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Effects of new communication technologies
« on: February 14, 2016, 08:13:16 PM »
 Electronic Commerce (“e-commerce”)

Buying and selling – can be by interactive television, web sites, e-mail.


    24 hours a day, on line order tracking, immediate availability check
    Price comparison websites (Kelkoo, Pricerunner – ACTIVITY try these out!)
    Ebay – what is it? – provides ready access to buying and selling for ALL (ACTIVITY – try it out - www.ebay.ca )
    Implications for busy people, disabled, housebound, those living in rural areas.


    Giving out bank/card details, delivery problems, view/feel before you buy, returning goods.
    Most of these points reflect major customer care issues for the new businesses – get it right and you can make major profits – e.g. Amazon

Video Conferencing

Use of microphone and camera to interact with another person

Advantages: No travel costs, jetlag, time off work, planning to assemble required people in one location, immediate contact anywhere in the world.

Implications: Control – ability to check up

Disadvantages: Cost of equipment, compatibility of equipment, planning to set it up, hardware failure, technical expertise of user.

Text Messaging

    Use of mobile phones…relatively cheap and available
    Very easy to keep in touch
    Emergence of a new modern shorthand

With new technologies there is a need for:


    Training the individuals to cope with the developing technologies
    Rate of technological change means that training is ongoing
    Re-skilling to cope with changing work practices/regimes
    For example call centres being set up in traditional coal mining areas
    Redirection of people’s careers by giving them new skills
    With changing rate of technology, skills need to be transferable
    Potential loss of old skills (e.g. traditional methods) and a reliance on the new.


What is a standard?

    A standard is a technical specification that has been approved by a standardising body
    e.g. HTML (the web page language) is approved by W3C (www.w3c.org), the worldwide Internet standards body
    Standards are usually a voluntary convention, but with many people using it there is often no reason to do things (make products, write webpages, etc) another way
    Standards include elements relating to:
        Health & Safety
        Environment (disposal, etc)
        Consumer protection (e.g. privacy)
    If a customer buys a product with a standard, the criteria have been met.

Each standardising body issues standards in its area. In order for its standardised products to work with another body’s standards there needs to be overlap and consistency between different standards.

These are known as harmonised standards

Examples: technologies for PCs (USB, Firewire, CD Rom are standardised so many manufacturers can produce compatible devices – there are many firms which make MP3 players, but they all work in the same way, albeit with some different functions)

Importance of Standards

Required so that a wide range of different products that are available as separate entities can work together in a specific application.

    For example, if you buy a telephone you expect it to work with your telephone system – it does because of standards.
    If items meet a set standard then they have to have passed a series of tests
    This means they have clear levels of performance and quality
    Reduces uncertainty – as a purchaser you known it will work if it has the standard (e.g BSI kitemark)

Increases choice in the market place
System Life Cycle
Definition of the Problem

    Determining what the problem is that is to be solved
    Can be generated by the management
    Should be very specific not general in nature
    Series of criteria are stated that must be met for the problem to be eradicated (often known as “Objectives” or “User Requirements”)

Investigation and Analysis

    Verification of the Problem
    Must make sure that the problem given is the problem to be solved – is it the ‘real’ problem
    You need to find out more about the existing system and the problem
    Use of variety of techniques
    Questionnaires/interview & Observation
    Following a paper trail (documentation of current methods)
    Ways of organising the information gathered include:
    System diagrams
    Data flow diagrams
    Organisational charts


    Designing a solution
    Input/Output documents
    Procedures – what happens to the data
    File structures
    Access, search and sort routines
    Design of testing


    Taking the design and putting it into practice
    May be done by a different team of people from the Analysis
    Writing programming code
    Creating documents/reports
    Screen designs become reality


Testing data includes:

    Normal data - Everyday correct data
    Extreme data - Correct data on the boundaries of tolerance
    Erroneous/Invalid - Data that is incorrect
    Test individual routines
    Test whole components
    integration between components
    Test entire system
    User acceptance testing


    Changeover methods
    Direct - Old system stops and new one begins
    Parallel - Systems run together for a set period of time – results compared
    Phased/Pilot - Part of a system is brought on line
        Equipment in place (hardware and software)
        Data changeover/conversion/importing


    Does the finished solution meet its requirements.
    Does it solve the problem?


    Fixing bugs
    Adapting the system to changes in the environment
    Improving the performance of the system – tweaking
    Maintenance is ongoing – never stops.
    Can include things such as checking paper in the printer, backup of files, etc

Requirements Specification and System Specification

These are the 2 key documents that are produced in the Systems Life Cycle to help ensure success. You need to know the difference between the two of them

The contents of the requirements specification:

    What the system should do
    Individual targets it needs to meet
    It is needed for evaluation
    The contents of the system specification:
    How the system meets the requirements
    What is needed to make the system work
    Technical documentation - the user interface design, its functionality, how it relates to systems data and other system functions.

source -thestudentroom.co.uk
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