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In simple words, prototyping is usually referred to as the process of building a model of an IT system, where prototypes work to facilitate manipulating this system by end users. It should be noted, that prototyping is a part of more complex IT processes, including systems development life cycle. Prototyping, however, is not the only effective method of IT development available to professionals. Rapid application development is widely used as the process that allows completing 80% of an IT project within less than 20% of time that would be required to produce the complete solution (Applegate & Bensaou, 2005).
RAD is used to speed up the completion of an IT project, to adjust the IT project requirements to the changing needs of businesses, and to reduce the costs required to develop and launch a high quality product. In this context, IT professionals can also embrace the benefits of Joint Application Development, which also speeds up the design of all IT solutions; this is a kind of a team-oriented approach to business, which allows documenting IT requirements and changes more quickly and developing effective problem-solving models. Finally, the Systems Development Life Cycle is an IT management technique that allows dividing complex projects into smaller stages. SDLC helps verify completing each phase to optimize the use of resources at the subsequent project development phases. Objectively, each IT development model has its inconsistencies and drawbacks, and the choice of a particular model depends on the whole set of individual factors. As a result, and depending on particular business conditions, each of these methods can serve a reliable basis for developing and launching high quality cost-effective IT products.
Digital dashboard is well known as a kind of a personalized desktop portal, widely used for the purposes of knowledge management and business intelligence. Once digital dashboards were regarded as executive information systems not available to mass consumers; at the end of the 1990s digital dashboards comprised voice mail, traffic information, email messages, weather forecast, etc (Applegate & Bensaou, 2005). Now this information is readily available through portable computer units and cellular phones.
Management Cockpit is the means to improve effectiveness of all business operations by linking strategy to operations and by leveraging the benefits of knowledge management to improve accountability at all levels of organizational performance. Management Cockpits make it possible to compile and process information; they frequently serve as effective information filters and are designed ergonomically. The organizational potential of Management Cockpits is almost unlimited, and can be effectively used to improve productivity, to meet efficiency standards, to integrate Six-sigma with Balanced Scorecard and other strategic solutions, and to form effective budgeting strategies.
Both GIS and GPS are effectively used by managers to expand their information tool kit. GIS is a computer system that works to capture, store, check, integrate, and display the information regarding positioning different objects on earth (Applegate & Bensaou, 2005). Here, managers not only acquire free access to unique information, but can use it for statistical and analytical purposes, as well as in the processes of town planning, scientific investigation, calculating emergency responses and even developing bus routes. In terms of GPS, it is a navigation system which also works to determine the exact location of specific objects, as well as weather conditions and the speed of the objects’ movement. This information expands the boundaries of managers’ knowledge by giving them a chance to estimate the time of arrival to specific destination, expanding their mapping opportunities, and calculating the probability of change depending on the speed and the direction of movement of the objects under research.
In the process of selecting and acquiring software, businesses may either choose to purchase the completed IT project or to develop their own IT solutions in accordance with specific business and technological requirements. When making a strategic choice, managers face several critical challenges. First, they are to weigh the costs and benefits of each option. Second, they are to review licensing issues associated with each option. Finally, what managers require is evaluating the future suitability and compatibility of each IT product with future solutions, and the possibility to adjust the existing software to the future business and technological changes.
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