Assignment 02

Assignment 02
1.    Suppose you manage the buyers at AllRoad and you have been asked to help determine the requirements for a new vendor selection information system. As you think about those requirements, you wonder how much autonomy you want your employees to have in selecting the vendors and products to sell. You can develop a system that will make the vendor/product selection automatically, or you can build one that allows employees to make that selection. Explain how this characteristic will impact:
a)    The skill level required for your employees.
b)    The number of employees you will need.
c)    Your criteria for hiring employees.
d)    Your management practices.
e)    The degree of autonomy for your employees.
f)    Your flexibility in managing your department.

2.    Consider the Case Study 2 (pg. 47 – 48), and answer the following questions.
a)    In your own words, define dogfooding. Do you think dogfooding is likely to predict product success? Why or why not? When would dogfooding not predict product success?
b)    Explain how the presence of the BPMN diagram in Figure 2-9 and the use of SharePoint for the creation of this text are examples of dogfooding.
c)    Summarize the ways that this text’s development team used information systems technology to improve its process efficiency.
d)    The case doesn’t say, but how do you think the annual production of this text contributes to the publisher’s and the author’s competitive strategy?
e)    How does the use of information systems technology contribute to the publisher’s and the author’s competitive strategy?

Assignment 03
3.    Suppose you decide to start a business that recruits students for summer jobs. You will match available students with available jobs. You need to learn what positions are available and what students are available for filling those positions. In starting your business, you know you will be competing with local newspapers, Craigslist, and your college. You will probably have other local competitors as well:
g)    Analyze the structure of this industry according to Porter’s five forces model.
h)    Given your analysis in “part a”, recommend a competitive strategy.
i)    Describe the primary value chain activities as they apply to this business.
j)    Describe a business process for recruiting students.
k)    Describe information systems that could be used to support the business process in “part d”.
l)    Explain how the process you described in “part d” and the system you described in part ‘e’ reflect your competitive strategy.

4.    Consider the Case Study 3 (pg. 73 – 74), and answer the following questions.
f)    Review the principles of competitive advantage in Figure 3-7. Which types of competitive advantage has BOSU used to defeat copycat products?
g)    What role did information systems play in your answer to “part a”?
h)    What additional information systems could Fitness Quest develop to create barriers to entry to the competition and to lock in customers?
i)    In the beginning, Fitness Quest had alliances with trainers and its main competitor had alliances with major retailers. Thus, both companies were competing on the basis of their alliances. Why do you think Fitness Quest won this competition? To what extent did their success in leveraging relationships with trainers depend on information systems? On other factors?
j)    The case does not state all of the ways that Fitness Quest uses its trainer database. List five applications of the trainer database that would increase Fitness Quest’s competitive position.
k)    Describe major differences between the BOSU product and the Indo-Row product. Consider product use, product price, customer resistance, competition, competitive threats, and other factors related to market acceptance.
l)    Describe information systems that Fitness Quest could use to strengthen its strategy for bringing Indo-Row to market. Consider the factors you identified in your answer to “part f” in your response

Assignment 04
5.    Suppose you work at AllRoad and Kelly asks you to list five criteria she should use when considering whether AllRoad should develop a thin- or thick-client application for mobile devices. Justify your criteria.

6.    Visit,, and Summarize differences in the look and feel of each of these sites. Do you think one of these sites is superior to the others? If not, say why. If so, do you think the look and feel of the superior site should be copied by the other companies? Why or why not?

7.    Consider the Case Study 4 (pg. 107 – 108), and answer the following questions.
m)    Which of Porter’s four competitive strategies (from Chapter 3) does Apple engage in? Explain.
n)    What do you think are the three most important factors in Apple’s past success? Justify your answer.
o)    Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011. Until his death, he had been the heart and soul of Apple’s innovation. Today, 35,000 Apple employees continue onward in his absence. A huge question for many investors is whether the company can be successful without him. What is your opinion? What role did he play? How can Apple respond to his loss? Would you be willing to invest in Apple without his leadership? Why or why not?
p)    Microsoft took an early lead in the development of tablet devices (like the iPad), and it had the world’s leading operating system and applications for more than 20 years. Provide five reasons why Microsoft was not able to achieve the same success that Apple has. Most industry analysts would agree that the skills and abilities of Microsoft’s 88,000 employees are as good, on average, as Apple’s
q)    Considering your answers to the four questions above, as well as the current stock price, if you had a spare $5,000 in your portfolio and wanted to buy an equity stock with it, would you buy AAPL (Apple)? Why or why not?

Assignment 05
8.    Suppose you work at AllRoad and Kelly asks you to list five criteria she should use when considering whether AllRoad should develop a thin- or thick-client application for mobile devices. Justify your criteria. Suppose you are a marketing assistant for a consumer electronics company and are in charge of setting up your company’s booth at trade shows. Weeks before the shows, you meet with the marketing managers and determine what displays and equipment they want to display. Then you identify each of the components that need to be shipped and schedule a shipper to deliver them to the trade show site. You then supervise convention personnel as they set up the booths and equipment. Once the show is over, you supervise the packing of the booth and all equipment as well as schedule its shipment back to your home office. When the equipment arrives, you check it into your warehouse to ensure that all pieces of the booth and all equipment are returned. If there are problems due to shipping damage or loss, you handle those problems. Your job is important; at a typical show you are responsible for more than a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of equipment.
r)    You will need to track data about booth components, equipment, shippers, and shipments. List typical fields for each type of data.
s)    Could you use a spreadsheet to keep track of this data? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
t)    Using your answer to part ‘a’, give an example of two relationships that you need to track. Show the keys and foreign keys for each.
u)    Which of the following components of a database application are you likely to need: data entry forms, reports, queries, or application program? Explain one use for each that you will need.
v)    Will your application be for one user or for multiple users? Will you need a personal DBMS or an enterprise DBMS? If a personal DBMS, which product will you use?

9.    Consider the Case Study 5 (pg. 137 – 138), and answer the following questions.
a)    Clearly, Dynamo, Bigtable, and Cassandra are critical technology to the companies that create them. Why did they allow their employees to publish academic papers about them? Why did they not keep them as proprietary secrets?
b)    What do you think this movement means to the existing DBMS vendors? How serious is the NoSQL threat? Justify your answer. What responses by existing DBMS vendors would be sensible?
c)    Is it a waste of your time to learn about the relational model and Microsoft Access? Why or why not?

Assignment 06
10.    Apple invested more than $1 billion in the North Carolina data center shown in Figure 6-2. For Apple to spend such a sum, it must perceive the iCloud as being a key component of its future. Using the principles listed in Figure 3-2 (page 57) explain all the ways that you believe the iCloud will give Apple a competitive advantage over other mobile device vendors.

11.    Suppose that you work at AllRoad Parts and Kelly tells you that she doesn’t believe that cheap, elastic provisioning of servers is possible. “There has to be a catch somewhere,” she says. Write a half-page memo to her explaining how the cloud works. In your memo, include the role of standards for cloud processing

12.    Consider the Case Study 6 (pg. 162 – 163), and answer the following questions.
d)    In your own words, summarize the dealer-broker record retention requirements.
e)    Reread the SEC’s 2003 interpretation. In your own words, explain the difference between “integrated hardware and software control codes” and software applications that use “authentication and approval policies, passwords, or other extrinsic controls.” Give an example of each.
f)    Clearly, in the view of the SEC, the likelihood of compromise of an integrated system of hardware and software is considerably less than the likelihood of compromise of a system of authentication, passwords, and procedures. Justify this view
g)    Do you agree with the view in part c? Why or why not?

Assignment 07
13.    Using the PRIDE Database:
h)    Explain the advantages of locating the PRIDE database in the cloud. Dr. Flores and his partners could place it on one of their own servers in the practice. Give reasons why it would be unwise for them to do so.
i)    Explain the ways in which the PRIDE database eliminates possible enterprise-level information silos. Explain ways that it might create another form of information silo.
j)    Given what you know so far, do you think the PRIDE system is likely to be successful? Explain your answer.

14.    Explain how the four sources of challenge discussed in Q3 would pertain to the implementation of the PRIDE system. Give specific examples of each. In general, do you think these challenges are more difficult to overcome for an inter-enterprise system like PRIDE or for an enterprise system like CRM?

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