Ch 1 Describe how cloud computing can improve your personal productivity.
1-4: Cloud computing helps improve personal productivity in myriad modalities. It helps through working remotely and allowing greater access to pertinent information. Additionally, it allows access to multiple platforms and the ability to communicate domestically and abroad. Cloud enables its users’ greater productivity because of the access to up-to-date valid, real-time statistical data. The users, therefore, are able to avoid costly mistakes. Prior to cloud computing, in order to engage in various tasks, it was necessary to download numerous apps to achieve a particular undertaking. With the advent of cloud computing, multiple programs can be accessed simultaneously and in real-time. This methodology allows for greater efficacy in the production of tasks and for communication with peers. The ability to access necessary data from any device is highly advantageous as this allows for mobile access.
According to the Ntiva Editorial Team blog, cloud computing has the capability of the reduction of downtime due to issues related to IT. These issues are quickly resolved and positively impacts downtime which negates losses of the productivity of employees. Further, access to the cloud allows 24-7 access from any location; Ntiva cites a study that reports an increase of 400% relative to productivity.
1-5: List and describe several reasons why companies are choosing to outsource business activities.
FROM THE BOOK, PAGE 15
There are many reasons why companies choose to outsource business activities. Primary among such rationale is the benefit that can be achieved through outsourcing. A study conducted by Letica Maja, “According to the relevant literature, wherever outsourcing is approached strategically, the evaluation of activities to be outsourced is the foundation of future success pp. 97). That is to say, that the strategic advantages must be postured to bring forth great benefit. To do so means that a company is structuring itself for long-term success along with a healthy balance sheet amid a low risk investment portfolio. Further the globalization of markets lends itself to structured outsourcing. In conjunction with market globalization, the parameters of outsourcing business activities as defined in the text include but are not limited to increasing process efficiencies, gaining access to not only world-class capabilities, but world-class talent, and of course, the reduction in costs, the latter being paramount to successful capitalization of monetary assets CITE TEXTBOOK
Information Systems Today Managing in the Digital World, 7th Edition, Joseph Valacich and Christoph Schneider
THE EFFECT OF OUTSOURCING ACTIVITIES SELECTION ON THE BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING – Letica, Maja. Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues; Split Vol. 21, Iss. 2, (Dec 2016): 77-97.
2-1 Compare and contrast the characteristics of the operational, managerial, and executive levels of an organization. DO THIS ONE LAST
2-6: What is freeconomics, and what are several approaches to applying its concept to various industries?
Freeconomics at a very basic level is simply and strategically providing free goods or services to gain a foothold in the marketplace and is typically geared to specific markets through the medium of digital capabilities and technologies that are taking exponential capability leaps. By doing such, companies are able to gain a competitive and strategic advantage. This is accomplished by sometimes being the first to market or on the other hand, by providing the best product. If marketing is accomplished strategically and corresponding advertising is utilized, customers may not need the product but simply have a desire for it. Economic value is also enhanced through the infrastructure of the IS; this in turn has implications for cross subsidies. An example of cross subsidization would be a free night’s stay at a hotel in exchange for a one week booking. The internet provides the best incentives for cross subsidies because of the proliferation of potential from advertisers. The several approaches are related through advertising mediums, the provision of free products/services, and zero marginal costs. A good example of zero marginal costs is the Internet of Things and our ability to send communications essentially free via email versus long distance phone charges or postage. Essentially, this form of communication is free, except the nominal cost associated with internet access. The utilization of freeconomics by industries is an important strategic tool to consider when gaining market share and scaling a business.
Chapter 3 – Managing the Information Systems Infrastructure and Services
3-3. Describe the key functions of system software.
The key functions of system software perform the basic computer operations. The system software’s main protocol is the operating system which performs the task of communicating with the components of the hardware and users of the system. In doing so, it belies or hides the mundane language indigenous to the language of computer programming. Per Alfred Amuno of TurboFuture, system software includes five main types and the key functions of each as follows. The operating system provides the requisite communication medium between system programs, hardware, and the other applications. The purpose of the device driver is the enabling of communication with the operating system and other programs. The firmware and translator, respectively, provide for system identification/enabling of the device, the codes are then able to translate the mathematical languages of the computer codes. Finally, the utility provides for security such as antivirus software and aides in the optimal utilization of functionality. File management, another important function, along with system activities (security) being monitored, and the allocation of the resources of the system comprise the key functions of the system software.
3-5.What are the distinguishing characteristics of different storage media?
The distinguishing characteristics of different storage media are dependent upon the medium of storage utilized. Along with hard drives, flash-based storage, and magnetic tapes, these different types of storage media offer users capabilities for various uses. Hard drive storage is primarily storage that is stored on a disk; it is economical to use and has a storage capacity that is highly efficient (up to 1TB). On the other hand, flash-based storage provides quick access and is highly applicable in a fast paced technological environment. Magnetic tape is primarily used for storing digital information and one of the advantages of magnetic tape is its durability and security allowing them to be read securely after prolonged periods of time. It has been reported that reading the tape is “four times faster than reading a hard disk.”
According to Rich D’Ambrise:
SDLT II drives and media, and the development of the NanoCAP and NeoSMART technology platforms are just the latest examples that demonstrate that tape is still an evolving and vital storage technology. As data requirements scale into hundreds of terabytes of petabytes, and vast amounts of corporate data must be maintained and archived, the role of tape may change, but the need for tape will not. (pp. 34)
High Performance Media for High Performance Drives, D’Ambrise, Rich. Computer Technology Review; Los Angeles Vol. 25, Iss. 3, (2005): 34
Chapter 4 – Enabling Business-to-Consumer Electronic Commerce
4-2 What are the primary forms of e-government? Provide examples for each.
The primary forms of e-government are Government-to-Citizen, Government-to-Business, and Government-to-Government. Examples of government-to-citizen is the Internal Revenue Service’s tax filing system via the internet and the government site for the Social Security Administration. A government-to-business example would be the employer participation in verifying social security numbers of employees and/or their legal ability to work in the United States, the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification System. Government-to-Government consists of those sites that allow foreign countries to access information relative to businesses in the United States. One site would be Singapore eCitizen Portal.
4-7 What is the online consumer’s hierarchy of needs, and why is it important to e-tailers?
The online consumer’s hierarchy of needs centers around three characteristics that engage the senses of consumers and propels them to become consumers. These characteristics include structural firmness, functional convenience, and representational delight. The aforementioned are important to e-tailers because those are the needs that must be addressed in order to satisfy the consumer’s hierarchy of needs. And all are related to the overall quality of the web site. It is imperative that the websites have not only the capacity to engage potential consumers, but it must incentivize them to fulfill the objective of e-tailers, that is, buy the product.
Chapter 5 – Enhancing Organizational Communication and Collaboration Using Social Media
5-1.What are virtual teams, and how do they help to improve an organization’s capabilities?
Virtual teams are comprised of members of an organization who are dispersed throughout various regions of the world and meet when collaboration is required on projects. As the needs of the work assignment mandate, teams are not stagnant, but maintain fluidity as necessary. Such teams provide a high level of knowledge and skill and are efficient in execution of completion of tasks. With the advent of globalization and the competivtiveness inherent in such an environment, technology has enabled such virtual teams to increase competencies and market share. “The study identified the competencies required for effective leadership in virtual teams in order to achieve the organizational project success.” (Maduka, et al, pp. 696). Maduka further offers that virtual teams add to an organization’s capabilities by building trust, effective communication, an ability to provide constant feedback, and the ability to monitor changes in environmental conditions and the adherent impacts on the team and the project. This study by Maduka also noted that : “The study will also be of benefit to virtual team leaders who avail themselves with identified competencies they need to achieve high-performing virtual teams that contribute to organizational success.”(pp. 712).
5-5. Why is social media an important factor for attracting and retaining employees?
Social media is important for attracting and retaining employees because of the concept of collective intelligence coupled with peer production. The social media platforms provide an exceptional opportunity to network with the best talent available with the prospect of securing said talent for various employment opportunities. This is performed through and because of the capabilities of social media. As such, potential employees, those born and indoctrinated into these attendant platforms, are prone to practices that allow non-traditional and transitional employment opportunities. In addition, social media offers platforms that specifically cater to individuals seeking to transition into careers (i.e., LinkedIn).
Ron Fisher, Ruth McPhail, Emily You, Maria Ash, (2014) “Using social media to recruit global supply chain managers”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 44 Issue: 8/9, pp.635-645, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-07-2013-0179
Nnamdi Stanley Maduka, Helen Edwards, David Greenwood, Allan Osborne, Solomon Olusola Babatunde, (2018) “Analysis of competencies for effective virtual team leadership in building successful organisations”, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 25 Issue: 2, pp.696-712, https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-08-2016-0124