This course will focus on foundational capabilities enabled by business platforms, cloud computing, and security and trust. The foundational building blocks for the digital enterprise are different types of business technology platforms (LeHong, Howard, Gaughan, and Logan 2017): information systems platforms which support the back office, core systems and operations (e.g., the ERP systems); customer experience platforms that include customer and citizen portals and multichannel commerce; data and analytics platforms that drive data-driven decision-making; IoT platforms that connect physical assets for monitoring, optimization, control, and monetization; and the ecosystem platforms that—via API management and control—enable the creation of, and connection to, external ecosystems, marketplaces, and communities.
Cloud computing, wireless technologies, and increasingly smaller and cheaper sensors have enabled business to connect an unlimited amount of devices in their enterprise. The entire process involves physical objects such as smartphones or light bulbs. Sensors communicate data wirelessly, to a platform that should enable the enterprise to analyze the data for decision-making. This course will broadly discuss the process of digitizing the physical world and adding value to the enterprise by providing an overview of the types of sensors for use, working with real-time streaming data, platform evaluation, and case studies of IoT implementations.
With the advent of big data, organizations have turned to new approaches to manage and gain insights from the vast amount of data that is being collected. While storage costs themselves are relatively affordable, the bigger challenge has been finding an appropriate mechanism to manage the data, as many technologies (e.g., relational databases, data warehouses) have limitations on the amount of data that can be stored or on the ability to process a large volume of unstructured data. This course focuses on making students aware of the paradigm of big data as well as some common approaches in which it can be analyzed to gain insights for decision-making.
Developing business capabilities for the digital future involves rethinking the current way of doing business in the context of understanding where the new frontiers of digital value may lie. To uncover the business capabilities, we will focus on artificial intelligence and its applications on both digital processes and digital products. The course starts by examining the rise of AI and explaining different types of AI techniques and their applications for business. That is followed with a discussion about the increased capacity of machines to “sense” the world from speech to visual recognition and how that can be used to facilitate interactions with organizational stakeholders. We then use this context to discuss digital processes. In the context of service operations, robotic process automation (RPA) is employed to integrate disparate processes. The course will examine not only what RPA is, but also take a closer look on how bots can integrate with human employees in the workforce of the future. With respect to digital products, the course covers different instances of digital reality in the form of virtual and augmented reality and how they can be used to improve organizational performance. While virtual reality (VR) has seen a significant growth in areas such as entertainment and simulations, augmented reality (AR) is blurring the digital and physical worlds, by overlaying digital objects over the physical world using a variety of devices. AR has the potential to change the way in which we interact with the physical world by seamlessly associating data with what our “eyes” are capturing in real time. We follow these topics with a discussion of how society and organizations will be impacted by this set of technology advancements. First, we look at how cities will become smarter with the adoption of modern technology and the implications for organizations and individuals. Second, we look at the potential ethical, legal, and societal consequences of adopting new technologies and the roles organizations have in setting the future. We conclude the course with an idea showcase in which students will have an opportunity to present concepts of new products and services enabled by technology.