Wireless communications, including computers and mobile hand-held computing devices, are keeping managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and business partners connected in every way possible. Email, online conferencing, the Web, and the Internet, are providing new and diverse lines of communication for all businesses, large and small. Through increased communication channels and decreased costs of the communications, customers are demanding more of businesses in terms of service and product, at lower costs. E-commerce is changing the way businesses must attract and respond to customers.
What exactly is an information technology system? How does it work? What are its management, organization and technology components?
Information systems automate manual business processes and make an organization more efficient. Data and information are available to a wider range of decision-makers more quickly when information systems are used to change the flow of information. Tasks can be performed simultaneously rather than sequentially, speeding up the completion of business processes. Information systems can also drive new business models that perhaps wouldn’t be possible without the technology. An organization operates in an ever-increasing competitive and global environment. The successful organization focuses on the efficient execution of its processes, customer service, and speed to market. Enterprise applications provide an organization with a consolidated view of its operations across different functions, levels, and business units. Enterprise applications allow an organization to efficiently exchange information among its functional areas, business units, suppliers, and customers.
What are the major distinctions between videoconferencing and telepresence? What are the ways in which telepresence provides value to a business? Would you consider it smart management? Explain your answer.
Collaboration is working with others to achieve shared and explicit goals. It focuses on task or mission accomplishment and usually takes place in a business, or other organizations, and between businesses. Collaboration can be short-lived or longer term, depending on the nature of the task and the relationship among participants. It can be one-to-one or many-to-many.
Teamwork is part of the organization’s business structure for getting things done. Teams have a specific mission. The members of a team need to collaborate on the accomplishment of specific tasks and collectively achieve the team mission. Teams are often short-lived, depending on the problems they tackle and the length of time needed to find a solution and accomplish the mission.
If a system fails, it is foreseeable that the producers of the software-based services could potentially be held liable for economic injuries. This could even extend to systems that have been managed poorly and implemented unsuccessfully. They, too, have the potential to impact the company’s bottom line and subject producers of software-based services to liability. While the general rule is that they cannot be held liable for matters beyond their knowledge or control, this defense may not be available in some software guideline compliance programs. Thus, producers of software-based services need to be aware of and involved in the software compliance program. In addition, software vendors may face liability if they fail to advise licensees of latent problems in their software.
Software compliance is also an issue to be considered in due diligence conducted by any company involved, directly or indirectly, in investing or making loans to businesses with computer systems. Financial advisors, in particular, may be held liable even if they are unaware that a company is not in compliance when making financial recommendations. In connection with mergers or acquisitions of companies using date-sensitive software (as almost all are), software compliance is also a factor in due diligence. Basically, software compliance raises technical, contractual, and managerial issues. For a complete solution, the strategies for responding to them must be handled on a coordinated basis.
What are some key technological trends that heighten ethical concerns these days? How would you prepare your newly hired junior project managers to mitigate these challenges?
Transaction processing systems (TPS) are computerized systems that perform and record daily routine transactions necessary in conducting business; they serve the organization’s operational level. The principal purpose of systems at this level is to answer routine questions and to track the flow of transactions through the organization.
At the operational level, tasks, resources, and goals are predefined and highly structured.
Managers need TPS to monitor the status of internal operations and the firm’s relationship with its external environment.
TPS are major producers of information for other types of systems.
Transaction processing systems are often so central to a business that TPS failure for a few hours can lead to a firm’s demise and perhaps that of other firms linked to it.
Why are systems for collaboration and teamwork so important to project manager? How do systems serve the different management groups in a business?
Mobile platform: More and more business computing is moving from PCs and desktop machines to mobile devices like cell phones and smartphones. Data transmissions, Web surfing, email and instant messaging, digital content displays, and data exchanges with internal corporate systems are all available through a mobile digital platform. Netbooks, small low-cost lightweight subnotebooks that are optimized for wireless communication and Internet access, are included. The mobile platform is expanding to include tablet computers (iPad) and digital e-book readers.
Grid computing: Connects geographically remote computers into a single network to create a “virtual supercomputer” by combining the computational power of all computers on the grid. Since most computers use their central processing units only about 25 percent of the time, they can be used for other tasks.
Cloud computing: A model of computing where firms and individuals obtain computing capacity, data storage, and software applications over the Internet, rather than purchasing their own hardware and software. Data are stored on powerful servers in massive data centers, and can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection and standard Web browser. Public clouds are maintained by external service providers while private clouds are restrained inside a proprietary network or a data center.
Why is selecting computer hardware and software for the organization an important project management decision? What management, organization, and technology issues should be considered when selecting computer hardware and software?