1. Outsourcing The practice of turning over responsibility of some to all of an organization’s information systems applications and operations to an outside firm.
2. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems A system that integrates individual traditional business functions into a series of modules so that a single transaction occurs seamlessly within a single information system, rather than several separate systems.
3. Request for proposal (RFP) A document that is provided to vendors to ask them to propose hardware and system software that will meet the requirements of your new system.
4. Reuse The use of previously written software resources, especially objects and components, in new applications.
5. Cloud Computing The provision of computing resources, including applications, over the Internet so customers do not have to invest in the computing infrastructure needed to run and maintain computing resources.
1. Describe and compare the various sources of software.
A. Six sources of software are identified in the text. These include: 1) Information Technology Services Firms, 2) packaged software producers, 3) enterprise-wide solutions, 4) application and managed service providers, 5) open-source, and 6) in-house developers. Information Technology Services firms are among the world’s leading software producers, and the software they make is not limited only to operating systems and utilities. Within this segment, custom software producers, sometimes called consulting firms, develop specific, customized software that matches a client’s particular needs. In contrast, packaged software producers develop all kinds of software for all kinds of markets.
Enterprise solutions (ERP) consist of a series of integrated modules; these modules are integrated to focus on business processes rather than on business functional areas.
Cloud Computing is the provision of applications over the Internet such that customers do not need to invest in hardware and software infrastructure and can pay on a per-use basis. A key advantage is that server and storage capacity can be ordered on demand in any quantity required. Information security remains a concern when considering cloud computing.
Open-source software has risen in popularity in the recent past. This software is available free and is developed and maintained by a community of like-minded people dedicated to improving source code access, with Linux being the most prevalent example.
In-house development requires the resources, especially trained staff, to develop software targeted to an organization’s own specific needs. Table 2-2 compares the six sources of software components.
2. How can you decide among various off-the-shelf software options? What criteria should you use?
A. When deciding what off-the-shelf software to buy, you should compare products and vendors. Additional criteria include (among others that are more situation-specific): cost, functionality, vendor support, vendor viability, flexibility, documentation, response time, and ease of installation. Vendor viability and vendor support are probably the two most important.
3. What is an RFP and how do analysts use one to gather information on hardware and system software?
A. An RFP is a formal document that provides detailed specifications about a target information system and asks vendors for information on how they would develop the system. Analysts use RFPs as a way to get vendors to perform the research to determine what application design will meet user requirements and the hardware and systems software vendors believe are necessary for developing the new system.
4. What methods can a