Assignment Overview


Required Reading

Gallaugher, J. (2012). Information Systems: A Harnessing Guide to Information Technology. FlatWorld Knowledge. Gallaugher Chapter 1 - E-textbook.

Gallaugher, J. (2012). Information Systems: A Harnessing Guide to Information Technology. Gallaugher - Chapter 1 PPT [PowerPoint slides].

Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2012). Essentials of MIS. (10th Ed.). Learning Track 1: Systems from a Functional Perspective. Retrieved from

IBM. (2011, November 3). IBM turns change into opportunity in North Carolina. Smarter data centers. [Video File]. Retrieved from


Based on the assigned materials, write a paper answering the following questions.


How can an IT system initially help a company advance but later become a requirement for that business to stay competitive?

You may want to consider weaving all or some of the Case Learning Outcomes into your response by addressing the following:

•   Describe how information technology (IT) has brought radical changes to industry and societies. This topic can be addressed by articulating how a company from the past executed business processes without Information Technology (and especially information systems/software), then talk about how a present company uses IT and complex software systems.

•   Describe the concept of software total cost of ownership (TOC) and its association for investment decision making. In other words, how does a company figure out that investing in software will make it more efficient or more effective and then stay on the path?

•   Review the software alternative of cloud computing. Why might it make sense not to host software applications locally? What benefits does cloud computing bring? What possible negative effects are there?

•   What does it mean to be competitive? Explain how IT/information systems might make a company competitive.

What happens in companies that cause the mindset to change from implementing IT and especially software systems to become efficient, to believing that IT and information systems/software are “must-haves” to stay at par or get ahead of the competition?


Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be short (3–4 pages, not including cover sheet and references) and to the point. It is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner: Take a definite stand on the issues and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the Background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.

You will be particularly assessed on:

•   Precision: Your draw on a range of sources, and to establish your understanding of the historical context of the question. You carried out the exercise as assigned, or carefully explained the limitations that might have prevented your completing some parts (running out of time isn’t generally considered an adequate limitation).

•   Support for assertions: You use examples, citations (especially to the required readings), and elaboration to support assertions. You provide evidence that you have read the required background materials.

•   Clarity: Your answers are clear and show your good understanding of the topic. You see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly.

•   Breadth and Depth: The scope covered in your paper is directly related to the questions of the assignment and the learning objectives of the module.

•   Critical thinking: The paper incorporates YOUR reactions, examples, and applications of the material to business that illustrate your reflective judgment and good understanding of the concepts. It is important to read the "required readings" posted in the background material plus others you find relevant. Your informed commentary and analysis is vital -- simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.

Overall quality: Your paper is well written and the references, where needed, are properly cited and listed.

Subject Computer
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/24/2014 05:00 pm
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