Management Decision, Chapter 5

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Management Decision, Chapter 5

Web 2.0

You arrive early in the office to prepare for a meeting with your IT team. It has become
increasingly clear to you that technology is changing

and fast

and many of the old IT
tools your company still uses are becoming

obsolete. Add to that your growing salesforce
of 20
-
somethings who find these tools unfamiliar and burdensome. They’ve been begging
you to allow them to use the Web 2.0 tools on their smartphones. So you called this
meeting to explore the possibilities wi
th your IT team.

Since you just bought your smartphone two weeks ago, you had to learn about the
variety of Web 2.0 tools available and brush up on their costs and benefits. Social
networking tools allow people to create a customized public (or private) pr
ofile and
update it instantly. Internet
-
based applications like word processing, spreadsheets, and
calendars take the software off your computer so you can create, manipulate, and use
documents anytime, anywhere. And cloud computing enables information of
all sorts to
be stored not on individual devices that have to be synched or connected to a network but
in a digital “cloud” that can be accessed from your desktop, your laptop, or your
smartphone anywhere, anytime.

“This has a lot of potential,” you think.

No more “Oops, I left that at the office”
ruining a sales call, since documents can be accessed anywhere. You can keep up with
your sales reps wherever they are

and they can keep in touch with you, too. If they have
questions in the middle of a sales call
, they can get the information they need to clinch
the deal on the spot, since information

or the experts who can supply it

are instantly
accessible. Anyone in the company can access the most recent performance statistics,
find out how many items are left
in inventory, or contact a colleague instantly. And Web
2.0 tools even offer new ways to reach out to potential customers. Your tennis partner,
whose company has already begun adopting these tools, told you, “We’re a lot less mired
in technology. Employees

say they can spend less time dealing with the IT system and
more time actually thinking

about their work.”

You know that Web 2.0 has its disadvantages, though. It won’t be cheap to adopt
a cloud
-
based system, equip employees with the devices they’ll need
to access it, and
train them how to use it. Also, tech companies are only beginning to integrate social
networking, Internet
-
based software, and cloud computing into a single system, so there
are still bugs. Maybe it’s worth adopting one or two tools and m
oving toward Web 2.0
gradually. It also means your IT team will have less control over the flow of information,
and you’re definitely concerned about security. Still, the advantages are significant, and
adopting a system

like this could transform your busi
ness.


Source:
S. Hamm, “Cloud Computing’s Big Bang for Business,”
BusinessWeek
, 15 June 2009, 42

48.



Questions

1.

What decision criteria should you consider as you decide how to transition to Web
2.0? How would you weight those criteria? Which would be mos
t important to you?

2.

Generate a list of possible courses of action you could take. Evaluate those options
based on your decision criteria.

3.

How might you use groups to help you make this decision? Think about how you
would involve your IT team. But also: H
ow would you involve employees? 4. What
would be a maximal decision? In other words, what is the optimal solution? Under
what circumstances would you satisfice? What is a “good enough” alternative to the
optimal solution?