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Technology analysis requirements

Major learning objective for the analysis:
To develop skills to identify and analyze, in-depth, a (information) technology/concept and
to identify its potential applications that generate value to your business/organization.

In this research project, you will examine a specific information technology/concept of your
choice and its relevance/application to contemporary businesses/organizations. The goal of this
research is to make you comfortable with intelligently discussing a leading-edge IT
(technology/concept) and making an informed decision of its applicability to today’s businesses.
Note that the analysis has two parts: (1) the technology/concept itself and (2) its application to
business (if you just present the technology without its business application and its associated
organizational value, you will lose half of your project grade). For the second part of the analysis
(i.e., applicability and value generation), please include a discussion of the applicability of the
technology/concept to any business/organization and then specifically discuss its applicability to a
specific business/organization (preferably, this should be one of the businesses/organizations that
any one of the group member works for). The project will be done in teams of 3 students. Each
team will prepare a short report (a maximum of 12 pages excluding references, appendices, etc.) on
your selected technology/concept. Your target audience for this project is senior corporate
management. Please address the following issues in your report:

1. What is the technology/concept, what are its features, and how does it work?
2. Describe the history/evolution of the technology/concept.
3. What benefits does the technology/concept provide/promise for businesses/organizations?
4. How does the technology/concept apply to a specific business/organization (where one of
the group members works)? What benefits can be derived by the business/organization?
5. What infrastructure or complementary technologies are needed to use this
6. Describe some businesses/organizations that currently use it and how.
7. Compare the key vendors of this technology, their solutions, and cost.
8. What are the risks or challenges in implementing this technology/concept?
9. What are the competing technologies, if any?
10. List of scholarly references (at least five).

Some suggested topics for technology analysis are:

• Software as a service (SAAS)
• Enterprise resource planning (ERP) capability
• Customer relationship management (CRM) capability
• Supply chain management (SCM) capability
• Cloud computing
• Business analytics (BA)
• Geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis (SA) for business
• Offshoring IT work
• Virtual value chain
• Knowledge management

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Updated: 10/20/2010
• Data warehouses
• Virtual collaboration
In addition, you can analyze any other technologies/concepts after you get approval from me for the
proposed technology/concept.

Please form the 3-person groups for this project carefully so that there is enough diversity within the
group. Project topics will be awarded based on your choice of topics. Please email me your
preferences, i.e., your first, second, and third choice. I will resolve ties through a randomization

How can you research for this project? The list of readings will be a good starting point for the
analysis. Google is also useful; the challenge will be to filter, validate, and synthesize useful
content. The XIME library may have some useful databases such as ABI/Inform that you can
access. Online IT magazines such as Business 2.0, Wired, MIT Technology Review, and
Information Week, and vendor web sites are also useful sources of information. Note that a lot of
materials on the Internet are plain hype and present an overly rosy picture; you should not buy into
everything you read, but validate it using reliable, third-party sources.

Evaluation criteria:
I will evaluate your analysis write-up and presentation based on whether you have addressed the 10
issues posed (under requirements) and how well you have addressed them.

Deliverables (and due dates):

Choice of technology/concept: November 19, 2010 (email me your choices)
Technology/concept analysis paper: December 3, 2010.

Please feel free to E-mail me rough draft of the paper for comments to help improve your
paper. I will give you one interim feedback on the paper.

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Updated: 10/20/2010