Description Marks out of Wtg(%) Due date
Assignment 4 (written report) 100 50% 27 May 2013
This written assignment is to be electronically submitted through the EASE system in the CIS8000 StudyDesk. Hardcopy or email submission will NOT be accepted.
Length: The total word limit for the assignment is 4500 words.
This assignment specifically addresses the following learning objectives of the course:
LO2 Identify and explore contemporary challenges and opportunities in information systems and to formulate an opinion or judgement and offer possible solutions.
LO3 Demonstrate ability to identify potential opportunities for creative and sustainable use of information technologies to achieve corporate objectives.
LO4 Demonstrate ability to collaborate with peers to analyse and solve business problems with information technologies, and present the solution in a team report.
LO5 Demonstrate effective communication by composing writing that communicates ideas, meaning and/or argument in a format that broadly follows conventions in the information systems field.
LO6 Apply technology and online skills to locate relevant information for the assignments, analyse the presented problems and data, and engage in the use of the resources provided on UConnect.
Option for team submission
Students may choose to either work alone or team up with another student to complete the assignment.
For joint submission, the team should:
• Nominate a team leader who will provide the course leader with the details of the team members at least two weeks before the due date, and • Submit only one set of report through the EASE system. The same marks will be awarded to both team members.
You must subject your written assignment to a plagiarism check by the Turnitin software prior to its submission in the EASE system. The Turnitin software can be indirectly accessed through the StudyDesk without the need to provide any login-id or password. Further details on how you should interpret the Turnitin results will be posted in the StudyDesk.
No assignment will be marked if it is not accompanied by the Turnitin report.
Activity A: Journal (maximum 500 words)
Prepare a journal which records your activities and progress related to completing this assignment. In date order, clearly list the following: ? Date of research activity/discussion/meeting
? Topic researched or discussed
? Time duration
? Brief description of research activity/discussion.
Submit this journal as an appendix to Activity B.
Activity B: Report to CEO (maximum 4000 words)
Select an organisation to analyse for this assignment. The organisation may be a commercial, government or not-for-profit organisation but it must have at least 100 employees and a web site. Use the web, newspapers and/or personal contacts to gain information about the organisation and its management of IT. When selecting the organisation, you should take into account the nature of the organisation’s business environment and the extent to which the organisation is dependent on IT to run its operations. If you are employed, you are encouraged to base this assignment on the organisation that you are currently working with, if it meets the above criteria.
Complete the requirements below by producing a written report to the CEO.
Part 1: Introduction: background of selected organisation (10%)
1.1 Describe the background of the selected organisation in terms of the following: the industry (e.g. banking, healthcare, travel, airline etc) it operates within, its key products/services, corporate mission, corporate structure, major business processes, business strategy and relationship with external entities e.g. other organisations, government etc. Provide its homepage URL.
Part 2: Analysis of business challenges using the management, organisation and technology model (30%)
2.1 At the beginning of each chapter in the Laudon & Laudon 12ed. textbook the authors provide an opening case to illustrate how a particular organisation has used information systems to overcome the business challenges it was facing. The authors describe how the organisation achieved this in terms of a model composed of three elements:
management, organisation and technology. Review these three elements in the section
“Dimensions of Information Systems” in pp.49-56 of the textbook and re-read some of the chapter-opening cases. Also, revisit the following sections in Chapter 5: IT Infrastructure & Emerging Technologies: Section 5.2 – Infrastructure components, Section 5.3 – Contemporary hardware platform trends and Section 5.4 – Contemporary software platform trends.
Identify a set of business challenges that the organisation is experiencing. These business challenges should relate to a common theme as associated with each chapter in the textbook (refer to “Brief Contents” in p.4 for these themes). Using the management, organisation and technology model, describe and analyse how information systems could provide the answer to these challenges. You should organise your solution as follows:
• Describe the business challenges
• Analyse these business challenges in terms of: management, organisation and technology
• Summarise the information systems requirements
• Describe the IT infrastructure investment requirements in terms of Figure 59: The IT infrastructure ecosystem in p.206 of the textbook (note that not all of the seven components will be relevant to your discussion), and
• Provide a graphical summary of your solution in terms of the management, organisation and technology model.
Part 3: Crowdsourcing – background and recommended strategy (25%)
3.1 According to Laudon and Laudon 12ed. p.418: “Beyond merely soliciting advice, firms can be actively helped in solving some business problems using what is crowdsourcing”. Review the various materials on crowdsourcing that are provided in the StudyDesk. Search the Internet to find out more about this topic. Write a summary to the CEO and other senior managers in the organisation addressing the following:
• What crowdsourcing is about
• How businesses are using crowdsourcing
• Business opportunities and benefits from crowdsourcing • Problems and drawbacks of crowdsourcing, and • The future of crowdsourcing.
3.2 Recommend a strategy to help the organisation leverage crowdsourcing to achieve its business objectives. If the organisation already has such a strategy in place, recommend how it could further avail itself of new opportunities provided by recent advancements in information system technologies. Before you commence your search for material to help you formulate the strategy you should first review Chapter 3: Information systems, organisations and strategy in the textbook. Your recommended strategy should be sufficiently detailed to help the CEO in its implementation. The following are some of the areas and issues which your strategy must factor in:
• The reasons why the organisation should invest in crowdsourcing
• The key areas where crowdsourcing is likely to have an impact on its business
• The risks the organisation must consider and how these risks can be mitigated • The supporting tools, solutions and skills the organisation need to have, and • How the organisation can measure the success of its crowdsourcing initiative.
Part 4: Conclusions: key findings and recommendations
4.1 Summarise your key findings and recommendations to the CEO related to your analysis. Clearly state your conclusions.
You are strongly advised to read the marking criteria carefully before starting on your assignment. In particular, note the marks allocation for each part and sub-part in Activity B.
Ensure that the length of your solution should be commensurate with the allocated marks.
Also, note that the journal is worth 10% and the report presentation 10% of the total marks.
General guidelines for Activity B
• Your submission must be submitted to the CEO as a report in a single document, not an essay. The format must comply with the report structure detailed in chapter 3 (‘Report Writing’) of the Communication Skills Handbook 3ed., except that you would not need a glossary. Please note from the handbook that reports do have subheadings and an appropriate letter of transmittal is required.
• The word count does not include the following: executive summary, letter of transmittal, table of contents, figures, tables, references or appendices.
• The body of the report should be about 4,000 words in length and you may lose marks if it varies by more than 10%.
• You must demonstrate additional research from outside the text. Suggestions for other references include other general texts on information systems management, industry journals, periodicals, electronic databases etc. (many of which are available online from the USQ Library at:
• Use the Harvard referencing format for in-text references and the reference list. Your references should include at least one web/electronic link but all the references should not be from the web. Refer to chapter 2 (referencing) of the Communication Skills Handbook 3ed. for further details.
• Inappropriate referencing or excessive grammar/spelling errors will incur a penalty. You should refrain from cutting and pasting chunks of materials from the Internet as this will be treated as plagiarism. To avoid any allegation of academic misconduct from unintentional plagiarism from Internet sources it is strongly recommended that you use the Turnitin software to check your work before submitting it.
Report formatting instructions
• Major headings should be in upper case, 14 point Times New Roman Bold.
• Minor headings should be in lower-case, 12 point Times New Roman Bold.
• Body text should be formatted to 12 point, Times New Roman.
• Page size should be A4. Allow for a 25 mm margin on both sides of each page, a 25 mm margin at the top of each page and a 25 mm margin at the bottom of each page.
• Use single line spacing.
• Your assignment should be submitted in one of the following formats:
- Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
- Rich Text Format (.rtf)
- Portable Document Format (.pdf).