Part B: Survey of IS Theory
This assessment item relates to unit learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 as listed in unit profile. The main purpose of this assignment is to guide you through an exploration of major topics in information systems to build up your knowledge, and for you to demonstrate that you understand and can explain the basic concepts underlying Information Systems. The use of word processing skills is required in completing the assignment.
ALL students will complete this part, to be submitted as a word-processed document on the Assignment Submission System available in Moodle (the course website).
You are to research and prepare answers to all questions listed below. You may use quotations or referenced paraphrasing, but you must always summarise your findings and conclusions in your own words. Failure to do this will cost you marks – see marking guide. Answers to each question should be around 250 to 300 words. Be succinct and to the point.
Do not use direct quotations. Instead, you are required to research, read, understand and then explain in your own words. Any paraphrasing from sources must be correctly referenced in-text and in the References section, using the Harvard referencing standard.
Use a variety of web sources, journals and books (avoid using Wikipedia for every question). It is always helpful to read about the same topics from more than one source. Visit the CQU library journal database. The minimum resource to use for all questions is the prescribed textbook.
This report should be from the third person point of view, which is standard in business reports. Your report must have the following sections in the order listed:
IMPORTANT: Do not attempt to shorten or to re-phrase the question, as this runs the risk of accidentally changing the question. Marking will always be against the original question as published in this specification.
(b) Write a short note on information systems risk assessment. What are the three ways in which organizations react to perceived risks?
Provide specific examples to support your answer.
The statistics from The Economist suggests the growth of mobile devices to 20 billion by 2020, which is increasingly necessitating modern businesses to integrate mobile technologies to generate additional revenues. As ever-increasing population across global communities are using mobile devices, Palos-Sanchez, Saura and Debasa (2018) observe that mobile applications (apps) greatly support the businesses around the world to encourage customers to repeat their orders on the go. Global consumers, nowadays, find it more comfortable to buy as per their needs and requirements from mobile apps rather than visiting company websites because of sheet simplicity and perceived convenience associated with the process (Palos-Sanchez, Saura and Debasa 2018). Additionally, the use of mobile apps allows companies to create a new revenue stream from integrated advertisements. The compelling design and features of an app, on the other hand, often allows a company to charge customers for extended offerings. Amazon is one of the notable examples in this scenario, as the company, apart from yielding revenues from advertising, encourages its customers to become Amazon Prime members to explore additional benefits (Sarrab et al. 2015).
Today, increasing numbers of companies from different fields of operations are adopting mobile marketing strategies while building an app-based presence due to its commitment to better personalisation, which eventually helps businesses to offer tailored communication to users based on their likes and dislikes. With the help of providing personalised content, mobile apps efficiently treat users with personalised experiences to promote user engagement, thereby creating a greater possibility of making conversions (Ter Chian Felix Tan et al. 2015). The example of Uber can be discussed, in this case, as the app-based ride booking service provides personalised notifications and user-oriented contents to encourage conversion of leads into profitable results.
Discuss the competitive strategy of the business of this company and how the Internet has influenced the various competitive forces for the business of this company.
Considering the example of Telstra Corporation Limited, one of the leading players in the telecommunication industry of Australia, Porter’s five forces model, a holistic strategy framework, can be used to analyse competitive strategy of the business.
Threat of New Entrants – New entrants with their innovative new ways of operation can exert pressure on existing players like Telstra, enabling the firms to adopts measures of cost reduction, lower pricing and new value proposition (Campbell 2017). However, increased barriers, mainly in the form of legislative policies, patent rights, customer loyalty, branding and capital requirements, have created a low level of threats from new entrants.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers – The higher bargaining power of suppliers, the more chances of profitability reduction for an organisation, as suppliers may use their superior position to negotiate and extract higher prices from businesses. While bargaining power for sellers of latest technologic devices in the telecom industry is high, level of differentiation of inputs has curbed such impact, suggesting a moderate level of bargaining power of suppliers of Telstra.
Bargaining Power of Buyers – Due to the relative ease of switching and availability of abundant choices, buyer power is high in the telecom industry, greatly influencing prices of different services.
Threat from Substitute Products – Technologic advancements and competition greatly account for reduction in profit margins for the telecom operators. Despite the availability of a wide range of substitutes, such as internet calls and instant messaging, threat from substitutes is moderate majorly due to limited willingness among buyers, standard of services and simplicity of substitutes (Bhatti, Abareshi and Pittayachawan 2017, July). A drastic reduction in prices of telecom services has curbed the impact of such threat while minimising profit margin for companies.
Rivalry among Existing Players – With the involvement of major industry players like Vodafone, Optus, Orange and Primus, with their similar offerings, Telstra along with the telecom industry faces stiff competition, leaving buyers and suppliers with abundant choices related to suitability of bargains.
Porter's Five Forces EXPLAINED
Competitive Strategy of Telstra – The competitive strategy of Telstra is based on simplifying its products and services radically to improve customer experience. Additionally, the company seeks to reduce its cost base through revamping existing operations and enhancing digital experiences to raise customer loyalty and empower working members to serve adequately (Telstra.com.au 2019).
Telstra – Corporate Strategy
Influence of the Internet – The emergence of internet technologies has dramatically disrupted the overall telecom industry, as it has caused a significant change in ways people interact with each other. With the booming and fuelling of the internet market, data consumption rate increased radically, leading telecom operators like Telstra to capitalise on developing required infrastructure to provide tailored consumer applications. In order to provide impeccable network and solution, the development of cloud technologies can be seen as one of the major steps taken by telecom operators to counter competitive pressure (Dabscheck 2016).
Based on the analysis in 2016, it was estimated that 3.5 billion people in the world were using internet, suggesting around 45 percent of world population had the internet access that year. While most of the internet users were concentrated on East and South Asia, China is ranked at the top with more than 721 internet users, over double the amount of third-ranked US, which had around 290 internet users. India was ranked second while Brazil and Japan completed the top-five. Concerning the speed, South Korea has the fastest internet connection speed with an average of 27 Mbps as on 2016, whereas the average speed of global internet connection stood at 6.1 Mbps (Internet Facts 2018).
Global internet users since 1990
(Source: Our World in Data)
Considering the statistic of 2018, the continued growth of digital landscape throughout the world has contributed to the increase in internet users to 4.1 billion, i.e. 52 percent of the world’s population. While the average daily internet usage has surpassed six hours per day, a quarter of a billion new users came with their internet connectivity for the first time over the past twelve months (Kujawski 2018). While Africa has the fastest growth rate, Asia holds half of the global internet users. Noticeably, the internet has penetrated to a significant extent, i.e. 95 percent in North America to cover almost every geographies and individual.
Global internet statistics for 2018
(Source: Kujawski 2018)
As discussed by Awosanya (2018), 61 percent of world population will become internet users by 2025, an increase of 41 percent from 2017. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to contribute to such a major growth by growing at 130 percent. As it is predicted that the Internet of Things (IoT) will require a massive amount of infrastructure, the global network infrastructure will require its capacity expansion through adopting hybrid policies featuring fibres in new places and commitment towards wireless connectivity. Such changes may cause disruptions across the communication infrastructure while providing opportunities for new players with their huge capitals to enable business expansion.
Social commerce is an important subset of electronic commerce, which involves social media or online media that supports various social interactions. Social commerce is used to promote online buying and selling of products and services by involving social networking sites. Social commerce, as a result, can be defined as the electronic marketing and commercial approach to include social media for the promotion of online transactions (Hajli 2015). Due to growing popularity of Facebook, Twitter Instagram and Pinterest in the modern society, social commerce has received wider attention these days, encouraging users of social networking sites to interact with marketing campaigns of companies through likes, shares and retweets.
A whole new range of marketing tactics can be employed by companies to leverage consumer social networks and promote online transactions through social commerce. A company can arrange a voting process to determine the most desirable product styles or choices while personalising the buyer options through customisation of product colours, styles and sizes (Zhang, K.Z. and Benyoucef 2016). Additionally, companies can apply attractive and striking graphics to its contents to enable viewer clicks alongside using videos to demonstrate products from multiple viewing angles, allowing users to submit their comments or feedback. Moreover, many companies, nowadays, driven by the concept of social commerce, develop social shopping tools, such as communities and forums that allow buyers and sellers to discuss their shopping experiences and compare transactional information.
While social media applications, such as social networking sites and tools can be a useful element for businesses to engage more audience and boost website traffic, its devastating impacts must be considered carefully for deciding upon the best approach.
From the context of users, conversations using social media applications greatly lacks emotional connection, as involving parties often do not sense any emotion or enthusiasm regarding the particular discussion. Secondly, social media applications are majorly accounted for deteriorating the face-to-face communicational skills of individuals, as they often find it hard to convey their thoughtful response in the practical world due to overdependence on keyboard to transmit messages (Fuchs 2017). Thirdly, it is mostly observed that social media tools and applications convey inauthentic expressions or feelings from one person to another, thereby degrading the chance of gaining an honest or natural response between users.
Users of different social media applications
Apart from the identified downsides, using social media applications gives rise to a wide range of risks to users. Three of the most important dangers of using social media applications include data theft or identity leakage, profile hacking and fake apps or malicious links (Ranschaert et al. 2016). While almost 12 million people suffered the risk of identity theft in 2012, causing US to face a loss of around $21 billion, profile hacking or hijacking has become a common cybercrime these days due to an increased number of hackers with their distorted interests. Moreover, there are countless fake apps and links present throughout online platforms with their intention to avail personal data and cause harm to individuals by creating fraudulent situations.
Database management system (DBMS) simply refers to a combination of software aiming at retrieving, storing and updating data in a computer system scientifically. It essentially indicates an interface between database and end users or programmers to ensure easy organisation and access to required data (Arasu et al. 2016). As part of the DBMS, an entity refers to an easily identifiable real-world object, either animated or unanimated. In a school database, for example, teachers, students, courses and classes can be categorised as different entities with their separate attributes, responsible for establishing unique identities.
Attributes indicate properties of an entity. While a student in a school is categorised as an entity, its attributes can include a student ID, name, address and class, as part of the entity-relationship model. Records, on the other hand, refer to the combination of fields containing one item of information. Each set of records constitutes a particular file, such as a personnel file, which might contain records including three fields, i.e. name, address and phone number (Bhatt and Pattipaka 2015). Therefore, a field indicates the intersection of an attribute and a record. Multiple attributes can be present in a database table whereas each record in a table can have data on one particular item.
The term, Enterprise Integration is a technical perspective of an enterprise architecture focusing on different studies such as product data exchange, electronic data exchange, system interconnection and distributed computing environments. Integrated enterprise system refers to an integration platform or software for integrating range of applications and services. It is different from enterprise application integration, which aims at improving supply chain management. The particular system must be designed on an integrated basis, as it effectively creates an environment for handling more than one operation by the business while facilitating reporting needs of the organisation (Weichhart et al. 2016). Based on the previous context, large organisations tend to use multiple information systems for managing diverse functions, such as marketing, sales, production and so on. The processes related to each business function, as a result, were disparate while lacking the capability to share information among each other to create difficulties for managers to assemble the fragmented data of these systems and acknowledge the overall picture of an organisation’s operations. The necessity of an integrated enterprise system, hence, can be observed critically for modern corporates since its priority in providing a foundation to a cross-functional information system allowing effective coordination and integration of key processes across the organisation (Romero and Vernadat 2016). With the help of such a planning system, managers are assisted with their decision-making while planning appropriately regarding allocation and utilisation of key organisational resources.
Planning resources through an integrated enterprise system
A portal in the context of supply chain management (SCM) refers to an international and independent platform for all professional and practitioners involved in the process of supply and demand while providing more relevant and updated information on demand and supply chain management in an organised and systematic manner (Ross 2016). The conceptual framework related to SCM portal relies heavily on Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) Model, which is postulated by the Supply Chain Council. The model reflects five distinct categories, such as planning, sourcing, manufacturing, delivering and returning.
The SCOR Model
(Source: SCM Portal)
Supply Chain Portal works in conjunction with Management Dashboard to enable highly relevant and streamlined information, network sharing and monitoring. Modern supply chain monitoring tools principally comprise a designated portal allowing companies and their suppliers to collaborate in other possible ways while removing several collaboration challenges, such as bottlenecks in ordering and requisition and communication hurdles.
Poor requirements can have drastic consequences on ultimate results of different systems or projects. As requirements serve as the blueprint for everyone involved in the project, poor requirements can lead to failure in design and tests, causing delays in analysis and development. The overall analysis phase is categorised into requirement gathering and requirement analysing, where requirements can be functional and non-functional addressing operational and technical perspectives (Palinkas et al. 2015). Some of the particular methods related to requirement collection during systems analysis are highlighted below:
One-on-one Interviews – It is the most common method of gathering requirements, especially primary sources of requirements. Interviews should be designed effectively and prepared before engaging in conversations with the interviewee.
Questionnaires/Surveys – Analysts often use questionnaires or surveys to collect required information from a wide range of participants in a relatively shorter amount of time.
User Observation – Apart from direct approaches like interviews and questionnaires, direct observation is relevant at times for gathering requirements. It helps the analysts to gain a better understanding of a user in the current work environment (Van Velsen 2017).
Using someone else’s account or any other methods, gaining access to a program, website, service, server or any other system is known as unauthorised access. For instance, anyone continues assuming username and password of another person’s account until gaining access is characterised as unauthorised access. A user attempting to access a restricted area of a system is also considered unauthorised access (Votaw, Keys and Arora 2018). Tailgating is one of the most common forms of unauthorised access, where one or more people through a door follow an unauthorised user.
Risk assessment is a critical part for an organisation, involving identification, anticipation and prioritisation of risks facing organisational operations and assets resulting from utilisation and operation of information systems. The concept of risk assessment essentially integrates with monetary aspect of an organisation, leading the business to contemplate the effects of employees and assets on profitability and monetary losses (Laudon and Laudon 2015). Three typical organisational responses to perceived risks are illustrated below: