E*TRADE is a company that offers online trading services across the United States. Founded in the early 1980s, the company has become a leading online firm that focuses on assisting people who are interested in online stock trading. That is why it is not a surprise that E*TRADE is an example of an effective and high-tech information system. According to the company’s official website, the firm aims at applying digital advancements and professional experience to help numerous clients gain financial independence (E*TRADE, n.d.). Simultaneously, the business aspires to become the best and most popular broker for traders and investors who are attracted by the system’s ease of use and effectiveness. E*TRADE relies on efficient hardware and software, while versatile users do not need to meet strict requirements or specific skills to deal with the platform and navigate through its features.
Characteristics of the Users of the System
Since E*TRADE offers requested services in the modern world, many users rely on the system, and it is necessary to present their characteristic features. Firstly, the information system provides its services to investors and traders. The system assists these individuals with trading opportunities, research resources, and various strategies to maximize profits (E*TRADE, n.d.). Simultaneously, Voigt (2021) admits that the company is suitable for beginner and frequent traders and investors because the platform is quite simple. Secondly, the system is appropriate for financial experts because they can become registered investment advisors (RIAs) and provide their tips to novice users (E*TRADE, n.d.). This statement denotes that the company is a link between financial professionals and their potential clients.
Thirdly, the information system is suitable for stock plan participants because they can use the available digital tools and resources to view their financial wellness. Furthermore, these individuals value E*TRADE since it provides them with information on student loans, various educational resources, and investment planning tools (E*TRADE, n.d.). Finally, the resource under analysis is suitable for those people who require retirement planning assistance because users can open a retirement account via E*TRADE (Voigt, 2021). Consequently, this information denotes that this system attracts multiple individuals who have various motivations to use E*TRADE.
Server-Side Hardware Requirements
It is sad to say, but there is no publicly available information as to what server-side hardware requirements the current information system has. However, it is possible to do research and make educated assumptions to present this information. It seems that E*TRADE uses both file and web servers because they enable the information system’s operation. The rationale behind this statement is that these servers perform different functions. A file server is a computer or any other device used to store files, and every user of an information system can access it (Singh, 2021). Simultaneously, a web server contains information system software and allows users to access the data that is stored on a file server (Singh, 2021). Since E*TRADE offers services across the whole US, large hardware requirements should be applied, and they include one terabyte of disk space, 16 CPU cores, and 64 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) (Singh, 2021). It is possible to expect that these specifications will suffice to provide services to all users.
It is challenging to state whether a server farm is a must for E*TRADE. The requirements above can be allocated to serve 7,500 concurrent users. Consequently, if the information system plans to work with more users at the same time, a server farm can be suitable. This decision is necessary because a server farm represents a collection of servers with specific security devices (Sivabalan & Radcliffe, 2018). It is also reasonable to comment on what backup devices can be suitable. Network Attached Storage Devices seem appropriate because they allow for storing large volumes of data as well as accessing and using it to back up the required information. It appears that the information system’s servers do not need other hardware.
Server-Side Software Requirements
Since it is impossible to access specific information about the server-side software, this section will also present certain assumptions. The information system’s servers use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It allows users to send requests and obtain appropriate answers via the World Wide Web (Singh, 2021). As for an operating system, Linux seems more appropriate for servers because this open source software features high security and is effectively protected against many threatening viruses (Singh, 2021). Even though it does not seem that E*TRADE requires customizing its servers, such a possibility can still be performed using Linux. IBM servers can be appropriate for the information system under analysis because they deal with modern analytics, high-performance computing, and other tasks that are significant for E*TRADE to provide its services (Singh, 2021). These software elements are needed to run the server and manage the system.
When it comes to database software to store the data input into the system, it is reasonable to consider using Amazon Relational Database. The information system can rely on this relational database management tool to store the data input in the system (Svitla Team, 2019). It is possible to suggest that the software elements above are sufficient for the information system’s servers to allow E*TRADE to distribute its services.
Client-Side Hardware Requirements
As for client-side hardware requirements, this information can be easily found, and it is not necessary to make assumptions in this section. Potential clients can use computers, tablets, laptop computers, and smartphones to deal with E*TRADE. Traders and investors can receive the best experience if their computing devices have sufficient disk space and RAM. It is not reasonable to mention any specific requirements because all modern devices typically have the required capacities to allow users to access the information system and interact with it. This condition results in the fact that E*TRADE is a relatively widespread and requested resource among the potential clients because they do not need any highly specific or expensive devices and equipment.
Client-Side Software Requirements
When it comes to discussing client-side software requirements, it is necessary to distinguish between E*TRADE’s web-based system and mobile applications. On the one hand, a web-based system can be roughly described as an ordinary website that can be accessed via a corresponding URL link. This information denotes that every person who has a stable Internet connection can easily open the information system on their device. E*TRADE is equally available for Windows and iOS users, which also leads to an increasing customer base. Furthermore, the most widespread web browsers are suitable to access the platform. In particular, it is possible to use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari, and even Microsoft Internet Explorer to access and interact with E*TRADE. However, it is worth admitting that the trading experience will be more optimal if users deal with updated operating systems and web browsers.
On the other hand, E*TRADE mobile applications provide smartphone and tablet users with an opportunity to access all the information system’s options through these smaller devices. E*TRADE mobile and Power E*TRADE are free applications that potential traders and investors can use. The E*TRADE mobile app is suitable to manage accounts, place trades, and access real-time news (Voigt, 2021). Simultaneously, the Power E*TRADE application allows for dealing with customizable options and trading complex strategies (Voigt, 2021). This information demonstrates that these applications offer versatile services and opportunities to traders and investors of different experiences. The two applications are available on Android and iOS, which means that every smartphone and tablet user has a chance to download and use them. One should also highlight that users should rely on updated software to ensure that the applications’ performance is free from issues.
Features and Usage of the System
When a user logs into the information system, they have multiple choices for what they can do, and the given section will describe three main functions. The first one refers to connecting a banking account to the user’s E*TRADE account, which is necessary to fund the latter account. Once a user logs into E*TRADE, they should choose “Transfers” and select “External Accounts” from the dropdown menu. After clicking “Add external funding account,” “Securely add account,” and “Send code,” the system will send a verification code to the user’s mobile phone. After entering the code, the user should choose their bank, enter bank credentials, and insert bank account details. The system will then process this input data and send two payments to the user’s account within three working days. To complete the adding procedure, the customer needs to insert the exact sums in their E*TRADE account. Thus, the output data is the confirmation that the two accounts are connected.
Buying stock is the second significant function of the information system. To cope with it, a user can click a search box and type the title of the stock to purchase. The system will process the data and transfer the user to the company’s page, where the customer can click the “Buy” button. After it, the system will ask the user to mention whether they want to buy the stock and how many shares are needed. The user can insert the amount of money to determine an actual number of shares, and the system will automatically calculate how many shares can be purchased. Upon clicking the “Preview” button, a new page will reveal the transaction details, and the customer will need to click the “Place Order” button. In a while, the output data will refer to transferring money into a particular stock, which will be reflected in the E*TRADE account.
Selling the stock is the third crucial function that deserves attention. For this, the user should open their account’s main page, click one of their funds, and click the “Trade” button. After selecting the “Sell” function from the dropdown menu, it is necessary to choose a stock and sell the entire position. Then, by clicking the “Preview” and “Place Order” buttons, the system will process the input data, and its output will be selling the stock.
E*TRADE is a requested online trading website and mobile application that attract numerous investors and traders. These individuals choose this information system due to its minimal hardware and software requirements. Simultaneously, the ease of use attracts many beginner and inexperienced customers. Even though E*TRADE provides crucial financial assistance, its users should remember that they deal with their own money. Consequently, they should invest sufficient time and effort in research to make their trading activities more reasoned and professional because the human brain can be more effective than information systems.
E*TRADE. (n.d.). Mission, vision, and who we serve. Web.
Singh, N. K. (2021). Unit-9 web server hardware and software [PDF document]. Web.
Sivabalan, S., & Radcliffe, P. J. (2018). Feasibility of eliminating IDPS devices from a web server farm. International Journal of Network Security, 20(3), 433-438. Web.
Svitla Team. (2019). Database management software. Web.
Voigt, K. E*TRADE review 2021: Pros, cons, and how it compares. Nerdwallet. Web.