Schedule of Topics, Readings, Deliverables
Group Research Project
Major technological advances always bring with them changes to industries, companies and managerial requirements. This was true with the introduction of the steam engine, the railroads, the electric motor, the telephone, and so on. It is happening again as powerful, distributed, interconnected information systems become ubiquitous.
This course focuses on information technology and the changes it is bringing about. We will examine IT at three levels:
about the instructor, secretary, and TA can be found here.
Texts and Other Resources
The required text serves two objectives. Along with additional handouts, it provides an overview of the invariant fundamentals of information technology. It also provides a roadmap of the changing technologies and their potential impact on business. Keep in mind that the road is constantly changing. Always check the course web site for references to late-breaking news.
Your grade in this course will be based on the following
|Written case analyses Sun case
plus optionally 1 of the other 2 cases
(If you choose to do an optional writeup, your grades will be averaged.)
|Extended research project||Group||30|
All of the above items will be graded on a 100-point basis. These grades ultimately will be combined using the weights specified above.
Comments on Assignments: Because of the large class size, you will not generally be getting detailed comments on each individual case. Feedback will be provided using a general list of comments for each assignment.
I will always be available during office hours or by appointment for detailed discussions of assignments (and other matters).
Deadlines: Papers are due on the dates listed on the assignment sheet and web site. They must be turned in at the beginning of the class session. If you are traveling or otherwise unable to attend class, they should be submitted in advance or by fax. You may not submit them as email attachments. (The same deadline applies). You will be penalized 10 points per day for late submissions.
Mandatory Curve: The Dean’s Office has mandated
that no more than 35% of the grades in a core course be A/A-.
This web site supports the activities in this course. It is designed to accomplish several objectives.
The best way to contact me is by email. When in town,
I monitor it throughout the day, and also over the weekend. In order to
ensure that I give your message high priority, please preface the subject
line of all class-related email with: [B01.2119]. You can find my email
Class Schedule, Readings and Deliverables
||Introduction and Framework
Overview of the course
|Rayport and Jaworski|
||IT and Competitive Advantage
||Mata, Fuerst and Barney|
||The Technology Infrastructure
Overview of the underlying software systems/technologies
What are the software systems that make up a business's IT? How are they interconnected? The reading provides some software fundamentals. In class, we will use the reading as a foundation, and discuss how systems fit together to form the information systems of a digital-age business.
|O’Brien – Chapter 5|
||Sun Case||Case - Required|
||Internet Technologies – 1
||O’Brien – Chapter 6|
||Internet Technologies – 2||Mendelson
Analysis of NYU Web Logs
||Selected Uses of the Technologies
|O’Brien – Chapter 15|
||Automated Analytics: Data Mining
||Two Crows Data Mining Tutorial|
||Personalization and Recommendation
One of the capabilities associated with web use is the ability to adapt a web site to the needs and preferences of each individual user. Is this a technically complex process? Is it important to consider personalization when e-commerce infrastructure is designed? Or can it be added after the fact? Is this a convenience or a violation of personal privacy?
|E-Commerce Recommendation Applications|
The widespread use of computer-based technologies carries with it a broad range of current and potential organizational changes. Unlike the changes that took place in the early days of computing (eliminating clerical personnel), there are indications that current and likely future changes are getting to the heart of the way that we do business.
Quiz on technology and use
||Market Impact – 1
||Market Impact – 2
||FreeMarkets Case||Case (optional)|
Critical Trends to Track
||Final Exam||Covers everything in the course
Group Research Project Due
Everyone must read each case and come to class prepared to discuss it.
Everyone must prepare and submit written analyses of the Sun case and optionally one of the other two (Dell & FreeMarkets). Case analyses test your ability to understand a complex situation, situate it in a broadly defined business context, and analyze the implications of the situation. Cases do not have to be descriptions of something that is wrong. They can just as easily be situations raising interesting discussion points. In particular, for this class we concentrate on the Information Technology implications.
Be sure to review the company web site and other resources before preparing each case. They will almost certainly contain interesting and useful supplementary information.
Cases should be a maximum of 10 pages long. They must be in slide presentation (PowerPoint) format. Be as comprehensive as possible, within the page limit. Speaker’s notes may be used where needed to augment the presentation. Use the following outline:
There are two options for satisfying the group research project. Groups (3-4 students per group) should be chosen and submitted to the instructor and TA by the fourth class meeting.
1. Select one or more topics discussed in this course and write a paper expanding upon it. You may want to deal with one topic, e.g., the browser or search engine of the future. You may also want to combine several topics, e.g., electronic transaction processing, data mining, personalization. You may also want to look at changing business models. One example is found by looking at how companies are using their web sites to make money. Not surprisingly, the earliest attempts were based on a publishing analogy, i.e., they tried to build up the volume of ‘readers’ and then sold advertising based upon apparent ‘circulation.’ The situation appears to be changing. Companies are now making (or saving) money in different ways.
Or, consider the observation that the computer, as an isolated entity that we think about, is no longer the dominate application of high-powered microprocessors. The majority of microprocessors sold today are embedded in other devices rather than freestanding entities. This trend will continue and most of us will think about the functionality of various devices, e.g., PDA, phones, etc., rather than general-purpose desktop computers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The changing technologies also include the use of machine learning, public key encryption, intelligent agents, and text analysis technologies.
The key point is that these technological advances are having two different types of effects. First, they are changing the way we do things we have always done, e.g., searching. Second, and more significantly, they are changing the ways in which we think about business. The combination of these two phenomena results in changes to companies, industries, and market structures.