Cloud Computing and The Path Ahead

Introduction

Uber is one of the key players in the taxi operations in not only the United Kingdom but globally. It is commonly referred to as the ride-hailing app, which gives room to consumers to order a shared or private car via a few taps on the mobile app. It was found by the former CEO Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in the year 2009 and later launched one year after. Uber could later become the most entrenched transport option. With time, it has been hailed as the archetypal disruptive business, which caused havoc across the taxi industry. The latter constitutes participants said to facilitate the private hire vehicles and taxis for both business transport and personal use. The two-tier system in the United Kingdom largely differentiates between the PHVs that are normally pre-booked and the taxis that can pick clients and potential customers while traversing the highway and the streets. The industry forms one of the landing platforms for Uber with London hosting 45000 Uber drivers who serve more than 3.6 million passengers (Gordon 2018). This provides a mark of financial success. Uber has a history of disrupting the significant use of the Silicon Valley transportation around cities by simply making the journeys quite cheap and easy. The explosive growth is said to have never stopped questions regarding ethical and financial sustainability of the entire business. Based on this background, the research digs deep into the research that seeks to explore details behind the current status and benefits of cloud computing. The research proceeds to security issues that can challenge Uber while making use of cloud computing before reflecting on professional issues and project management.

Research Methodology

Research methodology looks at a collection of tools that define the research process linked to Uber and the use of cloud computing across taxi operations. A relook at the nature of the study points at explorative and descriptive data that informs on a history, and how the history has shaped the trends across Taxi Operations in the United Kingdom. Based on this, the context will establish the research method, data collection and data collection process, and finally, the data analysis scope.

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Research method

As stated earlier, the study considers the descriptive findings of the industry with history shaping use and the impact of technology. This means that qualitative research method is better placed in digging down significant details linked to Uber UK and the context of cloud computing across taxi operations. The method is better placed because of its capacity to uncover the trends because of its explorative nature (Kumar 2019). The method considers a smaller sample of the records or respondents who or which can have the significant details regarding the Uber and taxi operations, as well as the idea of cloud computing. The qualitative method is advantageous in this context because it offers the required depth and details of the data instead of analysing ranks and counts as well.

Data collection and Data Collection process

Discussions and ideas around technology, especially the likes of cloud computing, may hardly be tapped from interviews and questionnaires. This is because few people would have an understanding of the behaviour and the impact of some of the technologies. Therefore, this research weighed out on options that would suit the technical coverage and its influence on the performance of taxi operations. In line with qualitative method, the research picks on the secondary data as the prime source of the findings in the context (Mackey and Gass 2015). The systematic reviews focuses on a summary of the results availed through designed studies, which facilitate high level of evidence with regards to taxi operations, the technological impact and the performance of Uber in the UK market. Significant studies would be evaluated in terms of their capacity in responding to the research question. The process is as follows.

Formulating and reviewing the question: This includes development of the reviewing title which can be searched on different platforms. Simple titles include “The impact of cloud computing on taxi operations in UK”

Definition of inclusion and the exclusion criteria: Materials chosen are expected to have been expressed in English; publishing dates should range from 2011 to 2019 and should be authored by at least one scholar. All non-English materials shall be excluded from the exercise

Development of the search strategy and location of studies: This includes working on the key terms that can be run on search engines like Google among others.

Selection of studies: Entails consideration of any material or study that meets the inclusion criteria

Extraction of Data: It entails summarizing key details of the findings from each study

Assessment of the study quality

Data analysis

Data Analysis

The research would collect descriptive data from the studies and searched materials from considerable search engines. The descriptive data is either harmonious or heterogeneous depending on the nature of studies where data is extracted from. The right tool to conduct data analysis is content analysis, which focuses on various formats, texts, video and audio (Kumar 2019). Content analysis focuses on examining patterns in terms of communication, experiences and the findings that relate to the research topic. Content analysis will involve preparation of data through transcription of observations and verbalizations. Secondly, the tool would define the theme behind the analysis through classification and categorization. The research would then pre-test the coding scheme and assessment of consistency. Eventually, the tool presents the results under every theme while introducing fresh conclusions supported with details.

Status of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is regarded as a collective term that encompasses delivery of the hosted services via the internet. In United Kingdom, cloud based services are said to have increased by over 36% in a span of 5 years. The adoption rate stood at 84% in the years 2015 as the trend kept persisting (Gordon 2018). Most of the IT companies continuously worked close to taxi operators. The private organizations are not the only stakeholders in cloud computing but also the UK government, which has been channelling funds into the cloud infrastructure. Government to influence the cloud services in the year 2015 and an increased sum in the subsequent years released a total of £533.6. The service categories that caught the attention of the stakeholders include the software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). 721 suppliers would be attracted to these platforms as of February 2016 (Gordon 2018). Both the small as well as the medium business sector could generate a market value of at least £1.9 billion. Based on this trend, United Kingdom is ranked as the second market for the United States cloud vendors who largely benefit from the developed economy.

Uber, across the UK shared economy, has been regarded as a service that has hit one billion rides and recorded one of the sharp growth rates since the year 2008. The adoption rate for Uber hit almost 100% with Uber drivers experiencing instant connectivity and enjoys the comfort of the BYOD. With a significant network of the mobile workers, Uber is considered as one of the effective services the taxi operation sector has ever experienced. The company’s official website, social media, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and twitter seemingly expressed the non-legal means that pave way for the access of the service requirements while raising concerns where possible. The company’s thirst for the data centre space largely indicates the increasing demand for peer-to-peer sharing economy and connected cars (Yang et al. 2017). Among other players, Uber stands a better chance of generating great amounts of data that can be managed through the real-time systems. The question of Big Data has raised concerns on how the company benefits from cloud resources. Uber goes beyond the on-board GPS for the purposes of availing security measures and forecast the network connection (Gordon 2018). The data maps the increasing need for cloud services, which creates opportunities for the graphics accelerators, application processors and the human machine technologies. However, the major obstacle to success for Uber has been the lawsuits as well as protests witnessed around the world. The Taxi drivers argue that Uber would trigger unfair competition in every market it steps in. Such case would force the company to starve some of the drivers following increased commission fees.

Potential benefits of Cloud Computing

According to studies on Uber and other taxi operators in the United Kingdom, it could be noted that Uber is able to operate cheaply with flexible services appealing to millions of customers. The big question is whether Uber always operates at a loss or a profit. In the world of business and economics, the primary objective of the business venture is to reap profits from the market and impact business growth in a positive way. Therefore, if Uber is offering lower charges and it is flexible in terms of the services, then it is evident that it must be making the advantageous use of cloud computing (Subramanian et al. 2014). The first advantage Uber and other taxi operators making use of cloud computing get from this technology include reduced IT costs. Instead of purchasing the expensive equipment and systems for the business, the company can take advantage of the cloud-computing service provider. This comes with the application capabilities that may tune to dynamic markets through cloud management logic (Harris et al. 2015).

Under reduced IT costs, users can easily switch costs by switching the providers. The second benefit reasoned from a number of sources includes scalability. This means that the business can be scaled down depending on the storage as well as operation needs that can suit a certain situation. The flexible nature of clouding services means that a business can reduce or increase the functions without interference of the storage or speed limitations. For instance, the Amazon Web Services would offer categories of storage, compute, database, networking, and content delivery. Through scalable measures, one can easily monitor the infrastructural resource usage via the management tools including the likes of the AWS Config, AWS Cloudtrail and the Amazon CloudWatch (Harris et al. 2015). The tools can track the changes and the resource inventory, which paves way for infrastructural charges that depend on the scale of use instead of paying upfront. Another advantage is business continuity where protection of the data as well as systems is regarded as a paramount measure in ensuring business continuity planning. In the course of a power failure, natural disaster and any other crisis, cloud computing ensures that data is safely stored in the cloud, protected, and backed up. One can access data while allowing the business owners to continue with their businesses while encountering limited downtime as well as loss of productivity. Besides, cloud computing gives room for collaboration efficiency (Wyld 2011). This means that the business stand a chance of communicating as well as sharing beyond the traditional methods. Lastly, users can easily access automatic updates for the IT requirements and the need for the latest technology as far as the server upgrades as well as computer processing power are put into consideration.

Potential security issues associated with Cloud Computing

Apart from being a perfect system for the businesses that foster growth and business performance, cloud computing is faced by a number of issues related to security. Analysing findings from different case studies it could be found that the issue of confidentiality and privacy is a looming problem that touches on every operation linked to cloud. This means that there can be a possible threat of the data compromise because of the increased parties, applications, and devices at the same time. This implies that there can be many points of access, which can lead to concerns of data remanence, multitenancy, and application security (Chen and Zhao 2012). Aspects of the information system that can be shared include, and not limited to, memory, data, programs, and networks. The second issue encompasses the interoperability issues, which entails the entire risk of data management across a shared environment that constitutes a network, computation, and storage. Commonly, companies may decide to move respective services to a different cloud, which may lead to lack of interoperability, which can raise the heavy obstacles amid processes (Tiwari and Mishra 2012). Another security issue entails the malicious insider. The latter commonly refer to a person who is motivated to create a negative impact, which can violate the rules of integrity, confidentiality as well as availability of the significant services and data. Malicious insider is the riskier issue when it comes to customer trusts as well as the reputation of the organization.

Another potential issue is the trusted third party, which can review critical transactions between two primary parties. The TTP has all the powers to create a fraudulent digital content. In this context, the TTP is an impartial organization trusted with the duty of providing technical security and deliver business confidence (Sun et al. 2011). The worst can happen when the primary parties are shortchanged.

Across all the risks and security concerns with regards to cloud computing, the taxi operations sector, with such players like Uber, should be keen enough when handling cloud computing. The most dangerous platforms that can be used to manipulate the users include the TTP and the malicious insider. While TTP is a legal entity that confirms transactions between the two parties, the malicious insider part is regarded as an illegal entity. The adverse impact of the two can be levelled at the same rates with each having the capacity of creating the negative content that can harm the entire organization or firm and pull it out of the market (Sun et al. 2011). The malicious insider can blackmail the users and disrupt the integrity and confidentiality of the information. While TTPs are regarded as a part of the chains of trust, the third party is not directly affected in case of any eventuality. This means that TTPs may not take any responsibility in case of an attack.

Proposals for the secure implementation of Cloud Computing

Use of the cloud services is quite advantageous and in some cases, it would be seen as a problem instead. Therefore, this section presents the findings on some of the proposals that would mitigate on the risks, technical issues that can be aligned to the proposal, the way to measure the impact and critical success factors and conclusions regarding cloud computing across taxi operations sector and Uber in specific. First, the technical issue that needs attention is scalability where the characteristics of the cloud services are adjusted based on the demand. In this case, businesses are advised to pick on the hybrid cloud, which is centrally managed, provide a single unit and it is usually circumscribed by a concrete and secure network (Li et al. 2015). Most of the virtual IT solutions provided by this cloud are always a mix of the private and public clouds. The secure control of data as well as applications, give room for more parties to get an access to the information through the internet. The cloud deployment model, storage, platform, networking, and the software infrastructure allow services to be scaled down or up without interfering with the user. Critical success factors aligned to hybrid cloud include a measure of the stability of operations by recording instances of downtime. The second proposal is the NIST framework, which addresses five core expectations, which include, identification, detection, protection, response and recover across all the cloud management operations. Security technologies like DEK, HSM and OTFE should be deployed CSPs for high end security (Okoampa-Larbi et al. 2017). The Hardware Secure Module offers the encryption process as well as management to the cloud system as far as Uber and taxi operation sector are put into consideration. With the Decryption and Encryption Keys (DEK), the framework can authenticate, allow digital signing, ensure biometric or human group factor authenticating process and secure booting (Sen and Tiwari 2017).

In the face of security technologies highlighted above, it can be found out that taxi operators can adopt cloud computing even beyond the 84% in the UK market. While adoption of the security technologies would sound expensive, the service provider has to ensure that the cloud services are more secure and users continue to enjoy reduced IT costs, business continuity, and address the entire scope of collaboration efficiency (Rodrigues et al. 2017). This means that jumping to cloud computing will make the businesses enjoy perfect operations due to connectivity, as witnessed with Uber, establish cheap and affordable services that would attract a large market and experience business growth because of optimization.

Critical Reflection, Project Management, and Professional Issues
Project Evaluation

I believe that cloud computing is a big success for Uber and the taxi operation as a sector. However, performance issues would always arise where the business has to evaluate the geographical proximity, network performance and the access speed between multiple tiers and the compute layer. The overall success of this project is that businesses or taxi operators stand a chance of enjoying the three enhanced parameters, which include speed, proximity as well as network performance (Ding et al. 2017). This paves way for project management that reflects on stages or the journey the project took to the point of success.

Project Management

The project management process of cloud computing in taxi operations took or considered a stepwise process that called for different resources and attention at every stage. First, the project looked at the scope and the project objective, which forms the rationale of the research (Alam et al. 2015). Secondly, the project looked at the resources as well as time estimations before creating and analyzing the plan. Eventually, the project could collect as well as communicate the update on the progress before signing off.

Ethical Issues

While engaging cloud services across the taxi operation sector, the system shall regard the client as the end user of the services that would be utilized for internal business purposes. This means that the customer is never allowed to make use of the services beyond what the UK laws provides and the UK regulatory code. The service providers, CSPs, should satisfy the required service level and take note of the failures in the system.

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References

  • Gordon, K., 2018. Cloud computing in the United Kingdom - Statistics & Facts. Available at
  • Yang, C., Huang, Q., Li, Z., Liu, K. and Hu, F., 2017. Big Data and cloud computing: innovation opportunities and challenges. International Journal of Digital Earth, 10(1), pp.13-53.
  • Kumar, R., 2019. Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. Sage Publications Limited.
  • Mackey, A. and Gass, S.M., 2015. Second language research: Methodology and design. Routledge.
  • Subramanian, N., Abdulrahman, M.D. and Zhou, X., 2014. Integration of logistics and cloud computing service providers: Cost and green benefits in the Chinese context. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 70, pp.86-98.
  • Harris, I., Wang, Y. and Wang, H., 2015. ICT in multimodal transport and technological trends: Unleashing potential for the future. International Journal of Production Economics, 159, pp.88-103.
  • Wyld, D.C., 2011. The cloudy future of government IT: Cloud computing and the public sector around the world. International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology, 1(1), pp.1-20.
  • Chen, D. and Zhao, H., 2012, March. Data security and privacy protection issues in cloud computing. In 2012 International Conference on Computer Science and Electronics Engineering (Vol. 1, pp. 647-651). IEEE.
  • Sun, D., Chang, G., Sun, L. and Wang, X., 2011. Surveying and analyzing security, privacy and trust issues in cloud computing environments. Procedia Engineering, 15, pp.2852-2856.
  • Tiwari, P.K. and Mishra, B., 2012. Cloud computing security issues, challenges and solution. International journal of emerging technology and advanced engineering, 2(8), pp.306-310.
  • Li, J., Li, Y.K., Chen, X., Lee, P.P. and Lou, W., 2015. A hybrid cloud approach for secure authorized deduplication. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 26(5), pp.1206-1216.
  • Rodrigues, T.G., Suto, K., Nishiyama, H. and Kato, N., 2017. Hybrid method for minimizing service delay in edge cloud computing through VM migration and transmission power control. IEEE Transactions on Computers, 66(5), pp.810-819.
  • Okoampa-Larbi, R., Twum, F. and Hayfron-Acquah, J.B., 2017. A Proposed Cloud Security Framework for Service Providers in Ghana. International Journal of Computer Applications, 158(1).
  • Sen, A. and Tiwari, P., 2017. Security Issues and Solutions in Cloud Computing.
  • Ding, S., Wang, Z., Wu, D. and Olson, D.L., 2017. Utilizing customer satisfaction in ranking prediction for personalized cloud service selection. Decision Support Systems, 93, pp.1-10.
  • Alam, M.I., Pandey, M. and Rautaray, S.S., 2015. A comprehensive survey on cloud computing. International Journal of Information Technology and Computer Science (IJITCS), 7(2), p.68.
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