Instructions: Answer each question thoroughly. Points will be deducted for fragmentary answers.
1. Global outsourcing appears to be here to stay. Use the Web to identify a company that is providing lowcost labor from some less developed part of the world. Provide a short report that explains who the company is, where it is located, who its customers are, what services and capabilities it provides, how long it has been in business, and any other interesting information you can find in your search.
2. Search the Web for an example of a start-up using a cloud infrastructure. a. What were the main reasons for choosing a cloud infrastructure? What alternatives did the start up have? b. Are you using any services offered in the cloud? If so, what service model is offered by your provider? If not, what are your primary reasons for not using services offered in the cloud?
3. You work in the information technology group of a chain of sporting goods stores. The company operates 40 locations in seven states. The 40 locations are organized into four regions (north, south, east, and west) with 10 stores each. Regional managers are responsible for inventory management, procurement of inventory, sales, and marketing for their particular region. The company has been processing all transactions electronically (with customers and suppliers), and it has captured all the data in a large data warehouse. Unfortunately, the regional managers are complaining that there is so much information in the data warehouse that extracting meaningful data has become difficult. You’ve just been placed on the team that will be designing a new data strategy for the company. a. Setting up data marts would probably help with the accessibility of information. What type of data marts would you suggest setting up? Make sure you explain who will benefit from the data marts you suggest. b. For the data marts you identified, list the data that should be stored in each data mart and explain how the regional managers could make use of that information to manage their group of stores.
4. As more hospitals and doctor’s offices begin to use electronic medical records (EMRs), the flow of information among the different doctors and care facilities a patient uses could become much more reliable. In their training and work, doctors and nurses rely on computers. What about patients? Examine Microsoft Health Vault at www.microsoft.com/en-us/healthvault for an example of an electronic medical history. How does this migration from a traditional paper records system impact the skills required for medical office workers? New ethical questions also often arise when technology changes. How would a medical facility now protect and verify its data records? What risks are there with a product like Microsoft Health Vault?
5. Many corporations provide mobile devices to their employees who work outside the office. With apps such as Footprints (from Sollico Software) and GPS tracking (from LOCiMOBILE), it’s easy for employers to track the whereabouts of their employees by tracking the location of their mobile devices. Consider the following:
a. How would you feel about your boss tracking your movements during the day? Should employers have to disclose to employees that they’re being tracked? Should employers have the right to track employees to ensure they’re not slacking off during work hours? b. Should the tracking software have an option to allow employees to disable the tracking feature temporarily? Under what circumstances should it be permissible for an employee to turn off employer tracking?