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Information Technology Assignment: Case Scenarios Based on IT/IS

Question

Task

Prepare an information technology assignment answering the following questions:

  1. Does the huge growth in online shopping really mean the extinction of the traditional high street store or can they successfully co-exist?
  2. Discuss the 5 new technologies outlined below and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each technology
  3. A. Beacons.

    B. Face Recognition

    C. Robot Assistants

    D. Smart Mirrors

    E. Auto checkout

  4. Discuss what your supermarket of the future would look like and what it should contain/not contain.
  5. We are told that location based marketing is about connecting people, places and media. What are the ethical considerations around businesses knowing every place we visit?

Answer

Answer 1
It is observed while researching for this information technology assignment that there has been a massive rise in the growth and demand of the online shops. The demand has further increased after the Covid-19 pandemic as it restricted the movement of people. Most of the countries imposed nationwide lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus. Online shops and e-commerce witnessed massive boom in this period as the customers could easily get access to the desired goods and services from their homes. There are several benefits that the online shopping trends have resulted in for the customers and for the retailers too. The retailers can now target a wider audience through the e-commerce channels (Weiyue 2017).

It is evident that online shopping has captured a massive retail space and has adversely impacted the sales of the high street shops. However, it does not mean that the traditional shopping are near their closure. There is still a huge section of customers who prefer visiting the physical stores and purchasing the desired products. There are certain experiences that are not possible with the online shopping alternative. For example, one cannot experience reading a book at the bookstore and sipping coffee alongside in the book café. Also, a massive section of the customers believe that the physical look & feel of the product is essential before they make the purchase. For the high-value goods, such as jewellery or automobiles, the customers wish to take a look at the product and inspect it from all aspects before purchasing.

Many of the senior citizens prefer the traditional methods of shopping as they are not comfortable with the online shops.

Also, there are certain issues with e-commerce stores for the retailers. The supply chains, for example, can be complex and not easy to manage (Alsharief 2017).

All of these factors indicate that the traditional high street stores are here to stay. The best possible way is to coexist. Many retailers have adopted the hybrid model wherein they have the physical stores and also provide the facility of online shopping to their customers. The similar approach by the other retailers will make sure that the two models co-exist and the retailers as well as the customers benefit from the same.

Answer 2
A. Beacons: Beacons are the small Bluetooth devices that constantly send the signals that the smart devices can capture and see. These are used to deliver campaigns to the customers and also share the data based on the location of the customer devices.

There are several benefits associated with Beacons as they can be used for multiple applications, such as engagement, navigation, and more. These devices are easy to use and implement. The application area of the technology is also massive. For example, these are useful in the retail space along with education, marketing, and more (Atherton 2019).

can be a few disadvantages associated with Beacons. The incorrect implementations can lead to too many push notifications. For USB beacons, power supply is essential.

B. Face Recognition: It is the technology that uses Biometric recognition to identify the identity of an individual using the unique facial features. The face recognition devices capture the facial features of a person and match it with the database to confirm the identity.

The technology is extremely beneficial from the security aspect as the facial features of a person are unique. It is not possible to copy or forge these features to gain an unauthorized access. There are also a few drawbacks as the insiders can attempt data theft from the databases to misuse the same (Deng et al. 2017).

C. Robot Assistants: Robots Assistants are the smart machines replicating the human behaviour and actions. These are designed using Robotics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence and follow the instructions provided by the users to carry out the specific tasks.

Robots can continue working for any number of hours. The robot assistants do not require rest or breaks unlike humans. The precision and accuracy of the robot assistants can also be exceptional. Consistency in the operations is another significant benefit associated with the robot assistants.

There can also be a few drawbacks in terms of the inability to match the human rational. This may lead to unexpected behaviour in unanticipated situations. The robot assistants can also take up the jobs otherwise designed for the humans.

D. Smart Mirrors: Smart mirror is a virtual mirror or a device that offers digital display and is connected to the user’s Smartphone using the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technologies. It can use augmented reality as the technology for the purpose of customized display.

One of the primary benefits associated with the smart mirrors is the ability to view the application information without opening the apps in the device. They can simply display the information as desired by the user. This can include the display of the pictures, social media channels, daily news, etc. (Miotto et al. 2018).

One of the problems associated with the smart mirrors is their tendency to fix if they are set at a specific angle. Some of the newer versions of these devices have rectified this issue for better user experience.

E. Auto checkout
Auto checkout are the bots that are used with the e-commerce platforms to automatically fill in the checkout information for the users and make purchases. The users need to provide the permission to the bots to acquire the information from the device and automated filling of the data saves on the time involved in the otherwise manual fill-ups.

The speed of the operations is the primary benefit associated with the auto checkouts. There can be certain retail channels with limited stocks and the users can benefit from the use of an auto checkout bot to make the purchase quickly (James 2021).

There can also be a few disadvantages as the clicking on the option by mistake can bring out errors. The purchases can be made without the intention to do so.

Answer 3
Supermarket of the future will be the use of advanced technologies in the physical supermarket stores to attract the customers and provide them with numerous reasons to visit. The supermarket of the future will use a large number of technologies for improved customer experience. It will include the interactive tables and smart shelves for the customers. Radio Frequency Identification technology will be used on all the items and the customers will be able to scan the product code from their devices to get the complete details on the origin, manufacturing, etc. They will also be able to sync the details with their health apps to understand if they shall purchase the consumable products or not. The customers will get the recommendations from the supermarket stores on their mobile devices based on their purchase history and viewing options. The real-time visualizations will be enabled in the supermarkets of the future providing the customers with the specific statistics on the products that they pick up. Payments will be extremely easy to carry out in the supermarkets of the future wherein the customers will simply flash their cards or scan the codes to make the purchase in one second. There will be no waiting queues in the supermarkets of the future as the customers will be able to scan and make purchases from anywhere in the store (Meenakumari 2019).

Robots will be at work in the future supermarkets. The customers will have the robot assistants in the supermarkets guiding them to the specific shelves and providing them with the desired products. The robots will also manage the carts for the customers and will also bring in the products from other shelves as directed by the customers. The supermarkets will use the technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things to sync in different elements at the store. The digital applications will also be synced with from the user’s device for improved experience.

The customers will also be able to customize the look and feel of the supermarket as per their preferences. They will be able to use the technologies to set the colour tone of the store as per their requirements.

The supermarkets in the future will also have smart lighting so as to meet the sustainability goals while offering enhanced experience to the customers.

All of these technologies will include in-built advanced security tools and controls. The customers will not have to worry about the issues of data breaches or other forms of information security violations at the supermarkets. The staff members at the store will make sure that the permissions are obtained from the customers to sync their devices and applications. The same will apply to the payment channels and mediums that will be used at the supermarkets in the future.

The customers will get the detailed bill and invoice on their mobile device as soon as they make the purchase and robot assistants will help the customers in exiting the store.

The supermarkets in the future will use the physical store experience and will amalgamate the same with the digital technologies and applications for improved experience.

Answer 4
Location-based marketing is now being popularly used and it involved the connection and sync of the people, places, and media. The form of marketing is beneficial for the businesses as they can provide customized experience to their customers.

However, there are ethical considerations and impacts attached with this form of marketing. The digital data from the customers’ devices include the location details as well. Many a times, the business firms use the information to analyse the customer locations and associated patterns. The presence of the malicious entities in the entire network can possess massive security and privacy risks to the customers (Gana& Thomas 2016). The location details of the customers can be acquired by such entities and the physical security risks may be possible as an outcome.

The businesses also use the information from location-based marketing to carry out customer analytics and frame their marketing and sales strategies accordingly. Many a times, the consent from the customers to use the data for such purposes is not asked for. The customers remain unaware of the potential use of the data. The businesses can continue sending the recommendations and suggestions to the customers as per the outcomes of the detailed analytics. However, the absence of associated consent and permission from the customers violates the privacy and also the ethical codes.

The occurrence of the security issues and risks, such as malware attacks or network-based security attacks are also quite common. The sensitive and private information of the customers can be shared with the malicious entities. They may further share the customer details with the other unauthorized entities or may put them up for sale on the Dark Web. In all of these cases, the privacy of the customers is violated and it is also negative from the aspect of the ethical compliance (Wijesinghe & Zhang 2015).

The business entities may use the location-based details to constantly share the details of the products or services to the customers. The problem of endless notifications is something that a majority of the users are facing. The sharing of such alerts and notifications without the permission from the customers is also unethical. The businesses can use the data from this form of marketing to form the strategies and plans for the other products and services in the organization.

All of these issues indicate a massive loophole in terms of the adherence with the ethical principles and policies. The occurrence of any form of information security or privacy violation automatically results in the violation of the ethical codes and principles. It is necessary that stronger legal and regulatory measures are in place so that these ethical concerns are avoided. Also, the marketing entities and resources need to be trained on the ethical, security, and legal aspects. This will ensure that the adherence with the legal and ethical principles is always ensured. The customers also need to be more aware with providing the consent and permissions for such marketing processes and activities.

References
Alsharief, RY 2017, ‘Saudi Consumers Attitudes Towards Online Shopping’, International Journal of Online Marketing, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 16–36.

Atherton, C 2019, ‘Beacons: A tool for 21st Century teaching and learning?’, Research in Learning Technology, vol. 27, no. 0.

Deng, W, Hu, J, Wu, Z & Guo, J 2017, ‘Lighting-aware face frontalization for unconstrained face recognition’, Pattern Recognition, vol. 68, pp. 260–271.

Gana, MA & Thomas, TK 2016, ‘Consumers Attitude Towards Location-Based Advertising: An Exploratory Study’, Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 390.

James, N 2021, ‘Automated Checkout for Stores: A Computer Vision Approach’, RevistaGestãoInovação e Tecnologias, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 1830–1841.

Meenakumari, M 2019, ‘Smart Shopping Trolley for Automated Billing in Supermarket’, Journal of Advanced Research in Dynamical and Control Systems, vol. 11, no. 11-SPECIAL ISSUE, pp. 448–453.

Miotto, R, Danieletto, M, Scelza, JR, Kidd, BA & Dudley, JT 2018, ‘Reflecting health: smart mirrors for personalized medicine’, npj Digital Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1.

Weiyue, L 2017, ‘Promoting role of Electronic Commerce on Economic Growth’, Archives of Business Research, vol. 5, no. 4.

Wijesinghe, TC & Zhang, J 2015, ‘Location Based Marketing: A Promising Marketing in Sri Lanka’, International Journal of Marketing Studies, vol. 7, no. 5.

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