Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chapter 1

What are the characteristics of the modern business environment?

The business environment is the combination of social, legal, economic, physical, and political factors that affect the business.
Social, political and legal factors include things such as social responsibility, government regulation/deregulation, spending for social programs, spending to protect against terrorism, and ethics
There also consists technological pressures which do in fact affect the modern business environment as the business must continually update their technology in order to remain competitive.
The modern workforce is becoming extremely diversified. There is an increasing number of women, single parents, minorities and persons with disabilities

What is meant by a web-based, global platform, what does it provide, and how has it affected business?

The global web-based platform consists of hardware, software, and communications technologies that comprise the Internet and the functionality of the World-wide web. This platform enables individuals to connect, compute, communicate, compete, and collaborate everywhere and anywhere, anytime and all the time, and to access limitless amounts of information, services and information, services, and entertainment. The platform operates without regard to geography, time, distance and even language barriers. The web-based platform has created today’s business environment, which is global, massively interconnected, intensely competitive, rapidly changing and communication intensive.

What are the main pressures that characterize the modern global business environment?

The main pressures that characterise the modern global business environment market pressures, technology pressures and societal/Political and Legal Pressures
Market pressures include things such as Global economy and strong competition (cost of labour varies widely among countries, labour costs are higher in developed countries), the changing nature of the workforce(workforce is becoming extremely diversified) and powerful customers (customers use the internet to become more knowledgeable about the availability and quality of products and services)
Technology pressures includes things such as Technological Innovation and Obsolescence (new and improved technology need to be obtained in order to keep up with consumer demands), and information overload (the amount of information available on the internet doubles approx every year, managers need to be able to access, navigate and utilise these vast storages of information.
Societal/Political and Legal Pressures include things such as social responsibility(corporations spend more time on solving various social problems. Other social problems include digital divideà many government and international organisations are trying to close the digital divide. Cybercafés have been implemented for people to use the internet for a small fee) government regulation/deregulation (businesses need to be in compliance with government regulations and statutes àbecoming and remaining compliant is expensive and time consuming), spending for social programs, spending to protect against terrorism (IT can help protect businesses by providing security systems and identifying patterns of behaviour associated with terrorist activities), and ethics (general standards of right and wrong)

What are/discuss some of the common, IT oriented organizational responses to these pressures?

Some of the IT oriented organisational responses to these pressures include strategic systems (advantages that enable a business to increase market share and/or profits, to negotiate with suppliers, or to prevent competitors from entering their markets), customer focus (organisation attempt to provide superb customer service), make-to-order (producing customised products and services) and mass customisation (produces large amount of items but customises them to fit the desire of each customer), and e-business(doing business electronically).
How are IT architecture and IT infrastructure are interrelated.
IT architecture is a high-level map or plan of the information assets in an organisation, it shows how all aspects of information technology in an organisation fit together. The IT infrastructure consists of the physical facilities, IT components, IT services, and IT personnel that support an entire organisation. People are the means of which IT architecture and IT infrastructure are interrelated. The IT architecture integrates the information requirements of overall organisation and all individual users, the IT infrastructure and all applications.

Is the Internet an infrastructure, an architecture, or an application program? or something else. Why?

The internet is not only one of the above, it is a combination of all the above, as the internet enables individuals to connect, compute, communicate, compete and collaborate everywhere and anywhere, anytime and all the time, also it allows individuals to access limitless amounts of information. It is an integration of information technology architecture, information technology infrastructure and application program to aid individuals to get the most out of the internet as they possibly can.

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