Management Information Systems Managing the Digital Firm 13th Edition by Kenneth C. Laudon Jane P. Laudon test bank

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Management Information Systems Managing the Digital Firm 13th Edition by Kenneth C. Laudon Jane P. Laudon test bank

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Management Information Systems, 13e (Laudon/Laudon)
Chapter 5 IT Infrastructure and Emerging Technologies

1) A primary example of centralized processing is client/server computing.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 167
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

2) In N-tier computing, significant parts of Web site content, logic, and processing are performed by different servers.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 169
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

3) Application server software is responsible for locating and managing stored Web pages.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 170
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

4) IT infrastructure consists of just those physical computing devices required to operate the enterprise.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 165
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

5) An application server may reside on the same computer as a Web server or on its own dedicated computer.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 170
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

6) Enterprise integration requires software that can link disparate applications and enable data to flow freely among different parts of the business.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 170
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2
7) The decision to outsource software development is also referred to as the rent-versus-buy decision.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 196
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

8) The operating system is used to manage the computers activities.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 177
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

9) The technology challenges facing the U.S. Army, as discussed in the chapter case, illustrates the current trend in software of outsourcing application development.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 163-164
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

10) SANs create large central pools of storage that can be rapidly accessed and shared by multiple servers.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 178
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

11) In green computing, reducing computer power consumption is a top priority.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 186
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

12) Autonomic computing is implemented primarily with enterprise or ISP servers.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 188
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

13) Java software is designed to run on any computing device, regardless of the specific microprocessor or operating system it uses.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 190
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4
14) Web services can exchange information between two different systems regardless of the operating system or programming languages on which the systems are based.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

15) Whereas XML is limited to describing how data should be presented in the form of Web pages, HTML can perform presentation, communication, and data storage tasks.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

16) Hypertext markup language specifies how text, graphics, video, and sound are placed on a Web page document.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 190
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

17) The collection of Web services that are used to build a firms software systems constitutes what is known as a service-oriented architecture.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

18) Today most business firms have discontinued operating their legacy systems, replacing these with inexpensive Web services and hosted software.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

19) Scalability refers to the ability of a computer, product, or system to expand to serve a large number of users without breaking down.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 196
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5

20) TCO refers to the original cost of purchased technology: both hardware and software.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 197
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5
21) Which type of infrastructure services provides voice and video connectivity to employees, customers, and suppliers?
A) networking
B) telephone
C) VOIP
D) telecommunications
Answer: D
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 165
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

22) Which of the following is not an IT infrastructure service component?
A) operating system software
B) computing platforms to provide a coherent digital environment
C) physical facility management to manage the facilities housing physical components
D) IT management services to plan and develop the infrastructure and provide project management
Answer: A
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 165-166
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

23) Place the following eras of IT infrastructure evolution in order, from earliest to most recent: 1. Cloud Computing Era; 2. Client/Server; 3. Enterprise Era; 4. Personal Computer; and 5. Mainframe and Minicomputer.
A) 4, 5, 3, 2, 1
B) 5, 4, 2, 3, 1
C) 4, 5, 2, 3, 1
D) 5, 4, 2, 1, 3
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 167-171
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Synthesis
Objective: 5.2

24) The introduction of the minicomputer
A) allowed computers to be customized to the specific needs of departments or business units.
B) enabled decentralized computing.
C) offered new, powerful machines at lower prices than mainframes.
D) all of the above.
Answer: D
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 167
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2
25) A client computer networked to a server computer, with processing split between the two types of machines, is called a(n)
A) service-oriented architecture.
B) on-demand architecture.
C) multi-tiered client/server architecture.
D) two-tiered client/server architecture.
Answer: D
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 169
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

26) In a multi-tiered network
A) the work of the entire network is centralized.
B) the work of the entire network is balanced over several levels of servers.
C) processing is split between clients and servers.
D) processing is handled by multiple, geographically-remote clients.
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 169
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

27) Interpretations of Moores law assert that
A) computing power doubles every 18 months.
B) transistors decrease in size 50% every two years.
C) data storage costs decrease by 50% every 18 months.
D) none of the above.
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 171
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

28) Which of the following factors provides an understanding of why computing resources today are ever more available than in previous decades?
A) network economics
B) law of mass digital storage and Moores law
C) declining communications costs, universal standards, and the Internet
D) all of the above
Answer: D
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 171-174
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5
29) Todays nanotechnology-produced computer transistors are roughly equivalent in size to
A) the width of a fingernail.
B) a human hair.
C) a virus.
D) an atom.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 172
AACSB: Reflective thinking skills
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

30) Specifications that establish the compatibility of products and the ability to communicate in a network are called
A) network standards.
B) telecommunications standards.
C) technology standards.
D) Internet standards.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 175
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

31) ________ unleash powerful economies of scale and result in declines in manufactured computer products.
A) Internet and Web technologies
B) Technology standards
C) Linux and open-source software
D) Client/server technologies
Answer: B
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 175
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

32) The multitasking, multi-user, operating system developed by Bell Laboratories that operates on a wide variety of computing platforms is
A) Unix.
B) Linux.
C) OS X.
D) COBOL.
Answer: A
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 175
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2
33) The network standard for connecting desktop computers into local area networks that enabled the widespread adoption of client/server computing and local area networks and further stimulated the adoption of personal computers is
A) TCP/IP.
B) COBOL.
C) Ethernet.
D) ASCII.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 175
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

34) Which of the following is a leading networking hardware provider?
A) Dell
B) Cisco
C) Seagate
D) IBM
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 179
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

35) Software that manages the resources of the computer is called
A) operating system software.
B) application software.
C) data management software.
D) network software.
Answer: A
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 177
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

36) A SAN is a ________ network.
A) server area
B) storage area
C) scalable architecture
D) service-oriented architecture
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 178
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1
37) As referred to in the text, legacy systems are
A) traditional mainframe-based business information systems.
B) electronic spreadsheets used on a PC.
C) any pre-1990 Wintel systems.
D) systems found on older ASPs.
Answer: A
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 179
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

38) Legacy systems are still used because they
A) can only be run on the older mainframe computers.
B) are too expensive to redesign.
C) integrate well using new Web services technologies.
D) contain valuable data that would be lost during redesign.
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 179
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

39) Which of the following is not an example of the emerging mobile computing platforms?
A) tablets
B) the Kindle
C) cell phones
D) CRM
Answer: D
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 180
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

40) All of the following are current hardware platform trends except
A) green computing.
B) virtualization.
C) cloud computing.
D) Unix.
Answer: D
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 180
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3
41) Connecting geographically remote computers in a single network to create a virtual supercomputer is called
A) co-location.
B) edge computing.
C) grid computing.
D) utility computing.
Answer: C
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 181
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

42) The business case for using grid computing involves all of the following except
A) cost savings.
B) increased accuracy.
C) speed of computation.
D) agility.
Answer: B
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 181
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Analysis
Objective: 5.3

43) Which of the following does grid computing utilize to create enormous supercomputing power?
A) massive unused data centers
B) underutilized mainframe computers
C) networked computers with idle resources
D) networks with low usage
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 181
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

44) The process of presenting a set of computing resources (such as computing power or data storage) so that they can all be accessed in ways that are not restricted by physical configuration or geographic location is called
A) cloud computing.
B) autonomic computing.
C) virtualization.
D) multicore processing.
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 183
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3
45) Which type of computing refers to firms purchasing computing power from remote providers and paying only for the computing power they use?
A) on-demand
B) grid
C) edge
D) autonomic
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 185
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

46) An example of autonomic computing is
A) spyware protection software that runs and updates itself automatically.
B) software programmed to run on any hardware platform.
C) cell phones taking on the functions of handheld computers.
D) programming languages that allow non-programmers to create custom applications.
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 188
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Analysis
Objective: 5.3

47) An industry-wide effort to develop systems that can configure, optimize, tune, and heal themselves when broken, and protect themselves from outside intruders and self-destruction is called
A) grid computing.
B) utility computing.
C) virtualization.
D) autonomic computing.
Answer: D
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 188
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

48) Which type of software is created and updated by a worldwide community of programmers and available for free?
A) software packages
B) mashups
C) outsourced
D) open source
Answer: D
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 189
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4
49) Which of the following is not one of the current software platform trends?
A) grid computing
B) open-source software
C) HTML5
D) software outsourcing
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 189
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Analysis
Objective: 5.4

50) Linux is
A) primarily concerned with the tasks of end users.
B) designed for specific machines and specific microprocessors.
C) an example of open-source software.
D) especially useful for processing numeric data.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 189
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

51) Which of the following statements about Linux is not true?
A) It plays a major role in the back office running local area networks.
B) It is available in free versions downloadable from the Internet.
C) It has garnered 80 percent of the server operating system market.
D) Linux applications are embedded in cell phones, smartphones, netbooks, and other handheld devices.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 189
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

52) Running a Java program on a computer requires
A) a Java Virtual Machine to be installed on the computer.
B) a Java Virtual Machine to be installed on the server hosting the Java applet.
C) a miniature program to be downloaded to the users computer.
D) no specialized software, as Java is platform-independent.
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 190
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4
53) A software tool with a graphical user interface for displaying Web pages and for accessing the Web and other Internet resources is called a Web
A) service.
B) client.
C) browser.
D) app.
Answer: C
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 190
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

54) The development of TCP/IP occurred during the ________ era.
A) cloud and mobile computing
B) general-purpose mainframe and minicomputer
C) enterprise computing
D) personal computer
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 170
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

55) Sets of loosely coupled software components that exchange information with each other using standard Web communication standards and languages are referred to as
A) Web services.
B) EAI software.
C) SOA.
D) SOAP.
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

56) What is the foundation technology for Web services?
A) XML
B) HTML
C) SOAP
D) UDDI
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4
57) A set of self-contained services that communicate with each other to create a working software application is called
A) Web services.
B) EAI software.
C) SOA.
D) SOAP.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

58) Prewritten, commercially available sets of software programs that eliminate the need for a firm to write its own software programs for certain functions, are referred to as
A) software packages.
B) mashups.
C) outsourced software.
D) open-source software.
Answer: A
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 193
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

59) ________ are created by combining and customizing components from different online software applications.
A) Apps
B) Mashups
C) SaaS
D) Web services
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 194-195
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

60) The marketplace for computer hardware
A) has become increasingly concentrated in top firms.
B) has expanded to include a wide variety of start-up and mobile-computing firms.
C) has moved significantly to Asian firms.
D) has been decimated by mobile and cloud computing.
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 177
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3
61) The practice of contracting custom software development to an outside firm is commonly referred to as
A) outsourcing.
B) scaling.
C) service-oriented architecture.
D) application integration.
Answer: A
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 194
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

62) A formal contract between customers and their service providers that outlines the specific responsibilities of the service provider and to the customer is called a(n)
A) SOA.
B) SLA.
C) TCO.
D) RFQ.
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 194
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

63) SaaS refers to
A) supplying online access over networks to storage devices and storage area network technology.
B) managing combinations of applications, networks, systems, storage, and security as well as providing Web site and systems performance monitoring to subscribers over the Internet.
C) hosting and managing access to software applications delivered over the Internet to clients on a subscription basis.
D) none of the above.
Answer: C
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 194
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

64) Which of the following refers to the ability of a computer, product, or system to expand to serve a larger number of users without breaking down?
A) modality
B) scalability
C) expandability
D) disintermediation
Answer: B
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 196
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5
65) Hardware and software acquisition costs account for about ________ percent of TCO.
A) 20
B) 40
C) 60
D) 80
Answer: A
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 197
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5

66) Which model can be used to analyze the direct and indirect costs to help firms determine the actual cost of specific technology implementations?
A) total cost of ownership
B) return on investment
C) breakeven point
D) cost-benefit analysis
Answer: A
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 197
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5

67) Which of the following is the most popular mobile operating system?
A) Linux
B) Android
C) Chrome OS
D) iOS
Answer: B
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 177
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Evaluation
Objective: 5.3

68) How would you determine the market demand for your firms IT services?
A) Perform a TCO analysis.
B) Benchmark your services.
C) Hold focus groups to assess your services.
D) Analyze sales returns on key investments.
Answer: C
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 198
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5
69) Which of the following is not one of the main six factors to consider when evaluating how much your firm should spend on IT infrastructure?
A) your firms business strategy
B) the IT investments made by competitor firms
C) market demand for your firms services
D) your firms organizational culture
Answer: D
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 198-199
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.5

70) Which of the following is not one of the NIST defined characteristics of cloud computing?
A) ubiquitous network access
B) location-independent resource pooling
C) rapid elasticity
D) non-measured service
Answer: D
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 184
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

71) The ________ PC, becoming the standard PC in the Personal Computer Era, uses the Windows operating system software on a computer with an Intel microprocessor.
Answer: Wintel
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 167
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

72) A(n)________ server is used to communicate between a Web server and an organizations back-end systems.
Answer: application
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 170
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

73) ________ uses individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices thinner than a human hair.
Answer: Nanotechnology
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 172
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2
74) ________ states that the value or power of a network grows exponentially as a function of the number of network members.
Answer: Metcalfes Law
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 174
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

75) ________ are computers consisting of a circuit board with processors, memory, and network connections that are stored in racks.
Answer: Blade servers
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 177
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.1

76) ________ surfaces allow users to gesture on a screen with several fingers to execute commands.
Answer: Multitouch
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 178
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.2

77) ________ allows a single computing resource, such as a server, to appear to the user as multiple logical resources.
Answer: Virtualization
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 181
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

78) A(n) ________ is an integrated circuit to which two or more processors have been attached for enhanced performance and reduced power consumption.
Answer: multicore processor
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 186
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.3

79) ________ provides a standard format for data exchange, enabling Web services to pass data from one process to another.
Answer: XML
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 191
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4

80) ________ takes place when a firm contracts custom software development or maintenance of existing legacy programs to outside firms.
Answer: Outsourcing
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 194
AACSB: Use of information technology
CASE: Content
Objective: 5.4
81) Explain why standards are so important in information technology. What standards have been important for the growth of Internet technologies?
Answer: Standards are important because they result in different manufacturers creating products that can be used either with each other or to communicate with each other. For example, without standards, each light-bulb manufacturer would have to also create specific light-bulb sockets for use with their light bulbs. In the same way, computers and computer technology have been enabled through standards. Standards have allowed many different manufacturers to contribute to the same, standardized definitions of a technological application. For example, the ASCII data standards made it possible for computer machines from different manufacturers to exchange data, and standardized software languages have enabled programmers to write programs that can be used on different machines.
The standards that have been important for the growth of the Internet include TCP/IP, as a networking standard, and WWW standards for displaying information as Web pages, including HTML.
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 175
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Synthesis
Objective: 5.2

82) Distinguish between grid computing, cloud computing, and utility computing.
Answer: Grid computing involves connecting geographically remote computers into a single network to create a computational grid that combines the computing power of all the computers on the network with which to attack large computing problems. In cloud computing, technology services are provided over a network, primarily the Internet. These may be infrastructure services, such as storage or networking, or platform services, such as IBMs application development and test service, or software services, such as salesforce.com. On-demand computing occurs when firms pay subscription fees or pay only for their usage of a vendors cloud computing services.
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 181-185
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Analysis
Objective: 5.3

83) List and describe four services that comprise IT infrastructure, beyond physical devices and software applications.
Answer: The service components of IT infrastructure include:
Telecommunications services that provide data, voice, and video connectivity.
Data management services to store, manage, and analyze data.
Application software services that provide enterprise-wide capabilities.
Physical facilities management services, to develop and manage physical installations of technology.
IT standards services that establish and monitor the firms policies.
IT education services that provide training in use of the systems.
IT research and development services that research potential projects, products, and investments.
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 166
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Analysis
Objective: 5.1
84) An ad-hoc group of oceanographers needs to set up a system to analyze massive amounts of data on ocean temperatures. The technology and hardware for gathering the data and transmitting the data to a central computer is in place. What additional hardware might they need? What techniques might they use to make their research more efficient and lower costs?
Answer: To store their data they may want to use a SAN. To process their data, they will need a supercomputer or grid computing. To lower costs, they could look at on-demand or utility computing as well as virtualization and implementing multicore processors.
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 180-189
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Synthesis
Objective: 5.3

85) Briefly explain why corporations are increasingly interested in using Unix or Linux for their operating system.
Answer: Linux is an inexpensive and robust open-source relative of Unix. Unix and Linux constitute the backbone of corporate infrastructure throughout much of the world because they are scalable, reliable, and much less expensive than mainframe operating systems. They can also run on many different types of processors. The major providers of Unix operating systems are IBM, HP, and Sun with slightly different and partially incompatible versions.
Although Windows continues to dominate the client marketplace, many corporations have begun to explore Linux as a low-cost desktop operating system provided by commercial vendors such as RedHat Linux and Linux-based desktop productivity suites such as Suns StarOffice. Linux is also available in free versions downloadable from the Internet as open-source software. The rise of open-source software, particularly Linux and the applications it supports at the client and server level, has profound implications for corporate software platforms: cost, reduction, reliability and resilience, and integration, because Linux works on all the major hardware platforms from mainframes to servers to clients. Linux has the potential to break Microsofts monopoly on the desktop. Suns StarOffice has an inexpensive Linux-based version that competes with Microsofts Office productivity suite.
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 189
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Evaluation
Objective: 5.4

86) Identify and describe five or more of the current trends in contemporary software platforms.
Answer:
1. Growing use of Linux and open-source software Open-source software is produced and maintained by a global community of programmers and is downloadable for free. Linux is a powerful, resilient open-source operating system that can run on multiple hardware platforms and is used widely to run Web servers.
2. HTML5 This is the next evolution of HTML which simplifies embedding multimedia, rich media, and animation in the browser.
3. Cloud-based services In cloud-based services and software, users rent applications or storage space from online providers rather than running these applications or themselves or using local storage.
4. Web services and service-oriented architecture Web services are loosely coupled software components based on open Web standards that are not product-specific and can work with any application software and operating system. They can be used as components of Web-based applications linking the systems of two different organizations or to link disparate systems of a single company.
5. Software outsourcing Companies are purchasing their new software applications from outside sources, including application software packages, by outsourcing custom application development to an external vendor (that may be offshore), or by renting software services from an application service provider.
6. Cloud-based services Companies are leasing infrastructure, hardware, and software from vendors, paying on a subscription or per-transaction basis.
7. Mashups and apps Mashups are programs created by combining two or more existing Internet applications. Apps are small programs developed for mobiles and handhelds, turning them into more robust computing tools.
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 189-195
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Analysis
Objective: 5.4

87) What are the drawbacks of cloud computing? Do you think these ever outweigh the benefits, and if so, in what cases?
Answer: Students should be able to identify at least two drawbacks. Drawbacks include:
1. placing data storage and control in another firms hands,
2. security risks in having critical systems and data entrusted to a firm that does business with other firms,
3. loss of business capability if cloud infrastructures malfunction,
4. dependence on cloud computing provider and switching costs. Student answers regarding the relative weight will vary, an example is: The disadvantages of cloud computing outweigh the advantages, except if any data lost is irreplaceable or creates harm to others. For example, a database of financial information should remain the responsibility of the original firm so that they can be held accountable.
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 185
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Evaluation
Objective: 5.3

88) What is scalability? Why is it essential to the success of the modern business firm?
Answer: Scalability is the ability of the computer, product, or system to expand to survey larger numbers of users without breaking down. It is important because as firms grow, they can quickly outgrow their infrastructure. As firms shrink, they can get stuck with excessive infrastructure purchased in better times. Any modern company must be able to make plans for the future, even though that future may be different than what was expected. Computer equipment is expensive, though dropping in price, and budgets must be planned to allow for new purchases, upgrades, and training. It is generally assumed that a successful company will need more computer capacity for more people as it follows a path to continued success.
Diff: 2 Page Ref: 196
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Evaluation
Objective: 5.5

89) A small design agency you are consulting for will be creating client Web sites and wants to purchase a Web server so they can host the sites themselves. How will you advise them on this purchase?
Answer: They need to understand total cost of ownership: the costs will go beyond the cost of the server, but they will also need to purchase the server software and any application software they will be using. They will also need someone in their IT department to manage and maintain the computers. They will also incur facilities costs for running the computer. They need to have a backup plan should the server fail. The design agency will need to add up all the potential costs and risks. Additionally, they need to prepare for their plan if they need more servers. Will they eventually have to run and maintain their own server farm? What if one of their clients sites is more popular than anticipated and the server has difficulty handling the load? How quickly can they add servers or processing power? The company should look at collocation, Web hosting services, and ASPs to see if their needs will be better met this way.
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 197-199
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Synthesis
Objective: 5.5

90) You are starting a market research company with a single business partner and are planning the hardware and software need for the two of you. Which factors should play into your decision of how much to spend on these investments?
Answer: Using the competitive forces model for IT infrastructure investment, the most relevant factors in this decision are:
The firms business strategy. What capabilities will we want to have over the next five years?
Alignment of IT strategy. How does our IT strategy match up with the business plan?
IT assessment. What are the current technology levels for the services we are offering and our business type? We would probably not need to be at the bleeding edge, but not behind the times either.
Competitor firm services. What technology-enabled capabilities do our competitors have? We would want to match services with our competitors.
Competitor firm IT investments. How much are competitor firms investing in their technology?

Because this is a startup, one other factor may not play such a large role: that of market demand for services. However, finding out the market demand for competitors services may uncover ways that this new company could have a competitive advantage.
Diff: 3 Page Ref: 198-199
AACSB: Analytic skills
CASE: Synthesis
Objective: 5.5

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