1). Describe the four steps taken in solving a business problem.(A process, not an event) * Problem identification (is to understand what kind of problem exists). * Solution design (is to design solutions to the problems you have identified) * Solution evaluation and choice (choosing the “best” solution for your business firm) * Implementation (the best solution is one that can be implemented, including building the solution and introducing it into the organization)
2) What is the difference between information technology and information systems? Describe some of the functions of information systems.
Information technology is the use of computer hardware, software and associated technologies to process data and achieves company’s business objectives. Some examples of information technologies include mobile computer devices such as PDAs as well as online banking software. Information technology can be thought of essentially as a way of implementation and management of computer information systems.
Information system is a computerized set of interrelated tools and procedures that collect and store data, and produce information.
Main function of the information system is transforming the data into meaningful information and as a result supporting the decision making process. An information system can be for instance collecting employees’ personal details, bank account details and the amount of hours worked and turning it into monthly payroll and tax payments. Another example is paying bills online where the information about payment request such as amount, date and account details is collected, processed and sent to the correct bank account.
3) The department chain you work for has had numerous complaints about slow customer service. Your colleague, a sales manager, informs you that this happened at a previous store she worked for, and it was cleared up by hiring more sales representatives. Should you take her advice? Why not? What techniques can you use in evaluating the problem?
The advice should not be taken, as it is a rush to judgment, which could mean that the wrong solution is used, wasting time and resources. You should ask the colleague to employ critical thinking. Critical thinking is sustained suspension of judgment with an awareness of multiple perspectives and alternatives. It involves at least four elements: • Maintaining doubt and suspending judgment
• Being aware of different perspectives
• Testing alternatives and letting experience guide
• Being aware of organizational and personal limitations
1) Identify the different types of systems used for the different levels of management in a business. * Senior management (ESS executive support systems)
* Middle management scientists and knowledge workers (MIS management information systems DSS decision-support systems KMS knowledge management systems) * Operational management production and service workers data workers (TPS transaction processing systems)
2) How can a good CRM system increase profits for a company? Cost reduction a strong point in Customer Relationship Management is that it is making the customer a partner in your business, not just a subject. As customers are doing their own order entry, and are empowered to find the info they need to come to a buy decision, less order entry and customer support staff is needed. More repeat business
the repeat business is coming from the delighted customers, who are turned from doubting clients into loyal advocates. More new business If you are delivering the ultimate customer experience, this will seed the word-of-mouth buzz, which will spawn more new business. 3) Define and give an example of a cross-functional business process within a firm. Cross functional business process is a specification may terminate in many different ways and some of those ways may involve failure. For example, the business process for handling delivery of goods into the warehouse may result in complete destruction of all received goods.
1) Value chain analysis is useful at the business level to highlight specific activities in the business where information systems are most likely to have a strategic impact. Discuss this model, identify the activities, and describe how the model can be applied to the concept of information technology.
The value chain model identifies specific, critical leverage points where a firm can use information technology most effectively to enhance its competitive positions. Exactly where can it obtain the greatest benefit from strategic information systems? What specific activities can be used to create new products and services, enhance market penetration, and lock in customers and suppliers, and lower operational costs? This model views the firm as a series or chain of basic activities that add a margin of value to a firm’s products or services. These activities can be categorized as either primary activities or support activities.
* Primary activities are most directly related to the production and distribution of the firm’s products and services that create value for the customer. Primary activities include: inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and marketing, and service. * Support activities make the delivery of the primary activities possible and consist of: organization infrastructure (administration and management), human resources (employee recruiting, hiring, and training, technology (improving products and the production process), and procurement (purchasing input).
2) Select a popular product or company that you are familiar with, such as Apple’s iPod. Apply Porter’s competitive forces model to that product and/or company. Which of the four generic strategies is the company using?
3) The text describes Michael Porter’s view of the Internet as somewhat negative. What negative influences does Porter see? Describe several positive influences the Internet has on business. Do these outweigh the negative influences?
Answers will vary. Following is an example of a possible answer:
Porter sees the Internet as creating ever more intense rivalry, through allowing new competitors to enter the market, and forcing competition on price alone, raising the bargaining power of customers, and dampening profits.
Positive influences of the Internet would be lowering telecommunications costs, creating new opportunities for building brands and loyal customer bases, lowering costs of globalization. You could also view Porter’s negative take on lowering the barrier to entry as a positive for new companies.
The Internet’s influence being negative or positive depends in part on the point of view from which the influence is being seen. For example, a telephone utility is impacted negatively by the emergence of Internet telephony, whereas other industries may be impacted positively either through the use of this technology or through engaging in Internet telephony as a business.
1) Describe the five major categories of IT infrastructure and provide an example of each.
* Data management—local area network
* IT services—Eberly IT support
2) List and describe the major trends in computer hardware. Which of these do you think will create the biggest changes in business information systems, and why?
I think the biggest change is smaller, because it could make the cost cheaper and it is convenient for customers to take outside.
3) Identify and describe some of the current trends in contemporary software platforms. * Growing use of Linux and open-source software. Open-source software is produced and maintained by a global community of programmers and is downloadable for free. Linux is a powerful, resilient open-source operating system that can run on multiple hardware platforms and is used widely to run Web servers. * Java is an operating system and hardware-independent programming language that is the leading interactive programming environment for the Web.
* Web services and service-oriented architecture. Software for enterprise integration includes enterprise applications and middleware such as enterprise application integration (EAI) software and Web services. Unlike EAI software, Web services are loosely coupled software components based on open Web standards that are not product-specific and can work with any application software and operating system. They can be used as components of Web-based applications linking the systems of two different organizations or to link disparate systems of a single company.
* New software techniques such as Ajax and RIA for enabling Web applications, and trends for combining Web applications to create new products (mashups). * New ways to think about Web applications, in the trend of Web 2.0, which emphasize services over packaged software, trusting users as co-developers, harnessing collective intelligence, using lightweight development methods.
* Software outsourcing. Companies are purchasing their new software applications from outside sources, including application software packages, by outsourcing custom application development to an external vendor (that may be offshore), or by renting software services from an application service provider.