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CHAPTER 2 SYSTEMS

Terms in this set (82)

Outsourcing is the practice of turning over responsibility of some to all of an organization's information systems applications and operations to an outside firm. A company may hire a third party to develop and run its applications on the third party's computers. Another alternative is for the third party to run the applications on-site and on your computers. Reasons for outsourcing include cost-effectiveness and the company's core mission does not involve managing an information systems unit.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.1 Explain outsourcing
Classification: Synthesis

34) Why would an analyst need to have an awareness of outsourcing as an alternative to handling IT services in-house?
Answer: Analysts need to be aware of outsourcing as an alternative. When generating alternative system development strategies for a system, an analyst should consult with organizations in the area that provide outsourcing services. Perhaps outsourcing the replacement system should be one of your alternatives. Knowing what your system requirements are before you consider outsourcing means that you can carefully assess how well the suppliers of outsourcing services can respond to your needs. However, should you decide not to consider outsourcing, you need to determine whether some software components of your replacement system should be purchased and not built in-house.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.1 Explain outsourcing
Classification: Synthesis
35) Why would an organization outsource information systems operations?
Answer: Outsourcing may be cost-effective. If a company specializes in running payroll for other companies, it can leverage the economies of scale it achieves from running one stable computer application for many organizations into very low prices. Outsourcing also provides a way for firms to leapfrog their current position in information systems and to turn over development and operations to outside staff who possess knowledge and skills not found internally. Other reasons for outsourcing include: freeing up internal resources, increasing the revenue potential of the organization, reducing time to market, increasing process.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.1 Explain outsourcing
Classification: Synthesis


36) List development specializations and provide an example of the leading software firms for the specialty.
Answer: The leading software firms and their specialties include: IT Services (Accenture, CSC, IBM, HP); Packaged software providers (Intuit, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP AG, Symantec); Enterprise Software Solutions (Oracle, SAP AG); Cloud Computing (Amazon.com, Google, IBM, Microsoft, salesforce.com); Open source (sourceforge.net).
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.1 Explain outsourcing
Classification: Synthesis

37) Describe how an IT service firm can meet the needs of an organization. Provide an example of an IT service firm.
Answer: If a company needs an information system but does not have the expertise or the personnel to develop the system in-house, and a suitable off-the-shelf system is not available, the company will likely consult an information technology services firm. IT services firms help companies develop custom information systems for internal use, or they develop, host, and run applications for customers, or they provide other services. These firms employ people with expertise in the development of information systems. Their consultants may also have expertise in a given business area. Examples of IT firms include IBM, HP, and Computer Sciences Corp.
Difficulty: Difficult
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.1 Explain outsourcing
Classification: Synthesis

38) Which of the following is a function of an IT service firm?
A) Run applications for customers
B) Support an order entry system
C) Rent licenses
D) Provide open source software
Answer: A
Difficulty: Difficult
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification:
Software sources can be categorized as information technology firms, packaged software providers, vendors of ERP software, cloud computing, open source, and the organization itself.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification: Synthesis

57) Briefly describe why systems development is more difficult now than it was in the past.
Answer: There was a time, not too long ago, when no systems analysts and no symbolic computer programming languages existed. Yet people still wrote and programmed applications for computers. Even though today's systems analyst has dozens of programming languages and development tools to work with, systems development is even more difficult now than it was 60 years ago. Then, as well as even more recently, certain issues were decided for you: If you wanted to write application software, you did it in-house and wrote the software from scratch. Today there are many different sources of software and the focus is no longer exclusively on in-house development. Instead, the focus will be on where to obtain the many pieces and components that will be combined into the application system. Code will be written to mainly make all the different pieces work together.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification: Synthesis

58) What are enterprise resource planning systems? How do they differ from traditional approaches? Identify three enterprise resource planning system vendors.
Answer: Enterprise resource planning systems integrate individual traditional business functions into a series of modules so that a single transaction occurs seamlessly within a single information system rather than several separate systems. ERP modules focus on business processes rather than on business functional areas. SAP AG, Oracle, and PeopleSoft, Inc. are three ERP vendors.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification: Synthesis

59) What are the advantages and disadvantages of an ERP system?
Answer: The benefits of the enterprise solutions approach include a single repository of data for all aspects of a business process and the flexibility of the modules. A single repository ensures more consistent and accurate data, as well as less maintenance. The modules are flexible because additional modules can be added as needed once the basic system is in place. There are disadvantages to enterprise solutions software. The systems are very complex, so implementation can take a long time to complete. Organizations typically do not have the necessary expertise in-house to implement the systems, so they must rely on consultants or employees of the software vendor, which can be very expensive. In some cases, organizations must change how they do business in order to benefit from a migration to enterprise solutions.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification: Synthesis

60) What is cloud computing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a cloud?
Answer: Cloud computing provides a means for applications to be hosted and run for other companies by a provider. Advantages include less need for internal information technology staff, gaining access to applications faster than internal development, and achieving lower-cost access to corporate-quality applications. Some concerns are reliability, security and compliance with government regulations.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification: Synthesis

61) Describe the advantages of a company using cloud computing?
Answer: Cloud computing is rapidly growing. There are many advantages to engaging in cloud computing. Taking the cloud computing route has its advantages. The top three reasons for choosing to go with cloud computing, all of are (1) freeing internal IT staff, (2 ) gaining access to applications faster than via internal development, and (3) achieving lower cost access to corporate-quality applications. Especially appealing is the ability to gain access to large and complex systems without having to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of implementing the systems themselves in-house. Getting your computing through a cloud also makes it easier to walk away from an unsatisfactory systems solution. Other reasons include cost effectiveness, speed to market, and better performance.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.2 Describe six different sources of software
Classification: Synthesis


62) Which of the following is NOT a common criterion when choosing off-the-shelf software?
A) Cost
B) Functionality
C) Reputation of the firm
D) Documentation
Answer: C
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.3 Discuss how to evaluate off-the-shelf software
Classification:
The most common criteria are cost, functionality, vendor support, vendor viability, flexibility, documentation, response time, and ease of installation. Cost involves comparing the cost of developing the same system in-house to the cost of purchasing or licensing the software package. Functionality refers to the tasks the software can perform and the mandatory, essential, and desired system features. While vendor support identifies the amount of support the vendor can be expected to provide, vendor viability examines the vendor's marketplace strength. Flexibility refers to the flexibility of customizing the software. The documentation criterion examines issues relating to the user's manual, technical documentation, and cost of acquiring additional copies of the documentation. Response time questions the length of time it takes the software package to respond to the user's requests in an interactive session and how long it takes the software to complete running a job. The ease of installation criterion examines the difficulty of loading the software and making it operational. Vendor support and viability will be among the most important.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.3 Discuss how to evaluate off-the-shelf software
Classification: Synthesis

79) Why would an organization use the request for proposal (RFP) process?
Answer: One way to get all of the information you want about a software package is to collect it from the vendor. If all of the information is not available, you may have to submit a request for proposal (RFP) or a request for quote (RFQ) process your organization requires when major purchases are made.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.3 Discuss how to evaluate off-the-shelf software
Classification: Synthesis


80) How can a company validate purchased software information?
Answer: Information about the software can be obtained from the vendor in the form of marketing literature, an RFP, and software documentation. The company can use and test the software on a trial basis; speak with current users of the software, and use independent software testing and abstracting services.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.3 Discuss how to evaluate off-the-shelf software
Classification: Synthesis

81) Which of the following is NOT a basic reuse software step?
A) Abstraction
B) Testing
C) Storage
D) Recontextualization
Answer: B
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 2.4 Explain reuse and its role in software development
Classification: