Following questions will be discussed in the tutorial class:
1.1The value of information is the difference between the benefits realized from using that information and the costs of producing it. Would you, or any organization, ever produce information if its expected costs exceeded its benefits? If so, provide some examples. If not, why not?
Most organizations produce information only if its value exceeds its cost. However, there are two situations where information may be produced even if its cost exceeds its value.
a. It is often difficult to estimate accurately the value of information and the cost of producing it. Therefore, organizations may produce information that they expect will produce benefits in excess of its costs, only to be disappointed after the fact. b. Production of the information may be mandated by either a government agency or a private organization. Examples include the tax reports required by the IRS and disclosure requirements for financial reporting.
1.4 How do an organization’s business processes and lines of business affect the design of its AIS? Give several examples of how differences among organizations are reflected in their AIS.
An organization’s AIS must reflect its business processes and its line of business. For example:
• Manufacturing companies will need a set of procedures and documents for the production cycle; non-manufacturing companies do not. • Government agencies need procedures to track separately all inflows and outflows from various funds, to ensure that legal requirements about the use of specific funds are followed. • Financial institutions do not need extensive inventory control systems. • Passenger service companies (e.g., airlines, bus, and trains) generally receive payments in advance of providing services. Therefore, extensive billing and accounts receivable procedures are not needed; instead, they must develop procedures to account for prepaid revenue. • Construction firms typically receive payments at regular intervals, based on the percentage of work completed. Thus, their revenue cycles must be designed to track carefully all work performed and the amount of work remaining to be done. • Service companies (e.g., public accounting and law firms) do not sell physical goods and, therefore, do not need inventory control systems. They must develop and maintain detailed records of the work performed for each customer to provide backup for the amounts billed. Tracking individual employee time is especially important for these firms because labor is the major cost component.
1.6Figure 1-4 shows that developments in IT affect both an organization’s strategy and the design of its AIS. How can a company determine whether it is spending too much, too little, or just enough on IT?
There is no easy answer to this question. Although a company can try to identify the benefits of a new IT initiative and compare those benefits to the associated costs, this is often easier said than done. Usually, it is difficult to measure precisely the benefits of new uses of IT. Nevertheless, companies should gather as much data as possible about changes in market share, sales trends, cost reductions, and other results that can plausibly be associated with an IT initiative and that were predicted in the planning process.
1.7Apply the value chain concept to S&S. Explain how it would perform the various primary and support activities.
The value chain classifies business activities into two categories: primary and support.
The five primary activities at S&S:
a. Inbound logistics includes all processes involved in ordering, receiving, and temporarily storing merchandise that is going to be sold to S&S customers. b. S&S does not manufacture any goods, thus its operations activities consists of displaying merchandise for sale...