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Week 12 Reflective Post

In this week, we plan to have a guest lecture. However, due to the sudden availability of the planned guest lecturer, we did not have lecture this week. Hence, for this weekly online journal, I will write a reflective post about the both two assignments. In addition, I will reflect what I have learned and gained from this unit through this semester.

Reflection on Assignment

We have two assignments for this unit. The first one is about reflective dialogue journal. For completing this task, I have maintained writing a blog post each week. The blog posts are critical reflection upon the content of lectures, guest presentations, tutorial, readings and assignment progress. For example, I have summarised the major key points mentioned during the classroom session. In particular, I have chosen some critical topic I am really interested in, and taken much more investigation and research on that area. In addition, I have also reported the progress that I work on my assignment 2. In order to make my post informative and impressive, I use WordPress as my blog platform. Many pictures, videos and clickable links are inserted to my posts. I will provide my blog site address again at the end of this post.

For assignment 2, the first component is about service description, and the second component is to write a client advising letter for proposing an electronic medical record system. In the first part of this assignment, I have conducted as web-based research in order to identify services. There are seven services that have been determined. They are Carsales, Linkedin, SurveyMonkey, PayPal, Google Groups, WordPress (Blog), and Twitter. All of these services come from different domains and offer various functionality. Each service is described with reference to overall functionality, stakeholders, constraints on access, technical access, pricing factors, legal factors and delivery model. These services are further analysed regarding service integration. In the advising letter, I present a good example, which I have recently read for the Internet, to support my advice. It describes a middle aged man has had some health issues. He complains that his medical records are scattered all over different doctors’ offices. This makes it harder for him to get well. Whenever he goes to a new doctor, he has to explain his health history all over again. This is a waste of time for both him and his doctor. Based on this patient’s expression, it apparently shows that a need for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record system is very urgent.

Reflection on the Unit

Through this unit, I have learned so many information about impact of Information Technology, and how IT is changing the world. I think the lectures are well prepared and designed. They cover various areas such as government, education, health, e-commerce, business process management, enterprise architecture and gaming in order to deliver the impact of IT. In particular, guest lecturers provide us much more information and knowledge in the real world. Tutorials and weekly readings are also very helpful. I discuss some hot issues arose from lectures and assignment questions with the tutor in tutorial session. By reading weekly reading, I gain further understanding of a specific topic, for example, Green IT. In conclusion, this unit provides me a solid grounding knowledge about impact of IT.

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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Graphic Processing Unit (Week 11)

This week’s lecture has been divided into two parts. In the first part, Prof. Alistair further explained Business Process Modelling with some specific examples. During the second half, a guest lecture provided information regarding gaming and graphic technology. In this weekly journal, firstly I will review some knowledge of Business Process Modelling, because we continuously discussed BPM in our tutorial. Secondly, I will focus on the gaming and graphic technology based on my understanding.

Business Process Modelling

Business Process Modelling refers to the methods, notations, grammars, tools and purposed of process modelling. Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) is presented as a business process modelling language. Its main objective is to increase awareness of the close link between business requirements and IT capabilities, and the related fundamental role of business processes. For example, within an organization, the manager could know that they have some operational technology and various business services with corresponding business processes. However, he may not totally understand capabilities of these services and technology. BPM aims to settle these kinds of problems.

Graphic Processing Unit

According to this week’s lecture, I know lots of knowledge about Graphic Processing Unit (GPU). After the lecture, I have searched online about GPU and tried to gather relevant information together. GPU is a concept relative to the CPU (central processing unit). In the modern computers, especially desktop’s system, graphics processing becomes more and more important. It needs a dedicated graphics core processor. GPU can accelerate the building of images and output high quality graphic display. For example, 10 years ago, we played first person shooting games with very rough images by using a computer. In contrast, 10 years later, some kinds of computer games, such as “Call of duty”, it represents excellent graphics display, because modern computers are equipped with GPU technology. GPU acts as a heart of graphical display card. It determines the class and most of performance of the graphics card.

For GPU’s computational functions, modern GPU uses most of their transistor to do calculations for 3D computer graphics. Recent development in GPU include support for programmable shaders which can manipulate vertices and textures with many of the same operations supported by CPUs, oversampling and interpolation techniques to reduce aliasing, and very high-precision color spaces. Because most of these computations involve matrix and vector operations, engineers. Scientists have increasingly studied the use of GPUs for non-graphical.

Assignment progress

Last I have defined carsales.com.au, however I faced some problems with this service, for example, the pricing of using private car selling service. At last, I have figured out this question. During this week, I am continuously working on my assignment for identifying several services. For instance, I find SurveyMonkey is a kind of web-based service, and it can be identified as software component service, because it has survey templates for its users to generate online survey. It is also can be found that people use SurveyMonkey for everything from customer satisfaction and employee performance review, to course evaluations and research of all types. In addition, the pricing factor for SurveyMonkey is quite clear. It has four different plans including BASIC, SELECT, GOLD and PLATINUM with price of free, 19 AUD/month, 25 AUD/month and 65 AUD/month respectively. Further investigation of this service will be focus on functionality and some legal factors.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Enterprise Architecture (Week 10)

In this week’s lecture, Ayed has talked about Enterprise Architecture. He started the lecture with questions, such as “what is Architecture” and “what is Enterprise”. Generally, architecture is known as a process of product planning, designing and constructing. According to IEEE standard, “architecture is the fundamental organization of a system embodied in its components, their relationships to each other, and to the environment, and the principle guiding its design and evolution”. In addition, from the lecture, we know that an enterprise is any collection of organizations that has a common set of goals and/or a single bottom line. Base on understanding of enterprise and architecture, I think an enterprise architecture is a comprehensive description of the structure of an enterprise, which consists of different layers including business layer, application layer and technology layer. In each layer, there are different components. For example, business layer comprises business actor, business role, business function, business service and business process. Furthermore, enterprise architecture works as strategy. It is designed to ensure alignment between the business and information technology. Apparently, it provides enterprises with effective strategies, operating models, and guiding principles. The other purpose of enterprise architecture is to help enterprise with the software development projects and service delivery.

During the lecture, some enterprise architecture frameworks have been discussed. These enterprise architecture frameworks include The Zachman Framework, ArchiMate and TOGAF. All of these three enterprise architecture frameworks have been briefly introduced to us by Ayed. First of all, The Framework is named after its creator John Zachman, who first developed the concept in the 1980s at IBM. It has been updated several times since. The Zachman Framework provides a formal and highly structure way of viewing and defining an enterprise. Secondly, ArchiMate is partly based on the IEEE standard. It was developed in the Netherlands. ArchiMate is an open and independent Enterprise Architecture modelling language that supports the description, analysis and visualization of architecture within and across business domains (Archi User Guide, 2011). The following picture shows a part of enterprise architecture modelling by using ArchiMate. It shows relationships among business actors, roles, services and processes.The third enterprise architecture framework is TOGAF. TOGAF is the acronym of The Open Group Architecture Framework, which was developed by members of The Open Group. It consists of a detailed method and a set of supporting tools for developing an enterprise architecture. All of these EA frameworks or EA modelling software aim to help us understand and model enterprise architecture.

In the tutorial session, we have discussed web service, mashup, and revision of cloud computing. We also discussed about our assignment. For my assignment progress, I have identified a few services for Part A. For instance, I choose carsales.com.au, specifically in private car selling. Based on my research, first of all, I know that carsales.com.au aims to provide the useful and helpful automotive advertising in Australia. It is operated by a team of over 200 staff nationwide. Furthermore, I define this service as an informational service, because it provides numerous cars’ information. However, I have not figured out the pricing of this service. I think I need to try to search more details. For the assignment Part B, I have reviewed several paper about PCEHR. And the client letter of advice is almost done. In the future two weeks, I think I need to revise the content according to criteria sheet.

Reference:

Archi UserGuide. (2011). ArchiMate Modelling.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Describing Services (WEEK 8)

In this week’s lecture, we have discussed what services are and how services can be described. All of the information closely related to the assignment. In general, service is associated with goods, which is intangible. It is provide to the consumer in some manner. According to ITILv3, service is a means of delivering value to customer by facilitating what they want to achieve without the ownership of specific risks and costs. For example, a physician provides healthcare support or services for his customers. Telephone companies provide communications services, such as national call, international call, and other features that enhance the electronic communication processes. Banks provide a range of financial services to customers, ranging from basic and checking accounts to investment opportunities. Nowadays, with the development of the Internet and mobile communications, various new business models are emerged. Web-based applications including Facebook, Amazon, Ning, Linkedin and Flickr, provide online services to customers. Furthermore, there are also some web services include enterprise software service, IT infrastructure service and insurance services.

It is apparent that people encounter various services in everyday life. However, there is not unified way or standard to represent services. Therefore, the need to describe a service become much more observably. In order to describe services, we need to know aspects of services. During the lecture, several aspects of services have been introduced to us. In general, they include type of service, service functionality, and contribution parts. For describing services, the first thing come into my mind is capabilities of services. It is important to describe what services do. Service capabilities are the actions performed or the information delivered by a certain service. The purpose of a capability description is to allow clients to discover services that perform particular kinds of operations in particular contexts to satisfy their needs. For instance, people are used to find their desired services referred to “yellow pages”.  “Yellow pages” is a kind of capability description of a service. This means the description should allow capabilities to be classified in some way to permit discovery using those classifications. That is to say, a service description support service discovery in order to find the services people need. In addition to this, service description is necessary to provide service understanding about what a service do.

Working on Assignment

The written assignment is released this week, which consists of two components. For the first part, it asks to find minimum five services in various domains, which are available through the web. Based on the Unified Services Description Language as introduced in this week’s lecture, services need to be discussed by some key characteristics of the USDL module. For example, here is an Account Opening Service shown in the following picture. This service is captured in eight aspects, such as general, organizational, technical, operations, legal, security and so on. Besides, we also need to evaluate identified services. The second part of the assignment is a client letter of advice. In this part, brief background information is provided. In this letter, I need to find several fundamental reasons for using the new EMR system and development plan for the PECHR system. As I gain much more information from future lectures, I think I can understand the assignment much better.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

E-commerce (Week 6)

During this week’s lecture, Mr. Venkat has discussed the “IT in Consumers Eyes: E-commerce marketplaces”. This is a quite interesting topic, because it is closely linked to our lives. Nowadays, people are used to shop online with many famous online shopping websites, such as eBay, Taobao, and amazon.com. Apple is becoming much more such successful because of its e-commerce application – iTunes. Mr. Venkat has provides us an in-depth view about e-commerce and what the types, benefits, and issues of e-commerce. For this weekly journal, I would like to do research on e-commerce and gain more insightful knowledge about e-commerce.

What is e-commerce?

Electronic commerce or e-commerce refers to many kinds of online business activities for products and services. It is also any form of business deal in which the people act together electronically rather than by direct physical contact. E-commerce is usually connected with buying and selling over the Internet, or doing any business involving the change of ownership of goods or services through a computer network. Though popular, this definition is not big enough to show recent changes in this new and revolutionary business trend. Today this type of business includes many different types of business.

The history of e-commerce

The following info graphic displays the uncommon spectacle of the e-Commerce-related milestones, integrating the variety of interesting historical facts.

The picture is from TemplateMonster Blog.

There are 4 different types of e-commerce?

During this week’s lecture, Mr. Venkat has mentioned a few types of e-commerce. The major different types of e-commerce are: business-to-business (B2B); business-to-consumer (B2C); business-to-government (B2G); consumer-to-consumer (C2C); and mobile commerce (m-commerce).

“What is B2B e-commerce?” B2B e-commerce is simply defined as e-commerce between companies. This is the type of e-commerce that deals with relationships between and among businesses. About 80% of e-commerce is of this type, and most experts predict that B2B e-commerce will continue to grow faster than the B2C e-commerce.

“What is B2G e-commerce?” Business-to-government e-commerce or B2G is generally defined as business between companies and the public sector (government). It refers to the use of the Internet for public buying, licensing procedures, and other government-related operations. This kind of ecommerce has two features: first, the public sector assumes a leading role in establishing ecommerce; and second, it is assumed that the public sector has the greatest need for making its procurement system more effective.

“What is C2C e-commerce?” Consumer-to-consumer e-commerce or C2C is simply commerce between private individuals. This type of e-commerce is characterized by the growth of electronic marketplaces and online auctions, particularly in vertical industries where firms/businesses can bid for what they want from among multiple suppliers. It perhaps has the greatest potential for developing new markets.

“What is m-commerce?” M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless technology-i.e., handheld devices such as cellular telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Japan is seen as a global leader in m-commerce.

Impact of the Internet on e-commerce

Before the Internet was used for commercial purposes, companies used private networks-such as the EDI or Electronic Data Interchange-to transact business with each other. That was the early form of e-commerce. However, installing and maintaining private networks was very expensive. With the Internet, e-commerce spread rapidly because of the lower costs involved and because the Internet is based on open standards.

How is the Internet relevant to e-commerce? The Internet allows people from all over the world to get connected inexpensively and reliably. As a technical infrastructure, it is a global collection of networks, connected to share information using a common set of rules. Also, as a vast network of people and information, the Internet is an enabler for ecommerce as it allows businesses to showcase and sell their products and services online and gives potential customers, prospects, and business partners access to information about these businesses and their products and services that would lead to purchase.

Finally, based on above discussion, I have discussed a brief definition of e-commerce, major four types of e-commerce and how the Internet affects on e-commerce. In addition, I find an interesting viedo from the Internet in the following

References

  • TemplateMonster Blog. (2011). The history of e-commerce: Timeline Infographic.
  • Schone, Steve. (2004). M-commerce. Computer technology review, 24 (10), 1.
  • Movahedi-Lankarani, Stephanie Jakle. (2002). E-commerce: Resources for doing business on the Internet. Reference and user services quarterly, 41 (4), 316.
 
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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Impact of Information Technology on Business (WEEK 5)

It is no doubt that information technology is a wide field. It has already active enterprises and organizations all over the world to work in an efficient manner. It plays a very important role in effective management and running of a business. In this week’s lecture, we have discussed why business applications are important to information technology students. IT students are always required to have a good sense for operating the software and collecting the data. The use of information technology in organizations is inevitable, be it any type of company like manufacturing or medicinal sector. It has contributed largely to the process advancements in organizations.

In general, impact of information technology on business can be explored in two aspects: (1) software and applications, (2) hardware devices. In the following discussion, I will discuss both elements in details.

Software and Applications

Software is an important part of information technology which relates to computer applications. It enables a company to generate, store, program, and retrieve data when needed (Stephen Rampur, 2011). Nowadays, thousands of softwares are developed for various business purposes. All operations in the business sector are carried out by softwares that are assigned for executing specific tasks. Without these computer applications the businesses would not have been able to carry out their functions in a proper and efficient manner. Operating systems, SAP, quickbooks, and web browsers are some examples of different softwares.

There are also some softwares which are exclusively built to contribute to the proper collaborative working of all sections of the businesses, which are known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). These are complex applications which enable people to efficiently manage all functions and operations of all processes in the businesses. For example, SAP is a kind of business management software. Its applications aim to help companies “operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably” (SAP, 2011).

Hardware Devices

These are various computer equipments that house the softwares. Devices like microcomputers, mid-size servers, and huge mainframe systems are some examples of hardware (Stephen Rampur, 2011). Businesses have to maintain a huge collection of important data. For this purpose, they employ these devices which are responsible for storing confidential company data and retrieving it back when required. Other hardware devices include network devices that are used for providing Internet access to the businesses to work and communicate expeditiously.

Apparently, information technology offers many opportunities for business. With the development of web-based applications, electronic communications systems, such as forum, blog and Twitter, are invaluable marketing tools, enabling a business to stay connected with customers and suppliers (Devra Gartenstein, Demand Media, 2011). For instance, Telstra established a web page, which is known as Telstra Exchange, containing blogs written from staff across the organization.It writes posts about new products and services, and provides information about ways that your business is evolving. Consequently, Telstra Exchange provides Telstra with another platform for reaching out to customers through the words of their staff, while providing a platform for discussion about the future of communications.

The information technology role in business sector certainly is of a great importance, which enables businesses to effectively and successfully plan, manage, execute strategies which lead to profit. Moreover, the impact of information technology on business is on the rise, as several advancements are focused on to be implemented in various business processes.

References:

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

E-Health and Green IT (WEEK 4)

E-Health

e-health is a wide and fast-growing field with many implications on how healthcare will be delivered in the future. With the development of modern technologies, medical knowledge seeks to explore new methods to use new technologies to improve the health and well being of all people. e-health refers to the use of communication technology, such as Internet, computers, personal digital assistants, to facilitate healthcare choices and decisions . Hence, the main objective of e-Health is the use of emerging technologies, especially the Internet, to advance or enable health and healthcare.

The “e” in e-health does not only stand for “electronic,” but implies a number of other “e’s,” which together perhaps best characterize what e-health is all about,


The key mission of e-health can be summarized as following aspects,

  • Improve health status by supporting healthy lifestyles, improving health decisions, and enhancing health care quality
  • Reduce health care costs by improving efficiencies in the healthcare system and prevention
  • Empower people to take greater control of their health by supporting better-informed health decisions and self-care
  • Enhance clinical care and public health services by facilitating health professional practice and communication
  • Reduce health disparities by applying new approaches to improve the health of underserved populations

The Internet is an important tool. e-Health is the health-related industry made possible by this tool. This industry also needs to accept and overcome some specific challenges like Access, Research, Security, Privacy, Confidentiality and so on. The goal of e-health is to help, create a trustworthy environment for all users. Because of the ever increasing consumer demand for information and expectations to get that information is perhaps the single largest driver of the e-health industry.

Green IT and sustainability

With energy prices rising, regulatory pressures mounting and stakeholders demanding enterprises become more socially aware, green IT is a key issue affecting businesses today (Simon and Bettina). In the past, most organizations paid little regard to the environmental aspects of the equipment they used, or the way resources were consumed and disposed of. However, today, sustainability issues are increasingly becoming an important consideration for business. Understanding the impact and benefits, such as securing cost savings, of implementing a Green IT strategy should be essential for every business all over the world. But with environmental, ethical and legislative factors to take into account, many businesses still do not know where to begin when it comes to delivering green IT effectively.

Based on the weekly reading on Blackboard and some other articles, there several approaches are summarized in which information and communication technologies can contributes to working efficiency, business competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

  1. Collaboration: New collaborative platforms, such as Wikis, Twitter and Facebook, provide capabilities to help people work together at a distance. These web-based applications eliminate much of the time and money spent on travel. As a consequence, they reduce the emissions associated with travel.
  2. Anytime-anywhere technologies: Generally, anytime-anywhere technologies consist of teleworking, mobile and wireless technologies. They have the impact on making work as an activity, not a place. The office is no longer the only place to connect to the network, to colleagues, or to critical applications. Employees at home, on the road, in the field, in factories and warehouses can use IT as effectively as their colleagues in the office. It is apparent that they reduce the emissions associated with commuting and other travel and with under-used office space.
  3. Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network. The economies of scale of cloud-based services can result in very efficient use of energy, space and equipment.

The following video describes how IT can improve sustainability and contribute to a greener planet. Sid describes the areas of sustainability, reducing redundancy, and the first steps to a greener environment and a healthy bottom-line.

References:

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Weekly Post

 
 
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