MIS2101 – Summer 1 2015

Information Systems in Organizations

New Personnel for Supply Chain Management

One of the main areas of focus in chapter 8 is supply chain management, and the strategy, benefits, and organization involved with it. A supply chain is a collection of companies and processes involved in moving a product from the suppliers of raw materials to the suppliers of intermediate components, then to final production, and finally, the customer. This article by Loretta Chao of the Wall Street Journal talks about the massive shift in strategy regarding the management of organization’s supply chains. This area of business is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and is more prominently taking place on a global scale as time goes on. Due to these factors, companies are searching for people with the technological capabilities to consolidate the roles of logistics, procurement, and management all into one position. However, companies are struggling to find the right people with a broad enough background to do this, as 71% of companies are having difficulty recruiting senior leadership for their supply chains, with many believing that the current strategic thinking and problem solving skills of their supply chain managers is not up to par. Cisco Systems Inc. President of Supply Chain Operations John Kern believes that companies that do not invest in cultivating talent in this area now will “get caught flat footed two to three years down the road.”





  1. What do you think are the most important skills and/or qualities to have in managing a supply chain?


  1. In what emerging ways do you think technology will impact supply chain management in the future?


  1. Aside from technology and movement towards a global realm, do you envision any other changes to supply chain management that companies will have to prepare and recruit for?




ERP Software: Highly Social Or Unsophisticated?

The article explain  how ERP needs to change, when the study turned to examine the software’s future effectiveness.This suggests that ERP platforms must become more collaborative and responsive to users’ needs if they are going to meet future demand.However, the ERP systems were recently derided as ‘unsophisticated and ineffective’ by their UK users, suggesting that many organisations are still struggling to get what they need from these pivotal software systems designed for business management.  According to data,  ERP was considered to be ‘state of the art’ by just 11% of them. In contrast, 60% rated their ERP as just adequate, or lower. Moreover, the lowest performing aspects of ERP amongst UK businesses – cited as ‘very simple and basic’ – were finance, accounting and invoicing (by 27%), maintenance and overhaul (by 25%) and HR and payroll (by 24%).

To become more effectiveness in our business, The ERP system still need to change and improve.

1) What is the common issue for company using ERP system ?

2)How to change to be a new ERP system ?

3)How do you think about ERP system in our business?


Heavy ERP customization no longer in vogue, experts and customers agree


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ERP customization has been seen as a crucial part of ERP, especially for large companies, customized ERP can meet complex and various business requirements. However, this article examines the disadvantage of customization. Generally, customization is pricy, complicated and unique designs often need heavy budget to support. Secondly, heavy customization might lead to loss of identity. Some common business culture and characters are disappeared during customization. Thirdly, customization is difficult to maintain and manage because of distinctive designs. Also, the article discusses the method that how to cope with customization, such as using vendor services to manage customization and building emergency plans.


1). Do you agree with the article that customization is no more in trend, and configuration is replacing customization?

2). What factors must be customized when developing ERP?

3). Which industry do you think really needs customization, which not?

The End of ERP

ERP, or enterprise resource planning is software which consists of integrated applications which help to manage businesses and organizations. In this article, Tien Tzuo talks about ERP and the proposed decline of its use in the future. Anticipating that we, as a society, will be continuing towards a “services-based ‘subscription economy’”, Tzuo expects that ERP will be less useful to businesses. With a shift towards more service-oriented purchases like Netflix and Pandora, being a successful business is not about the amount sold, but in how much a service is used. As an example, the article mentions Dell which instead of creating more products, decided to offer more services.

Given that ERP is product oriented, it cannot properly answer key questions that are becoming increasingly important to businesses and organizations.Overall, because of the shift from product-based to service-based, ERP is becoming less relevant in today’s economy.

1) Do you agree that this is the end of ERP?
2) Is there a way that ERP can adapt to the shift from product-oriented to service-oriented? Or is it unnecessary?
3) How else does the shift from product-oriented to service-oriented effect business practices?


Hospital Overhauls Information System



This article from InformatonWeek talks about a hospital group in California, Hoag Memorial Presbyterian, which transformed their previously “unconnected applications” into a streamlined, easy to navigate dashboard.

Information gets fed into a data warehouse, which translates the data and presents it in a user friendly format on the hospital’s dashboard.

The article points out that the company needed to go through cultural as well as technological change to implement this system.  The system now connects the IT team with the other business units throughout the hospital: finance, clinical, and administrative; all of which collaborate more easily with the system in place.

At the time of implementation, “intense data usage” was not the norm, and the staff needed to be educated on the processes. Once the system was fully in place, the employees had a much better understanding of the resulting data, mainly because of the user-friendly dashboards.  Any employee, from medical to business staff could “make inferences on the data from previously unconnected and unrelated systems.”

Prior to the overhaul of the system, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) was only used by 2.5% of the clinicians. The percentage of use is now in the high 90’s!


1. Does the enterprise information system seem sustainable for the future?

2. Are there any disadvantages to an enterprise information system?

3. Examples of an enterprise information system?

Beyond Reality, Web 3.0, and Applications We Can barely Imagine

Posted for Miller Harris:  Miller Harris Class Reader


Beyond Reality, Web 3.0,  and Applications We Can barely Imagine


Included below is an interesting TED Talk from 2007 that describes a program named Photosynth, which can crowd-source passively shared photos online, and use them to render composite navigable models of 3-D landscapes, that can potentially be embedded with enriched semantic information.  Essentially this program has the capacity to map the earth virtually (and historically).  I believe this is part of the technology that will be used in the bridge between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, in that intelligence and inert data are being connected in a new and usable fashion.  Programs such as Photosynth will be necessary building blocks in the foundation of technologies such as those mentioned in the following article.


Follow this link for TED Talk on Photosynth:




Secondly, included is the article “How Magic Leap’s Augmented Reality Works.” Magic Leap was recently invested in by Google, and has filed patents for augmented reality technology, wearable technology that allows the user to see 3D images overlaying what is in the field of vision.  These types of technology combined with programs like Photosynth have enormous potential as far as what they can be used for; such as information embedded in the world around us.  We could virtually explore place we have never been, or enrich the places we physically inhabit, we could intuitively manipulate things that are a continent away, we could face time without the screen, we could virtually walk into a store and browse a virtual representations of actual saleable items.  What if “auto-fill” could recognize your true size and match clothing to you, streamlining the virtual browsing, shopping, and transactional processes, while improving your overall satisfaction as a customer.  Perhaps you are purchasing a living room set, and you could see them in your home before you purchased.  These are very limited applications, and realizations of all things sci-fi; however as businesses traverses the tech-landscape searching for improvements in the way we do business and consume, incredible leaps will be made, but what will be the net effect to consumers?


Can you imagine looking in your own mirror to see how a shirt or dress you hadn’t purchased looked on you?

Can you imagine seeing the inside of a car around you that you aren’t inside?

Can you imagine road signs, and directions illuminated in your own field of vision without referencing a hand-held device?

Can you imagine vision impairment being solved?


1.  Beyond the sales and income generated by the actual product, what applications can you think of in which these technologies might be applied to create economic benefit?


2.  Do you think there are dangers associated with augmented reality, and our increased dependence on technology?


3.  Do you think augmented reality will become unavoidable, like the ubiquity of electricity, TV, cell phones, home computing and the Internet?  Will you adopt early, or late?

Artificial Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence may be known through typical science fiction movies such as star wars. AI involves technology doing tasks that humans can do. AI is the science of enabling information technologies such as software, to simulate human intelligence. This article goes over the benefits and the risks associated with AI in our everyday lives. One huge benefit that should be pointed out is the fact that AI methods have been employed recently to discover subtle interactions between medications that put patients at risk for serious side effects. Also, there are the more known benefits of AI such as the common GPS or the features of SIRI on the IPhone. However, there are plenty downfalls to AI such as error or relying to heavily on these AI methods. 1. Would you prefer a cell phone with an artificial intelligence such as SIRI? 2. What do you believe is the biggest breakthrough in artificial intelligence? 3. How dependent do you see society relying on AI methods in the future?

The Need For Social Media

The article mentions several reasons why social media is so important to have in the workplace. Today companies must compete with one another to get their name recognized. Newer generations are completely relying on social media as the way to gather information about certain companies.  The article mentions that social media improves communication within the company, such as Facebook pages that companies can easily access. It further mentions that social media has also helped employers find new employees, such as  Facebook and linkedIn.  Lastly, social media has become one of the leading ways in which companies are able to market new products or services, “94% of businesses with a marketing department use social media…. to promote brand awareness”.

1) Do you agree with companies using social media to find new employees or look at current employees?

2) Do you think older generations are going to be forced to adapt and join social media in order to stay up to date with new products ?

3) Is it ok for businesses to not allow its employees to use social media? Does this effect the businesses growth?



Big Data: taking away the language barrier


In V6, businesses are having difficulty navigating big data with the high velocity and abundance of the influx of data and its variation. Organizations are having trouble making decisions from their inability to find their specific data in the large databases. Oracle has created a new extension for its Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) by using big data tools with traditional data analysis software to make it simpler to find material in the data warehouses, using language more administrators will understand. Big data has been geared toward programmers with language and tools, but with this extension, database administrators and data warehouse managers will be able to use big data as another data source.

1. Will this new extension by Oracle make big data easier to manipulate to find the right data depending on the organization?

2. Do you think with this bridge between big data and traditional data software, that employees and not just database administrators will be able to use big data more easily?

3. If this ODI is successful, do you think that businesses will be likely to invest in it?


Social Goals to improve Communication and Collaboration

Communication and Collaboration plays huge roll in the success of an organization. The employees have have to be collaborated on things that are going on in the company or things they are working on together. Because if they are not collaborated on things and working on a same project and they don’t have proper communication with each other, it can make the project stuck because everyone had to wait for the one person to finish their work on time because they were on a vacation for past two weeks and no one knew about it.  So staying connected to each other is very important. you don’t want your employees to be frustrated with each other because it can hurt the overall performance of the company. To  change that as a manager you have to provide the tools to help out your employees to communicate their goals to each other through social goals. Managers should set up stand up meetings, go on happy hour and dinner, etc.


1. Does ethnicity play a role in communication and collaboration within the team?

2. Is the age a factor in social goals between colleagues ? why or why not?

3. Is social goals a best way to have everyone collaborated? What are some other ways the managers can use?