Monday, 9 September 2013

Chapter 19 – Outsourcing in the 21st Century


Ø  Insourcing (in-house-development) – A common approach using the professional expertise within an organization to develop and maintain the organization’s information technology systems

Ø  Outsourcing – An arrangement by which one organization provides a service or services for another organization that chooses not to perform them in-house
Ø  Onshore outsourcing – engaging another company within the same country for services
Ø  Near shore outsourcing – contracting an outsourcing arrangement with a company in a nearby country
Ø  Offshore outsourcing – using organizations from developing countries to write code and develop systems
Ø  Big selling point for offshore outsourcing “inexpensive good work”
Ø  Factors driving outsourcing growth include;
§  Core competencies
§  Financial savings
§  Rapid growth
§  Industry changes
§  The Internet
§  Globalization
Ø  According to PricewaterhouseCoopers “Businesses that outsource are growing faster, larger and more profitable than those that do not”
Ø  Most organizations outsource their noncore business functions, such as payroll and IT


Ø  Outsourcing benefits include;
§  Increased quality and efficiency
§  Reduced operating expenses
§  Outsourcing non-core processes
§  Reduced exposure to risk
§  Economies of scale, expertise and best practices
§  Access to advanced technologies
§  Increased flexibility
§  Avoid costly outlay of capital funds
§  Reduced headcount and associated overhead expense
§  Reduced time to market for products or services


Ø  Outsourcing challenges include;
§  Contract length
1.       Difficulties in getting out of a contract
2.       Problems in foreseeing future needs
3.       Problems in reforming an internal IT department after the contract is finished
§  Competitive edge
§  Confidentiality
§  Scope definition 

Chapter 15 – Creating Collaborative Partnerships


Ø  Organizations create and use teams, partnerships and alliances to;
§  Undertake new initiatives
§  Address both minor and major problems
§  Capitalize on significant opportunities
Ø  Organizations create teams, partnerships and alliances both internally with employees and externally with other organizations

Ø  Collaboration system – supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information 
vØ  Organizations from alliance and partnerships with other organizations based on their core competency
§  Core competency – An organization’s key strength, a business function that it does better than any of its competitors
§  Core competency strategy – Organization chooses to focus specifically on its core competency and forms partnerships with other organizations to handle nonstrategic business processes
Ø  Information technology can make a business partnership easier to establish and manage
§  Information partnerships – Occurs when two or more organizations cooperate by integrating their IT systems, thereby providing customers with the best of what each can offer
Ø  The internet has dramatically increased the ease and availability for IT – enabled organizational alliance and partnerships


Ø  Collaboration solves specific business tasks such as telecommuting, online meetings, deploying applications, and remote project and sales management
Ø  Collaboration system – An IT- based set of tools that supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information.
Ø  Two categories of collaboration
1.       Unstructured collaboration (information collaboration) – includes document exchange, shared whiteboards, discussion forums, and email.
            2.   Structured collaboration (process collaboration) – involves shared participation in business processes such as workflow in which knowledge is hardcoded as rule

Ø  Collaboration systems include;
§  Knowledge management systems
§  Content management systems
§  Workflow management systems
§  Groupware systems


Ø  Knowledge management (KM) – involves capturing, classifying, evaluating, retrieving and sharing information assets in a way that provides context for effective decisions and actions
Ø  Knowledge management system – supports the capturing and use of an organization’s “know-how”


Ø  Intellectual and knowledge-based assets fall into two categories;
1.       Explicit knowledge – consists of anything that can be documented, archived, and codified, often with the help of IT
2.       Tacit knowledge – knowledge contained in people’s heads

Ø  The following are two best practices for transferring or recreating tacit knowledge
1.       Shadowing – less experienced staff observe more experienced staff to learn how their more experienced counterparts approach their work
2.       Joint problem solving – a novice and expert work together on a project


Ø  Content management system (CMS) – provides tools to manage the creation, storage, editing and publication of information in a collaborative environment
Ø  CMS marketplace includes;
§  Document management system (DMS)
§  Digital assets management system (DAM)
§  Web content management system (WCM)


Ø  Wikis – web-based tools that make it easy for users to add, remove, and change online content
Ø  Business wikis – collaborative web pages that allows users to edit documents, share ideas or monitor the status of a project


Ø  Work activities can be performed in series or in parallel that involves people and automated computer systems
Ø  Workflow – defines all the steps or business rules, from beginning to end, required for a business process
Ø  Workflow management system – facilitates the automation and management of business processes and controls the movement of work through the business process
Ø  Messaging-based workflow system – sends work assignments through an email system
Ø  Database-based workflow system – stores documents in a central location and automatically asks the team members to access the document when it is their turn to edit the document


Ø  Groupware technologies

Ø  Groupware – software that supports teams interaction and dynamics including calendaring, scheduling and videoconferencing


Ø  Video conference – A set of interactive telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously 


Web conferencing – blends audio, video and document-sharing technologies to create virtual meeting rooms where people “gather” at a password-protected website


Ø  Email is the dominant form of collaboration application, but real-time collaboration tools like instant messaging are creating a new communication dynamic
Ø  Instant messaging – types of communications service that enables someone to create a kind of private chat room with another individual to communicate in real-time over the internet
Ø  Instant messaging application 

Chapter 14 – E business


Ø  The internet is a powerful channel that presents new opportunities for organization to;
§  Touch customers
§  Enrich products and services with information
§  Reduce costs
Ø  How do ecommerce and e business differ?
§  Ecommerce – the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet

§  E business – the conducting of business on the internet including, not only buying and selling, but also serving customers and collaborating with business partners 

Ø  Industries Using E business


E business model – An approach to conducting electronic business on the Internet 

Business-to-Business (B2B)

Electronic marketplace (E market place) – interactive business communities providing a central market where multiple buyers and sellers can engage in e business activities. 

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Ø  Common B2C e business models include;
§  E shop – A version of retail store where customers can shop at any hour of the day without leaving their home or office
§  E mall – consists of a number of e shops; it serves as a gateway through which a visitor can access other e shops
Ø  Business types;
§  Brick-and-mortar business
§  Pure-play business
§  Click-and-mortar business

Consumer-to-Business (C2B)

Ø is an example of a C2B e business model
Ø  The demand for C2B e business will increase over the next few years due to customer’s desire for greater convenience and lower prices

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)

Ø  Online auctions
§  Electronic auction (E auction) – Sellers and buyers solicit consecutive bids from each other and prices are determined dynamically
§  Forward auction – Sellers use as a selling channel to many buyers and the highest bid wins
§  Reverse auction – Buyers use to purchase a product or service, selecting the seller with the lowest bid
Ø  C2C communities include;
§  Communities of interest – People interact with each other on specific topics, such as golfing and stamps collecting
§  Communities of relations – People come together to share certain life experiences, such as cancer patients, senior citizens, and car enthusiasts
§  Communities of fantasy – People participate in imaginary environments, such as fantasy football teams and playing one-to-one with Michael Jordan


Ø  E business benefits include;
§  Highly accessible
§  Increased customer loyalty
§  Improved information content
§  Increased convenience
§  Increased global reach
§  Decreased cost

Ø  E business challenges include;
§  Protecting consumers
§  Leveraging existing systems
§  Increased liability
§  Providing security
§  Adhering to taxation rules

Ø  There are numerous advantages and limitations in e business revenue models including;
§  Transaction fees
§  License fees
§  Subscription fees
§  Value-added fees
§  Advertising fees


Ø  Web mash up – A Web site or Web application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new services
§  Application programming interface (API) – A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications
Mash up editor – WSYIWYGs (What You See Is What You Get) for mash ups 

Chapter 11 – Building a Customer-Centric Organization – Customer Relationship Management


CRM enables an organization to;
Ø  Provide better customer service
Ø  Make call centers more efficient
Ø  Cross sell products more effectively
Ø  Helps sales staff close deals faster
Ø  Simplify marketing and sales processes
Ø  Discover new customers
Ø  Increase customer revenues


An organization can find its most valuable customers by using a formula that industry insiders call FRM;
Ø  How recently a customer purchased items (recency)
Ø  How frequently a customer purchased items (frequency)
Ø  How much a customer speeds on each purchased (monetary value)


CRM reporting technologies help organizations identify their customers across other applications. CRM analysis technologies help organizations segment their customers into categories such as best and worst customers. CRM predicting technologies help organizations predict customer behavior, such as which customers are at risk of leaving. 


Ø  Operational CRM – supports traditional transactional processing for day-to-day front-office operations or systems that deal directly with the customers
Ø  Analytical CRM – supports back-office operations and strategic analysis and includes all system that do not deal directly with the customers


CRM success factors include;
Ø  Clearly communicate the CRM strategy
Ø  Define information needs and flows
Ø  Build an integrated view of the customer
Ø  Implement in iterations
Ø  Scalability for organizational growth 

Chapter 10 – Extending the Organization – Supply Chain Management


SCM – the management of information flows between and among stages in a supply chain to maximize total supply chain effectiveness and profitability
The supply chain has three main links.
1.       Materials flows from suppliers and their upstream suppliers at all levels
2.       Transformation of materials into semi-finished products, or the organization’s own production processes

3.       Distribution of products to customers and their downstream customers at all levels


 Information technology’s primary role in SCM is creating the integrations or tight process and information linkages between functions within a firm such as marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing, and distribution – and between firms, which allow the smooth, synchronized flow of both information and product between customers, suppliers and transportation providers across the supply chain


·         Supply Chain Visibility is the ability to view all areas up and down the supply chain. Changing supply chains requires a comprehensive strategy buoyed by information technology. Organizations can use technology tools that help them integrate upstream and downstream, with both customers and suppliers.
·         The bullwhip effect occurs when distorted product demand information passes from one entity to the next throughout the supply chain.


·         The behavior of customers has changed the way businesses complete. Customers will leave if a company does not continually meet their expectations. They are more demanding because they have information readily available, they know exactly what they want, and they know when and how they want it.
·         Demand planning software generates demand forecasts using statistical tools and forecasting techniques. Companies can respond faster and more effectively to consumer demands through supply chain enhancements such as demand planning software.
·         Once an organization understands customer demand and its effect on the supply chain it can begin to estimate the impact that its supply chain will have on its customers and ultimately the organization’s performance.

·         Supply chain planning (SCP) software uses advanced mathematical algorithms to improve the flow and efficiency of the supply chain while reducing inventory. SCP depends entirely on information for its accuracy.
·         Supply chain execution (SCE) software automates the different steps and stages of the supply chain. This could be as simple as electronically routing orders from a manufacturer to a supplier.


·         These systems raise the accuracy, frequency and speed of communication between suppliers and customers, as well as between internal users.
Another aspect of speed is the company’s ability to satisfy continually changing customer requirements efficiently, accurately and quickly


·         To succeed in today’s competitive markets, companies must align their supply chain with the demands of the markets they serve.
·         Supply chain performance is now a distinct competitive advantage for companies proficient in the SCM area.


The hardest part of any SCM system is its complexity because a large part of the system extends beyond the company’s walls. Not only will the people in the organization need to change the way they work, but also the people from each supplier that is added to the network must change. Be sure suppliers are on board with the benefits that the SCM system will provide.


Operations people typically deal with phone calls, faxes and orders scrawled on paper and will most likely want to keep it that way. Unfortunately, an organization cannot disconnect the telephones and fax machines just because it is implementing a supply chain management system. If the organization cannot convince people that using the software will be worth their time, they will easily find ways to work around it, which will quickly decrease the changes of success for the SCM system.


It is important to select SCM software that gives organizations an advantage in the areas most crucial to their business success. If the organizational goals support highly efficient strategies, be sure the supply chain design has the same goals.


Design the development of the SCM system in incremental phases. For instance, instead of installing a complete supply chain management system across the company and all suppliers at once, start by getting it working with a few key suppliers, and then move on to the other suppliers. Along the way, make sure each step is adding value through improvements in the supply chain’s performance. While a big-picture perspective is vital to SCM success, the incremental approach means the SCM system should be implemented in digestible bites and also measured for success one step at a time.


The supply chain design must anticipate the future state of the business. Because the SCM system likely will last for many more years than originally planned, managers need to explore how flexible the systems will be when (not if) changes are required in the future. The key is to be certain that the software will meet future needs, not only current needs. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Chapter 9 – Enabling the Organization-Decision Making

Reason for Growth of Decision Making Information System

1. People need to analyze large amounts of information :- improvement in technology itself, innovations in communication, and globalisation have resulted in a dramatic increase in the alternatives and dimension people need to consider when making a decision or appraising an opportunity.

2. People must make decision quickly :- time is of the essence and people simply do not have time to sift through all the information manually.

3. People must apply sophisticated analysis technique such as modelling and forecasting to make good decision :- information system substantially reduce the time required to perform this sophisticated analysis technique.

4. People must protect the corporate asset of organizational information :- information systems offer the security required to ensure organization information remains safe.

Model - a simplified representation or abstraction of reality.

Transaction Processing System

Ø  Moving up through the organizational pyramid users move from requiring transactional information to analytical information

 Ø  Transaction processing system – the basic business system that serves the operational level (analysis) in an organization
Ø  Online transaction processing (OLTP) – the capturing of transaction and event information using technology to (1) process the information according to defined business rules, (2) store the information, (3) update existing information to reflect the new information
Ø  Online analytical processing (OLAP) – the manipulation of information to create business intelligence in support of strategic decision making

Decision support systems
Ø  Decision support system (DSS) – models information to support managers and business professionals during the decision-making process
Ø  Three quantitative models used by DSSs include;
1.       Sensitivity analysis – the study of the impact that changes in one (or more) parts of the model have on other parts of the model
2.       What-if analysis – checks the impact of a change in an assumption on the proposed solution
Goal-seeking analysis – finds the inputs necessary to achieve a goal such as a desired level of outputs

Executive information system
Ø  Executive information system (EIS) – A specialized DSS that supports senior level executives within the organization
Ø  Most EISs offering the following capabilities;
-          Consolidation – involves the aggregation of information and features simple roll-ups to complex groupings of interrelated information
-          Drill-down – enables users to get details, and details of information
-          Slice-and-dice – looks at information from different perspectives
Ø  Interaction between a TPS and an EIS

Ø  Digital dashboard – integrates information from multiple components and presents it in a united display
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Ø  The ultimate goal of AI is the ability to build a system that can mimic human intelligence
Ø  Intelligent system – various commercial applications of artificial intelligence
Ø  Artificial intelligence (AI) – simulates human intelligence such as the ability to reason and learn
Ø  Four most common categories of AI include;
1.       Expert system – computerized advisory programs that imitate the reasoning processes of experts in solving difficult problems
2.       Neural network – attempts to emulate the way the human brain works
o   Fuzzy logic – a mathematical method of handling imprecise or subjective information
3.       Genetic algorithm – an artificial intelligent system that mimics the evolutionary, survival-of-the-fittest process to generate increasingly better solutions to a problem
4.       Intelligent agent – special-purposed knowledge-based information system that accomplishes specific tasks on behalf of its users

Data Mining

Ø  Data-mining software includes many forms of AI such as neutral networks and expert systems