Screening Exam Questions 2002
IS researchers are faced with many possible research approaches. One dimension along which these approaches can be arrayed has end points that have been labeled "positivism" and "interpretivism." Define these end points. Explain what they have in common, as well as how they differ. What kinds of questions do researchers tend to ask if they adopt one or the other? What kinds of evidence do they tend to accept? If the general research area is enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, what might be a positivist-oriented study? An interpretive one?
Compare and contrast the major approaches to the development of information systems (i.e., structured methods, object oriented methods, rapid application development). Define each one clearly to describe its aims, tools, and processes, differentiating it from the others. When is each most appropriate? What are the critical success factors for each?
Normalization is a long-established procedure in database design, yet there are many practitioners who opt not to employ it (or employ it only minimally) in their development efforts. Why should normalization be done? How is normalization accomplished? Can normalization be done to varying degrees, and if so how does one decide how much to do? What arguments can be made in favor of "denormalizing" a normal set of relations? What advice do you have to database designers regarding normalization?
Lately the Office of Homeland Security has been on everyone’s mind. This new office will now coordinate several government organizations. Some of the agencies that will be coordinated include American Red Cross, Center for Disease Control, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Intelligence, US Coast Guard, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and local government agencies will also be involved. One of the biggest challenges is to integrate their diverse Information Systems.
a) Information sharing and creating common knowledge base are two important requirements for this office to succeed. Discuss what strategies should the office take to create an integrated IS.
b) The resultant system should also be secured. What sorts of authentication and authorization mechanisms are needed? How can message transfers be confidential and kept private? Can the Internet play any role here?
Answer any two from the following:
1. Compare and contrast an analog communication system with a digital communication system. In this context, why is a repeater considered better than amplifiers?
2. To provide quality-of-service on the Internet, name two widely proposed approaches. Compare the two approaches. Which do you think can scale better and why?
3. What are some of the current limitations of wireless networks? How are 3G networks proposing to address some of these problems? Why is CDMA considered more secure?
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
Why does the information technology group in an organization care about CRM?
Assume you are the CIO of a growing company that currently retails merchandise from about 150 stores in 6 states, but does not currently sell its products via the web. Assume that individual store sales average $1 million per year. The company uses scanning technology for customer checkout. It does not use a B-to-B process for buying its merchandise. Make any other necessary assumptions to answer the following questions.
What role can you play in the development of an organizational CRM strategy?
How might the IT architecture be affected in the process of devising the strategy?