RSS

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:

 
Leave a comment

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:

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Government 2.0 and Mobile Computing (Week 3)

In this week and last week’s lecture, we have discussed many impact of IT on government, for example Government 2.0. In addtion, it is apparent that mobile computing becomes increasingly prevalent all over the world. Therefore, in this weekly journal, I would like to explore some more information about them.

Government 2.0

New technologies are bringing new opportunities to enhance feedback between service delivery and policy or program design areas. More than half of all Australians now interact with government using a variety of these technologies (Government 2.0 Taskforce Report 2009). A cultural shift among policy and service delivery agencies is needed for these opportunities to be fully exploited.

Government 2.0 in general describes efforts undertaken by communities, states and the federal government to implement the web based tools and technologies developed and adopted by the private, commercial sector of the economy that extend the utility of the Internet (Digital communities 2008). Such kind of efforts is collectively known as Web 2.0. Among those jurisdictions that have chosen to explore the possibilities, the consensus seems to be that Web 2.0 can help government enhance its existing relationship with citizens by creating new avenues of interaction.

Government 2.0 involves a public policy shift to create a culture of openness and transparency, where government is willing to engage with and listen to its citizens; and to make available the vast national resource of non-sensitive public sector information (PSI). Government 2.0 empowers citizens and public servants alike to directly collaborate in their own governance by harnessing the opportunities presented by technology. There are three aspects can be defined for Government 2.0,

  • Leadership, policy and governance to achieve necessary shifts in public sector culture and practice
  • The application of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and practices to the business of government
  • Open access to PSI

Source: Government 2.0 Taskforce

In brief, Governments today are using Web 2.0 technologies to transform themselves from government-oriented to citizen-oriented government that is characterized by cooperation based on information and service sharing, new government services oriented toward the demanding side, and easy participation of citizens.

Source:  Concepts and Features of Government 2.0 and 3.0

There is a video from Tim O’Reilly about Government 2.0.

Mobile Computing

Mobiles as a category have proven more interesting and more capable with each passing year, and continue to be a technology with new surprises. Mobile computing is a kind of new technology that is being developed with mobile communications, Internet, databases and distributed computing technology. Mobile computing technology will enable a computer or other intelligent mobile devices to achieve data transfer and resource sharing in the wireless environment. In the developed world, mobile computing has become an indispensable part of day-to-day life in the workforce, and a key driver is the increasing ease and speed with which it is possible to access the Internet from virtually anywhere in the world via cellular network.

Recently, the increasing availability of high speed wireless data networks and mobile computing devices has spurred the Queensland Government to expand its application of mobile data systems for its agencies providing emergency services. The Government plan to set up a panel of providers as a method of giving agencies the flexibility to develop mobile data terminal solutions that meet their needs and utilizes existing infrastructure. The Queensland Ambulance Service will use the new arrangement to replace its ageing mobile data terminal system, and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is expected to use the panel to source gear for an automatic vehicle location system.

Obviously, it can be seen the need of mobile computing in many forms of government. Mobile computing as a new technology can facilitate government to improve working efficency.

References:

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Impact of Social Networks (Week 2)

During the last week’s lecture, we have briefly discussed some kinds of inventions, such as Twitter, Youtube, Wifi and Facebook. Networks become systems and new media provides new services for us. This impact of information technology really inspires my interests. Hence, I have done some reading and investigation about this era.

In the past a few years, the term “Web 2.0” has found its way into business. Web 2.0 is best described as a combination of new technologies (like web services, AJAX, RSS, mashups), new types of applications (social software, social networking), new patterns of interaction, and new principles of organization (participation, wisdom of crowds) as well as new business models such as long tail, webtop and so on. Likewise, the term “Enterprise 2.0” has emerged for the use of Web 2.0 applications and technologies in enterprises including the organizational change in enterprises, which accompanies the technical innovation (A Comparative Study on the Use of Web 2.0 in Enterprise 2009).

With the development of modern technologies, it becomes clear that social media applications have been adopted to various organizations or enterprises in recent a few years. Many social tools, such as Wikis, Blog and Facebook, have become a massive and widespread phenomenon. Some organizations’ initial exposure to social networks has been through responding to the reality of their staff using public social networks while at work. As a consequent, business values of enterprises can be benefited from social networks, which include quicker access to expertise and resources, swifter innovation, enhanced collaboration, more effective leadership development, and better morale (Implementing Enterprise 2009). For further discussion, the primary options for enterprises to tap new media and Web 2.0 are to allow or encourage staff to use external social networks to connect with colleagues, or to implement internal social networks. The connection through social networking applications in certain enterprise can be represented in the following picture.

There are two examples of companies using social networking tools to achieve enterprise objectives.

Example 1: Deloitte LLP has implemented a variety of Web 2.0 initiatives over the last several years. In January 2007, an internal group built a business case for creating an internal social networking tool, which was designed to be similar to Facebook, using benefits such as more effective virtual team work, easier implementation of flexible working arrangements, increased retention, and faster integration of new employees. The system was approved and built on the firm’s SharePoint platform.

Example 2:Serena Software is a privately owned company providing application development tools. It has close to 1000 employees working out of 29 offices, though over one third works from home. The company established “Facebook Fridays,” when staffs were tasked to spend one hour of their working day maintaining their Facebook pages. A set of simple guidelines were established after consultation with the company’s legal department. Over 90% of employees are on Facebook and connected to their colleagues. The sales team regularly use Facebook to build relationships with their clients and prospects.

As a result, the best focus for initial adoption of internal social networks in the enterprise is specific teams or groups. These groups can help seed contacts in the other groups across the connection.It is apparent that new media applications and social networking tool being used really benefit organizations or enterprises in different aspects. And, employees’ desire to participate in social networks is highly correlated to general staff engagement and sentiment. So social networks as a part of information technology brings great impact to enterprises and organizations.

Here are two interesting video showing how social networks work and how companys adopt wikis into their organizations. From the video, it is obvious that social networks as a kind of information technology generate great impact on people’s lives.

References:

  1. Scott Rettberg. 2003. Introduction: New Media Studies.
  2. Tim O’Reilly. 2005. What Is Web 2.0.
  3. Ross Dawson. 2009. Implementing Enterprise 2.0.
  4. Frank Fuchs-Kittowski, Nikolaus Klassen, Daniel Faust, & Johannes Einhaus. 2009. A Comparative Study on the Use of Web 2.0 in Enterprise.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Impact of IT (Week 1)

During the lecture, we have discussed lots of practices about impact of information technology. It arouses my interests about how information technology affects and advances our lives, specifically in business and education.

Today, thousands of technological developments that have taken place in information technology and these developments have had an influence on the way people work and on society in general, in the last thirty years. At the heart of most organizations today is information. Whether working for a corporation, retail store, airport or healthcare or government organization, information is a lifeline and the most valuable asset. An information system collects, processes, stores and disseminates information. Information technology (IT) is the collection of all organizational information through electronic means (Tina, 1998).

Impact of IT on Business

Business pressures surround an organization’s move to information technology, including the need to share information across functional areas. Critical response, innovation, increased productivity, efficiency, quality, competition and security all drive IT growth.

Small scale businesses buy software packages that would cater to their specific management, operational, and functional needs including Internet marketing and email marketing, web hosting and promotions, and maintaining client networks. Larger businesses usually purchase ERP softwares to coordinate different processes and functions into a single application, which is actually more convenient.

Manufacturing businesses may make use of servers and data warehouse to store their vast data regarding inventory.Automobile manufacturers use computers to guide manufacturing and designing tools to function in a precise manner, ruling out the possibilities of any human error. Businesses all around the globe have to take the aid of information technology in some way or the other to keep themselves in sync with the market and the world. There are several departments in business organizations such as HR and recruitment, finance and payroll, administration, and security. All these departments utilize IT to carry out their respective operations in a productive manner and efficient manner.

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.

Impact of IT on Education

Computers and the Internet technology have revolutionized the field of education. The importance of technology in schools cannot be ignored. In fact, with the onset of computers in education, it has become easier for the teachers to render knowledge and for the students to grasp it.

The computers offer an interactive audio-visual media. PowerPoint presentations and animation software can be used to render information to the students in an interactive manner. Moreover, these softwares serve as visual aids to the teachers. Overhead projectors and screens facilitate a simultaneous viewing of information by a large number of students. Interactive media have proven to be useful in enhancing the concentration levels of students. This underlines the importance of computer teaching against textbooks.

The web is a huge information base. The Internet can be used an effective tool for acquiring knowledge. All a web user needs to do is to key in search queries to search engines, which are prompt to present him/her with millions of search results. There are several informative websites and web directories that offer information on a wide variety of subjects. Students can use the Internet to gain all additional information they need to enhance their knowledge base.

Online education and distance learning have given a new dimension to the field of education and higher learning. Today, students do not necessarily need to be physically present in classrooms. Many educational institutes offer online courses to their students. Most of the schools and colleges offer online assignment submission facilities. Students can submit their homework and test assignments through the Internet. Many universities offer online education programs wherein the students can interact with their teachers over the web, such as QUT Blackboard, access reference material from the University website and earn degrees online.

Both impact of IT on business and education are discussed. Through this unit, I think we are going to learn more knowledge about impact of IT. In addition, to maintain a reflective journal online is good for me to refresh my study and knowledge all the way.

References:

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Weekly Post

 

Enterprise collaboration

Social networking and collaborative applications are pushing the business world into Enterprise 2.0. Business computing has entered a new phase: Enterprise 2.0, in which social networking and collaboration are becoming an intrinsic part of end-user computing. Driving this trend is the increasingly pervasive and routine use of social networking and collaborative tools such as wikis, blogs, micro blogs, RSS, in end users’ day-to-day work and in business applications (WHITEPAPER Enterprise Collaboration 2010).

Many social networking applications were created and adopted by various enterprises. For example, blogging went mainstream when global companies such as Google and AOL bought or set up their own blogging applications. To help ensure success, Microsoft hired blogger Robert Scoble from NEC to be its “technical evangelist.” (KPMG International. 2007) There is a picture showing that different types of web 2.0 applications are used in enterprises.

Wikis

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, popularized the phenomenon of user-generated knowledge. Today, companies are examining whether wikis can be used to help foster collaboration on business projects. Nokia hosts a number of wikis, some of which are used internally to coordinate technology investment research. And Forum Nokia Wiki provides a place where issues around Nokia’s phones and software are debated.

Disney’s Family.com site is a wiki that contains features aimed at parents that will aggregate links to other parenting sites as well as offer tips.

Somewhat surprisingly, it is an investment bank—not the most natural adopter of social technology—that operates the largest corporate wiki. BusinessWeek reports that more than 50 percent of all employees at Dresdner Kleinwort participate, fueling collaboration and communication to ensure that all team members are “on the same page” in terms of project management and calendars. This may seem like a simple application, but the investment bank has found it to be a powerful efficiency tool.

RSS Technology

RSS feeds were designed to publish frequently updated Web content (Wikipedia 2010). They are now widely used by media companies—from Techworld, a British magazine, to The Wall Street Journal—to enable subscribers to view breaking news. They also help the media companies to track their customers’ interests closely and to tailor advertising accordingly.

Tagging

 Tagging is the use of keywords to track content on Web sites. It was first employed on nonbusiness sites such as two that were acquired by Yahoo!: Del.ici.ous, a social bookmarking site where users can share links, and Flickr, a photo-sharing site. Commentator David Weinberger, an academic, blogger, and writer on Web 2.0 issues and a fellow at Harvard’s Beckman Center, recommends that companies use tagging as a means of leveraging hundreds of strangers as researchers.

In brief, Social networking and collaborative applications offers tremendous opportunities for businesses to realize creative ideas and boost productivity and competitiveness. Achieving it, however, requires companies to adopt a different approach to collaboration.

References:

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Enterprise 2.0, Weekly Post

 

Twitter, a new bird, a new experience

Twitter is an online free micro-blogging service created by US citizens Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams which has been adding followers to its ranks by the thousands since it was first created in 2006, having finally reached 100 million users last year. The concept is simple and based on one simple question: “What are you doing now?” The point is to answer in 140 characters or less, and the response, called a “tweet,” can include links to other articles, pictures, and videos. Here is a video showing how twitter works.

The presence of politicians around the world is ever increasing making the micro-blogging site a powerful channel that may change the way politicians do politics. US President Barack Obama is the main reason most politicians even have a Twitter account in the first place. Before being elected, he demonstrated to his counterparts that the service is a great and dynamic way to inform of his policies and get others involved. He currently has staffers tweeting for him on his personal account, along with a constant stream of news flowing from the White House version.

There are many new functions on using Twitter,

  • TwitterMap: Users can use Twitter’s Username to do geographic search and display the user’s Twitter message, as well as the public location and other related information.
  • TwitterBar: TwitterBar is a FireFox plug-in based, you can browse the website address of the user’s current collection to their own Twitter account, other users add you as a friend if it seems you can see your current visit relevant information and so on.
  • Twitter tools: Twitter tools is a wordpress plug-ins which produced by a blog of Alex King, users can send their own wp platform, as well as to show his Twitter message, etc.; if you are the ultimate fan of Twitter, but also a wp the user, then this plug-in is definitely worth for you to collection and use.
  • Twitter Badges: Twitter Badges are provided by an official gadgets, users can express their feelings through blog.

Twitter: discover what’s new in your world

 
12 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Quick Post

 
 
%d bloggers like this: