Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chapter 15 : Creating Collaborative Partnerships

Teams, Partnerships, and Alliances :

  • The core competency of an organization is its key strength, a business function that it does better than any of its competitors.
  • A core competency strategy is one in which an organization chooses to focus specifically on what it does best ( its core competency ) and forms partnerships and alliances with other specialist organizations to handle nonstrategic business processes.
  • An information partnership occurs when two or more organizations cooperate by integrating their IT systems, thereby providing customers with the best of what each can offer.
Collaboration Systems :
  • Is an IT-based set of tools that supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information.
  • Collaboration systems meet unique business challenges that :
  1. include complex interactions between people who may be in different locations and desire to work across function and discipline areas.
  2. require flexibility in work process and the ability to involve others quickly and easily.
  3. call for creating and sharing information rapidly and effortlessly within a team.
  • Collaboration systems fall into one of two categories :
  1. unstructured collaboration.
  2. structured collaboration.

Knowledge Management Systems :
  • Knowledge management (KM) - involves capturing, classifying, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing information assets in away that provides context for effective decisions and actions.
  • A knowledge management system (KMS) supports the capturing, organization, and dissemination of knowledge throughout an organization.
Explicit and Tacit Knowledge :
  • Explicit knowledge consists of anything that can be documented, archived, and codified, often with the help of IT.
  • Tacit knowledge is the knowledge contained people's heads.
  • Shadowing and joint problem solving are two best practices for transferring or re-creating tacit knowledge inside an organization.

Content Management Systems : 
=> Provides tools to manage the creation, storage, editing, and publication of information in a collaborative environment.

Working Wikis :
=> Are web-based tools that make it easy for users to add, remove, and change online content.

Workflow Management Systems :
Workflow - all the steps or business rules, from beginning to end, required for a business process.
Workflow management systems - facilitate the automation and management of business processes and control the movement of work through the business process.
Messaging-based workflow systems - send work assignments through an e-mail system.
Database-based workflow systems - store documents in a central location and automatically ask the team members to access the document when it is their turn to edit the document.

Groupware Systems :
=> Is software that supports team interaction and dynamics including calendaring, scheduling, and videoconferencing.
Groupware systems fall along two primary categories :
1. users of the groupware are working together at the same time or different times.
2. users are working together in the same place or in different places.

Videoconferencing :
=> Is 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.

Instant Messaging :
=> Is a type of communications service that enables someone to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate in real time over the Internet.
Most of the popular instant messaging programs provide a variety of features, such as :
1. web links.
2. images.
3. sounds.
4. files.
5. talk.
6. streaming content.
7. instant messages.


Chapter 19 : Outsourcing In The 21st Century

Outsourcing Project :

Insourcing (in-house development) - is a common approach using the professional expertise within an organization to develop and maintain the organization's information technology systems.

Outsourcing - is an arrangement by which one organization provides a service or services for another organization that chooses not to perform them in-house.

Three different forms of outsourcing are :
1. onshore outsourcing - engaging another company within the same country for services.
2. nearshore outsourcing - contracting an outsourcing arrangement with a company in a nearby country. Often this country will share a border with a native country.
3. offshore outsourcing - using organizations from developing countries to write code and develop systems. In offshore outsourcing country is geographically far away.

Some of the influential drivers affecting the growth of the outsourcing market include :
=> core competencies.
=> financial savings.
=> rapid growth.
=> industry changes.
=> the internet.
=> globalization.

Outsourcing Benefits :
1. Reduced operating expenses.
2. No costly outlay of capital funds.
3. Reduced time to market for product or services.
4. Reduced head count and associated overhead expense.
5. Increased quality and efficiency of a process, service, or function.
6. Access to outsourcing service provider's economies of scale.

Outsourcing Challenges :
=> Contract length.
=> Competitive edge.
=> Confidentiality.
=> Scope definition.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chapter 14 : Ebusiness

Ebusiness :
  • Ecommerce - is the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet.
  • Ebusiness - is the conducting of business on the Internet, not only buying and selling, but also serving customers and collaborating with business partners.
  • The primary difference between ecommerce and ebusiness also refers to online exchanges of information.
Ebusiness Models :
An approach to conducting electronic business on the Internet.

A version of a retail store where customers can shop at any hour of the day without leaving their home or office.

It serves as a gateway through which a visitor can access other eshops.

Ebusiness Benefits and Challenges :

Web mashup - web application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new service.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Chapter 12 : Integrating the Organization from End to End Enterprise Resource Planning

 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) :
  • Serve as the organization's backbone in providing fundamental decision-making support.
  • Provide a foundation for collaboration between departments, enabling people in different business areas to communicate.
  • Have been widely adopted in large organizations to store critical knowledge used to make the decisions that drive performance.

Bringing The Organization Together :

The Evolution of ERP :

Integrating SCM, CRM, and ERP :
  • The backbone of ebusiness.
  • Integration of these applications is the key to success for many companies.
  • Integration allows the unlocking of information to make it available to any user, anywhere, anytime.
Integration tools :
  • Integrations are achieved using middleware - several different types of software that sit in the middle of and provide connectivity between two or more software applications.
  • Enterprise application integration (EAI) middleware represents a new approach to middleware by packaging together commonly used functionlly, such as providing prebuilt links to popular enterprise applications, which reduces the time necessary to develop solutions that integrate applications from multiple vendors. 

Chapter 11 : Building a Customer-centric Organization Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management :
=> CRM is a means of managing all aspects of a customer's relationship with an organization to increase customer loyalty retention and an organization's profitability.   
=> To guarantee that every customer has a highly satisfying online buying experience, the company asks the dealers to agree to a number of standards including :
1. checking online orders twice daily.
2. shipping online orders within 24 hours.
3. responding to customer inquiries within 24 hours.

The Benefits of CRM :
=> Allows a company to operate more efficiently and effectively in the area of supporting customer needs.
=>CRM moves far beyond technology by identifying customer needs and designing specific marketing campaigns tailored to each.
=> The firm can analyze it to identify patterns and create marketing campaigns and sales promotions for different customer segments.

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

The Ugly Side of CRM : Why CRM Matters More Now Than Ever Before :
=> CRM is critical to business success.
=> CRM can acquire enterprisewide knowledge about customers and improve the business processes that deliver value to an organization's customers, suppliers, and employees.

Chapter 10 : Extending the Organization Supply Chain Management

Basics of Supply Chain :
  • Supply chain => consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in the procurement of a product or raw material.
  • Supply chain management (SCM)  => involves 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 :                                                                                           => materials flow from the suppliers and their upstream suppliers at all level.                              => transformation of materials into semi-finished and finished products, or the organization's own production processes.                                                                                                               => distribution of products to customer and their downstream customers at all levels.

  • Visibility - the ability to view all areas up and down the supply chain.
  • Consumer behavior - the behavior of customers has changed the way businesses compete.
  • Competition - 1. supply chain planning (SCP) software => uses advanced mathematical                                        algorithms to improve the flow and efficiency of the supply chain while                                      reducing the inventory.                                                                                                                 2. supply chain execution (SCE) software => automates the different steps and                                stages of the supply chain.
  • Speed - the company's ability to satisfy continually changing customer requirements efficiently, accurately, and quickly. 

Supply Chain Management Success Factors :

  • The following are the keys to SCM success :
  1. make the sale to suppliers.
  2. wean employees off traditional business practices.
  3. ensure the SCM system supports the organizational goals.
  4. deploy in incremental phases and measure and communicate success. 
  5. be future oriented.

Chapter 9 : Enabling the Organization Decision Making

Making Business Decisions :
  • The decision making process.
  • Decision making essentials.
  • Operational.
  • Managerial.
  • Strategic.

Support : Enhancing Decision Making with MIS :

Operational Support Systems
  • Transactional information encompasses all the information contained within a single business process or unit of work, and its primary purpose is to support the performance of daily operational or structured decisions.
  • Online transaction processing (OLTP) is the capture 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.
  • Transaction processing system (TPS) is the basic business system that serves the operational level (analysts) and assists in making structured decisions.
Managerial Support Systems
  • Analytical information encompasses all organizational information, and its primary purpose is to support the performance of managerial analysis or semistructured decisions.
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP) is the manipulation of creation to create business intelligence in support of strategic decision making.
  • The following are common decision support systems (DSS) analysis techniques :
  1.  What - If Analysis.
  2. Sensitivity Analysis.
  3. Goal - Seeking Analysis.
  4. Optimization Analysis.
Strategic Support Systems 
  • Executive information system (EIS) is a specialized DSS that supports senior-level executives and unstructured, long - term, nonroutine decisions requiring judgement, evaluation, and insight.
  • Granularity refers to the level of detail in the model or the decision-making process.
  • Visualization produces graphical dispalys of patterns and complex relationships in large amounts of data.
  • Digital dashboard a common tool that supports visualization.
  • Digital dashboards offer the following capabilities :
  1. consolidation.
  2. drill-down.
  3. slice-and-dice.
The Future : Artificial Intelligence

=> Artificial intelligence (AI) simulates human thinking and behavior, such as the ability to reason and learn.
=> Intelligent systems are various commercial applications of artificial intelligence.
=> There are many categories of AI systems such as :
       1. expert systems.
          are computerized advisory programs that imitate the reasoning processes of expert in solving difficult problems.
       2. neural networks.
          also called an artificial neural network, is a category of AI that attempts to emulate the way the human brain works.
       3. genetic algorithms.
          is an artificial intelligence system that mimics the evolutionary, survival-of-the-fittest process to generate increasingly better solutions to a problem.  
       4. intelligent agents.
          is a special-purpose knowledge-based information system that accomplishes specific tasks on behalf of its users. 
       5. virtual reality.
          is a computer-simulated environment that can be a simulation of the real world or an imaginary world.


Chapter 8 : Accessing Organizational Information - Data Warehouse

Data Warehouse Fundamentals
Data warehouse - a logical collection of information gathered from many different                                                operational databases that supports business analysis activities and                                      decision making tasks.

Data Warehouse Model
Extraction, transformation, and loading ( ETL ) - a process that extracts information from                                                                                  internal and external databases, transforms                                                                           the information using a common set of                                                                                   enterprise definitions, and loads the                                                                                        information into a data warehouse.
Data mart - contains a subset of data warehouse information.

Multidimensional Analysis and Data Mining 
 Cube - common term for the representation of multidimensional information.
Data mining - the process of analyzing data to extract information not offered by the raw data alone.                        Also known as "knowledge discovery" computer assisted tools and techniques for                                  sitting through and analyzing vast data stores in order to find trends, patterns, and                             correlations that can guide decision making and increase understanding. 
Data mining tool - uses a variety of techniques to find patterns and relationships in large volumes of                                  information. 

Information Cleansing or Scrubbing
a process that weeds out and fixes or discards inconsistent, incorrect, or incomplete information.

Business Intelligence
refers to applications and technologies that are used to gather, provide access, analyze data, and information to support decision making effort.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chapter 7 : Storing Organizational Information

Relational Database Fundamentals :

  • Database - maintains information about various types of objects (inventory), events (transactions), people (employees), and places (warehouses).
  • Hierarchical database model - information is organized into a tree-like structure in such a way that it cannot have too many relationships.
  • Network database model - a flexible way of representing objects and their relationships.
  • Relational database model - stores information in the form of logically related two-dimensional tables.

Entities and Attributes :

=> A person, place, thing, transaction or event about which information is stored.

=> Characteristics or properties of an entity class.

Keys and Relationships :

  • Primary key - a field (or group of fields) that uniquely identifies a given entity in a table.
  • Foreign key - a primary key of one table that appears an attribute in another table and acts to provide a logical relationship among the two tables.  

Relational Database Advantages :
  • Increased flexibility.                                                                  
Physical view - deals with the physical storage of information on a storage device.
Logical view - focuses on how users logically access information. 
  • Increased scalability and performance.
Scalability - refers to how well a system can adapt to increased demand.
Performance - measures how quickly a systems performs a certain process or transaction.
  • Reduced information redundancy.
Redundancy - the duplication of information or storing the same information in multiple places. \
  • Increase information integrity ( quality ).
Information integrity - measures the quality of information. 
Integrity constraint - rules that help ensure the quality of information. 
  • Increased information security.
Password - provides authentication of the user.
Access level - determines who has access to the different types of information. 
Access control - determines types of user access, such as read-only access.

Data-Driven Website Business Advantages :
  • Development.
  • Content management.
  • Future expandability.
  • Minimizing human error.
  • Cutting production and update costs.
  • More efficient.
  • Improved stability.
Integrating Information among Multiple Databases :
  • Integration - allows separate systems to communicate directly with each other.
  • Forward integration - takes information entered into a given systems and sends it automatically to all downstream systems and processes.
  • Backward integration - takes information entered into a given system and sends it automatically to all upstream systems and processes.

Chapter 6 : Valuing Organizational Information

Organizational Information :

  • Comes at different levels and in different formats and "granularities". 
  • Information granularity - extend of detail within the information ( fine and detailed or coarse and abstract ). 
  • Successfully collecting, compiling, sorting, and finally analyzing information from multiple levels, in varied formats, exhibiting different granularity can provide tremendous insight into how an organization is performing.

The Value of Transactional and Analytical Information :

Transactional Information
  • Encompasses all of the information contained within a single business process or unit of work, and its primary purpose is to support the performing of daily operational tasks. 
  • Example : withdrawing cash from ATM, making an airline reservation, or purchasing stocks. 
Analytical Information 
  • Encompasses all organizational information, and its primary purpose is to support the performing of managerial analysis tasks.
  • Example : trends, sales, product statistics, and future growth projections. 
The Value of Timely Information :
  • Real-time information means immediate, up-to-date information.
  • Real-time systems provide real-time information in response to query requests.
  • The growing demand for real-time information stems from organizations' need to make faster and more effective decisions, keep smaller inventories, operate more efficiently, and track performance more carefully.
  • Example : MBIA Insurance Corperation uses overnight updates to feed its real-time systems.

The Value of Quality Information :

  1. The first issue is missing information. The customer's first name is missing.
  2. The second issue is incomplete information since the street address contains only a number and not a street name.
  3. Third issue is probable duplication of information since the only slight difference between the two customers is the spelling of the last name. Similar street addresses and phone numbers make this likely.
  4. The fourth issue is potential wrong information because the customer's phone and fax numbers are the same. Some customers might have the same number for phone and fax line, but the fact that the customer also has this number in the email address field is suspicious. 
  5. The fifth issue is definitely an example of inaccurate information since a phone number is located in the email address field.
  6. The sixth issue is incomplete information since there is not a valid area code for the phone and fax numbers.

Understanding the Costs of Poor Information :
  • Using the wrong information can lead to making the wrong decision.
  • Bad information can cause serious business ramifications such as :                                               => inability to accurately track customers, which directly affects strategic initiatives such as CRM and SCM.                                                                                                                               => difficulty identifying the organization's most valuable customers.                                           => inability to identify selling opportunities and wasted revenue from marketing to nonexisting customers and nondeliverable mail.                                                                                               => difficulty tracking revenue because of inaccurate invoices.                                                       => inability to build strong relationships with customers which increases buyer power.
Understanding the Benefits of Good Information :
  • High quality information can significanly improve the chances of making a good decision and directly increase the organization's bottom line.  
  • High quality information does not automatically guarantee that every decision made is going to be a good one, since people ultimately make decisions. 

Chapter 5 : Organizational Structures that Support Strategic Initiatives

Recent IT- related strategic positions :
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO)                                                                                           Oversees all uses of IT and ensures the strategic alignment of IT with business goals and objectives.
Broad CIO functions include :
=> manager.

  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Responsible for ensuring the throughput, speed, accuracy, availability, and reliability of IT.
  • Chief Security Officer (CSO)
Responsible for ensuring the security of IT systems.
  • Chief Privacy Officer (CPO)
Responsible for ensuring the ethical and legal use of information.
  • Chief Knowledge Office (CKO)
Responsible for collecting, maintaining, and distributing the organization's knowledge.

The Gap Between Business Personnel and IT Personnel :
  • Business personnel possess expertise in functional areas such as marketing, accounting, and sales.
  • IT personnel have the technological expertise.
  • This typically causes a communications gap between the business personnel and IT personnel. 
  • Business personnel must seek to increase their understanding of the business.
  • It is the responsibility of the CIO to ensure effective communication between business personnel and IT personnel.
Ethics :
The principles and standards that guide our behavior toward other people.
  • Privacy ( major ethical issue )                                                                                                       The right to be left alone when you want to be, to have control over your own personal possessions, and not to be observed without your consent.
  • Issues affected by technology advances :                                                                                      => intellectual property - intangible creative work that is embodied in physical form.                  => copyright - the legal protection afforded an expression of an idea, such as a song, video              games, and some types of proprietary documents.                                                                    => fair use doctrine - in certain situations, it is legal to use copyrighted material.                        => pirated software - the unauthorized use, duplication, or sale of copyrighted software.            => counterfeit software - software that is manufactured to look like real thing.

Security :
The protection of information from accidental or intentional misuse by persons inside or outside an organization.