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The Role of IT in Business Ecosystems
Hyeyoung Kim, Jae-Nam Lee, and Jaemin Han

In a business ecosystem that consists of a large number of loosely interconnected companies, the role of flagship companies is crucial for the survival of the ecosystem. At the ecosystem level, a mechanism for information flow is significant in evaluating a flagship's health, and with it, the ecosystem's competitiveness. IT is used to indicate a flagship's health as it allows for the creation of healthy business ecosystems. This article attempts to provide underlying guidelines in IT that will allow companies to create strong business ecosystems.

Monitoring Ambient Air Quality with Carbon Monoxide Sensor-based Wireless Network
Demin Wang, Dharma P. Agrawal, Wassana Toruksa, Chaichana Chaiwatpongsakorn, Mingming Lu, and Tim C. Keener

Sensors are finding a growing number of applications in many aspects of our daily life. This article explores the design and use of a wireless sensor network in monitoring the presence of the poisonous air pollutant carbon monoxide in the surrounding environment. The authors discuss the different functional units required to implementing such a network and outline calibration, various problems, and associated limitations.

Understanding the Dynamics of Information Management Costs
Paul P. Tallon

Firms continue to experience exponential data growth in all areas of their business. Despite better, faster, and cheaper storage technologies, information management costs continue to rise. In this article, the author considers the challenge of managing information throughout its useful economic life in a way that meets minimum service requirements. Using a tiered-storage infrastructure, firms can use a top-down systems approach to augment service levels for critical information or a bottom-up approach to reduce information management costs for less critical information. Both approaches can also be used to streamline the transfer of information between storage tiers.

Roles of the External IT Project Manager
Blaize Reich and Chris Sauer

Project managers engaged by customers to not only deliver on schedule, budget, and scope targets but also to contribute to value creation will find this article of particular value. Interviews with many senior-level project managers indicate this focus on delivering organizational valueboth to the client and within their host organizationhas led to three new roles for today's project manager. In addition to the core responsibility of managing an individual project, managers are now expected to take on such roles as account manager, surrogate sponsor, and profession leader. Performing these roles successfully requires new skills such as negotiation, sales, coaching, and strategic networking. The authors examine these new roles and suggest a personal development plan for external project managers.

The Rise of a Health-IT Academic Focus
E. Vance Wilson and Bengisu Tulu

The U.S. health care industry is catching up on its lagging IT investment, and this trend has important ramifications for IT academics and practitioners. Case in point: IT investment in the health care industry has more than doubled in recent years and that investment is paying off. As a result there is a great demand for skilled professionals whose training combines health care domain knowledge with business IT skills. The authors detail examples that reflect the growing promise of (and demand for) academic training in health care topics.

Number of People Required for Usability Evaluation: The 10±2 Rule
Wonil Hwang and Gavriel Salvendy

When a software company wants to evaluate the usability of a new product before launching it into the market, one of the problems the company must solve is determining how many test users or evaluators are required to detect 80% of usability problems in the product. Until now, the '4±1' or 'magic number five' rule has been very popular. However, it cannot be used as a general rule for an optimal number of test users or evaluators because there is experimental evidence against it. This article tries to answer the question about optimal sample size in usability evaluation and proposes a new '10±2' rule.

Is Web-based Supply Chain Integration Right for Your Company?
Charles E. Downing

The performance of three types of companies is examined in this article: The company with no electronic supply chain integration, one with non-Web-based electronic supply chain integration, and one with Web-based electronic supply chain integration. Results show companies using Web-based integration experience lower cost, higher operational efficiency, a more cooperative partner relationship, and superior overall performance as compared to companies using no electronic integration. Companies using non-Web-based integration exhibit higher customer satisfaction, coordination, cooperation, and commitment with partners, and overall performance as compared to companies using no electronic integration. And finally, companies using non-Web-based integration have a lower volume of complaints and better coordination between partners than companies using Web-based integration.

IT Innovation Persistence: An Oxymoron?
Theophanis C. Stratopoulos and Jee-Haw Lim

Managers' perception of the competitive contribution of IT innovation (ITI) can be likened to a roller coaster ride. Such an observation seems to suggest that companies do not take a systematic approach to ITI because it is easily replicated. However, our analysis shows that ITI is persistent. IT innovative companies are more likely to continue out-innovating their competitors, and this probability is higher during periods when managers' perception regarding the role of IT is pessimistic. Our results show that the probability is low that a non-IT innovative company will become innovative and start out-innovating its competitors within a relatively short period.

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Footnotes

DOI: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1735223.1735227


©2010 ACM  0001-0782/10/0500  $10.00

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