Information Systems Basics Summary

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					Information Systems Summary
Chapter 1 (pg 1-26) – ―Setting The Scene‖
Peter Drucker’s three waves of knowledge creation:
   First wave – The application of knowledge to industrial tools and technologies Second wave – The application of knowledge to human endeavour Third wave – The application of knowledge to knowledge

Data, Information and knowledge
   Data – the raw inputs of information systems Information – processed or value-added data Knowledge – understanding what the information means or implies

What is a system?
  ―A collection of parts that work together to achieve some purpose‖ Two Types: o Natural system – the solar system o Human-made system – social security system

System Generalisations
       A system has a purpose or a function A system has a context or environment in which it has applicability A system has a boundary which marks the limits of its environment The removal of a single component of a system will cause the system to fail A system usually has inputs and outputs Complex systems usually have subsystems which in turn have subsystems of their own A component may belong to more than one system

What is an Information System?
      People Data/information Procedures Software Hardware Communications

History of Information Systems:
  Around for 6000 years Gave rise to development of written language, accountancy, taxation and banking

What is an Information System for?
   Remembering the past Handling the present Preparing for the future

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Ex. IS Function Remembering the past Handling the present Preparing for the future IS Task Analysing past transaction and purchasing patterns Recording current transaction patterns, automating payment and ordering mechanisms, effecting stock control Planning future inventory on the basis of statistical forecasts

Differences Between IS and IT:
   IS is about the ‗how?‘ and ‗why?‘ of systems while IT is about the ‗what?‘ questions of systems IT has to keep up with the changes in technology while IS holds less of this burden Movement from technical to transferable skills

Five Components of a Business System:
     Managerial processes Business Strategy Staff Information Systems Business Processes

Technology and Business Trends
  Advances in manufacturing technology reduce costs and reduce the sizes of firms in general SME's (small-medium enterprises) were able to enter the markets with the advent of the microprocessor and FMS (flexible manufacturing systems – computer-operated manufacturing tools that can carry out a much wider variety of processes compared to older, highly-specialised machinery)

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Manufacturing instructions and designs can be accepted in electronic form Small companies can accept and make small deliveries frequently and quickly, therefore allowing them to be able to use JIE (just-in-time) delivery as well as manufacturing strategies

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)
    Staff had to change their work patterns to suit the computers in the case of primitive computer technology Technological improvements allow businesses to examine their core processes and see how they can be improved such as shortening timelines or speeding cash flow The main goals are to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency Known as BPR

Business Pressures and Responses
Major Business Pressures
       Information overload Competition Hardware/software obsolescence Increasing customer power Globalisation Deregulation Regulation

Major Business Responses
        When presenting solutions to clients as an IS professional you should always sell the benefits instead of the product: Flexibility E-commerce Strategic alliances BPR Strategic information systems Quality Innovation

Why Study IS?
     Wide range of skills High pay Availability of jobs Satisfying and varied jobs Skills have a long shelf-life

Marketing Major
  Customer information needs to be analysed Ex. Hotel management systems – food systems, accounting systems and modelling software

Accounting and Finance Majors
  Data needs to be captured, manipulated, stored and audited Businesses need information systems to make financial business decisions by retrieving, analysing and modelling data

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    Requires skill requirement analysis and salary forecasting Information systems allow managers more time out the office to network with employees Operations managers can use information systems to monitor processes and products for quality and waste reduction Reordering of materials can be done through materials requirements planning (MRP) systems

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP):
     The modelling and forecasting capabilities of information systems can be used in other areas of business Techniques used in production management were extended to finance, marketing, accounting, etc. Integrating these functions into an enterprise-wide system is known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) An example of ERP software is SAP (System Anwedung Produkte) ERP suffers from teething problems so most analysts recommend BPR at the same time

Extra Notes:
Systems Thinking (ST) vs. Analytical Thinking:
  In ST the whole is primary and the parts are secondary In Analytical Thinking the parts are primary and the whole is secondary

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID):
   Wireless Tags which respond to a radio signal with a unique ID Uses of RFID: Supply Chain (Wal-Mart) and Welfare (Bluespan) Challenges: Costs, Privacy issues, Regulations

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Chapter 2 (pg 27-52) – ―Hardware Fundamentals and Trends‖
Measuring Memory Capacity and Processor Speeds:
 Computer memory capacity: Amount of data A ‗0‘ or ‗1‘ 1 alphanumeric character Half a double-spaced page of A4 500 pages of A4 500 000 pages of A4

Memory capacity and name 1 bit (binary digit) 1 byte (8 binary digits) 1 kilobyte, 1024 bytes (2 10) 1 megabyte, 1 048 576 bytes (2 10) 1 gigabyte, 1 073 741 824 (2 30) 

Computer speeds are defined in three ways: o Speed of the system clock – megahertz o The number of machine instructions processed per second – MIPS (millions of instructions per second) o Number-crunching ability – FLOPS (floating point operations per second)

History of the computer:
Generation 1 (1946 – 1959) – Valves – Transforming Business Processes:
    Reduced complex operations to a series of binary operations Switches came in the form of vacuum tubes These computers were unreliable and unsophisticated but were still more accurate and faster than humans One mainframe served an entire organisation

Generation 2 (1959 – 1964) – Transistors – Transforming Organisations:
      Vacuum tubes meant that older computers sometimes took up whole floors Transistors enabled the same processes to take place while using up much less power and space Transistors were more reliable and could be mass-produced As a result the price of computers fell More portable languages were made: COBOL, FORTRAN, BASIC and LISP meant that programmers could write programs on any computer they wanted Businesses were able to shed layers of middle management

Generation 3 (1965 – 1971) – Integrated Circuits – Transforming Markets:
   Silicon allowed many transistors to be printed on a very small area This could still be mass-produced and so while the speed of computers went up, the price went down Memory sizes also skyrocketed

Generation 4 (1971 – present) – Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) – Transforming Society:
  The microchip was developed and millions of transistors could be placed on the same piece of silicon The first PC was able to be developed and computers became affordable for the first time

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Types of computers in use:
     The most powerful and most expensive computers Used by the military and weather modelling 5 to 10 times faster than mainframes Speeds of around 10,000 MIPS and up to 8 million MIPS 8GB memory minimum

      First type of modern computer Highly centralised Serves large community of users Software is expensive and not very diverse Speeds 1000 to 5000 MIPS 4 to 16GB memory

     Basically smaller versions of a mainframe, about filing cabinet size Provide services to the small-medium community of users Software is cheaper and has a greater variety Speeds 200 to 500 MIPS 2 to 4GB memory

     Designed for single users Basically a powerful PC, regarded as having greater performance and functionality than a PC Used for high graphic operations such as in the film industry Speeds 100 to 200 MIPS 2 to 4GB memory

     Portable computers for single users Allowed businesses to become decentralised Perform more MIPS than workstations despite faster clock speed Internal memory (RAM) around 1 to 2GB Hard disk sizes tend to be in excess of 120GB

Handheld and Wearable Computers:
 Used mostly as access points to larger systems or to help individuals organise such as in the case of PDA‘s

Fat and Thin Clients:
    Thin clients are when a business uses stripped-down versions off a PC for its employees and the computers are joined together under one central computer Thin clients are cheap to replace and easier to upgrade since only the central computer need frequent upgrading Fat clients are when PCs require more processing power each and each PC is more powerful Fat clients are more expensive to upgrade as each machine needs to be replaced

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The Architecture of the Modern Computer (von Neumann Machine):
The System Unit:
        The heart of the computer is the CPU (central processing unit) which consists of a arithmetic and logic unit (ALU – performs mathematical and logical processing) and a control unit (CU – coordinates the processor‘s activities) and registers ALU: performs mathematical calculations and makes logical comparisons (IF X then Y) CU: sequentially accesses program instructions, decodes them, and controls the flow of data to and from ALU, registers, storage and various output devices. Registers: are high speed storage areas that store small amounts of data and instructions for short periods of time Memory is divided into read-only memory (ROM – cannot be accessed and holds the basic programs needed to run the computer and random access memory (RAM – holds programs so that they can be accessed by the processor) Secondary storage comes in the form of hard drives, CD‘s, DVD‘s, etc. and is not erased when the power is turned off unlike RAM The bus connects all the components to the motherboard The motherboard holds the processor and has expansion slots allowing other functions to be added to the computer

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How Programs Run:
    Programs consist of a machine cycle which in turn consists of an I cycle for instruction and an E cycle for execution I Cycle - Data & Instructions fetched from RAM (Storage) and loaded into Registers. Then instructions are decoded E Cycle - calculations & instructions performed on data and results stored Instructions and data are retrieved from RAM

More on PC System Components:
Input Devices:
   Include mouse, keyboard and other specialised input devices Examples include bar code and magnetic readers, stylus on handheld computers, peripheral input such as webcams scanners and printers QWERTY keyboard was intended to prevent key jamming by placing most frequently used keys as far apart as possible

   Two main varieties: o Complex Instruction-Set Chip (CISC) o Reduced Instruction-Set Chip (RISC) CISC – Literally hundreds of instructions capable of being performed, is general-purpose RISC – Able to replace complicated instructions in terms of a number of simple instructions, usually outperforms CISC

Faster Computers:
    Making computers faster has always been an obsession New materials (gallium arsenide, plastic) to replace silicon New architectures (parallel machines) – Grid computing New technology such as quantum computing

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Output Devices:
        Either hard copy or soft copy Hard copy involves a printing process Soft copy devices are display screens and monitors Soft copy uses: o Cathode-ray tubes (CRT) o Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) With soft copy screen clarity, resolution and refresh rate are all important Pixels make up display of screen Refresh rate is the number of times per second the display is updated Higher refresh rate, less the image appears to flicker

Primary Storage:
ROM (Read Only Memory):
    Holds its content even when the power if off Cannot be altered but only read Holds basic instructions There are also such things as programmable read-only memory (PROM) and erasable programmable read-only memory

RAM (Random Access Memory):
   Volatile because the content is erased if the power is cut RAM is kept closest to the processor as possible to guarantee good performance RAM comes in two types: DDR and SDRAM – SDRAM is much faster for only a small increase in cost

  high-speed memory for temporary storage of often used data Subsequent requests result in the cache being searched first - if the required data is there no action is required –else need to retrieve

Secondary Storage:
Magnetic Tape:
  Very old way of storage Is very cheap to store large amounts of data this way

Magnetic Disks:
   Floppy disks are used mainly to back up computers They are slow and can be damaged by wear and tear Some companies replicate disks and scatter them over a network so that the impact of disk failure is lessened and so that the data is easier to access

Optical Disks:
  CD‘s have slow retrieval and writing speeds but they are a cheap way to store lots of data DVD‘s can hold much more than CD‘s but are less cost effective as writers cost much more

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Flash Memory:
   These are hybrids of primary and secondary storage Microchips are used to store data in a stable format Flask disks are very fast but more expensive than other forms of secondary storage

Moore’s Law:
  ―The amount of information storable on a square inch of silicone would double about every 18 months‖ This means a processor‘s power doubles every three to four years

Organic Displays:
  Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDS) will eventually replace the cathode-ray tubes used in PC‘s and liquid crystal displays used in laptops OLEDS use less power and the displays are less than 2mm thick

How To Buy A PC:
             Analyse your needs Choose software that will support your needs Identify potential hardware configurations that will support your software Produce a shortlist of possible computers Decide on your preferred platform Review your options Select manufacturers/suppliers and obtain quotations for your chosen platform Select one or two suppliers and negotiate the price In making your final decision, remember to take into account warranties and user support. Do not be influenced by 'bundling' (the practice of putting together a total package of hardware, software, games, desk, printer and scanner). Often much of the 'bundle' is of limited use to the buyer and only serves to increase the overall price Be aware of consumer law, and don't sign any document that asks you to relinquish any rights Beware of dealer-arranged financing — this comes at a cost. In some countries the law makes a distinction between hire purchase and a credit sale

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Chapter 3 (pg 53–85) – ―Business Software‖
History of software:
Jacques de Vaucanson:
     The earliest developer of software Produced lifelike flute player in 1738 Developed a fully automatic weaving loom which allowed intricate patterns in 1745 Loom needed no skilled operator Loom used punched cards that could only be used on Vaucanson loom

Joseph Marie Jacquard:
 Produced a general purpose attachment that could be fitted to any loom

Charles Babbage:
   Designed a difference engine (mechanical calculator) Used to improve military effectiveness by calculations for accurate navigation and ballistics Consisted of four units: o Input o Processing o Storage o Output Three types of punched cards: o Constant: for constant value o Variable: for variables and transporting values o Control: control mill operations


Computer Languages:
First Generation Languages:
   Used in the early days of computing Codes were entered in the form of binary digits or machine code Each machine was different and required specialised knowledge as a result

Second Generation Languages:
   Assembly languages emerged Made use of mnemonic codes like ADD These codes were easier to transfer from one machine to another

Third Generation Languages:
    Higher level languages emerged which is as similar as possible to natural language These languages had to be portable so they could be fit to any computer irrespective of its architecture Three main languages of the era: FORTRAN (FORmula TRANSlator), COBOL (COmmon Business Orientated Language) and LISP (LISt Processing language) All these relied on compile technology which translates the languages into something the computers could understand

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Compilers are still machine-dependent so interpreters can be used that are more flexible but slower Lead to the software crisis where the demand for software increased dramatically while the increase in programmers couldn‘t keep up The solutions to the software crisis were: o To simplify programming o To reuse software by making it more portable o Develop new ways of programming i.e. customisable software

Fourth Generation Languages:
  Query orientated, the user only needs to state what is required and the computer sorts it out These are closer to natural language and are known as non-procedural languages

Fifth Generation Languages:
  Has not arrived yet Will use natural language and speech recognition

The Software Crisis:
   Demand for software increased exponentially Supply of computer programmers increased linearly Several Solutions: o Simplifying programming  Object-Orientated programming (OOP) o Reusing Software  Modular in structure o Developing new Paradigms  Inbuilt languages for example

Types of Software:
Applications Software
     Software that does something useful for users Either specialised (vertical software), or general-purpose (horizontal software) Customisable software has traits from both vertical and horizontal software where high-quality but flexible software can be made Horizontal software is usually bought off the shelf and do not require technical staff The most important part of choosing software for a business is the return on investment (ROI)

Systems Software
    Divided into two categories: operating system and user interface Operating system handles the resources of the computer such as the processor and RAM as well as peripheral devices User interface software deals with screensavers, graphical user interfaces (GUI‘s) and file management Three levels of scope: o Personal – For individual desktop use o Work Group – To support a small community of users o Corporate – To support a large organisation Good example is UNIX: developed as a teaching tool, became commercially exploited because the source code was sold along with the package Open Systems: are systems which are compatible and for which anyone may develop software

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Communications Software
 Communications software has moved through the following phases in the last 25 years: o Stand-alone applications  Independent software not linked to any other computer o Networked applications  Software that can make use of a network provided the user knows its features o Network-friendly application  Software that can use a network to share information in a user-friendly way o Network-intrinsic applications  Software made specifically for networks Many software developers ignored this area due to its specialised nature Helped secure a competitive advantage over later entries into the marketplace Exerting a strong influence on the development of systems software

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The Step-Lock Cycle:
   Hardware manufacturers make faster computers so software manufacturers make more demanding software to take advantage of the increase in power Hardware manufacturers then make even faster computers and the process repeats itself This increases the total cost of ownership since businesses are forced to upgrade regularly and at considerable expense

Common Horizontal Applications Software:  Rules: o o o Types: o o o Reduce complexity Reduce diversity Automate Routine Functions Electronic mail and Browser Software Document Management Project Management and Scheduling



Evaluating: o Packages should not stand alone o Use a well-supported and widely used product o Can it be used by everyone? o Is it cheaper to have a site licence or individual copies of the software? o Is it the first release of the software? o Will users require training? Costs? o Evaluate functionality and ease of use

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Packaged, Customisable and Custom-Built Software:
Packaged Software Strategic/tactical advantage Management and maintenance costs and effort Specialisation Cost Cost and effort of upgrade Range of functionality Dependency on third parties Low Low Low Low Low High High Customisable Software Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Custom-Built Software High High High High High Low Low

Intelligence Agents (IA’s):
 Should have at least five of the following characteristics: Explanation IA‘s are dedicated to particular tasks of a repetitious and often complex nature IA‘s act independently and, if dealing with other AI‘s, cooperatively with a minimum amount of inconvenience to their initiators IA‘s should be portable across hardware, software and networks IA‘s make decisions based on supplied or learned rules. Some may exhibit a high degree of ‗initiative‘ and the ability to handle requests which are incomplete or ill defined or which contain an error Very few AI‘s really learn to modify their behaviour, but some are able to note user preferences and conform within certain predefined limits Users should be able to have confidence in the results which IA‘s produce This applies to most software but is particularly important in AI‘s given the productivity gains they bring

Characteristic Specialisation Independence Portability Intelligence Adaptability Credibility Friendliness


IA‘s can improve personal and corporate productivity in the following ways: o Reduce the burden of e-mail by separating junk mail o Finding and managing information by sorting and categorising it o Finding/negotiating the best price can be done through AI‘s that compare online offers o User interfaces o Package-specific agents automatically repeat steps that would otherwise take a long time to do individually o The routine and tedious tasks of software development are also aided by IA‘s

Intelligent Agent Applications:       Reducing the Burden of email Finding and Managing Information Finding/Negotiating the best price User Interface Package-Specific Agents Software Development

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Open Source vs. Proprietary Software:
   De facto standards o Established by a dominant market player e.g. Windows is a de facto standard De jure standards o These standards have been ratified by a legal or official standards body e.g. the standards in interpreting HTML De rigeur standards o Mandatory for reasons that aren‘t covered by de facto or de jure standards

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Chapter 4 (pg 86-113) – ―Business Information Systems‖
Relationship between Management Levels, Data and Tasks:
Level in organisation Executive – highly unstructured activities using abstract information Senior management – loosely structured tasks using condensed information Line management – summarised data, fairly structured tasks Operative level, no summarised data, highly structured tasks Data hierarchy position Wisdom (why?) Knowledge (how?) Information (what?) Data (what?) Scope of tasks Being able to apply knowledge Understanding the meaning of information Data processed in such a way as to reveal previously obscure trends Raw, unprocessed entries Example Planning to abandon an unprofitable line and introduce a new one Analyse the trends to show a particular line is not profitable Summarised quarterly data expressed in chart form Cash entries into a spreadsheet relating to a sales line

Transaction Processing Systems (TPS):
Analysing transaction volumes and patterns allows managers to build and manage appropriate business systems, but more importantly, this information can be used to devise effective market strategies and to integrate them manufacture and distribution.     Need to be quick, secure and reliable Expected to operate all the time Problems may arise when accessing system via internet (heavy demand reduce performance) All TPS need good database management and accessibility

Batch Systems:
   Collect and store transaction details for later processing No need for immediacy or high performance Ex. The way banks deal with deposited cheques

Real-Time Systems:
   These process transactions as soon as they are received There is a much greater need for high performance and so the hardware and software will be more expensive Ex. Sabre by American Airlines

Types of TPS:
 Point-of-Sales (POS) Systems o Checkout operator scans the product code o System obtains the price of the good from the database o The above is repeated until all the goods are accounted for and a receipt is printed o Details of the transaction are held temporarily for use with coupons, loyalty cards, frequent flyer cards, etc.

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o o 

For not-cash transactions, the card is verified and payment is requested Once the transaction is made, the temporary information is made permanent

Order-Entry Systems o Very much the same as POS systems but used to order goods such as pizzas or services such as magazine subscriptions o These systems require customers to be registered with an address, credit details, contact details, etc. o Operation can be real-time or batch depending on the application since order-entry systems have a much higher potential for error than POS systems Reservation Systems o Can be accessed via the internet by individuals instead of only agents or reservation agents as was the case before General Ledger Systems o These are accounting systems and tie together other TPS systems



  ‗A database is a logically related collection or organised data‘ Databases also include database management systems (DBMS) that look after the following: o Data storage and retrieval o Transaction/update indivisibility o User authentication and security o Reducing redundant data to a minimum o Metadata management (data about data)

Methods of Data Organisation:   Hierarchical database o Smaller elements depend on one larger element Network database o More flexible than a hierarchical database because each element can depend on many others o It is quite complicated so not ideal for complex applications Relational database o More modern and flexible than the other types o Data is organised in a set of relation tables


Management Information Systems:
Management Reporting System (MRS):
   These support managers who are concerned with operations and the effective use of internal resources For these logistical processes ERP is required to enable various functions to be carried out Types of report: o Summaries – high level management and usually statistical o Exception reports – all levels of management are included in these reports which explain anomalies or exceptions o Detail reports – lower levels and only sometimes upper levels are given these reports that tend to be at operation level

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Reports can be given at fixed intervals, after certain events or even once-off o Three Categories:  Scheduled:  At Fixed intervals  Format and content usually determined in advance  Support managerial decision-making  Event-Driven:  Generated when an expected event or problem arises  Ad Hoc:  Once-off queries

Decision Support software (DSS):
    Can use data from external systems Uses information from the past to check profitability or future trends These can also be used to work out staff rosters and to see how a company will cope with the loss of an employee Group Decision Support System (GDSS)

Expert Systems (ES):
   These mimic the expertise of humans in a specific field They can improve decision-making or make decisions themselves Three Components: o Interface: make system easy to use o Inference engine: uses the knowledge base to answer a query o Knowledge base: Where facts and rules concerning the domain of expertise are stored

Executive Information System (EIS):
    Resembles a DSS but emphasises data synthesis, display and trends as opposed to modelling EIS‘s make use of ‗hard‘ (reliable) and ‗soft‘ (speculative) information They are flexible to allow for the unstructured tasks of an executive Fairly slow because they have to deal with relationship databases that can‘t handle complex queries too well

   Divided into two main categories: synchronous and asynchronous It can also be local or remote Synchronous means that parties communicate at the same time while asynchronous means the opposite

  Documents need to be organised and filtered Usually a database/web-type technology

  Groupware provides templates for creating new documents This provides consistency and rapid development

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  Shared information needs to be managed Certain functions need to be restricted to a few employees

Problems with Groupware:
    Information overload – the ease in which information can be shared means that overloads are possible Inappropriate sharing of information – jokes, unauthorised material, etc. Time wasting – since it is easier to organise meetings there will be more of them and many might be unnecessary Human factors – resistance to changes in the workplace

Groupware and Knowledge Management:
    Explicit knowledge is procedural information that can be codified Explicit knowledge is a formal expression of corporate culture Tacit knowledge is personal knowledge Tacit knowledge makes use of formal and informal networks and structures

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Chapter 5 (pg 114-148) – Communications and Networks
Digital and Analogue Information:
Analogue communications Consists of more than one frequency Prone to error Costly and complicated Slow Inefficient use of bandwidth Digital Communications Usually consists of one frequency Relatively error-free Cheap and simple Fast Efficient use of bandwidth

Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication:
 
Most local area networks do not support synchronous communication Switches in LAN‘s can support synchronous communication: o Simplex – data flows in one direction (TV) o Half duplex – data can flow in either direction but only one direction at a time (walkietalkies) o Full duplex – data can flow in both directions at the same time

Communication Modes:
   Simplex: Data/information flows only in one direction. Ex. Television Half Duplex: Data/information can flow in both directions but only one direction at a time Full Duplex: Data/information can flow in both directions at the same time

Circuit and Packet Switching:
      Circuit switching works the same was as a telephone – data is transmitted until the connection is eventually closed Circuit switching can, however, cause delays to other users like a telephone Packet switching breaks messages down into components and sends them through a network Packet switching prevents delays but does not support synchronous communication Fast circuit switching has the best of both worlds by establishing a connection for each packet sent The access time between each packet is so low that it is received almost as one long connection thus allowing for synchronous communication

Communications Media:
Hardwire and Softwire:   Hardwire comes in the form of physical connections such as cables and wires Softwire relates to microwaves, infrared or any other wireless connection
Softwire Set-up costs are high Low ongoing management costs Very flexible and mobile Fairly developed standards with slightly lower but improving speeds

Hardwire Set-up costs are low High ongoing management costs Not flexible, no mobility Good standards and high speeds because hardwire forms are well established

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Electrical, Radio and Optical Media:
Electrical Media:
  Electrical media include telephones, twisted pair and coaxial cable All electrical media are prone to interference or induced currents

  Radio includes microwave communications as well as radio and TV broadcasts Is also prone to interference and can be a security hazard

    Could be softwire or could also be hardwire in the form of optical cables These do not suffer from interference Can lose signal at fibre joints Optical fibres come in two forms: o Multimode fibres  These use total internal reflection to send signals and can use LED‘s as a light source  They are cheaper than monomode fibres and are usually used in distances of less than 5km  They can deliver at least 150 Mbps o Monomode fibres  These have a much smaller diameter  They are so narrow that they approach the physical wavelength of light  They are very expensive and use lasers as a source of light  They are used for long-haul communications links  They have a much higher carrying capacity than multimode fibres  Bandwidth of greater than 5 Gbps and can reach as much as 10 Gbps using a technique called dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM)

Comparison of common communications media: Network Typical Speed Typical Distance Error Rate Security Cost

Hardwire Medium
Twisted Pair Coaxial Cable Optical Fibre LAN LAN Backbone Any 100 Mbps 150 Mbps 100 Mbps – 160 Gbps 100 m 500 m Up to 40 km Low Low Extremely Low Average Average Excellent Low Moderate Very High

Softwire Medium
Radio Infra-red Microwave Satellite LAN LAN Backbone WAN WAN ~10 Mbps 16 Mbps 4-32 Mbps Up to 8 Mbps <500 m <100 m <30 km Very Long Moderate Moderate Low – Moderate Low – Moderate Poor Poor Poor Poor Low Low Moderate Moderate

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Computer Networks:
Personal area network (PAN) Emphasis Speed Protocol Distances Peripheral interconnection Low to high Simple and efficient Very short Local area network (LAN) Resource sharing High Simple and efficient Short Backbone network (BN) Interconnection Very high Simple and efficient Campus scale Metropolitan area network (MAN) Interconnection Very high Simple and efficient Metropolitan scale Wide area network (WAN) Communication Slow Complex and slow Long

Other Networks:     Cellular Communication Systems Bluetooth Wireless Networking Pervasive networking

Types of Cabling:
  Twisted pair o The most widely used form of cabling in a LAN Coaxial cable o Similar to the cable used for TV o Supports higher speeds and longer distances but is expensive o Often used for network backbones o Advances in twisted pair cabling and optical fibres are making coaxial cables obsolete for LAN‘s Optical fibre o Most expensive and reliable medium o Uses light and is immune to interference o Secure and very quick


Interconnection Devices:
Hubs and Switches:
   Connect devices to LAN‘s Hubs may be hardwire or softwire Switches can handle more communications at a time and allows for synchronous communication

   It takes at least three satellites to be able to provide world coverage The ‗Clarke‘ orbit is at a distance of 35 680km above the equator Approximately 150 satellites can be accommodated by the Clarke orbit (also called geosynchronous earth orbit – GEO)

Page 22



 

Advantages: o Can carry huge amounts of data o Costs remain the same irrespective of the amount of users o National boundaries and control are hard to apply to satellites o Errors occur on a random basis and can be handled o Users can be highly mobile Disadvantages o Too much delay for telephones o Transmissions not secure as they can be received by anyone in the footprint area o Satellites cannot generate much electrical power because of launch payload restrictions o Atmospheric conditions can cause interference o Can be costly Medium earth orbit (MEO) can also be used at 9600km and are cheaper and have less delay Low earth orbits (LEO) also exist at about 1600km

The Internet:
Internet Access:
  Digital subscriber loops (DSL) are used in homes and do not involve the phone connection Asymmetric digital subscriber loops (ADSL) use different frequencies from those allocated to be used by the phone

 Intranets are privately owned and controlled internets that remove the problems that firms have with the external internet

  Extranets form links between a company and suppliers/customers These improve the delivery of information from the company to its suppliers and customers

Network Security:
  Firewalls give limited protection against viruses and DOS attacks but do restrict unauthorised access There are two types of firewall: packet level and application o Packet level firewall  These inspect the source and destination IP addresses of outgoing and incoming data packets  Only those with an acceptable address are allowed through  There is no time to inspect the contents of every packet as this would cause processing delays o Application level firewalls  These exist for each mission-critical application  These firewalls inspect the contents of the packets entering and leaving their specific application These do not eliminate hacking altogether so intruder detection systems (IDS) are also needed


Page 23

Chapter 6 (pg 149-177) – ―Systems Integration: IS at Work‖
Information Systems Management:
Centralised IS Organisation:
     Eliminates duplication Less expenditure on hardware and personnel Easy to control processes It is difficult to respond quickly to the needs of clients As personnel move further away from the structure, costs tend to increase

Distributed IS Organisation:
    The organisation is spread out between divisions with each division having its own form of each management Control is closer to the client so there is a quicker response time Divisions have their own hardware, software and staff which means extra costs Now have Divisional information officers (DIO‘s) who may report to division managers or Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Hybrid IS Organisation:
   Mixed structure Systems development devolved to the divisions Live systems managed centrally

Funding IS Functions:
Unallocated Cost Centre:
   Here the IS manager receives a once-off budget at the start of the year IS is considered an organisational cost Budget allocation can be difficult if there are other competing requests

Allocated Cost Centre:
  Where a cost is allocated to different internal services When costs get too high then precautions can be taken against it

Profit Centre:
  No distinction between internal and external services Users can choose who will do there is work on their behalf and can even outsource there is work

IS Job Descriptions:
What IS Professionals should have:
  A working knowledge of basic business disciplines and processes Basic computer literacy

Page 24

   

Ability to identify information requirements Ability to outline design requirements &/or specify system requirements Ability to program in 3 rd or 4th generation software product Experience in using software development tool

Chief Information Officer (CIO):
  It is important that this position hold enough status Jobs include leadership, planning, staff negotiation and motivation as well as a few finance jobs

Systems Manager/Operations Manager:
  Responsible for the day-to-day running of an IS division from a hardware perspective Involves: all operational policies and procedures, service-level agreements, maintenance and backup, monitoring and budgeting in some cases

Database Administrator:
  Establishes data requirements for projects and applications Also sets up data securities and converts business rules into data constraints

Network Administrator/Manager:
   Responsible for LAN‘s and WAN‘s Organises staff and plans for networks Paid better than most other managerial positions in IS and requires a high level of technical knowledge

Solutions Architect:
   Involves good business skills with a technical background Finds out information and knowledge requirements throughout an organisation and then works out solutions Relatively new job title

Project Architect/Applications Development Manager:
  Makes sure nobody makes duplicate products and wastes resources Enforces hardware and software standards

Project Manager:
 Makes sure projects reach deadlines within budget and according to corporate standards and user requirements

Web Manager/Administrator:
  Integrates web resources Works with the DBA and network administrator to make sure the systems are safe and secure

Systems Analyst/Business Analyst:
  Involved in every aspect of a system development cycle except for the programming Translates business requirements into system requirements


Page 25

 

Produce software No business qualifications necessary

Chief Technology Officer (CTO):
 Keeps abreast of technology in the market

Training Officer:
 Trains IS professionals

Advantages:      
Potential to reduce costs Consolidation of the IS division Reduces staff fluctuations Reduces dependency on key personnel Allows management to focus on business rather than technical issues Improved reliability

      Removes system knowledge from the business Staff might have to be retrenched It could be difficult to use information strategically Ties the company to the service provider It could increase costs in some cases Prevents enterprise-wide IS

What to consider when Outsourcing:            Track record of the provider Does application have high strategic value Nature of relationship between the organisation and provider Flexibility of the contract How the service is monitored Pricing structure Investment position Does application vary substantially in load and throughput Is the area where it is difficult to attract and retain staff Privacy, security and intellectual copyright Diversity

Islands of Information and Propriety Systems:
 The following lead to islands of information (corporate information not available to the rest of the organisation): o Old, mainframe-based transaction processing systems using propriety systems software and non-relational databases o Old MIS applications o Online applications that use divisional or departmental client-server LAN‘s o New applications running on open source platforms Islands of automation can also form if some systems are automated while others are not


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Open Systems:
    Can be connected to other standard components easily Can exchange data easily They are hardware-platform independent Use internationally recognised standards other than proprietary ones

Legacy Systems:
  Impair a company‘s ability to change application functionality without changing the IS infrastructure There are three ways to get around it: o Forward engineering  Processes can be re-engineered and the legacy system can be replaced by a newer one o Reverse engineering  The behaviour of the system is used to derive a new set of requirements  The requirements are used to design an optimised system which replaces the legacy system o Wrapper engineering  Wraps legacy systems in newer, friendlier systems  Is more cost-effective

Systems Integration:
External Integration:
 Interconnectivity between business partners‘ systems as in extranets

Internal Integration:
   Integrates the web-based systems with the company‘s core applications systems Core applications are also integrated Ex. Intranets

Infrastructure Integration:
  Integration of IS infrastructure and applications Also includes the integration of infrastructure components

Extended ERP (EERP) Systems:
  An EERP is and ERP that incorporates electronic commerce functionality Typically costs millions of dollars

ERP and SME’s:
  ERP‘s are too expensive for SME‘s SME‘s can outsource and enable them to have access to ERP software

Page 27

Chapter 7 (pg 178-212) – ―Introduction to Systems Development‖
Systems Development:
Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC):
  A structured framework for developing information systems Consists of the flowing main phases: o Analysis  Gathers information about current and proposed systems  Uses modelling techniques o Design  A new system is designed in detail  Specifies all components of the system o Implementation  System is constructed and put in place  Software is written or set up o Maintenance  Resources must be set aside for changes in the system

Problems with informal approach to SD: Problems Completed system is not what people want Customers do not use the system Conflict in development Resources are wasted Poor motivation and low morale System does not produce right information System is not finished in time Developers get bad reputation. Maintenance is difficult Possible Causes Requirements of users were not properly gathered Users were not involved in the development process Benefits of the system are not stressed Team management is poor Team members are not working together and do not share work Requirements were not gathered or were not checked Developers were inefficient and do not use timesaving methods Poor communication with user management, lack of documentation on the system

Skills Required by Systems Analysts:
Communication and Interpersonal Skills:
 Systems analysts need to write reports, e-mails and letters as well as to be able to market ideas well by presenting them confidently

Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills:
  Must be skilled in analysing and solving problems Requires creative thinking

Technical Skills:
 Require an understanding of technical issues in order to make sound recommendations

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Tasks Involved in Each Stage of Systems Development:
Information Systems Planning:
 Includes directions in terms of technology, staff, networks and software

Feasibility Phase:
  Determines whether the proposal is a worthwhile one Problems are identified and benefits are assessed

Analysis Phase:
  

Strengths and weaknesses of the new system are analysed Can be used to research systems in other organisations and to justify expenses Common problems: o Lack of information: difficult to make decisions o Inaccurate data: customers complain about invoices o Inappropriate level of information: reports are not used o Too slow in producing information: complaints about delivery times o Expensive information: do not know how to query database effectively

Requirements Phase:
   Define the requirements for the new system Involves a lot of information gathering in the form of process models and data models A software engineering tool can be used to document the system

The Role of Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE):
 Advantages: o Improve the quality of the system documentation o Improve the quality of the completed system o Improve communication between analysts o Improve the maintainability of the system o Can potentially speed up the development process

Alternative Solutions Phase:
 Several options are proposed instead of one

Design Phase:
  All aspects of the proposed system will have to be designed Activities: o Software and hardware acquisition o Database and file design o Network design o Input design o Output design o Interface design o Software or program design o Design of methods, procedures and controls

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Hardware and Software Acquisition:
  Will take considerable effort if there is to be a substantial investment in technology Warranty agreements, price and quality all have to be taken into account

   The system is built and tested and then handed over This takes the most time out of all the phases There are a number of major tasks that must be completed: o Altering rooms and buildings o Coding programs o Testing programs o Installing hardware o Systems software set-up o Installing applications software o Installing the network o Database set-up o Keying data into database o Further testing o Security measures o Training staff o Updating documentation o Handing over the system o Reviewing the system

   Computer-aided mistakes can have severe consequences Minimises the number of errors appearing in a system It is an ongoing task

Systems Conversion:
  Processing is transferred from the old system to the new one There are several ways in which this can happen: o Direct conversion  On a set date, the old system is removed and the new one is installed o Parallel conversion  Both systems run for a while o Pilot conversion  The system is tested in one location before other are converted o Phased conversion  Subsystems are implemented one at a time o Evolutionary conversion  The system evolves in small increments

 Can be divided into two categories: o Correcting the system  Errors have been detected but have been left to a later date for correction o Detecting errors when the system has been running for a while  Problems that aren‘t critical are logged and attended to in batches  Critical problems are attended to as soon as possible

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Information Gathering:
         Analysing company documentation Analysing forms, files and database records Visiting other organisations Researching magazines and journals Observing the systems in action Questionnaires Interviews Informal conversations with users Joint application design (JAD) o These take place in the form of intensive workshops with key personnel and a skilled facilitator

Systems Modelling:
Data Modelling:


Form the early stages of database design

Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD)

Shows the relationship between data within a business

Process Modelling:
   Makes the use of data flow diagrams Used to model existing and proposed systems Reports as a form of communication have been partially replaced by diagrams

Data Dictionary Entries:
Decision Tables:
   These are methods that describe process logic These are used when the process is complicated enough to warrant a table to explain The stages of development are: o Identify the conditions o Identify the rules and their values o Specify the actions o Identify the actions that are as a result of a combination of conditions

Structured English:
   Can be used to define business procedures Structured English and decision tables are complimentary Uses terms, file and attribute names to describe high-level logic

Systems Development Methodologies:
Information Engineering:
 Takes a data-driven approach

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Object-Oriented Methodology:
   


Data models and data modelling are at the heart of the system as a whole

Process and data orientated Objects can be developed and reused without worrying about the internal structure Classes can be assigned that hold specific data about an object Advantages: o Objects can be reused (duplicated) and retain their code o Systems are more reliable o Consistent developing procedures o Flexibility is improved and complexity is reduced as basic objects can be used like building blocks o Objects are based on features of the business that aren‘t likely to change rapidly

   Involves the development of a small-scale working model or a simulation of a product Used to define requirements and/or try out designs There are four types of prototyping: o Feasibility prototyping  Used to test the feasibility of a specific technology o Requirements prototyping  Used to define users‘ requirements  Encourages interaction between users and developers o Design prototyping  The user interface is developed and shown to users  The users then provide feedback to the developers o Implementation prototyping  A mini system that wouldn‘t include certain features such as security or editing

Raid Application Development:
  Used to speed up the development process Combines prototyping, CASE and JAD in a cycle until the users are satisfied

Software Systems Methodology(SSM):
  Consists of ‗rich pictures‘ which are sketches drawn by the user incorporating things like concerns, challenges, issues, politics and competition These are used to promote open discussion

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Chapter 8 (pg 213-235) – ―Strategic IS Management‖
  A strategy is a plan for achieving medium and long-term goals Defines the goals of the business

Corporate-Level Strategy:
  Developed by senior members of a business Covers new business decisions, closing of operations and allocation of resources

Business-Level Strategy:
  Apples to organisations with semiautonomous businesses operating independently These businesses need to develop their own systems

Functional-Level Strategy:
  Concerned with the likes of marketing, IS and finance Can provide the competitive edge

Strategic Analysis Approaches:
Competitive Analysis:
 Porter‘s Competitive Forces Model: o New entrants  Company may have to lower its prices to deter new entrants o Increased bargaining power of buyers  The company must investigate and try to develop loyal customers o Increased bargaining power of suppliers  Suppliers may increase their price or reduce quality o Threat of other industries offering substitutes o Rivalry between competing sellers SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)


Information Architecture:
  Management information system (MIS) should develop its own strategic plan The goals of the plan must be to develop information architecture that provides the best return for the company

Business Process Re-engineering(BPR):
 The fundamental rethinking and redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance

Value Chain Analysis:
   Inputs are brought into the organisation The inputs are processed to increase their value Outputs are sold from the company

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Benefit Savings in IS/IT Reason  Reduces staffing levels  Reduces IS/IT training levels  Reduces IS/IT recruitment costs  Saves of hardware and software Easier to determine budget and, therefore, to plan Management is free to focus on other areas of business External agency is the expert IT/IS is the core business of the external agency Internal staff may learn from the external agency

Better planning Better decision-making Access better skills Access better hardware and software Knowledge transfer

Strategies for Creating a Dynamic Environment:
Organisational feature Structure Defining features Traditional company Hierarchy and bureaucracy  Optimising existing processes  Slow and methodical  Conflict covered up  Clear boundaries between functions  Knowledge ‗silos‘  Computers play support role Product and structure define company  Precision and certainty  Avoid risk  Centralised decision making and ideas Dynamic company Dispersed personnel and outsourcing  Innovation – create new processes  Speed as a competitive edge  Openness  Few boundaries, knowledge sharing  Networks and alliances  Computer systems and networks essential Service and innovation define company    Live with uncertainty Take risks Decentralised decision making – ideas come from anywhere

Boundary role

Business approach Decision making

Page 34

Chapter 9 (pg 236-258) – ―Managing the IS Function‖
Managing People and Relationships in the IS Function:
Responsibility of Management:
  Must take responsibility and be proactive Decisions must be made

Development of Boundary Roles:
 Departments must have different interfaces for customers and other departments

Development and Use of Communications Systems:
 Communications systems must be developed to foster relationships between IS staff, users, customers and suppliers

Create and Maintain an Effective Working Environment:
 Keep an open and transparent management style

Managing IS Professionals:
  Acquiring and training effective staff is important Regular performance reviews are required

Managing Internal and External Relationships:
 IS management must manage relationships between the IS department and other departments

The Role of Power, Politics and Culture in IS:
   Usually as a result of user resistance ‗Those activities within organisations to acquire, develop and use power and other resources to obtain one‘s preferred outcomes in a situation where there is dissension or uncertainty about choices‘ Politics of IS: o High organisational turbulence  New leaders not supportive of projects o Slow provision of funding  Budgets are only given once a year and don‘t allow for flexibility o Protection of turf  Each department wants its own power base o Prevalence of politics  Staff might feel threatened if their roles overlap with the roles of a system


Page 35

 

Managing Information Systems operations:

‗The shared values and norms that exist in an organisation which involve common beliefs and feelings, regularities of behaviour and a historical process for transmitting values and norms‘ Can have a positive effect on organisational effectiveness when it supports organisational goals


Operational management involves monitoring all aspects of IS performance: o Data quality o Response times o Network and server reliability o Hardware reliability o Licensing agreements o Web access performance o Security issues If operational management enforce standards then the benefits are: o Reduced support costs o Manageable system complexity o Reduced training costs o Bulk purchase discounts o Expertise is built up more easily

Information Systems Continuity Planning and Security Management:
Risk Analysis:
  Levels of security rely on the risk involved in losing certain forms of data System designers must assess where the main threats to data are and in what form they will come

Physical Security:
  Involves protecting hardware, monitoring buildings and making back-ups Systems should also be protected against power surges and there should be adequate means to reboot a system

Software Security:
   Network security o Firewalls are needed to protect networks Management of virus attacks o A virus-scanning program must be installed and updated Authentication o Deals with proving the identity of a person o There are a few types of threats to these systems:  Poorly trained staff can disconnect equipment or delete important files  Suppliers of customers may have access to the system through the internet  Hackers or crackers gaining unauthorized access  Criminals gaining access to the systems for personal profit

Managing Projects and Development Teams:
Senior Executive Support:
   Companies need blanket decisions Executives are involved in the creation of strategy Communication between team members is maintained

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Assessing the Organisation’s Requirements:
  Projects require a clearly defined strategy Some expected benefits are not forthcoming because the expectations of the system wasn‘t clearly stated enough

Defining the Scope of the Project:
  Tem members need to be clear about the magnitude of the project Feasibility assessments must be made

Assessing the Most Worthwhile Projects:
 Focussing on projects with a high return on investment gives more benefits which in turn allow for more impetus to guide the company forward in developing other applications

Be Wary of Changing Requirements:
 The scope of the project must not increase until resources are used up or until the target becomes unfeasible

Blending Team Member Skills:
  Team members must compliment each other Communication skills must be developed

Setting Realistic Targets:
  Managers mustn‘t give unrealistic targets for projects so that they get the go-ahead In these cases the project is doomed from the start

Monitoring Project Progress:
Using Charts in Project Management:
 Gantt charts o Form of bar chart that shows the activities of a project and the amount of time each one will take o The tasks are then listed in their intended order of completion Program evaluation and review technique (PERT) o Shows which projects depend on each other unlike the Gantt chart o Earliest and latest completion times are shown and are based on previous project times


Page 37

The Capability Maturity Model for Software:
Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for Software:
  Used to judge the sophistication or maturity of the software process of an organisation and identifies practises needed to increase the maturity The stages of the model are: o Initial  Ad hoc processes and success depend on individual effort o Repeatable  Basic project management processes are in place to track costs, schedules and functionality o Defined  The software processes are standardised and documented o Managed  Detailed measures of the software process and product quality are collected and statistics are gathered o Optimising  Continuous process improvement

Page 38

Chapter 10 (pg 259-287) – ―E-Business‖
Strengths and Forms of E-Business:
E-Business Strengths:
              Very accessible so goods can be sold around the clock It is convenient so people can use it from home The number of internet users is increasing Local companies can now reach international buyers easily Companies can save costs by posting information on the internet The internet can link buyers directly with sellers Employees can work from home Employees can form a virtual team and share information Employees can be part of decentralised organisations Reduces costs by streamlining processes Increases revenue sources Provides better quality information at greater convenience Increases innovation by sharing ideas Improves information and knowledge management through intranets

Types of Business:
 Business-to-consumer e-business o These are web systems that are developed for customers o They hold the following benefits:  The internet can be used to help a potential customer make a purchasing decision by providing information on the product  A web site can be developed with a transaction facility to allow for online payment  An after-sales service can be included for all customers  Information can be gathered about online customers  Links can be made to other sites that compliment their services or products  The internet can be used to promote a brand image  Can be used to provide financial performance information Consumer-to-consumer e-business o Examples of eBay o Gain money through advertising Business-to-business e-business o Can be done through extranets o Suppliers can access company stock levels and product information o Collaborative commerce (c-commerce) is when companies share information to help each other Intranets o Designed for employees of a company o Range of purposes:  Accessing info in databases  Accessing company manuals and documents  Providing info on latest company initiatives  Processing internal data and information  Internal sales and purchasing  Communicating company guidelines and policies  Advertising employment opportunities within the organisation  Internal promotion of activities and events  Contact details of employees including email addresses and telephone numbers

 


Page 39


Government-to-citizen e-business o Government interact with society via Web

Strategy vs technology: Characteristics Key feature Role of technology Risk Rationality approach Gains Technology adoption Strategy-Driven Planned Support system emphasis Low to medium Highly rational Medium to long term Early majority Technology-Driven Opportunistic Business driver Medium to High Live with uncertainty Medium to short term Innovators, early adopters

E-Business Models:
Web Site Functionality:
   Electronic brochure o Only product information is given and purchases are made conventionally Electronic brochure plus ordering system o The customer can order over the internet but has to pay through conventional means Electronic brochure, ordering system and payment system o This allows the customer to pay over the internet

Organisational Structure:


Should facilitate the implementation of the business objectives

Organisational Management:

 

Management styles are a type of business model Affected by the culture of the organisation

Other Business Model Components:

   

Distribution channel o Considers how a product is distributed to customers Partnerships and alliances Marketing approach o Marketing function can be viewed as separate Revenue stream (how does the web site make money?) o Single or multiple

Effective E-Business Models:

   

Must consider most if not all components Business configuration: o Covers how business works Value proposition: o Defines how the business benefits customers Revenue model: o Explains how business generates revenue

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E-Business Strategies:
Marketing and Advertising on the Web:

  

Web can be used for brand name marketing Marketing requires planning Can be used strategically to capture and increased share in the market

Retailing on the Web:

 

Companies use web transactions to supplement their traditional trading channels Provides a convenient service for customers

Customer Service and Support on the Web:

  

Web can improve customer service and support in a cost-effective manner Reduce the cost per enquiry Can come in the form of product information or software patches

Environmental Scanning:

  

This concept uses the web to gain information on market trends and the strategies of competitors This is sometimes outsourced Advantages and disadvantages: Advantages Cost-effective Can be done internally Most competitors have websites Disadvantages The Web is unstructured Content is not always reliable Can be very time consuming


   



Vertical/horizontal o According to industry sector Geographic coverage o Whether the market is national, regional or global Size of companies involved Operating model o Laissez-faire model provides information from the seller to the buyer but doesn‘t support negotiations o Mediated operating models support transactions through the marketplace Delivery model o Stand-alone model is not part of an application and is accessed whether transactions are made online or not o The advantages of embedded delivery models can only be benefited from if there is an online transaction Private vs. public o Private markets restrict users

Page 41


Public markets are available to anyone

Success Factors:

        

Technology infrastructure Transaction administration system Income stream Participants Fulfils participant needs Competitive advantage Relationship management Security Level of independence


     

Too many e-marketplaces Lack of revenue Lack of security with regard to payment systems Technical and administrative performance of the e-marketplace Legal issues relating to contract handling Lack of strategy


          

Cost saving in selling Savings in purchasing Speed selling/purchasing Exposed to new customers Convenient for users Transparency Better quality of product/service Reduced need for office space Fewer resources required Greater choice of products Better quality information

Virtual Organisations:

 

A team of organisations using the same web services and appear as one organisation to the client companies exist only on the web meaning they have no offline equivalent

Strategic Concepts Related to E-Business:

  

Creative o o Channel o

destruction Used for major transformations Instead of improving, old systems are scrapped and new ones are built from scratch conflict Competition between channels has an adverse effect on the cooperation between channel members Disintermediation o Organisations should asses the threat of disintermediation

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o Not enough access for consumers Global strategy o Framework:  Governance and responsibility  Strategy and planning  Marketing and service  Operations and technology  Research and development  Organisation and human resource management

Chapter 11 (pg 288-315) – ―Web Commerce Development‖
Characteristics of Web Applications:
        
Project leader who coordinates the team and project Systems analysts Web designers Graphic designers Content providers Technical developers Web editors who ensure the content is correct and that the links work Web marketing specialists Representative users/customers who make sure the system is acceptable

Web Technologies:

        

Retrieve web pages Navigate web pages Search facilities based on key words Access web pages by entering the URL Retrieving previously viewed web pages Saving web pages Printing web pages Using e-mail Constructing web pages

Search Engines:

 

Collect and order information from the internet Meta-search engines use more than one search engine at a time

Hypertext and Hyperlinks:


Way of navigating the web

HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol):

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 

The web communications protocol Handles the transfer of data over the internet



Related web pages located together

Web Addresses:

 

Used to avoid clashes for those accessing data URL (uniform resource locator) consists of the protocol, the server and the path of the file or web page: o Biz – businesses o Com – commercial institutions o Edu – educational institutions o Gov – government organisations o Net – networks o Uk – United Kingdom o Nz – New Zealand o Jp – Japan o Ca – Canada o The USA does not have a country abbreviation


 

Means ‗mobile commerce‘ Any activity involving transactions with monetary value conducted via a mobile phone

Web Authoring Tools:

  
 

Allows for the display of text and data like HTML XML also describes the data i.e. provides metadata in a structural way Allows data to be shared between different applications

Programming language that can be used to make programs embedded in web pages Highly portable and can be used on any systems

Project Complexity and Scope:
Web Site Complexity:
 Depends on the following: o Scope of project  Refers to the functionality of the project  Can be broad or narrow depending on the purpose of the web site o Size of project  Can be measured in many ways, such as the number of functions, the number of sites and the volume of information o The number of users and the range of users  The more users, the more complex the system is

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 More time is needed to work out requirements for the system Geographical distribution of users  Communications hardware and software becomes more complex as data is sent across several sites  Could be cultural or linguistic differences if the users are international o The complexity of functionality required for the system:  Static document publishing systems  Used for intranet applications to put company manuals and documentation on the web  Simple systems that do not connect to databases  Dynamic web applications  More sophisticated systems  Include forms for customer detail input  Complex web applications  Include a fully interactive interface that connects to at least one database  Can complete transactions o The stage of evolution of the overall web site  If there are no web applications in the organisation then the project must start at strategic level to define goals  If there are already web applications then less planning is required o The amount of expertise within an organisation  The less expertise, the higher the risk  Expertise saves development time o Number of interfaces with other systems  The more connections with other systems, the more complex the project will be o The strategic/critical nature of the project There are several planning strategies associated with web design: o Plan the entire site and strictly regulate its distributed development o Plan the core of the site and make no further changes o Plan the core of the site and let user departments develop their own neighbourhoods o Plan the core of the site and loosely regulate the development of the rest of the site o Allow unregulated development of the entire site o Plan the entire site, develop the core and then incrementally develop the rest of the site o

Defining the Users:
   These users are just window shopping Will pass quickly if the site is unappealing People are increasingly more focused in their use of the web and will surf less

  Come to the site to make a purchase Have some knowledge of the desired item and a good system will help the m decide

Member and Non-Member Customers:
  Members are given special deals or privileges Non-members must apply for membership

Dissatisfied Customers:
  There should be some way for a customer to issue a complaint This is done by providing customer support

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 The person who buys the goods may not be the person who receives the goods

 These use and extranet to determine which products require supplying

Internal Users:
 Includes the members of the organisation who work on the web site

Web Accessibility Issues:
 There are a range of features to help disabled users: o Captioned audio files for those with hearing disabilities o Voice output for all text for the vision impaired o Control of colour settings and styles for those who are colour-blind o Keyboard equivalents for mouse-driven commands to avoid stress injuries o Magnification tools to aid readability o Use of clear and simple language Many national governments have Disability Discrimination Acts that extend to web sites


STUDY PAGES 300 - 311

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Chapter 12 (pg 316-336) – ―Personal Productivity with IS‖
Skills Needed in the Knowledge Community:
Research and Information-Gathering:
  The ability to find relevant information for decision-making Data/information may come from a variety of sources: o Internet  Organisations that have an image and reputation to maintain will have reliable information o Libraries  Provide information in the form of books, magazines and journals in paper or digital format o Friends or work colleagues  Less formal  Done through meetings o Associates and societies  Professional organisations share information among like-minded members

  The ability to break a task down into components and estimate the amount of time needed for each one Requires an understanding of the resources required

Processing Information:
 Involves: o Extracting and filtering relevant data o Defining relationships between data sets o Analysing data, both numerical and text o Summarising data and information o Adding, updating and amending data and information

Creativity and Problem Solving:
 The ability to produce innovative ideas and solutions is important communication

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These skills have become more complex as there are more channels to communicate in the information age

Teamwork Skills:
 Knowing how to reach consensus, when to lead a group and how to listen are important

Using Personal Information Systems and Technology:
Information Overload and Personal Information Systems:
  E-mail is one of the main culprits Solutions: o Batching  Group enquiries together and deal with them in bulk at certain times  Uses technology as an advantage o Use of e-mail  Check once a day  Unsubscribe from mail lists that are of no use o Use meeting efficiently  Was every meeting relevant?  Was the meeting planned? o Become outcome focused  Work on what you feel is really important to your work o Develop support structures  Share the workload o Know what to keep  Does it require any action?  Does it exist elsewhere?  Is it recent enough to be useful?  Do I understand the contents?  What is the worst possible situation I can be in without this information o Develop personal information systems

Physical Issues:
 Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is the inflammation of the nerves, muscles or tendons as a result of repetitions of the same activity

Psychological Issues:
  Badly designed systems can lead to poor productivity and dissatisfaction in general Work environments should be conducive to high-quality work

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Description: summary of information systems basics