The Case Assignment for this module involves your understanding the e-business sector as a component of the information technology revolution currently under way. As usual, we’ve identified some salient sources that will be of help to you in forming this understanding. The question at hand is basically where all this is going, and what the effects are likely to be. Forecasting the future is always a risky proposition; if it weren’t, there would be a whole lot more Mark Zuckerbergs out there riding their visions to billionaire-hood. Of course, figuring out that things are likely to change and figuring out exactly how to monetize some small piece of that change process for your own benefit are rather different things. Let’s start with the simpler aspect; based on where you see the world of e-commerce today as part of the overall information technology management domain, where’s the potential for future development? Certainly it would be silly to presume that within the last 5 to 10 years we’ve managed to figure out everything possible to do in the economic domain with electronic interaction. So we know there will be change; the question is what, where, and with what effects.
The format for your assignment for this module is a little different from that for the first two modules. There, you were essentially instructing point/counterpoint arguments relative to a particular proposition. This assignment calls for a more open-ended approach. Essentially, you’re doing some forecasting about the future of the electronic economy. If you do this well enough, maybe you will be the next Mark Zuckerberg—or maybe not. At any rate, give it a shot. Obviously, there are no clear right or wrong answers to this question; we don’t have a list in mind of things that we expect you to come up with, except in the most general sense. It’s your job to make a case for your forecast. It’s not enough just to say “I think that X will happen”; you have to say rather precisely what X is, what it will do for people, why people might be persuaded to use it, and what sort of individual and societal effects it might be expected to have. This involves going to your sources, finding supporting evidence, and developing each of your ideas logically. Futurology is not just blue-sky theorizing or speculative science fiction; while time travel and matter transmutation might be expected to have major economic effects, I doubt you could develop a reasonable argument saying that they’re likely to happen within the next decade. And a lot of people have gone broke trying to forecast the future of information technology. On the other hand, there have always been long-term trends that have enabled a lot of people to develop ideas that worked; for example, Moore’s Law seems to be still operating. So as you do your reading, try to think about these trends, project from where we are now to what seems reasonable, even if it’s a bit adventurous, and make the best arguments you can. We’ll be evaluating your arguments, not necessarily waiting around to find out if your vision comes true.
As we noted before, if you don’t really pay attention to this material, it’s really unlikely that you can write an acceptable paper on the topic below, let alone an exceptional one. We spend quite a lot of time trying to identify useful sources for you that bear on our topics for analysis; while we strongly encourage you to conduct your own further research and identify additional useful sources, this should be an add-on to the basic material rather than a substitute for it.
Winter, S. (2012). The rise of cyberinfrastructure and grand challenge for eCommerce. Information Systems and eBusiness Management, 10(3), 279-293.
Barrett, T. (2014). The Internet of things. Ted Talk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaTIt1C5R-M.
Blum, A. (2012). Discover the physical side of the Internet. http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_blum_what_is_the_internet_really
Shoper, T. (2012). Shopping in 2020: What will the future of ecommerce look likd. http://www.geekwire.com/2012/shopping-2020-future-ecommerce/
Murugesan, S. (Jul/Aug 2007): Understanding Web 2.0. IT Professional Magazine. 9(4), 34-41. [Proquest].
Ranganathan, C., & Seo, D. B. (2006). The snakes and ladders game in e-business: digital transformation at American Hardware Depot.(The Home Depot Inc. investing in American Hardware Depot’s electronic business). Journal of Cases on Information Technology, 8(4), 1-12. [Proquest]
Agnew, J., & Sindhav, B. (2009). An E-commerce business model of peer-to-peer interactions among consumers. Journal of Cases on Information Technology, 11(2), 12-21. [Proquest]
Seizing the potential of ‘m-commerce’ to add consumer value. (2008). ECR Journal, 8(1), 7.
For another view of the Internet future from the Chinese perspective:
Here is a discussion of crowdsourcing and used for cyber terrorism
Jared Cohen, former US State Department staffer and director of Google Ideas, says technology can help eliminate totalitarian regimes like North Korea. Cohen co-authored the book The New Digital Age with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt argues that the smartphone will help transform the lives of people in developing economies for the better in the coming years. Schmidt co-authored the book The New Digital Age with former U.S. State Department staffer and director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen.
In addition, the optional readings expand on many of the central points; you may also want to do some independent research of your own to clarify any issues that concern you.
Yang, Hongwei (2013). Bon appétit for apps: Young Americans consumers’ acceptance of mobile applications. The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 53(3), 85–96.
When you have read through the articles and related material, compose a 4- to 6-page critical analysis paper as outlined above, on the topic:
· Describe three big developments in e-business that will become commonplace by the year 2020. Explain why you selected each development and the impact it will have on society and on businesses.
As we said, your forecasts need to be supported by the literature and the evidence. Obviously, as noted below, this will obligate you to actually be able to present such evidence in an academically respectable manner.