Theme 2: Information Communication Technology, e-Commerce and the Business Environment
  Number of abstracts currently posted to this Theme: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
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  (Last updated: November 28th, 2005)
 
 
 
   
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  The Role of ICT in Bridging the Gap Between Strategy to Execution  
  Narine Abazian, Head of Business Planning and Financial Analysis Division  
  ArmenTel, Armenia  
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  A strategic business plan is a tool helping the top management of a company to assess the economic viability of a strategy and its related development plans. It is a compulsory tool for justifying and setting the financing of future investments. A business plan based on a financial model simulating future activities designed for reaching strategic objectives. In order to develop the company strategy, we have to do overall analysis and form alternative variances to select the best one.  
     
  The Business Plan model is a computer tool, generally a spreadsheet, where all input data, calculation and output data are stored. It is a precious strategic information system for the whole company.  
     
  Nowadays, Information Systems can be from data processing to Decision Support and Executive Information Systems. There are many computer packages: automated and manual for preparation Strategic Business Plan. These packages are used across all industries, including manufacturing, service, public sector and non-profit organizations.  
     
  This article presents the construction of a Business Plan for telecommunication companies, using ICT. This is a good example of strategic implication of Information Systems.  
     
  A Business Plan model can be used not only for companies, or for a specific project in a limited area, or for a specific range of services, mobile, e-business, etc, but can be used for a whole country, which is becoming more important in our knowledge-based society.  
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  Human Resource Planning & Control for Energy Industry in Libya: Meeting the Challenge  
  Satya Pal Bindra, Hussein Lahmar, and Nagia M. Bouazzi  
  Margeb University, Civil Engineering Department  
  Al-Garaboli, Libya  
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  In recent years, oil & gas price driven crisis has led to mergers and acquisitions resulting in to permanent loss of over 200,000 jobs in exploration and production (E&P) alone during the last ten years. The increased competition for energy industry professionals has dramatically increased & would remain so in the years to come. Improvement in the quality of human resource planning and control leading to job turn-over reductions is vital to achieve prevention oriented and problem free administration of oil & gas industry in Libya. This paper presents a background, need, structure and content of a unique body of knowledge relating to the job turn-over reduction planning and control using information and communication technology aspects of case study energy industry related organizations as key players in Libya.  
     
  This paper briefly describes the design of a detailed comprehensive survey using an in-depth survey questionnaire and interviews for limited case study organizations to identify and further investigate the factors and factor interactions that contribute to the success of job turn-over reduction in Libya. A benchmarking survey is also conducted by gathering information across several companies to define priorities for action and improvement targets. The objective is not only to highlight the importance of the quality of job turn-over reduction planning, organizing, directing and control but also focus on key issues by analyzing HR value chains to address strategic, operational and other challenges of industry.  
     
  Analysis of data gathered through a comprehensive questionnaire surveys from professional respondents in case study energy industry related organizations in Libya demonstrates that there is need for paying adequate attention to attracting, nurturing and retaining the right talent. This would require organizations to predict the needs for competencies to match rapidly emerging business needs, develop new culture and structure, review job design, procedures, performance management and job turn-over reduction policies in order to save money, time and effort.  
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  BPO: The Precursor of Digital Firms  
  Kakul Agha, Faculty Member  
  Department of Business Studies, Middle East College of Information Technology  
  Knowledge Oasis Muscat, Sultanate of Oman  
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  The concept of BPO is explained by analyzing primarily the Asian developing countries’ economy and the market situation. Outsourcing has been recently clubbed together with the advanced use of information technology to invent a tool called BPO, which is the act of giving a third-party the responsibility of running what would otherwise be an internal system or service. Typically, companies that are looking at business process outsourcing are hoping to achieve cost savings by handing the work to a third-party that can take advantage of economies of scale by doing the same work for many companies. Or perhaps the cost savings can be achieved because labor costs are lower due to different costs of living in different countries.  
     
  The question is where are we heading to? Are the businesses utilizing the nth advantage of BPO also or are they leaving something to be done in the ‘brick and mortar’ rooms of an organization?  
     
  My research paper probes into the possibilities and the likelihood of BPO being the precursor of a totally digital firm that adopts a new business model, the functions and activities of the management that are spread globally, communicate, share and disseminate information required to operate successfully, on a habitual basis. The tasks are completed regionally but outputs and profits are generated globally.  
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  Electronic Commerce in Africa: Challenges, Prospects and Policy Considerations  
  Wole Olatokun, Professor  
  Africa Regional Centre for Information Science  
  University of Ibadan, Nigeria  
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  The paper starts with an overview on globalization and ICTs and then explores the links between the two and the emerging world that such linkage is evolving. It argues that globalization is not only enabled by ICTs but that the level of connectivity of a country determines to a large degree the possibility of its benefiting from the globalization process. Then it gives an overview of the concept of e-commerce, types and the reasons for its low uptake globally. Next, it gives the state of development of e-commerce technologies in Africa, and the provisions of e-commerce in African countries ICT policies. It later reviews the constraints in the application of e-commerce, and assesses Africa's position within the context of cyberspace. It submits that Africa is poorly positioned in cyberspace as to benefit from e-commerce occasioned by globalization. Next, the paper projects what the future holds for Africa with regard to e-commerce.  
     
  The paper then discusses the IT policy considerations pertinent to e-commerce growth in Africa as well as the implementation strategies to be adopted especially in the areas of infrastructure development, human resource development, appropriate legislation, gender considerations, institutional framework, etc. It recommends a framework for integrating e-commerce issues in the IT policies of African nations. The paper concludes by making a clarion call on national Governments in Africa and other relevant stakeholders to put the necessary machinery in place for Africans to reap the full benefits of e-commerce.  
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  64-bit .NET e-portal Applications for e-learning and e-science  
  Victor Chang, Researcher/Developer/Tester  
  University of Southampton, United Kingdom  
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This is one of the first comprehensive 64-bit .NET research to be completed in a British University. The objective is to investigate (1) the techniques to develop 64-bit applications; and (2) how 64-bit computing can be used for e-Learning and e-Science communities.

 
     
 

This paper is focused on an emerging technology for e-Learning and e-Science communities -- a 64-bit .NET e-portal application, and its functionality, development and technical implementation are described. Currently, additional troubleshooting is required to make .NET Framework 1.1 working in stable ways on 64-bit Windows operating systems. After stabilizing .NET environment, the next step is the application development, which is a dynamic repository with functions such as registration, download, login-logout, product submissions, database storage and statistical reports. The technology is based on Visual Studio .NET 2003, .NET 1.1 Framework with Service Pack 1, SQL Server 2000 with Service Pack 4 and IIS Server 6.0 on the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 platform with Service Pack 1.

 
     
 

The 64-bit .NET e-portal integrates further with Java Web Services, and a demonstration described in this paper can show how different types of services can work in harmony. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary area between e-Learning and e-Science has been investigated and in the process of further integrations. As an example for such integration, the 64-bit .NET e-portal is also an illustration for (1) the methods of technical implementations and (2) cost-effectiveness; and these two issues are also among the current research interests in e-Learning. Finally, the new insights identified by this paper have also achieved the two objectives: (1) learning about emerging technology and (2) understanding how Web Services can complete jobs.

 
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