shown in figure T8.
Figure T8. A short customer questionnaire.
Latest results are contained in the Excel File “Task 8” contained in Moodle. Use Excel to calculate respectively the average values for fast speed, fast loading time and recommendation for each type of component and briefly summarise your findings.
SMO has considered possibly expanding its IT outsourcing services to Germany. Prepare a brief initial SWOT analysis about this possible expansion (only two issues in each of the SWOT categories).
Based on all the data you have considered in Tasks 1-9, summarise in just one or two paragraphs your most important findings. Also, check the overall structure and presentation of your report (see the Brief in Moodle for more details), including your key references in Harvard style.
MARKING RUBRIC – ASSESSMENT BUSINESS DATA ANALYSIS 2022 – UNIVERSITY OF ROEHAMPTON Marking criteria for Business Report on IT Outsourcing
Additional info: Marking and Resit Assignment Details
Resit submission date: Please see the announcement on the Moodle site once the dates for resits are confirmed
For students who are offered a resit you are required to improve and resubmit your original work as well as adding a further reflective commentary discussing what you have learned from the process. You must resubmit your work using the specific resit Turnitin link on Moodle.
1. Review your previously submitted work and read carefully the feedback given by the marker.
2. Use this feedback to help you revisit and rewrite your work, improving it in the areas identified as weak in the original marking process
3. Include with your resubmission an additional reflective piece (500 words) on what you understand was weak, how you set about addressing this and what you have learned from this that may help you with further assignments. You should address the following specifically:
i) Identify tutor feedback points on your original work and identify where/how the resit work has changed (give page number) in response to feedback
ii) Identify the lessons you have learnt from doing the resit
iii) Reflect on how your feedback and this process will help you improve future assignments
If you did not submit work at the first opportunity you cannot reflect on your feedback. However, you are still required to submit a reflective piece in which you identify your reasons for non-submission, the implications of non-submission for your future success and how you propose to address this in the future. If you have issues with confidentiality of your reasons for non-submission then you could reflect on
how you have met the learning outcomes for the module, how you can use what you have done on the module to support your future career and what skills/employability attributes you feel the module has helped you to develop.
If you were deferred at the first assessment opportunity you do not need to include the reflective piece as this is a first submission at a later date, not a resit.
The original marking criteria will still apply (see marking grid provided below) except that the 10% weighting for presentation will be awarded instead to your reflective piece.
How will we support you with your assessment?
• A dedicated briefing session on the assessment
• Resources on improving report-writing
• Feedback on your draft plan
• Links to the assessment throughout your seminars
• FAQs on Moodle and assessment discussion forum
• Sample reports of Moodle
• Exercises on Moodle with instructions
How will your work be assessed?
Your work will be assessed by a subject expert who will use the assessment criteria provided in this assessment brief. When you access your marked work it is important that you reflect on the feedback so that you can use it to improve future assignments.
You MUST use the Harvard System. The Harvard system is very easy to use once you become familiar with it.
The Business School requires a digital version of all assignment submissions. These must be submitted via Turnitin on the module’s Moodle site. They must be submitted as a Word file (not as a pdf) and must not include scanned in text or text boxes. They must be submitted by 2pm on the given date. For further general details on coursework preparation refer to the online information via
Mitigating circumstances/what to do if you cannot submit a piece of work or attend your presentation
The University Mitigating Circumstances Policy can be found on the University website - Mitigating
Marking and feedback process
Between you handing in your work and then receiving your feedback and marks within 28 days, there are a number of quality assurance processes that we go through to ensure that students receive marks which reflects their work. A brief summary is provided below.
• Step One – The module and marking team meet to agree standards, expectations and how feedback will be provided.
• Step Two – A subject expert will mark your work using the criteria provided in the assessment brief.
• Step Three – A moderation meeting takes place where all members of the teaching and marking team will review the marking of others to confirm whether they agree with the mark and feedback
• Step Four – Work goes to an external examiner who will review a sample of work to confirm that the marking between different staff is consistent and fair
• Step Five – Your mark and feedback is processed by the Office and made available to you.