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Unformatted text preview: Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business BUS 237 ­ Assignment 1 Samples: MIS Article Critique Below are four past student assignments. Their grades ranged from 9 ­10. They are provided as samples rather than templates. Sample No. 1  ­ Article: Just the interesting bits. Economist, (June 2011). For years now companies have been trying to make all tedious work computerized to make more use of its employees. By making jobs computerized employees can over see what is happening instead of being the one looking through hours of motionless video for example. Just the interesting bits an article from the economist, the June 4th issue, talks about a company called BriefCam. BriefCam is a company tired of wasting time, so they created a computerized system to make watching video footage much easier and more informative. Their system takes the playback from a Closed ­Circuit Television (CCTV) camera and cuts out the motionless parts. So instead of having 24 hours of video, 23 hours of that being motionless, it makes a one hour clip of everything that moved in the time period. Before BriefCam systems employees had to watch hundreds of camera playback for hours and if the employee wanted to make the job a little more bearable they could fast forward the playback, but then things were sometimes missed. When BriefCam replays the moving events it plays them at their natural speed so an operator can see what is going on with minimal error. BriefCam takes a camera playback and projects the moving objects onto the static background. As the objects or people move across the camera the time that they were there is projected on to the person so an experience security personal can click on the time and then can watch the original footage for a clearer view of the event. This article is a great example of how if a company improves its IT it is useless unless there are people and procedures to use the IT. Although BriefCam makes looking through hours of video playback quicker it doesn’t change anything until the experience personal who know what to look for get to use BriefCam. People make businesses run better not computers. Although BriefCam is a great product for video playback some real time cameras cannot use BriefCam. The article mentioned that cameras at the 1 of 7 Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business airport, that uses advanced algorithms to located unattended bags, could not be replaced by BriefCam because it is real time and BriefCam only works on video playback. Another problem I found with BriefCam is that it needs an experience individual to make sense of all the moving people so if an employee retires or quits they would be very difficult to replace. The article never said if BriefCam was worth its cost because if it costs more to use BriefCam then it costs to pay the employees’ wages to go through the footage then it’s not worth it to buy BriefCam. In Conclusion, I think BriefCam is a great system for video playback and makes life easier for all security personal. Sample No. 2  ­ Article: Fighting Against Free, Harvard Business Review, ( June 2011). The article “Competing Against Free” by David J. Bryce, Jeffrey H. Dyer, and Nile W. Hatch appeared in the Harvard Business Review in June 2011. The article basically says that a number of organizations are providing free products that are similar to other products and services that need to be paid for. This dilemma is creating a considerable amount of competition for organizations that offer a similar product or service that is not free and that need to be paid for. The managers of the organizations that are being faced with this issue are having difficulty responding to this threat. They are not sure what to do or how to react to this situation. One of the biggest examples that the article gives about this issue is about Microsoft and about how they too are facing competition from free products from other organizations that are similar to their own. The article says how Microsoft Office is facing competition from Google’s Doc and Oracle’s Open Office. These programs are free of charge to users. In response to the competition, Microsoft has released Microsoft Live. Live is a cloud version of Microsoft Office. Since it is a cloud version, the service is provided through a web browser and can be accessed from any location at any time as long as there is an internet connection (Maryam Ficociello, public presentation, May 31, 2011). The article also states how high switching costs are giving Microsoft more time to react. Also, many people are accustomed to Microsoft Office and they are reluctant to change. On the other hand, many individuals and institutions are changing and no longer use Microsoft Office. To help organizations fight this issue the article gives four suggestions. These four suggestions include: up ­selling, cross ­selling, charging third parties, and bundling. Firstly, up ­selling is when you 2 of 7 Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business “introduce a free basic offering to gain widespread use and then charge for a premium version” (Hatch, Bryce, & Dyer, 2011, p. 108). Secondly, cross ­selling is when you “sell other products that are not directly tied to the free product (Hatch, Bryce, & Dyer, 2011, p. 108). Thirdly, charging third parties is when you “provide a free product to users and then charge a third party for access to them” (Hatch, Bryce, & Dyer, 2011, p. 109). Lastly, bundling is when you “offer a free product or service with a paid offering”. (Hatch, Bryce, & Dyer, 2011, p. 109). The strategies listed above that are suggested by the article all require the introduction of a free product. In my opinion, I believe that there are a number of other ways of resolving this issue. I do not think that an organization that is facing free competition has to necessarily provide a free product. They can improve the product and make it better than the products that are free. One option would be to differentiate. Research in Motion (RIM) developed the Blackberry by differentiating their cell phones from everyone else and they completely changed the cell phone industry. Organizations may also attempt to create disruptive technology. The Blackberry was disruptive technology due to the fact that it was so different from other cell phones and due to the fact that it changed the cell phone industry completely. The invention of the MP3 also drastically changed the music industry and caused the sales of CDs to significantly drop. A competitive advantage can be created by using disruptive technology. This may even alter the structure of the industry. In this particular case, Microsoft can also re ­examine their competitive strategy and focus on Porter’s Four Competitive Strategies that include cost or differentiation and focus on an industry segment or industry ­wide (Kroenk, Gemino, & Tingling, 2009). Microsoft could not focus on being the cheapest product in an industry segment or industry ­wide since the competition that they are facing is free however, they can focus on differentiation in an industry segment or industry ­wide. If the points above are taken into consideration, I believe that Microsoft and other corporations that are facing this dilemma can have a better chance of fighting back against this sort of competition. This article relates to the course in a number of different ways. For example it talks about business processes which are “a network of activities, resources, facilities, and information that interact to achieve some business function” (Kroenk, Gemino, & Tingling, 2009, p. 24). Organizations that do not modify their business process when competition occurs, such as Microsoft, may lose customers, revenue and profit. Furthermore, it talks about how to get a competitive advantage with the use of the four recommendations. Moreover, it provides competitive strategies. It talks about innovation and technology development. It talks about cloud computing and software. Finally, it talks about Microsoft 3 of 7 Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business Office, which is a major component of this course. As you can see, the article is strongly related to the course. Works Cited: 1. Hatch, Bryce, & Dyer. (2011). Fighting Against Free. Harvard Business Review . 2. Kroenk, D. M., Gemino, A., & Tingling, P. (2009). Experiencing MIS: Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada. Sample No. 3  ­Article: A symphony of algorithms; Thinking machines have now conducted orchestras and driven cars. The next mountain: Understanding language, Globe and Mail, (May 2011). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of computers to behave like humans. The definition itself suggests the massive impact AI could have on business processes and information systems. The article “A Symphony in Algorithms” which appeared in the Report on Business section of the Globe and Mail on Wednesday, May 18th 2011, discusses the impact AI has on everyday life, the new developments in AI research, and the potential impact AI could have in the future. In its discussion of AI, the article fails to consider important factors such as effectiveness and competitive advantage. AI is already a part of everyday lives. The article provides two specific examples that almost any reader can relate to: Amazon and Google. The article clearly describes the algorithms used by Amazon and Google which enable them to make recommendations based on past purchases or improve Web rankings on websites, which allows the reader is able to get a clear grasp of what AI is. The form of AI used in the manner by Amazon and Google can be seen as a sustaining technology. It has greatly improved the value users get from the companies but it hasn’t dramatically changed the way in which users search or shop online. Can AI be a disruptive technology? The article shifts its focus concerning the above question. It delves deeper into the specifics of AI research, describing how the field has broken into numerous sub ­fields which are very specific. The sub ­ field “machine ­learning” (Paragraph 14), is explained in detail. It is a sub ­field that uses complex algorithms enabling computers to “learn” and make decisions. The examples provided earlier in this 4 of 7 Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business paper use machine ­learning AI. The article states that the sub ­field of machine ­learning is generating excitement and investment in the business world. It suggests that this excitement is in part due to the “limitless possibilities [AI] has enabling greater efficiency at much lower costs” (Paragraph 12), and it goes on to mention specific examples of potential breakthroughs. These breakthroughs include Apple’s voice recognition software on its new OS, Google’s development of a driverless car, and a $230 ­million contract from the US Navy to iRobot Corp, a robotic technology company. The article discusses efficiency but fails to mention the vital detail, effectiveness. It presents the limitless efficiency as an ideal end ­goal. The examples it provides demonstrate this problem. For instance, would Apple’s voice recognition be required to log ­in to your computer? If so, what happens if a person leaves his computer at home but needs someone else to access it? There is no password that can be given to trusted loved ones in case of emergency. This fall ­back is perhaps something that people value and, by taking it away, Apple has reduced the effectiveness of their product. The same is true for Google’s driverless car. The people who genuinely enjoy driving their cars will feel that Google’s product decreases the value it gives its customers. Expanding on the invincibility of AI and its presentation as an ideal end ­goal, the article quotes Geoffrey Hinton, a computer science professor at the University of Toronto, who said, “Basically anything people can do in the long run, machines are going to do better and cheaper” (Paragraph 9). By using this quote, the article suggests that one day people, in business processes, will be replaced by computers. The article fails to consider that it is the people component, along with procedures, that makes an information system. If that component is taken away, what is left? Can it still be considered an information system? More importantly, what becomes of long ­run competitive advantage? Again, it is the people component that enables a company to have long ­run competitive advantage. If a technology replaces the people component will long ­run competitive advantage exist any longer? These questions, which are critical to the future of AI and its role in information systems, remain unanswered and even unasked, by the article. Amid growing excitement, investment, research and results in the field of AI, numerous challenges as to how AI will transform businesses remain. “A Symphony of Algorithms” provides a picture ­perfect version of the world as it “might be” while glossing over the fundamental issues and concerns that need to be dealt with before AI can really be used to transform business processes and information systems. 5 of 7 Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business Sample No. 4 ­ Article: Building With Big Data. Economist, (May 2011). The article “Building with Big Data” by Economist discusses the tremendous impaction to the business industry from Data. Data is the bridge that connects two sides of an information system to help business decisions therefore, the importance of data is indisputable. The significance of data has lead to its greater depth and spectacular growth to create a new wave in terms of “innovation, competition and productivity” (page 74). With the abundance of data, solving data overload is crucial, as according to MGI a private economics research group, data is not only building blocks of the business world in the present but for the future as well. Under the current data ­stream, companies need to change their old marketing strategy in order to compete. Firstly, customer’s way of consumption has begun to change. More and more people choose to shop online; consequently, people need necessary information to support their decision. To expand business, companies must take the responsibility to supply essential and useful data for their clients. And the data that they have collected becomes the core of the business scheme. As a result, this revolution is “disrupting established industries and business models” and in the mean while, it “creates a new wave of productivity growth” (page 74). With the aim for success companies produce more and demand more from their data. The generation of data by firms is not only growing exponentially but is being “more detailed” as well. This allows corporations to engage with customers desires individually, in order to maximize profits. For instance, an American retailer called Williams ­Sonoma, assembles information from its 60 million customers and uses it “to produce different iterations of its catalogue” (page 74). With the ability to cater to consumer’s individuals needs, the manufacturing company has been converting into an industry reputable for its thorough services. For example BMW informs its customers “when their cars need to be served” by “sensor ­data” (page 74) located in their vehicle. As data becomes more specific and personal, there is a growing concern over privacy and fear of the misuse of data. The growing impact of data has led to society’s concern that companies and governments will take advantage of the common people. However, according to the article this is not the case. The fact is “Britain’s Open Knowledge Foundation has used government database to develop a useful site called” (page74) for citizens to “demand better public services” (page 74). In 6 of 7 Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business opposition to the article, even though people play a more active role in the business model, people who are facing these advance means and excessive, are commonly succumbing to data overload. With the growing propaganda found in advertisements, people suffer more obstacles in making the right decision. This article brings my attention to the influences caused by data in our commercial life. It not only clearly gives several convincing evidences to display the transformation of business tactics but provides its positive perspective of the abuse of data. Even though it is clear that data is crucial to any growing company in the current business world, the use of data is arguably can be a detriment to society. In the end author warns that data cannot replace human wisdom in judgment because only human can see a big picture. Hence, how one treats and manages data is the key to whether it will be beneficial to society. 7 of 7 ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2012 for the course ECON 105 taught by Professor Hanafiahharvey during the Spring '08 term at Simon Fraser.

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