Volume 11 Issue 1 / Mar 2008 pp1‑51
Keywords: accounting techniques, business systems integration, cluster analysis, communication and technology (ICT), credit card system, diffusion, e-commerce, e-tourism, information technologies, new technologies in e-museums, payment models, performability, PPD, probabilistic model checking, probit model, product-process dependencies, simulation, SMEs, software development, software process improvement, usability of cultural sites
Causal Relationships between Improvements in Software Development Processes and Final Software Product Quality pp1‑10
A main assumption of software process improvement (SPI) is that improvements in a software development process result in higher quality software products. In other words, SPI assumes the existence of causal relations between process and product characteristics. To what extent have these causal relations, however, been explored? Which specific process improvements have which particular impact on which particular product quality attributes? In this paper an overview is given of these "software process and product dependencies" (PPD). This overview comprises of a list of SPI‑techniques and the associated product quality attributes that are addressed with these techniques. The extent of the causality is investigated and whether there is a possibility to identify more or less effective strategies for product quality improvement. The overview is based on a literature study and expert evaluation. The research is summarised in a matrix of both software process elements and associated software product quality characteristics. This matrix contains both satisfactory and unsatisfactory results. On the one hand, a promising extensive base of publications on techniques and methods was identified. On the other, a disappointing deficiency of empirical validation regarding the actual impact of those techniques on product quality is also prominent. As it is, we remain with an inadequate and incomplete indication of the product characteristics that particular software process improvement techniques intend to ameliorate. This article, therefore, hopefully, also provides a basis for discussion on the need to make process‑product dependencies more explicit.
Keywords: software development, software process improvement, learning, product-process dependencies, PPD
The Effect of Information Systems on Firm Performance and Profitability Using a Case‑Study Approach pp11‑16
Beale and Cole is a company that was experiencing significant levels of growth in its business. However, its existing operational practices and ICT infrastructure were incapable of efficiently sustaining their level of growth. A thorough analysis of the operational systems was carried out covering both the manual systems and those supported by its computerised accounting system. A number of beneficial changes were made, including the implementation of a major new business system replacing the old accounting system. In all these developments, the work of a teaching company associate, now known as knowledge transfer partnerships associate supported the analysis, but the full participation and support of all key personnel within the company was essential. Although there were problems during the implementation, these have being resolved and Beale and Cole now has a fully supported and integrated IT system which will maintain their competitive advantage and facilitate their continued growth and profitability.
The Internet and its World Wide Web service have reshaped the promotion of cultural and tourism products. Well designed and user adaptable e‑commerce websites improve business promotion as they attract more e‑visitors. Multilingualism, dynamic and thus frequently updated content, email communication and searching capabilities are crucial options of websites. In this paper we empirically build an evaluation methodology to assess the technologies and services of Greek e‑tourism and e‑cultural websites. The primary focus of our work is to evaluate the technical capability of tourism and cultural websites and to realize the available options offered to users. A number of tourism e‑commerce websites and e‑museums were randomly selected and their content and technologies were analyzed based on the methodology proposed. The results of this statistical examination are analyzed and discussed. The main conclusion is that although the reviewed websites are rich in multimedia content they need to support customers more efficiently by offering more services or by refining the offered e‑services.
Recently, many studies have shown that IT played a major role in the resurgence in the growth of US output . and productivity after 1995. Some studies for European countries also confirm this idea that IT and productivity are strongly related. The contribution of IT to economic growth can only be realized when and if these technologies are widely diffused and used. Within this context, understanding the factors affecting the decision to adopt and the extent of IT use by adopters is crucial not only for applied economists, but also to creators and producers of such technologies. Using a data set for Portuguese firms, our estimation results suggest that the significant drivers of intra firm diffusion are: firm size, workers skills, technological capacities and outsourcing partner usage.
Probabilistic model checking is a recent extension of traditional model‑checking techniques for the integrated analysis of both apply probabilistic model checking to study the effect of credit card companies on people's lives. We use the probabilistic model checking tool PRISM as the formal framework. This approach allows us to obtain performance measures on various policies. It allows us to obtain performance measures on various policies such as changes in the interest rate and its effect on the credit card loan entitlement of the card user, the effect of different repayment policies on the user's spending ability in the short and long run, the effect of different interest rates and different spending preferences on the loan in the short run, and the effect of different spending preferences and different repayment policies on the remaining balance in the long run. From the study we investigate the level of loans and the amount of instalments after which the card holder goes through a cycle of interest repayment only. That is heshe can not use the card to withdraw money any more but has to make interest payments on the debt.
E‑Commerce is a global trend and can be a viable source of economic reform in a nation. Nigeria, a third world country is leaving no stone unturned to make life easier and more comfortable in this electronic age. Though developed countries are on the verge of conducting e‑commerce securely and comfortably, Nigeria is absorbing techniques involved either by espionage, knowledge transfer or other means. Hence, the need for ensuring effectiveness, awareness among inhabitants, and security of resources involved must be taken into account. This paper highlights different levels of e‑commerce participation among banks, service providers and the public in Nigeria. A business‑inclined metropolitan suburb of Lagos was used as a case study to evaluate citizenry involvement and opinions. Recommendations on the most suitable payment method (s) for citizenry was made based on their opinions.