Additional Instructions 1. Please provide APA-style references especially for definitions, key concepts and other relevant items 2. Kindly provide a references section – it is compulsory at the end of the paper 3. Do use referencing and in-text citations 4. Please do NOT use Wikipedia references – students found copying from Wikipedia will receive zero (0) for their paper! 5. Kindly note that late submissions will incur scoring penalty IS5201 FINAL EXAM (35 questions in total) Guide to exam This exam consists of the following types of questions: 24 multiple choice questions for a subtotal of: 12 marks8 short-answer questions for a subtotal of: 10 marks3 case study questions for a subtotal of: 8 marks_________Final Exam Total: 30 marks Section I. Multiple-choice questions (24 questions, subtotal 12 marks) Instruction: Choose the most accurate answer. UNDERLINE AND BOLD your chosen response. An example question is provided below.Example question: Which of the following statements is NOT accurate?A. Information is derived from data that is cleansed and/or transformedB. Data is the by-product after information is usedC. Structured data may not be equivalent to structured information Which of the following is not true of information? Information:A. is produced as a by-product of an input process.B. involves transforming data using a defined process.C. helps to reduce uncertainty, thereby improving decision behaviour.D. involves placing data in some form of meaningful context.E. is produced in response to an information need and therefore serves a specific purpose.Which of the following information characteristics belongs to the time dimension of information quality?A. AccuracyB. FrequencyC. RelevanceD. ReliabilityE. ClarityWhich of the following is an example of qualitative data?A. Stock levelsB. OpinionsC. TotalsD. MeasurementsE. Production levelsWhich level of the I.S. organisation is usually responsible for developing information management strategy and allocating resources?A. The Data Center managerB. The CIOC. The System AnalystD. Senior ProgrammerE. Project ManagerExplicit knowledge is:A. intangible, it is based on experience on how to react to a situationB. the same as experienceC. the same as dataD. readily detailed in procedural manuals and databasesE. none of the aboveIn terms of a system, finished products and information are examples of:A. processingB. controlC. outputsD. feedbackE. inputsA system that responds to changes in the environment and modifies its operation accordingly is known as:A. an adaptive system.B. a soft system.C. a deterministic system.D. a closed system.E. a probabilistic system.Which category of computer-based information systems is concerned with improving efficiency by applying information technology to common administrative tasks, such as creating business documents, receiving faxes and printing?A. Strategic information systems.B. Expert systems.C. Business information systems.D. End user computing systems.E. Office automation systems.Which of the following defines the scope of a system?A. Boundary.B. Process.C. Feedback mechanism.D. Interface.E. Environment.E-business is:A. an organisation using electronic media to purchase from its suppliers.B. any electronically mediated communication between an organisation and its stakeholders.C. the use of electronic communications technology for all business processes.D. an organisation using electronic media to sell direct to its customers.E. none of the above.Which of the following is usually used to connect different international offices of an organization?A. LAN.B. WAN.C. PAN.D. NAM.E. FLAN.A client/server system is:A. a data transfer protocol.B. a networked arrangement of PCs and servers.C. a standalone PC and standalone server.D. a standalone PC.E. none of the above.Which is not typically a type of server?A. Database.B. Laser.C. Print.D. Applications.E. File.The Internet offers the following advantages:A. it offers a relatively low cost method of wide-area networking for the smaller company.B. the use of web browsers give a reasonably consistent, easy to use interface.C. it is relatively easy to create a simple website.D. it enables companies to reach new markets.E. all of the above.Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) software is an example of an information systems application in which of the following areas?A. AccountingB. Human resource managementC. MarketingD. Office automation systemsE. Production planning and managementBusiness Intelligence and data warehousing are NOT used for which of the following?A. Analysis of large volumes of product sales data.B. Data mining.C. Data encryption.D. What-if scenarios.E. Forecasting.To determine demand for Internet services in a market, companies should survey what?A. Percentage that purchase online.B. Market numbersC. Percentage that use the Internet to inform their buying decision.D. Percentage that have access to the Internet.E. All of the above.The main function of the fact-finding phase of systems analysis is to:A. determine who is likely to be made redundant as a result of the new system.B. establish the functional requirements of the new information system.C. identify who the likely trouble-makers are likely to be.D. identify who had the largest part to play in the previous system.E. ensure that systems analysts remain gainfully employed.Process modelling:A. defines how different tasks will be enacted in an information system.B. is an essential part of database design.C. is achieved using an information flow diagram.D. is conducted using entity relationship diagrams.E. is none of the above.Scalability defines:A. the connectivity in a client/server system.B. the capacity of a system to accommodate growing numbers of users.C. the speed of an information system.D. the size of a database.E. none of the above.The input to the systems design phase is:A. the database specification.B. the requirements specification.C. the design specification.D. the programme specification.E. none of the above.The IS strategy tool that reviews the current and future importance of IS is:A. Five forces analysis.B. Value chain analysis.C. Porter’s competitive strategies.D. McFarlan’s strategic grid.E. none of the above.The benefit that is often associated with the centralisation of the IS/IT function within an organisation include:A. increased complexity when compared to decentralised control.B. the ability of end-users to undertake their own development projects.C. the reduced risk of missing or ignoring important matters.D. a higher degree of responsiveness to user requests.E. none of the above.One of the key drivers for companies to outsource some or all of their IS/IT is?A. It enables them to dispense with the need for any IS/IT staff.B. The risks associated with IS/IT investment can be completely eliminated.C. Difficulty to manage internal service level agreements will be eliminated.D. Companies are enabled to focus on their core business activities.E. None of the above Section II. Short-answer questions (8 questions, subtotal 10 marks) Instruction: Answer all questions below. The recommended response length per question is approximately 100-200 words. Organizations use different strategies to solve systems development problems that arise in global information technology. Describe the centre(s) of excellence approach:In some organizations, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) reports to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In other organizations, the CIO reports to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). What might be some of the advantages when the CIO reports to the CEO?Briefly describe what an extranet is.Recently, your IT manager has mentioned that the company’s internet bandwidth is presently insufficient. What are some of the symptoms/consequences of network bandwidth insufficiency?Briefly describe any one example of a SoLoMO (Social, Location or Mobile) business/commercial application that you personally know of or that you personally use.Consider this statement: “The scope of corporate Business Continuity extends beyond the information systems division”. Briefly discuss this statement.Define and then give an example of Vertical Integration (2 MARKS).The owners of “The Olde Factory” is still using a manual stock-card system. Inventory reporting is slow and item loss is difficult to detect. If you were asked to advise them on how to improve this situation – what is your advice? (2 MARKS) Section III. Case Study (3 questions, subtotal 8 marks) Instruction: Read the full case study, then answer questions below. The recommended response length per question is approximately 250 words. Can REI Climb Higher with Networking and the Internet? With an old-fashioned sensibility and a forward-looking embrace of networking and Internet technology, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) occupies a distinctive position in the retail market. Selling gear and clothing for outdoor recreational activities, REI operates 82 stores throughout the United States, as well as 2 stores on the Web and an adventure-themed travel service. Together, these entities recorded over $1 billion in sales during 2005. The company was started in 1938 as a cooperative by mountain climbers Lloyd and Mary Anderson and a group of associates to acquire quality climbing gear and other outdoor recreational equipment at affordable prices. Despite the significant expansion and modernization, REI remains a cooperative, with more than 2.8 million members. REI pays out approximately 85% of its total income to cover rebates to cooperative members equaling 10% of their purchases. For 2005, members received a total $43 million in refunds, with over $7 million left unclaimed. Because REI is not a publicly-traded company, it does not have to base its performance on meeting short-term earnings targets and can take a longer-term view of its technology investments. In the history of the company, it has never failed to return a dividend to members. REI has appeared on Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For every year since 1998, reaching number nine in 2006. REI was one of the first retailers to investigate the potential of e-commerce, and by 1996, REI was already doing business over the Web. Two years later, the company’s Web store had become a profitable venture. Now, REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com combine with REI’s catalog phone sales to account for 17 percent of the company’s total annual sales revenue. More importantly, REI has successfully integrated an e-commerce channel into its business without hurting the traditional channels, retail stores and catalog sales. REI does not attempt to compete on price. Its business strategy emphasizes product selection, staff expertise, extensive product information, and multiple channels working together to provide consumers with the best shopping experience possible. According to Brian Unmacht, REI’s senior vice president of sales, distribution, and store development, “The key for REI is to be the place to come for information. We’re always working on ways to tie information to the shopping path in a relevant way.” For example, REI was one of the first retailers to employ kiosks in its stores. From these kiosks customers can view products, accessories, styles, and information that may not be available in the physical store in which they are shopping. REI has over 40,000 pages of product information on its Web site, which traditional shoppers can also view from the kiosks when they are in an REI store. The content goes beyond simple choices such as sizes and colors to include detailed advice from experts on everything from how to choose a sleeping bag to how to measure yourself properly to fit a piece of equipment. Stores get credit for online sales made through the kiosks. As the company grew, REI graduated from low-speed dial-up connections a wide-area network (WAN) and then to a state-of-the art high-availability network based on Cisco Systems networking technology. In 2002 REI installed a Cisco Aironet wireless local-area network (LAN) in every store to provide a platform for applications such as bar-code scanning, shipping, receiving, pricing, and inventory. The wireless implementation resulted from the company’s decision to use technology to eliminate inefficiencies that were cutting into profits. Specifically, the company wanted to reduce the amount of time employees needed to spend receiving shipments, integrate shelf stocking with supply chain management operations to reduce errors, and introduce a system by which vendors would ship products directly to stores rather than to distribution centers. Before implementing the wireless LAN, employees in each store spent an average of 48 hours per week in shipping and receiving. After implementing the wireless system, the same work can be performed in 25 to 28 hours. Multiply that by 82 stores and you have major cost savings. REI is now experimenting with new ways to deliver information to the store floor. It is testing wireless handheld devices that give employees instant access to product information on the Web, wireless cash registers and point-of-sale devices to facilitate quick changes to store layouts, and live two-way videoconferencing based on IP/TV technology that would allow shoppers or sales associates at kiosks to talk to call center agents or product specialists at REI headquarters or other stores. REI has rolled out wireless IP telephony phones in its flagship Seattle store and it is considering using its network to deliver on-demand videos to kiosks to supplement employee training. REI has remained determined to use its multiple channels to support each other. The company’s philosophy is that it doesn’t matter which segment of the company is responsible for a sale occurring; the sale benefits the company as a whole. Jeff Schueler, a usability consultant and founder and CEO of Usability Sciences, views a sale as the final step in the multi-step process of shopping. According to Schueler, the vast majority of people who visit e-commerce Web sites do so for purposes such as fact-finding, price comparisons, obtaining special discount coupons, and account maintenance and bill-paying. Most do not actually visit Web sites to make their purchases. Therefore, any business that is open to encouraging its customers to flow from one channel to another has a competitive advantage. So while the end-product of consumerism still takes place mostly by traditional means at REI, it is heavily influenced by Internet technology. In mid-2003, the company introduced a new service that enables customers to order products from home over the Web, and then pick up their orders at their local REI store. The program has seen steady growth over the last three years. According to Joan Broughton, REI’s vice president of multi-channel programs, approximately one-third of all customers who make purchases online will spend about $100 more simply as a result of being in the physical store to retrieve their online orders. Thirty-five per cent of customers who make purchases at REI.com pick up their items in person at retail stores. The benefit to in-store pickup for the customer is that it eliminates shipping costs, especially for large items such as kayaks and bicycles. The company does not incur additional costs either. It saves money by shipping a number of items in bulk to one store rather than to the individual addresses of multiple customers. Furthermore, items that are shipped to an REI store for in-store pickup travel on the same trucks that are already en route to the store with inventory replenishments. REI is also marketing through targeted e-mail promotions based on geographical region and gender. The cooperative sends out between 1.5 million and 2 million e-mails each week. Combining these two distinct forms of order fulfillment required a technology solution. REI was able to integrate orders from its Web site with restocking orders from its stores by using IBM’s WebSphere-business platform running on an RS/6000 server linked toan Oracle database. The database feeds an order processing system running on a midrange IBM AS/400 computer. Brad Brown, REI’s vice president of information services, explains that integrating the two types of data wasn’t as challenging as synchronizing the fulfillment of the two types of orders. When a customer purchases a product online, the item leaves the warehouse, cued by the order, and waits for the appropriate truck to be loaded. Inventory replenishment orders, on the other hand, are generated by an automated system that prompts items to leave the warehouse at regularly scheduled intervals. In order to ensure that integration runs smoothly from the customer’s point of view, the information services team developed an algorithm to inform customers when the products they have ordered online will be available for pickup. The algorithm takes into account the possibility that an order is placed too close to the departure day of the delivery truck to be met and promises a more conservative delivery estimate. REI still attempts to complete the order before the promised date. REI took a major step in unifying its technology infrastructure by adopting IBM’s WebSphere Web-development environment in 2002. Using this environment and an integrated database, REI is able to develop technology systems for each of its business channels simultaneously, rather than having to devote resources individually to Web or store-based applications. REI has implemented a content management system from Documentum to help centralize information for its various business channels. REI is also working toward establishing matching keywords and item numbers for products on its Web site, in its mail-order catalog, and in its retail stores so that shoppers can roam seamlessly from one channel to another, viewing products in person and retrieving their specifications from the Web. REI publicizes discount incentives for online purchases in its mail-order catalog because the company can process orders from the Web more cheaply than orders placed by phone or mail. The main purpose behind all of this effort at integration is to create a perception that REI doesn’t have distinct channels at all, that customer don’t see channels at REI, they see only REI. The company hopes that its customers simply view REI as providing every convenience that it can while still offering high-quality merchandise and service. REI continues to be progressive both in adopting technology and in shaping its product line for maximum appeal. Around the same time that REI implemented WebSphere, it also installed a data warehouse to improve the company’s ability to perform customer transaction analysis. Output from data mining enables REI to refine its buying, marketing, and sales initiatives according to trends and customers’ buying habits. In 2004, REI announced that its use of SeaTab Software’s PivotLink surpassed the expectations that REI’s director of inventory and logistics, John Strother, had for a business intelligence solution. PivotLink integrates enterprise-wide data so that key decision-makers can access the bottom-line results of company processes more easily. REI uses PivotLink to expand the availability of internal data economically, lending greater support to the decision-making process, as well as to communicate critical data to vendors, who require them to properly maintain their own business processes. According to Strother, PivotLink has enabled REI to increase profits and performance; increased employees’ and partners’ ability to do their jobs effectively; and offered an information access solution that is easy to implement, affordable, and scalable. REI has also initiated a more collaborative approach to product development. The company adopted a product lifecycle management (PLM) program so that all of the teams involved in product development, which had grown organically over the years, get more information from each other, and get the information earlier in the process. Using MatrixOne Inc.’s Accelerator Series of PLM components, the new-line management, R&D, lab testing, and field testing teams can better work together in parallel rather than sharing their work only after completing their portions of the development process. The PLM program has enabled REI to manage its growth more efficiently and reduce the time to market for new products without sacrificing quality. Can REI continue to thrive on all fronts of its multi-channel business? Brian Unmacht actually downplays his company’s role as an innovator of Internet and telecommunications business strategies. He states that, “From a technology perspective, we’re not very adventurous. We like to find the most effective and reliable way to meet all of our goals.” For REI, that way is to build a powerful and flexible network that can house all of its applications, and use the Internet as the medium through which all of its business processes flow together. CASE STUDY QUESTIONS (3 questions, subtotal 8 marks) What is REI’s business strategy? What role do networking and Internet technology play in this strategy?What management, organization, and technology issues does REI face in running its business? What role do telecommunications and the Internet play in solving these challenges?How effectively has REI used information systems and the Internet to meet its business strategy goals and maintain a competitive edge? Sources: Karen S. Henrie, “Strategic Technology: Product Lifecycle Management Moves Ahead,” CIO Insight, July 25, 2006; Eric Engleman, “Retailers Improve Their Online Sites,” Puget Sound Business Journal, accessed via www.mlive.com, December 11, 2006; “Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For 2006,” money.cnn.com, accessed December 28, 2006; Eric J. Adams, “Retail Trailblazing,” Cisco IQ Magazine, Second Quarter 2004; Megan Santosus, “How REI Scaled E-Commerce Mountain,” CIO Magazine, May 15, 2004, www.cio.com; “Recreational Equipment Inc. Presents Success Story with SeaTab’s PivotLink Business Intelligence Solution at Retail Systems 2004,” PRNewswire press release, May 13, 2004; Bill Becher, “Feminine Side is Coming Out,” Los Angeles Daily News, www.dailynews.com June 2, 2004; Ian Mylchreest, “Competition Gets Tough in the Sporting Goods Stores,” Las Vegas Business Press, www.lvbusinesspress.com, May 21, 2004; and www.REI.com, accessed December 28, 2006. Acknowledgement: This case study is drawn from resources available at the Companion Website for Management Information Systems (Laudon and Laudon), 10/e, Prentice Hall.
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