Construction 4.0: The Future of the Construction Industry in South Africa
The construction industry is a renowned latecomer to the efficiency offered by the adoption of information technology. Whereas, the banking, manufacturing, retailing industries have keyed into the future by using digitization and information technology as a new approach for ensuring competitive gain and efficiency. The construction industry has yet to fully realize similar benefits because the adoption of ICT is still at the infancy stage with a major concentration on the use of software. Thus, this study evaluates the awareness and readiness of construction professionals towards embracing a full digitalization of the construction industry using construction 4.0. The term ‘construction 4.0’ was coined from the industry 4.0 concept which is regarded as the fourth industrial revolution that originated from Germany. A questionnaire was utilized for sourcing data distributed to practicing construction professionals through a convenience sampling method. Using SPSS v24, the hypotheses posed were tested with the Mann Whitney test. The result revealed that there are no differences between the consulting and contracting organizations on the readiness for adopting construction 4.0 concepts in the construction industry. Using factor analysis, the study discovers that adopting construction 4.0 will improve the performance of the construction industry regarding cost and time savings and also create sustainable buildings. In conclusion, the study determined that construction professionals have a low awareness towards construction 4.0 concepts. The study recommends an increase in awareness of construction 4.0 concepts through seminars, workshops and training, while construction professionals should take hold of the benefits of adopting construction 4.0 concepts. The study contributes to the roadmap for the implementation of construction industry 4.0 concepts in the South African construction industry.
A Multi-Science Study of Modern Synergetic War and Its Information Security Component
From a multi-science point of view, we analyze threats to security resulting from globalization of international information space and information and communication aggression of Russia. A definition of Ruschism is formulated as an ideology supporting aggressive actions of modern Russia against the Euro-Atlantic community. Stages of the hybrid war Russia is leading against Ukraine are described, including the elements of subversive activity of the special services, the activation of the military phase and the gradual shift of the focus of confrontation to the realm of information and communication technologies. We reveal an emergence of a threat for democratic states resulting from the destabilizing impact of a target state’s mass media and social networks being exploited by Russian secret services under freedom-of-speech disguise. Thus, we underline the vulnerability of cyber- and information security of the network society in regard of hybrid war. We propose to define the latter a synergetic war. Our analysis is supported with a long-term qualitative monitoring of representation of top state officials on popular TV channels and Facebook. From the memetics point of view, we have detected a destructive psycho-information technology used by the Kremlin, a kind of information catastrophe, the essence of which is explained in detail. In the conclusion, a comprehensive plan for information protection of the public consciousness and mentality of Euro-Atlantic citizens from the aggression of the enemy is proposed.
Pallet Tracking and Cost Optimization of the Flow of Goods in Logistics Operations by Serial Shipping Container Code
The case study method in this paper shows the implementation of Information Technology (IT) and the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) in a Croatian company that deals with logistics operations and provides logistics services in the cold chain segment. This company is aware of the sensitivity of the goods entrusted to them by the user of the service, as well as of the importance of speed and accuracy in providing logistics services. To that end, it has implemented and used the latest IT to ensure the highest standard of high-quality logistics services to its customers. Looking for efficiency and optimization of supply chain management, while maintaining a high level of quality of the products that are sold, today's users of outsourced logistics services are open to the implementation of new IT products that ultimately deliver savings. By analysing the positive results and the difficulties that arise when using this technology, we aim to provide an insight into the potential of this approach of the logistics service provider.
Use of Information Technology in the Government of a State
There are visible changes in the world organization, environment and health of national conscience that create a background for discussion on possible redefinition of global, state and regional management goals. Authors apply the sustainable development criteria to a hierarchical management scheme that is to lead the world community to non-contradictory growth. Concrete definitions are discussed in respect of decision-making process representing the state mostly. With the help of system analysis it is highlighted how to understand who would carry the distinctive sign of world leadership in the nearest future.
Lack of BIM Training: Investigating Practical Solutions for the State of Kuwait
Despite the evident benefits of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry, it faces significant implementation challenges in the State of Kuwait. This study investigates the awareness of construction stakeholders of BIM implementation challenges, and identifies various solutions to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the barriers that deter utilization of BIM, (2) examine the awareness of engineers, architects, and construction stakeholders of these barriers, and (3) identify practical solutions to facilitate BIM utilization. A questionnaire survey was designed to collect data on the aforementioned objectives from local companies and senior BIM experts. It was found that engineers are highly aware of BIM implementation barriers. In addition, it was concluded from the questionnaire that the biggest barrier is the lack of BIM training. Based on expert feedback, the study concluded with a number of recommendations on how to overcome the barriers of BIM utilization. This should prove useful to the construction industry stakeholders and can lead to significant changes to design and construction practices.
Integrating Generic Skills into Disciplinary Curricula
There is a growing emphasis on generic skills in higher education to match the changing skill-set requirements of the labour market. However, researchers and policy makers have not arrived at a consensus on the generic skills that actually contribute towards workplace employability and performance that complement and/or underpin discipline-specific graduate attributes. In order to strengthen the qualifications framework, a range of ‘generic’ learning outcomes have been considered for students undergoing higher education programs and among them it is necessary to have the fundamental generic skills such as literacy and numeracy at a level appropriate to the qualification type. This warrants for curriculum design approaches to contextualise the form and scope of these fundamental generic skills for supporting both students’ learning engagement in the course, as well as the graduate attributes required for employability and to progress within their chosen profession. Little research is reported in integrating such generic skills into discipline-specific learning outcomes. This paper explores the literature of the generic skills required for graduates from the discipline of Information Technology (IT) in relation to an Australian higher education institution. The paper presents the rationale of a proposed Bachelor of IT curriculum designed to contextualize the learning of these generic skills within the students’ discipline studies.
The Study of Internship Performances: Comparison of Information Technology Interns towards Students’ Types and Background Profiles
Internship program is a compulsory course of many undergraduate programs in Thailand. It gives opportunities to a lot of senior students as interns to practice their working skills in the real organizations and also gives chances for interns to face real-world working problems. Interns also learn how to solve those problems by direct and indirect experiences. This program in many schools is a well-structured course with a contract or agreement made with real business organizations. Moreover, this program also offers opportunities for interns to get jobs after completing it from where the internship program takes place. Interns also learn how to work as a team and how to associate with other colleagues, trainers, and superiors of each organization in term of social hierarchy, self-responsibility, and self-disciplinary. This research focuses on senior students of Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Thailand whose studying major is information technology program. They practiced their working skills or took internship programs in the real business sector or real operating organizations in 2015-2016. Interns are categorized in to two types: normal program and special program. For special program, students study in weekday evening from Monday to Friday or Weekend and most of them work full-time or part-time job. For normal program, students study in weekday working hours and most of them do not work. The differences of these characters and the outcomes of internship performance were studied and analyzed in this research. This work applied some statistical analytics to find out whether the internship performance of each intern type has different performances statistically or not.
Exploring the Relationship between Computerization and Marketing Performance Case Study: Snowa Company
The present study aims to explore the effect of
computerization on marketing performance in Snowa Company. In
other words, this study intends to respond to this question that
whether or not, is there any relationship between utilization of
computerization in marketing activities and marketing performance?
The statistical population included 60 marketing managers of Snowa
Company. In order to test the research hypotheses, Pearson
correlation coefficient was employed. The reliability was equal to
96.8%. In this study, computerization was the independent variable
and marketing performance was the dependent variable with
characteristics of market share, improving the competitive position,
and sales volume. The results of testing the hypotheses revealed that
there is a significant relationship between utilization of
computerization and market share, sales volume and improving the
Information Technology for Business Process Management in Insurance Companies
Information technology plays an irreplaceable role in
introducing and improving business process orientation in a
company. It enables implementation of the theoretical concept,
measurement of results achieved and undertaking corrective
measures aimed at improvements. Information technology is a key
concept in the development and implementation of the business
process management systems as it establishes a connection to
business operations. Both in the literature and practice, insurance
companies are often seen as highly process oriented due to the nature
of their business and focus on customers. They are also considered
leaders in using information technology for business process
management. The research conducted aimed to investigate whether
the perceived leadership status of insurance companies is well
deserved, i.e. to establish the level of process orientation and explore
the practice of information technology use in insurance companies in
the region. The main instrument for primary data collection within
this research was an electronic survey questionnaire sent to the
management of insurance companies in the Republic of Croatia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Macedonia. The
conducted research has shown that insurance companies have a
satisfactory level of process orientation, but that there is also a huge
potential for improvement, especially in the segment of information
technology and its connection to business processes.
Analysis of Secondary School Students’ Perceptions about Information Technologies through a Word Association Test
The aim of this study is to discover secondary school students’ perceptions related to information technologies and the connections between concepts in their cognitive structures. A word association test consisting of six concepts related to information technologies is used to collect data from 244 secondary school students. Concept maps that present students’ cognitive structures are drawn with the help of frequency data. Data are analyzed and interpreted according to the connections obtained as a result of the concept maps. It is determined students associate most with these concepts—computer, Internet, and communication of the given concepts, and associate least with these concepts—computer-assisted education and information technologies. These results show the concepts, Internet, communication, and computer, are an important part of students’ cognitive structures. In addition, students mostly answer computer, phone, game, Internet and Facebook as the key concepts. These answers show students regard information technologies as a means for entertainment and free time activity, not as a means for education.
Managing IT Departments in Higher Education Institutes: Coping with the Exponentially Growing Needs and Expectations
Information technology is changing rapidly and the users’ expectations are also growing. Dealing with these changes in information technology, while satisfying the users’ needs and expectations is a big challenge. IT managers need to explore new mechanisms/strategies to enable them to cope with such challenges.
The objectives of this research are to identify the significant challenges that might face IT managers in higher education institutes in the face of the high and ever growing customer expectations and to propose possible solutions to cope with such high-speed changes in information technology.
To achieve these objectives, interviews with the IT professionals from different higher education institutes in Oman were conducted. In addition, documentation (printed and online) related to these institutions were studied and an intensive literature review of published work was examined.
The findings of this research are expected to give a better understanding of the challenges that might face the IT managers at higher education institutes. This acquired understanding is expected to highlight the importance of being adaptable and fast in keeping up with the ever-growing technological changes. Moreover, adopting different tools and technologies could assist IT managers in developing their organisations’ IT policies and strategies.
Information Technology Application for Knowledge Management in Medium-Size Businesses
Result of the study on knowledge management systems in businesses was shown that the most of these businesses provide internet accessibility for their employees in order to study new knowledge via internet, corporate website, electronic mail, and electronic learning system. These business organizations use information technology application for knowledge management because of convenience, time saving, ease of use, accuracy of information and knowledge usefulness. The result indicated prominent improvements for corporate knowledge management systems as the following; 1) administrations must support corporate knowledge management system 2) the goal of corporate knowledge management must be clear 3) corporate culture should facilitate the exchange and sharing of knowledge within the organization 4) cooperation of personnel of all levels must be obtained 5) information technology infrastructure must be provided 6) they must develop the system regularly and constantly.
Key Strategies for a Competitive Supply Chain
In this era of competitiveness, there is a growing need for supply chains also to become competitive enough to handle pressures like varying customer’s expectations, low cost high quality products to be delivered at the minimum time and the most important is throat cutting competition at world wide scale. In the recent years, supply chain competitiveness has been, therefore, accepted as one of the most important philosophies in the supply chain literature and researchers have tried to identify variables of supply chain competitiveness. This paper highlights some of the concepts of supply chain competitiveness and tries to identify select variables on the basis of literature review. Further, the paper tries to highlight the importance of the identified variables in the achievement of supply chain competitiveness. The aim is to explore the concept and to motivate researchers to further investigate the unexplored areas of this important subject domain.
Information Technologies in Automotive Assembly Industry in Thailand
This paper gave an attempt in prioritizing information
technologies that organizations should give concentration. The case
study was organizations in the automotive assembly industry in
Thailand. Data were first collected to gather all information
technologies known and used in the automotive assembly industry in
Thailand. Five experts from the industries were surveyed based on
the concept of fuzzy DEMATEL. The information technologies were
categorized into six groups, which were communication, transaction,
planning, organization management, warehouse management, and
transportation. The cause groups of information technologies for each
group were analyzed and presented. Moreover, the relationship
between the used and the significant information technologies was
given. Discussions based on the used information technologies and
the research results are given.
Utilizing Adaptive Software to Enhance Information Management
The task of strategic information technology
management is to focus on adapting technology to ensure
competitiveness. A key factor for success in this sector is awareness
and readiness to deploy new technologies and exploit the services
they offer. Recently, the need for more flexible and dynamic user
interfaces (UIs) has been recognized, especially in mobile
applications. An ongoing research project (MOP), initiated by TUT
in Finland, is looking at how mobile device UIs can be adapted for
different needs and contexts. It focuses on examining the possibilities
to develop adapter software for solving the challenges related to the
UI and its flexibility in mobile devices. This approach has great
potential for enhancing information transfer in mobile devices, and
consequently for improving information management. The
technology presented here could be one of the key emerging
technologies in the information technology sector in relation to
mobile devices and telecommunications.
Interaction between Environmental Performance and Logistic System: A Case Study of International Company
The activities which are mostly related to the environmental performance need to be pointed, especially how logistics systems influence on environmental performance. This paper analyses how company could lead the initiative in this area by incorporating environmental management principles into their daily activities. The analysis is based on literature review about logistics and environment, the information from company R website as well as face-to-face interviews. A case study is given to show how they can turn practices into green while simultaneously meet the efficiency objectives. The research results show that the adoption of EMS and ISO 14001 certification is an effective tool for the logistics management. Such practices simultaneously reduce the negative contribute to better company performance. The results also show that the emissions to air and water, and energy consumption are the main logistics impacts to the environment.
The Impact of Occupational Stress on Quality of Work Life among the Staff of e-Workspace
With the advent of new technologies, factors related to
mental health in e-workspaces are taken into consideration more than
ever. Studies have revealed that one of the factors affecting the
productivity of employees in an organization is occupational stress.
Another influential factor is quality of work life which is important in
the improvement of work environment conditions and organizational
efficiency. In order to uncover the quality of work life level and to
investigate the impact of occupational stress on quality of work life
among information technology employees in Iran, a cross-sectional
study design was applied and data were gathered using a
questionnaire validated by a group of experts. The results of the study
showed that information technology staffs have average level of both
occupational stress and quality of work life. Furthermore, it was
found that occupational stress has a negative impact on quality of
work life. In addition, the same results were observed for role
ambiguity, role conflict, role under-load, work-pace, work
repetitiveness and tension toward quality of work life. No significant
relation was found between role overload and quality of work life.
Finally, directions for future research are proposed and discussed.
An E-learning System Architecture based on Cloud Computing
The massive proliferation of affordable computers, Internet broadband connectivity and rich education content has created a global phenomenon in which information and communication technology (ICT) is being used to transform education. Therefore, there is a need to redesign the educational system to meet the needs better. The advent of computers with sophisticated software has made it possible to solve many complex problems very fast and at a lower cost. This paper introduces the characteristics of the current E-Learning and then analyses the concept of cloud computing and describes the architecture of cloud computing platform by combining the features of E-Learning. The authors have tried to introduce cloud computing to e-learning, build an e-learning cloud, and make an active research and exploration for it from the following aspects: architecture, construction method and external interface with the model.
Coping with the Rapidity of Information Technology Changes – A Comparison Reviewon Current Practices
Information technology managers nowadays are
facing with tremendous pressure to plan, implement, and adopt new
technology solution due to the rapidity of technology changes.
Resulted from a lack of study that have been done in this topic, the
aim of this paper is to provide a comparison review on current tools
that are currently being used in order to respond to technological
changes. The study is based on extensive literature review of
published works with majority of them are ranging from 2000 to the
first part of 2011. The works were gathered from journals, books,
and other information sources available on the Web. Findings show
that, each tools has different focus and none of the tools are
providing a framework in holistic view, which should include
technical, people, process, and business environment aspect. Hence,
this result provides potential information about current available
tools that IT managers could use to manage changes in technology.
Further, the result reveals a research gap in the area where the
industries a short of such framework.
The Relationship between Knowledge Management Strategy and Information Technology Strategy
Recently, a great number of theoretical frameworks
have been proposed to develop the linkages between knowledge
management (KM) and organizational strategies. However, while
there has been much theorizing and case study in the area, validated
research models integrating KM and information technology
strategies for empirical testing of these theories have been scarce. In
this research, we try to develop a research model for explaining the
relationship between KM strategy and IT strategy and their effects on
performance. Finally, meaningful propositions and conclusions are
derived, and suggestions for future research are proposed and
IT Management: How IT Managers Gain IT knowledge
It is not a secret that, IT management has become
more and more and integrated part of almost all organizations. IT
managers posses an enormous amount of knowledge within both
organizational knowledge and general IT knowledge. This article
investigates how IT managers keep themselves updated on IT
knowledge in general and looks into how much time IT managers
spend on weekly basis searching the net for new or problem solving
IT knowledge. The theory used in this paper is used to investigate the
current role of IT managers and what issues they are facing.
Furthermore a research is conducted where 7 IT managers in medium
sized and large Danish companies are interviewed to add further
focus on the role of the IT manager and to focus on how they keep
themselves updated. Beside finding substantial need for more
research, IT managers – generalists or specialists – only have limited
knowledge resources at hand in updating their own knowledge –
leaving much initiative to vendors.
A Review of Survey Methodology Employedin IT Outsourcing
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview on methodological aspects of the information technology outsourcing (ITO) surveys, in an attempt to improve the data quality and reporting in survey research. It is based on a review of thirty articles on ITO surveys and focuses on two commonly explored dimensions of ITO, namely what are outsourced and why should there be ITO. This study highlights weaknesses in ITO surveys including lack of a clear definition of population, lack of information regarding the sampling method used, not citing the response rate, no information pertaining to pilot testing of survey instrument and absence of information on internal validity in the use or reporting of surveys. This study represents an attempt with a limited scope to point to shortfalls in the use survey methodology in ITO, and thus raise awareness among researchers in enhancing the reliability of survey findings.
Using the Students-as-Customers Concept in Technology Disciplines: Students- Perspectives
Educational institutions increasingly adopt the
students-as-customers concept to satisfy their students.
Understanding students- perspectives on the use of this business
concept in educational institutions is necessary for the institutions to
effectively align these perspectives with their management practice.
The study investigates whether students in technology and business
disciplines have significantly different attitudes toward using the
students-as-customers concept in educational institutions and
explores the impact of treating students as customers in technology
disciplines under students- perspectives. The results from
quantitative and qualitative data analyses show that technology
students, in contrast to business students, fairly disagree with
educational institutions to treat students as customers. Treating
students as customers in technology disciplines will have a negative
influence on teaching performance, instructor-student relationships
and educational institutions- aim, but a positive influence on service
quality in educational institutions. The paper discusses the findings
and concludes with implications and limitations of the study.
IT/IS Outsourcing Relationship Factors in Higher Education Institution: Behavioral Dimensions from Client Perspectives
Higher education institutions are increasingly opting to outsourcing methods in order to sustain themselves and this creates a gap of literature in terms of how they perceive the relationship. This research paper attempts to identify the behavioral and psychological factors that exist in the engagement thus providing valuable information to practicing and potential clients, and vendors. The determinants were gathered from previous literatures and analyzed to formulate the factors. This study adopts the case study and survey approaches in which interviews and questionnaires are deployed on employees of IT-related department in a Malaysian higher education institution.
Risk Evaluation of Information Technology Projects Based on Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchal Process
Information Technology (IT) projects are always
accompanied by various risks and because of high rate of failure in
such projects, managing risks in order to neutralize or at least
decrease their effects on the success of the project is strongly
essential. In this paper, fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP) is
exploited as a means of risk evaluation methodology to prioritize and
organize risk factors faced in IT projects. A real case of IT projects, a
project of design and implementation of an integrated information
system in a vehicle producing company in Iran is studied. Related
risk factors are identified and then expert qualitative judgments about
these factors are acquired. Translating these judgments to fuzzy
numbers and using them as an input to FAHP, risk factors are then
ranked and prioritized by FAHP in order to make project managers
aware of more important risks and enable them to adopt suitable
measures to deal with these highly devastative risks.
Information Dissemination System (IDS) Based E-Learning in Agricultural of Iran (Perception of Iranian Extension Agents)
The purpose of the study reported here was designing Information Dissemination System (IDS) based E-learning in agricultural of Iran. A questionnaire was developed to designing Information Dissemination System. The questionnaire was distributed to 96 extension agents who work for Management of Extension and Farming System of Khuzestan province of Iran. Data collected were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Appropriate statistical procedures for description (frequencies, percent, means, and standard deviations) were used. In this study there was a significant relationship between the age , IT skill and knowledge, years of extension work, the extend of information seeking motivation, level of job satisfaction and level of education with use of information technology by extension agent. According to extension agents five factors were ranked respectively as five top essential items to designing Information Dissemination System (IDS) based E-learning in agricultural of Iran. These factors include: 1) Establish communication between farmers, coordinators (extension agents), agricultural experts, research centers, and community by information technology. 2) The communication between all should be mutual. 3) The information must be based farmers need. 4) Internet used as a facility to transfer the advanced agricultural information to the farming community. 5) Farmers can be illiterate and speak a local and they are not expected to use the system directly. Knowledge produced by the agricultural scientist must be transformed in to computer understandable presentation. To designing Information Dissemination System, electronic communication, in the agricultural society and rural areas must be developed. This communication must be mutual between all factors.
Degeneracy of MIS under the Conditions of Instability: A Mathematical Formulation
It has been always observed that the effectiveness of
MIS as a support tool for management decisions degenerate after
time of implementation, despite the substantial investments being
made. This is true for organizations at the initial stages of MIS
implementations, manual or computerized. A survey of a sample of
middle to top managers in business and government institutions was
made. A large ratio indicates that the MIS has lost its impact on the
day-to-day operations, and even the response lag time expands
sometimes indefinitely. The data indicates an infant mortality
phenomenon of the bathtub model. Reasons may be monotonous
nature of MIS delivery, irrelevance, irreverence, timeliness, and lack
of adequate detail. All those reasons collaborate to create a degree of
degeneracy. We investigate and model as a bathtub model the
phenomenon of MIS degeneracy that inflicts the MIS systems and
renders it ineffective. A degeneracy index is developed to identify
the status of the MIS system and possible remedies to prevent the
onset of total collapse of the system to the point of being useless.
Lessons to Management from the Control Loop Phenomenon
In a none-super-competitive environment the concepts
of closed system, management control remains to be the dominant
guiding concept to management. The merits of closed loop have been
the sources of most of the management literature and culture for
many decades. It is a useful exercise to investigate and poke into the
dynamics of the control loop phenomenon and draws some lessons to
use for refining the practice of management. This paper examines the
multitude of lessons abstracted from the behavior of the Input /output
/feedback control loop model, which is the core of control theory.
There are numerous lessons that can be learned from the insights this
model would provide and how it parallels the management dynamics
of the organization. It is assumed that an organization is basically a
living system that interacts with the internal and external variables. A
viable control loop is the one that reacts to the variation in the
environment and provide or exert a corrective action. In managing
organizations this is reflected in organizational structure and
management control practices. This paper will report findings that
were a result of examining several abstract scenarios that are
exhibited in the design, operation, and dynamics of the control loop
and how they are projected on the functioning of the organization.
Valuable lessons are drawn in trying to find parallels and new
paradigms, and how the control theory science is reflected in the
design of the organizational structure and management practices. The
paper is structured in a logical and perceptive format. Further
research is needed to extend these findings.
, control theory
, feed back
, information technology
, organizational environment
, closed systems.
Personal Health Assistance Service Expert System (PHASES)
In this paper the authors present the framework of a
system for assisting users through counseling on personal health, the
Personal Health Assistance Service Expert System (PHASES).
Personal health assistance systems need Personal Health Records
(PHR), which support wellness activities, improve the understanding
of personal health issues, enable access to data from providers of
health services, strengthen health promotion, and in the end improve
the health of the population. This is especially important in societies
where the health costs increase at a higher rate than the overall
economy. The most important elements of a healthy lifestyle are
related to food (such as balanced nutrition and diets), activities for
body fitness (such as walking, sports, fitness programs), and other
medical treatments (such as massage, prescriptions of drugs). The
PHASES framework uses an ontology of food, which includes
nutritional facts, an expert system keeping track of personal health
data that are matched with medical treatments, and a comprehensive
data transfer between patients and the system.