Chapter 12 ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What has been the impact of e-business technologies on the work relationships, activities, and resources of managers? Information technology is a major force for organizational and managerial change. Due to telecommunications networks and personal computers, computing power and information resources are now more readily available to more managers than ever before. Managing the information systems resources of a business is no longer the sole province of information systems specialists. Instead, information resource management has become a major responsibility of managers. 2. What can business unit managers do about performance problems in the use of information technology and the development and operation of information systems in a business? Extensive and meaningful management involvement in information systems is important. Management can get involved through executive information services committees, management steering committees, and through end user management of IT. 3. Refer to the Real World Case on Mellon Financial Corp. in the chapter. What should determine whether a company uses a dot.com or dotcorp strategy for its e-commerce initiatives? Use an example of companies you know from the real world to support your answer. Whether or not a company uses a dot-com or dotcorp strategy for its e-commerce initiatives may be based on how they plan to conduct future business. Certainly some up-start companies may choose only to conduct business using a dot.com strategy. They may not require a traditional brick and mortar presence, and their products may not require a physical storage place. Amazon.com is a hybrid of a dot.com and a dot.corp company. Amazon does have some warehouses, but they also offer many products that they never actually carry in a physical inventory. Many more companies will adopt this type of strategy as they compete in the new economy. A dot-com strategy is one where you take an existing expertise, put it on the Internet, and try to build a new line of business around it. In a dotcorp, you derive the benefits of ecommerce through strategies that are profitably attached to the Internet. Dell Computers used a dotcorp strategy to offer their products directly to the customer. 4. How are Internet technology affecting the structure and work roles of modern organizations? For example, will middle management wither away? Will companies consist primarily of selfdirected project teams of knowledge workers? Explain your answer. Computer-based information systems can encourage either centralization or decentralization. The philosophy of top management, the culture of the organization, the need to reengineer its operations, and its use of aggressive or conservative competitive strategies all play major roles in how IT is shaping the firm’s organizational structure. Work roles are rapidly changing as we find more effective ways to communicate and collaborate with our customers, suppliers,

combat style strategies.partners. and many are actually adverse to taking such risks. Only by developing effective and appropriate e-business and IT strategies. . Should the IS function in a business be centralized or decentralized? What recent developments support your answer? The development of minicomputers and microcomputers accelerated a trend back toward decentralization. intranets. In the United States there is a tendency toward keeping up with others. which has resulted in a re-centralizing trend at some organizations. 7.e. and the development of hybrid structures at others. and extranets will certainly affect each of the components of global ebusiness technology management as illustrated in Figure 12. Companies and developers are pushing the development of newer technology in order to be the first to market.13. Competing in the international business communities’ offer major challenges not only with technology but also with challenges such as cultural. Not all firms wish to risk the chance of being the first to market. Global markets are unfolding. and extranets affect each of the components of global e-business technology management as illustrated in Figure 12.13. they must ensure that their business strategy coincides with their IT strategy.13? Give several examples. DHL finds a better fit to their business needs in developers outside of the United States because they have less of a “flavor-of-the-month technologism. The Internet. intranets. As organizations move rapidly towards the use of these types of technologies. Once a company recognizes these challenges. employees. Businesses are no longer restricted to their local markets. and the need for market competitiveness – thus we do have a tendency towards working with the “flavor-of-the-month technology:” DHL ‘s conclusion on this environment is that they prefer to work on a more stable environment and as such are quite content to work with others who also believe that it is a safer and more stable environment to work in. Refer to the Real World Case on DHL Worldwide Express and ApplianceWare in the chapter. and geoeconomic issues. which companies be able to compete effectively in these markets. and so on. have turned over their IS operations to outside system integrators. 6. and competition is heating up. Distributed processing networks and the creation of information centers to support end user computing came about. 5. the trend has been to establish tighter control over the information resources of an organization. How will the Internet. Lately. Some organizations have spun off their IS functions into IS subsidiaries. i. political.” What does this mean? Do you agree with DHL’s conclusion? Why or why not? United States is a hotbed for technology development. We are experiencing major changes in the way in which work is done as we are working more and more in environments that foster workgroups and team effort. or even their national markets. they can develop strategies to deal with the other strategies as outlined in Figure 12. These firms and developers have a great desire to be on what is referred to as the “bleeding edge technology”. alliance members. and some organizations have resorted to outsourcing.

religions. These business drivers will depend on the nature of the industry and its competitive or environmental forces. and . customers who travel widely or have global operations. and systems development projects. and extranets will affect the business drivers or requirements responsible for a company’s use of global IT in a number of ways. 9. as shown in Figure 12. political. Not only has the Internet opened up the floodgates of International marketing. and reciprocal trade agreements. As firms increasingly extend their product offerings into the global marketplace they will have little choice but to develop a transnational business strategy in order to survive. In order to be successful in these global markets. that is. Geoeconomic challenges involve dealing with physical distances.16? Give several examples to illustrate your answer. 24 time zones. social attitudes. The economies of scale provided by global e-business operations are another business driver that requires the support of global IT applications. convenient service to their customers or face losing them to their competitors. intranets. resources. Examples include airlines and hotel chains with global customers. it has also brought with it many other challenges such as cultural. and political philosophies. job skills. There appears to be no doubt that the increasing use of the Internet by firms with global operations will result in changing their move toward a transnational business strategy. Through the use of the Internet. and geoeconomic challenges. How might the Internet. cultural interests. operations. The Internet. and differences in the cost of living and labor costs. platforms. companies must be very diligent in ensuring that they take note of the many aspects involved in these three challenges. Such companies will need global e-business capabilities for online transaction processing so they can provide fast. They must be able to develop global e-business IT strategies and mange global ebusiness application portfolios. Internet technologies. telephone and telecommunications services. and extranets affect the business drivers or requirements responsible for a company’s use of global IT. The traditional methods of doing business at home in domestic markets has changed dramatically. companies are now able to offer their goods and services throughout the world. products. customs. Will the increasing use of the Internet by firms with global e-business operations change their move toward a transnational business strategy? Explain. Political challenges involve rules regulating or prohibiting transfer of data across national boundaries. How might cultural. intranets. tax. 10. restrictions laws restrict. Cultural challenges include differences in languages. local content laws. differences in work styles and business relationships. databases. Business drivers include global customers. or prohibit imports of hardware and software. political.8. or geoeconomic challenges affect a global company’s use of the Internet? Give several examples.

and that require telecommunications capabilities to coordinate global marketing campaigns . Other examples include companies who have products that are available worldwide.collaboration.

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