Retooling ICT Systems

Retooling ICT Systems

Minwir Al-Shammari (University of Bahrain, Bahrain)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-258-9.ch004
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Regardless of the type of organization or operation, the evolving nature of organizational ICT systems helps organizations to live up to changing market dynamics. Although CKM itself is not a technological solution, ICTs are required to enable the integration of its customer-facing processes and, to build knowledge-based endurable and profitable customer relationships. The previous chapter explored the role of people in enabling CKM; whereas the current chapter is devoted to examining the role of ICTs retooling. Retooling ICTs is used in this chapter to refer to the replacement of old legacy systems with new systems in enabling a successful CKM change. The main focus of the chapter is on the hardware, software, and network components of ICTs in the context of CKM.
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Conceptual Foundations

ICT is a major infrastructural enabler of the implementation of a CKM. Computerized ICTs collect, process, store, analyze, and disseminate information for a specific business application. The retail banking industry is a very common example of an industry constantly searching for ICT-based solutions in order to provide more and better products and/or services to customers and to increase internal productivity. Examples are automated teller machines (ATMs), tele-banking, e-banking, and m-banking used by customers to process account transactions. In the marketing function, ICTs can be used to develop sales information to target customers and identify the market niches. ICTs can also be used to create attractive products and/or services through innovatively redesigning business practices and organizational structures, re-engineering ICT to maintain competitive advantage, and providing superior internal efficiency.

Components of computerized ICTs include hardware, software, data, network, procedures, and people. This section describes the rapidly evolving ICT systems landscape and its role in CKM. It examines the following elements: doing business in the digital economy, ICTs and the CKM strategy, retooling ICTs infrastructure, emerging computing platforms, and classification of ICT systems. The role of ICTs will continue to be discussed throughout the CKM value chain in the remainder of this book.

Doing Business in the Digital Economy

ICTs have brought significant changes to the business world. They have paved the way for the transformation of global economies from the old traditional economy to the new digital economy, and provided the impetus for business organizations to move from standard ways of doing things to new and innovative ways of doing business. The aim of e-business is to add value to customers as well as to business firms. Web-based systems are considered a major infrastructural component of a business change model such as CKM.The digital economy is characterized by the following (Turban et al., 2008):

  • E-Business (e-biz): buying and selling goods and services (e-commerce), servicing customers, and conducting electronic transactions within an organization.

  • E-Collaboration: people and organizations interact, communicate, and collaborate..

  • Information Exchange: storing, processing and transmission of information.

E-commerce can take several forms depending on the degree of digitization involved. It can relate to: (1) the product or service being sold, (2) the process by which the product or service is produced, or (3) the intermediary or delivery agent (Rainer et al., 2007):

  • Pure physical business (brick-and-mortar): all three dimensions are physical

  • Pure e-commerce (click-and-click): companies engage only in e-commerce transactions.

  • Partial e-commerce (click-and-brick): a mix of digital and physical dimensions.

E-commerce can take various shapes (Rainer et al., 2007):

  • Business-to-business (B2B): both buyers and sellers are business organizations (e.g.,

  • Business-to-consumer (B2C): the sellers are organizations, whereas the buyers are individuals (e. g.,

  • Consumer-to-business (C2B): customers place orders for what they want and businesses accept or reject their offers, such as when passengers bid on airline seats (e.g.,

  • Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): consumers sell or auction second hand items to each other with the help of an online market maker (e.g.,

  • Mobile commerce (m-commerce): e-commerce that is conducted entirely in a wireless environment (e.g., WAP transmission protocol).

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