Breakthrough Discoveries in Information Technology Research: Advancing Trends

Breakthrough Discoveries in Information Technology Research: Advancing Trends

Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
Release Date: November, 2009|Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 288
ISBN13: 9781605669663|ISBN10: 1605669660|EISBN13: 9781605669670|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-966-3

Description

Information technology is a discipline under constant evolution.

This collection, entitled Breakthrough Discoveries in Information Technology Research: Advancing Trends, aims to inform researchers and practitioners of novel and emerging research in information science and technology, allowing for the discussion and dissemination of critical concepts that will promote further study and innovation. Selections explore all facets of the discipline, with specific contributions focusing on outsourcing, ethical concerns in research, biometrics, and information technology's role in disaster prediction and prevention.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Agile software processes
  • Biometrics and soft computing tools
  • Bluetooth promoted multimedia on demand
  • E-business descision-making
  • Fuzzy logic in medicine
  • Fuzzy logic systems modeling
  • Information technology and disaster planning
  • Outsourcing and offshoring
  • Usability research and children
  • Voice-based tools for global collaboration

Reviews and Testimonials

...examines innovative topics in information science and technology literature. With an eye toward the future of IT research, this collection provides extensive insight into the future of business and society and offers essential research on emerging ideas and trends...

– 

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Preface

Information technology is a discipline under constant evolution. The following collection, entitled Breakthrough Discoveries in Information Technology Research: Advancing Trends, aims to inform researchers and practitioners of novel and emerging research in information science and technology, allowing for the discussion and dissemination of critical concepts that will promote further study and innovation. Selections explore all facets of the discipline, with specific contributions focusing on outsourcing, ethical concerns in research, biometrics, and information technology’s role in disaster prediction and prevention.

Chapter 1, “Information Technology/Systems Offshore Outsourcing: Key Risks and Success Factors” by Mahesh S. Raisinghani, Brandi Starr, Blake Hickerson, Marshelle Morrison, and Michael Howard, reveals the possible risks and perceived success factors of companies outsourcing IT/IS operations offshore. The major points of interest are operational and strategic risks; legal contracts; cultural, security, and financial issues; and noted success factors by companies that participate in offshore outsourcing. The research indicates the importance of risk identification and the formulation of strategic plans that include preventive, detective, and corrective control methods of implementation and evaluation. Effective methods and metrics for measuring the success or failure of IT/IS offshore outsourcing operations is expected to be a continuing development with the increasing growth of this phenomenon.

Chapter 2, “Emerging Trends in Outsourcing” by Tapasya Patki, A.B. Patki, and Mahesh Kulkarni, lays the foundation for Offshore Engineering and Management (OEM) and discusses estimation issues in OEM that have their roots in software engineering. Also, this chapter identifies the limitations of the current methodologies from an outsourcing point of view, and delineates how they can be deployed effectively for an outsourced environment.

Chapter 3, “Agile Software Processes for the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory Environment” by Nathan Denny, Igor Crk, and Ravi Sheshu, contends that the growing adoption of outsourcing and offshoring concepts is presenting new opportunities for distributed software development. Inspired by the paradigm of round-the-clock manufacturing, the concept of the 24-hour knowledge factory (24HrKF) attempts to make similar transformations in the arena of IS: specifically to transform the production of software and allied intangibles to benefit from the notion of continuous development by establishing multiple collaborating sites at strategically selected locations around the globe. As the sun sets on one site, it rises on another site with the day’s work being handed off from the closing site to the opening site. In order to enable such hand offs to occur in an effective manner, new agile and distributed software processes are needed, as delineated in this chapter.

Chapter 4, “Leveraging Knowledge Reuse and Systems Agility in the Outsourcing Era” by Igor Crk, Dane Sorensen, and Amit Mitra, discusses collaborative work groups and the growing demand for new technologies and methodologies that enable traditional spatial and temporal separations to be surmounted that they create. The hurdles faced by members of such virtual teams are in three key areas: differences in concepts and terminologies used by the different teams; differences in understanding the problem domain under consideration; and differences in training, knowledge, and skills that exist across the teams. These reasons provide some of the basis for the delineation of new architectural approaches that can normalize knowledge and provide reusable artifacts in a knowledge repository.

Chapter 5, “Extending the Balanced Scorecard for Outsourcing: The Goals Alignment Perspective” by Preeti Goyal and Bhimaraya A. Metri, asserts that alliances, collaborations and networks are synonymous with strategy today. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one such type of alliance. With increasing reliance on outsourcing, the organizational boundaries are blurring. The implications for the client organization can be tremendous, as it now relies on an outside organization to fulfill its operational objectives. Currently, there is no single framework, which can effectively measure performance for BPO arrangements. In its present form, the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) only addresses, the performance measurement needs of a single enterprise and any perspective on any external relationships is completely missing. The traditional BSC does not suffice as a performance measurement framework for BPO. While both the client and the vendor can use a BSC for their respective organizations, the strategic objectives of the organizations may not be met. In this chapter, the authors propose a new perspective as an extension to the BSC, namely the goals alignment perspective. Goals alignment of the two organizations will enable creation of performance measures that will help participating organizations to achieve their respective goals.

Chapter 6, “Business Process Onshore Outsourcing within the Community Banking System: An Investigative Study” by B. Dawn Medlin and Adriana Romaniello, contains a study surveying members of the North Carolina Bankers Association in order to determine what if any of their business processes they selected to outsource. Through the use of onshore outsourcing, banks as do other industries expect several benefits such as cost savings and reduction in overhead. Using knowledge management concepts, banks can better understand their firm’s performance as well as their own needs. This knowledge may also lead to the increase of employees’ skill sets.

Chapter 7, “Offshoring in the Pharmaceutical Industry” by Jason McCoy and Johannes Sarx, explores the internal and exogenous factors motivating global pharmaceutical firms to increase and expand their sourcing activities. And, instead of discussing global sourcing in general, India has been analyzed as a unique and explanatory case study for this new, emerging trend. The reasons behind this decision include India’s position as a renowned global IT hub, the country’s “home grown” biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries, the numerous strategic partnerships and offshoring relationships between global and Indian firms, as well as its significant advances in IT and information management.

Chapter 8, “Enhancing e-Business Decision Making: An Application of Consensus Theory” by William J. Tastle and Mark J. Wierman, introduces measures of agreement and dissent to the field of e-business analysis and shows how ordinal data can be analyzed in meaningful ways.

Chapter 9, “Changing Healthcare Institutions with Large Information Technology Projects” by Matthew W. Guah reviews the development of institutional theory in direct relations to historical changes within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) with an eye to contributing to the theoretical specification of healthcare information processes. This is done partly by extending certain paradigms (see Meyer & Rowan, 1991; Powell & DiMaggio, 1991; Tolbert & Zucker, 1994) through a proposed model of causes and consequences of variations in levels of institutionalisation in the healthcare industry. It reports finding from a 5-year study on the NHS implementation of the largest civil ISs worldwide at an estimated cost of $10 billion over a 10-year period. The theoretical basis for analysis is developed, using concepts drawn from neo-institutionalism, realisation of business value, and organisational logic, as well as mixed empirical results about the lack of IT investments value , the NHS. The findings suggest that large scale, IT change imposed upon a highly institutionalised healthcare industry is fraught with difficulty mainly because culturally embedded norms, values, and behavioural patterns serve to impede centrally imposed initiatives to automate clinical working practices. It concludes with a discussion about the nature of evaluation procedures in relation to the process of institutionalising IS in healthcare.

Chapter 10, “Crisis Compliance: Using Information Technology to Predict, Prevent and Prevail Over Disasters” by Laura Lally develops the concept of crisis compliance (CC)—defined as making appropriate use of IT, and non-IT methodologies to predict, prevent, and prevail over disasters. CC emerges from Lally’s Target Shield and Weapon Model, which is grounded in the theories of crisis management, normal accident theory, and high reliability organizations. CC is then applied to a case study involving Hurricane Katrina, with examples drawn from other recent disasters. Emerging IT-based crisis management initiatives will be examined with an emphasis on how the impacts of Hurricane Katrina could have been mitigated. Recommendations for predicting, preventing, and prevailing over future disasters will emerge from the analysis.

Chapter 11, “Ethical Concerns in Usability Research Involving Children” by Kirsten Ellis, Marian Quigley, and Mark Power examines the issues in conducting ethical usability testing with children including the special complications presented by the unique characteristics of children. It outlines the process of gaining approval of overseeing bodies to conduct research with children and discusses the difficulties in gaining informed consent from teachers, parents and the children themselves; protection of the research subject from harm and the difficulty of empowering children to instigate their right to refuse to participate in the research project. The chapter also discusses practical issues regarding the research design such as age appropriate practice, the duration of testing and recruitment of participants.

Chapter 12, “A Generic Framework for Bluetooth Promoted Multimedia on Demand (BlueProMoD)” by Panayotis Fouliras and Nikolaos Samaras presents a generic architecture scheme that allows voice and other real-time traffic to be carried over longer distances. The proposed scheme is a novel framework that combines a wired backbone network including Bluetooth access points (APs) with the mobile Bluetooth-enabled devices of the end users. This scheme is called Bluetooth Promoted Multimedia on Demand (BlueProMoD). BlueProMoD is a hybrid network and provides free-of-charge communication among customers, multimedia advertisements, as well as location-based and other value-added services.

Chapter 13, “Social Interaction with a Conversational Agent: An Exploratory Study” by Yun-Ke Chang, Miguel A. Morales-Arroyo, Mark Chavez, and Jaime Jimenez-Guzman, reviews five randomly chosen conversations that an animated chatbot has with Web users. The character simulates human gestures, but they are stylized to reproduce animation standards. The goal of this exploratory study is to provide feedback that will help designers to improve the functionality of the conversational agent, identify user’s needs, define future research, and learn from previous errors. The methodology used was qualitative content analysis.

Chapter 14, “Voice-Based Approach for Surmounting Spatial and Temporal Separations” by Kate O’Toole, Srividhya Subramanian, and Nathan Denny, describes a new voice-based tool for global collaboration. This tool, called EchoEdit, attempts to provide multimedia capabilities to program source code editing for the purpose of eliciting in situ vocal commentary from active developers.

Chapter 15, “Intelligent Biometric System Using Soft Computing Tools” by Anupam Shukla, Ritu Tiwari, and Chandra Prakash Rathore, presents a novel concept of applying Soft Computing Tools, namely Artificial Neural Networks and Neuro-Fuzzy System, for person identification using speech and facial features. The work is divided in four cases, which are Person Identification using speech biometrics, facial biometrics, fusion of speech and facial biometrics and finally fusion of optimized speech and facial biometrics.

Chapter 16, “Analysis and Modelling of Hierarchical Fuzzy Logic Systems” by Masoud Mohammadian, investigates the design and development of a hierarchical fuzzy logic system. A new method using an evolutionary algorithm for design of hierarchical fuzzy logic system for prediction and modelling of interest rates in Australia is developed. The hierarchical system is developed to model and predict three months (quarterly) interest rate fluctuations. This research study is unique in the way proposed method is applied to design and development of fuzzy logic systems. The new method proposed determines the number of layer for hierarchical fuzzy logic system. The advantages and disadvantages of using fuzzy logic systems for financial modeling is also considered. Conclusions on the accuracy of prediction using hierarchical fuzzy logic systems compared to a back-propagation neural network system and a hierarchical neural network are reported.

Chapter 17, “Fuzzy Logic in Medicine” by Michelle LaBrunda, and Andrew LaBrunda, explores the use of fuzzy logic in the medical field. While giving a comparison of classic and fuzzy logic the authors present the various uses of the applications made possible by fuzzy logic, focusing on diagnosis and treatment. The ever evolving technology making the line between medicine and technology thinner every year, is helping to make the treatment of disease and the mending of injury easier for medical professionals. The authors also propose several questions that arise from, and may by answered by, fuzzy logic and its applications.

Chapter 18, “On Bias-Variance Analysis for Probabilistic Logic Models” by Huma Lodhi introduces bias-variance decomposition in probabilistic logic learning. The author uses Stochastic Logic Programs for probabilistic logic representation. In order to learn probabilistic logic models the author uses Failure Adjusted Maximization (FAM) that is an instance of the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm for first order logic. Experiments are carried out by concentrating on one kind of application: quantitative modelling of metabolic pathways that is a complex and challenging task in computational systems biology. The author applies bias-variance definitions to analyze quantitative modelling of amino acid pathways of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast). The results show the phenomenon of bias-variance trade-off in probabilistic logic learning.

Breakthrough Discoveries in Information Technology Research: Advancing Trends examines innovative topics in information science and technology literature. With an eye toward the future of IT research, this collection provides extensive insight into the future of business and society and offers essential research on emerging ideas and trends.

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A., received his Doctorate in Business Administration from the Nova Southeastern University (Florida, USA). Dr. Khosrow-Pour taught undergraduate and graduate information system courses at the Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg for almost 20 years. He is currently Executive Editor at IGI Global (www.igi-global.com). He also serves as Executive Director of the Information Resources Management Association (IRMA) (www.irma-international.org) and Executive Director of the World Forgotten Children’s Foundation (www.world-forgotten-children.org). He is the author/editor of more than 100 books in information technology management. He is also currently the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Green Computing, International Journal of Library and Information Services, International Journal of E-Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and International Journal of Natural Computing Research, and is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Information Resources Management Journal, Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, Journal of Cases on Information Technology, and the Journal of Information Technology Research, and has authored more than 50 articles published in various conference proceedings and scholarly journals.

Indices