What's the Buzz on Smart Grids?

Abstract Today’s businesses are relying more and more on information technologies to be successful. This essay will answer the case study questions in regard to smart grids, the collaboration and innovation at Procter & Gamble, and just how much credit card companies know about us. Also the perils of texting will be discussed.

Individual Project 1 In order for businesses to be successful in today’s society, they must invest in information technologies. These technologies can be a very large investment for a company so managers must make smart decisions when choosing what is best for their company’s success. This essay will answer the questions for case studies in the textbook regarding smart grids, collaboration and innovation at Procter & Gamble, how much credit card companies know about their customers, and the perils of texting. What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids case study?

Smart grids are different than the electricity infrastructure currently used in that a smart grid uses digital technology to deliver electricity from the supplier to the consumer. This use of digital technology saves energy, reduces costs, and is much more reliable. Because smart grids allow information to flow from the consumer to the electric providers, better decisions can be made by both parties regarding production, consumption, and pricing. Another difference is that smart grids are able to quickly and precisely detect the source of power outages.

One of the issues that should be considered when developing a smart grid is the cost. According to Laudon & Laudon (2012), estimated costs are running as high as seventy-five billion dollars and the cost of each meter is estimated to costs between two hundred fifty to five hundred dollars.

Before spending this much money, energy companies must consider the consumer’s willingness to foot the bill. The privacy issue must also be considered because individual consumers may not be willing or able to use the Web portals or to let their energy provider have control of their high-use appliances such as heat and air conditioning. They must also consider the risk of cyberattacks.

The largest challenge to the development of smart grids will be the consumer. Consumers are already conserving energy in their homes by using energy efficient appliances, adjusting thermostats, and even using more energy efficient light bulbs in light fixtures. The use of smart grids will give energy providers access to their customers heating and air-conditioning thermostats and most people consider that an invasion of their privacy. Another problem is the cost. Consumers will not like it if they have to foot the bill in order for this new technology to be used mainly because in today’s economy individual households cannot afford the additional costs. It is hard enough to pay the bills every month and more people are out of work than ever before.

Another area of our infrastructure that could benefit from smart technologies is water utilities. With the increase in water prices and environmental concerns, better ways to manage water usage must be found. Smart technology used for water utilities will work hand-in-hand with electric smart grids. According to Smartly Does It (2011), smart grids will enable two way communications between utilities and their customers and will also reduce water waste and inefficiencies. Today more water is treated to drinking standards than is necessary and the use of smart technologies will enable water treatment plants to reduce this and by doing this can reduce costs. (Smartly does it, 2011)

I do not believe I would like my home or community to be part of a smart grid mainly because of the initial costs. In my opinion, a huge undertaking such as this will be very costly not only to the electric provider but to the consumer. The energy providers will not be able to convert everything without adding additional costs to the consumer. I also do not want to give my energy provider access to my heating and cooling thermostats. I am already conserving energy in my home wherever possible in order to keep my costs down. Also an elderly household or a household with young children needs to keep their home warmer in the winter time to keep them from getting ill. Collaboration and innovation at Procter & Gamble case study

Procter & Gamble’s business strategy has three main focuses: to maintain the popularity of their existing products; extending its brands by developing new products under those brands; and innovation and creation of new brands from scratch. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) Because the company depends so heavily on innovation and managing those creations, Procter & Gamble had to find the most efficient forms of collaboration in order to be successful.

Procter & Gamble is using collaboration systems to execute its business model and strategy through implementing new information systems such as Web 2.0 in order to develop new innovations more quickly and reduce the costs of research and development. The collaboration systems and technologies now used are a suite of Microsoft products which use voice and data transmissions, email, instant messaging, and electronic conferencing.

These tools all benefit everyone in the company. Researchers can share data; marketers can access the data they need to create better, more targeted, ad campaigns; and managers can find the information needed for important business decisions. They are also using Connectbeam in place of Google to allow the finding and sharing between employees more effective. Cisco TelePresence is also being utilized to save travel costs. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

Some collaborative technologies were slow to catch on at Procter & Gamble because of employee resistance. The employees did not like having a new way of doing things. They felt the newer tools would slow them down and mean more work for them. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

Procter & Gamble’s old process for writing up and distributing the results of a research experiment consisted of writing up their experiments using Microsoft Office, printing the results and placing them in notebooks or using PowerPoint and emailing the file to colleagues. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) This process was very time consuming and not very efficient. The new process allows researchers to create a SharePoint page where all of the research can be stored and shared with colleagues and employees. Procter & Gamble also uses InnovationNet where researchers & employees have access to millions of research related documents. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

TelePresence technology is a useful collaborative tool for Procter & Gamble because it makes it easier for researchers and employees to collaborate, innovate, and resolve issues more quickly and efficiently. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) The use of this technology results in less travel time which will allow employees to spend more time being productive and bringing new products to market. Also management decisions can be made in minutes instead of days. (TelePresence benefits, n.d.)

Procter & Gamble can offer training to improve team collaboration in order to foster innovation. This training will help employees to discover new tools for innovation by using simulation techniques. This will help with employee creativity and make it easier for them to work as a team. How Much Do Credit Card Companies Know About You? case study

Credit card companies are using information technology to track customer purchases in order to learn more about customer spending. This helps them to promote other products or services the customer may be interested in. It also helps guard against credit card fraud through unusual purchases made using the card. For example, if a customer only uses their card to pay their monthly bills and suddenly there is a large cash advance made on the card, this raises a red flag with the credit card company. They can then contact the customer to be sure this transaction was made by the card holder.

The business benefits of analyzing customer purchase data and constructing behavioral profiles is that it not only protects the credit card companies but also the customer. Customers that have fallen behind in their payments are much more likely to catch up or even pay off their balance if they deal with a representative that knows their history and forms a bond with the customer. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) Analyzing purchase data also helps to identify the more responsible credit card holder and to follow consumer trends.

In my opinion, credit card companies should be allowed to tracks a customer’s purchases in order to protect them from fraud but I do not believe the information should be used to profile individuals to determine credit limits or interest rates. Just because someone shops at Wal-Mart or K-Mart instead of Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom’s does not mean they will have problems paying their bills. It could just mean that they like getting more for their money. I do not believe it is an invasion of privacy to keep a record of customers’ purchases. After all, it may come in handy if there is ever an act of fraud committed using the card. The Perils of Texting case study

The moral dimension of information systems identified in this case study is accountability and control. It brings up the question of when someone is accountable for their actions.

The issues raised by this case have to do with accountability and control. The case study talks about texting while driving and when an individual should be held accountable if an accident occurs. The state of Michigan prohibits texting while driving but does not prohibit talking on cell phones while driving. I believe this is because talking on the phone does not require the driver’s eyes to leave the road. Also by prohibiting all cell one usage in cars, legislators would be facing many political and social issues from their constituents. People do not like to have their decision making rights taken away from them. It is my opinion that texting while driving is extremely dangerous and people should not have to be told by their legislators not to do this.

In my opinion, all three concepts should be taken into consideration when making decisions regarding texting while driving. We should all be individually responsible for our actions. If a car accident happens because someone was texting while driving, that driver needs to take responsibility and be accountable for their actions.

Information systems play a large part in making businesses successful in this technological age. These technologies change the way a company does business and should be carefully planned to ensure the enhancement of a company’s products and services. These technologies should be used to ensure the efficiency and profitability of the business.

References Kanter, R. (2009). Inside procter & gamble’s new values-based strategy. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2009/09/fall-like-a-lehman-rise-like-a.html Laudon J. & Laudon K. (2012). Management information systems: Managing the digital firm (Twelfth edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson Prentice Hall Smartly does it. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.water -technology.net/features/feature118551/ TelePresence benefits. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7060/benefits.html