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Intranet development in large organizations: a case study using EDI analysis tools Oram, John Wesley Isaac 1997

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INTRANET DEVELOPMENT IN LARGE ORGANIZATIONS: A CASE STUDY USING EDI ANALYSIS TOOLS by  JOHN WESLEY ISAAC ORAM B.A., Yale University, 1992  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (The Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration) (Department of Management Information Systems)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard.  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1997 © John Oram, 1997  In presenting this  thesis in partial  fulfilment  of the requirements  for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying  of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted  department  or  by his or  her  representatives.  It  is  by the head of my  understood  that  copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  JflAflft^Wm \nFz?g<YWTnm 5^z>~K"T<.  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  2J  ^VP\2MU  Abstract Several years ago, the media discovered the Internet. This 'Internet explosion' exposed the non-initiated to a worldwide computer network. Forged b y the fear of the nuclear fulfilment of the C o l d War, this network had for over twenty years been the domain of academia, precocious computer firms, the government and the military.  A s the resulting technology continued to develop and thrive, the business  community, attracted b y the prospect of open systems and low costs, began to investigate the feasibility of applying Internet tools for internal information system and distribution needs. The concept of such 'intranets' has g r o w n increasingly pervasive and persuasive, especially when their costs and development time are compared to equivalent proprietary systems.  This paper examines some of the technological, economic and organizational considerations involved w i t h intranet development.  This author undertook a  feasibility study i n several departments of a large company i n an attempt to identify the factors.  A methodology originally developed for electronic data interchange  (EDI) was used to help analyze the results.  This analysis indicates the Company is ill-prepared to take advantage of intranet technology. However, the recent maturation of Java and the network computer paradigm (the former allowing applications to run on any platform without recompilation and the latter greatly reducing the administrative costs of bringing  computing power to the desktop) may provide the Company w i t h a relatively inexpensive method of leveraging the benefits of an intranet.  iii  Table of Contents  Abstract  1 1  Table of Contents  iv  List of Tables  vii  Note  viii  Chapter 1: 1.1 1.2 1.3  Introduction Motivation Objective Thesis Organization  Chapter 2: 2.1 2.2  Background Literature Review Technological O v e r v i e w 2.2.1 Client-Server Technologies 2.2.2 Thick and Thin Clients 2.2.3 Open Systems 2.2.4 The Internet 2.2.5 Intranets 2.2.6 Java 2.2.7 Electronic Document Management Summary  4 4 6 6 8 14 16 20 22 23 25  Research Methodology Case Study 3.1.1 A n o n y m i t y 3.1.2 Relevance Organizational and Departmental Description Iacovou M o d e l 3.3.1 Description 3.3.2 Applicability to Intranet A d o p t i o n  27 27 27 27 27 31 31 32  2.3 Chapter 3 3.1  3.2 3.3  Chapter 4 4.1 4.2  1 1 2 3  Findings Overview Electronic Document Management i v  ^  3 3  5  3  5  4.3  Chapter 5 5.1  5.2  Chapter 6 6.1  4.2.1 Administrative Guidelines 4.2.2 Infrastructure Online Expense Forms (Database Connectivity) 4.3.1 Description 4.3.2 Infrastructure  35 36 36 36 37  Analysis Iacovou M o d e l 5.1.1 Independent Variables Perceived Benefits Perceived Benefits : Economic Perceived Benefits .Technical Perceived Benefits : Organizational Organizational Readiness Organizational Readiness : Organizational Organizational Readiness : Technical Organizational Readiness : Economic External Pressure External Pressure: Technical External Pressure : Organizational External Pressure : Economic 5.1.2 Dependent Variables A d o p t i o n and Integration Adoption and Integration : Organizational Adoption and Integration : Technical A d o p t i o n and Integration : Technical : Administrative Guidelines A d o p t i o n and Integration : Technical : O n l i n e Expense Form Adoption and Integration : Economic Impact Impact: Organizational Impact: Technical Impact: Economic Recommendations 5.2.1 Network Computers and Java 5.2.2 Java Applications 5.2.3 Concerns Microsoft Lock-in Availability of software U n i o n Issues  39 39 44 44 44 45 46 47 47 47 48 48 49 49 52 53 53 53 55  Conclusion Contribution  56 59 61 62 62 63 63 64 64 69 70 70 74 75 76 76  v  6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5  Analysis of Applicability of Iacovou Model Shortfalls Areas of further studies Highlights to the Outside Community . .  Bibliography Appendix 1 - Original Iacovou Model  vi  List of Tables Table 1 - Yearly Costs of Thick and Thin Clients  Table 2 - Extended Iacovou M o d e l  Table 3 - Total Network Computer Market  vii  ....  Note: Referencing sources available online presents a unique challenge. There are few precedents upon which to call. Many times, there exists no paper equivalent of an electronic source, and there is no guarantee that the reference will be available later. Given the rapid growth and frequent change of Internet and intranet content, it is quite likely that many of these links will no longer exist in five years, let alone one.  However, given the nature of this paper, I felt it a requirement to use and rely on electronic sources of information. The fleeting nature of information on the web is more than overcome by the wide-spread availability it provides.  Notation to sources is a universal resource locator (URL) in angled-bracket notation, (e.g. <http://www.ubc.ca> ), which over the past two years has become the de rigueur method of reference on the world wide web. Given the continuing integration of web technology into standard desktop applications, many email programs and word processors will recognize these URL's, activating a link to the page or site in question.  While a web page may move several times during its existence, increasing numbers of sites are providing pointers from the outdated link to the current location of the information. As the Internet and its derivatives grow and mature, better archiving technology will inevitably make content more durable. A case in point is the  viii  Internet Engineering Task Force's proposal of a system of unique document identifiers for each revision of a document on the web. This w i l l allow reference U R L s that are no longer active. These universal resource names (URN) are necessary because of the estimated 44 day life span of most U R L s . (Kahle, 1997)  ix  CHAPTER 1:  1.1  INTRODUCTION  MOTIVATION  The term 'intranet' was rarely used before the summer of 1995, but i n retrospect its recognition seems a natural outgrowth of the media frenzy that has surrounded the Internet since 1993. The key difference between the two is that Internet sites are for the consumption of anyone i n the world w i t h a browser, while a corporate intranet is more narrowly focused, designed to assist an organization's employees i n their day-to-day work.  The foundation of intranets and the Internet are open systems. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is responsible for a rich variety of software. Though not necessarily as integrated as proprietary solutions, those applications forged i n the Internet foundry fulfilled m u c h of the same functionality for a cost that was often over an order of magnitude lower. The browser paradigm is regarded b y most as easy to 1  learn and is not limited to a single hardware or software system - it is platform agnostic. Additionally, this interface can be shared among many web-based applications.  In this environment, the time to market seems to have been  shortened as well, even including electronic delivery of the software.  1.  In the spring of 1995, Netscape Navigator sold for approximately $50, while a Lotus notes seat was above $500. 1  These factors led many organizations began to develop intranets, but from the ground u p - individuals or single departments would quickly and cheaply develop intranet components rather than wait for the corporate IT department to deploy a solution. This often caused friction w i t h the IT departments, but the sheer momentum of Internet technology and rapid, inexpensive functionality of intranets has been a powerful argument.  This thesis was the result of an extended internship at a large company. For several years, the C o m p a n y has been contemplating the retirement of its mainframe system w h i c h runs many of its mission-critical applications as well as handling some corporate electronic information distribution. A n opportunity arose to test Internetbased technology as a potential replacement for some of these services.  1.2  OBJECTIVE  This thesis w i l l examine the technological, economic and organizational factors concerning the development of intranet components i n this company d u r i n g the feasibility study i n question (with the results being applicable to intranet development i n general). The framework for analysis was initially developed for electronic data interchange (EDI) b y Iacovou et al, but this methodology seems thorough enough to be used for other IT analyses, including that of intranet development.  2  A d d i t i o n a l l y , though not the focus of this paper, the fundamental characteristics oi E D I seem to be included within the capabilities of an intranet. Corporate departments are increasingly being viewed as cost-recovery centres a n d / o r profit centres. G i v e n this, there appears to be a useful analogy between small businesses w i t h i n an economy and independent departments within an organization that yields further credence to the applicability of such a framework. Both have to be concerned about imposition of and compliance to standards, limited financial resources, competition from external services, internal knowledge of information technology and amalgamating the technology with existing systems. These concei are discussed i n further detail later i n this paper.  1.3  THESIS ORGANIZATION  This thesis is organized into 6 sections. Chapter 1 gives a briefing of the thesis and its goals. Chapter 2 reviews literature relevant to intranet development and IT adoption and provides the reader an overview of the technology and standards that make an intranet possible. Chapter 3 presents the research methodology and details of the C o m p a n y i n question. Chapter 4 discusses the initial findings, while Chapter 5 analyzes them i n light of the modified Iacovou methodology and puts forth recommendations for future intranet development. Chapter 6 concludes the thesis and is followed b y a bibliography and appendices.  3  CHAPTER 2:  2.1  BACKGROUND  LITERATURE REVIEW  A challenging aspect of investigating a technology as rapidly developing as intranets is the limited amount of academic literature available. The term 'intranet' only became prevalent i n the business community after the summer of 1995, (the beginning of the period of research for this paper), and little appeared over the next year. (The very fact that for academic works, there is not yet an established method for referencing on-line sources begins to shed light on the problem. ) Relevant 2  studies are almost certainly being conducted, but have not yet been published. Papers dealing w i t h the Internet have been published, but these already seem to lack relevance due to advances i n the field. (Anything dealing w i t h the Internet or intranets seems to have an extremely short half-life. Such papers age about as w e l l as cheap wine, and this author does not suffer from any delusions that his paper w i l l be m u c h different.)  However, m u c h relevant information is available electronically, w h i c h seems appropriate given the subject matter. Trade journals seem able to respond more quickly than academic journals and have proven a good source of information.  2  As previously mentioned, URLs, or universal resource locations, are referred to using bracket notation, e.g. <http://www.ubc.ca>, which has evolved ad hoc as the de facto standard of nonbrowser URL reference. 4  (Ironically, as the summer and autumn of 1996 progressed, this became an embarrassment of riches, as the trickle of intranet coverage i n such journals quickly became a deluge.)  A s noted, intranet technology has spread widely, but not necessarily deeply. Attewell (1992) speaks of the diffusion of technological innovations i n general and computer use i n large organizations specifically. H e notes the difference between signalling (the "communication about the existence and potential gains of a new innovation," p. 15 Notation to sources is a universal resource locator (URL) i n angled-bracket notation, (e.g. <http:/ /www.ubc.ca> ), which over the past two years has become the de rigueur method of reference on the w o r l d w i d e web. G i v e n the continuing integration of web technology into standard desktop applications, many email programs and word processors w i l l recognize these U R L ' s , activating a link to the page or site i n question.) versus technical know-how (the ability to actually implement such innovations). In the past, large entities were the first to deploy many systems, while those at the 'periphery of communications networks' adopted later. This contrasts w i t h today, where information about new systems is more widespread (especially with the near-instant access provided b y electronic sources). Distribution is also hastened i n this environment. However, k n o w - h o w still plays a critical role, and w i l l continue to do so as long as computing innovations are "scientifically demanding, fragile and lumpy." (p.15) Despite advances, it is safe to say that intranet technology remains somewhat 'lumpy.' This is discussed further  5  in chapters 4 and 5.  Additionally, rate of adoption seems an important factor. Tyre and Orlikowski (1994, p. 98) suggest "there exists a relatively brief window of opportunity to explore and modify new process technology following initial implementation."  Once these  processes are set, the users may have to deal with non-optimal solutions until the next technological shift.  Van de Ven (1986) comments on innovation in organizations. He notes that there are four basic problems to be aware of when dealing with new ideas in a business environment: • • •  •  2.2  a human problem of managing attention (businesses tend to focus on existing practices) a process problem of managing new ideas into good currency (innovation may be a individual activity but acceptance requires group approval) a structural problem of managing whole-part relationships (given the number of factors involved, individuals often lose sight of the entire problem - how does one put the whole into the parts?) a strategic problem of institutional leadership (Van de Ven, p.215)  TECHNOLOGICAL OVERVIEW  An overview of the technologies and concepts relevant to intranets is beneficial to understanding how intranets can be applied in practice.  2.2.1  C L I E N T - S E R V E R TECHNOLOGIES  Tapscott and Caston (1993) discuss the client-server paradigm at great length. They  6  define client-server i n terms of a network computing environment, which: provides the means for user to access a wide array of information, applications, and computing resources without worrying about where they are or how they are interconnected, (p. 124)  They state that the primary function of the client is to handle the presentation of interface and take input from the user. "If a client is not capable of responding directly to a user request, the client passes the task to an appropriate server," w h i c h then handles the users' requests. W h e n responding to the client request the server can: • • • •  be closely coupled to the client workstation or some other part of the network; break its tasks into two or more subtasks; activate other applications on different system resources through remote procedure calls; dynamically shift processing to a platform that is best suited to perform the specific task. (Tapscott, 1993, p. 126)  " A l l these functions are transparent to the user.... A s far as the user is concerned, the entire process might as well be occurring on the personal workstation." (Ibid) computer can simultaneously be a client to one computer and a server to another. In fact, there is nothing preventing a client from being its o w n server. Different software packages running on the same machine can act as servers and clients to each other.  A client-server system is often described as what it is not - namely, a set of 'dumb' terminals connected to a mainframe computer. This centralized design contrasts  7  A  greatly w i t h the more distributed nature of client-server computing. In fact, Sheldon (1994, p. 268) defines distributed computing as being "client-server computing on a w i d e scale." The further one moves towards distributed computing, certain advantages arise, including: • • •  local managers having control over their own data; when data is replicated, protection from loss or downed systems; distributed processing;  •  hardware advantages, specifically with hardware upgrade.  Disadvantages are: • • • • •  Synchronizing data (assuming replication); accessing foreign data structures; increased management and supervision; apparent loss of control of data (from departmental viewpoint) challenge of dealing with mainframes and legacy data. (Ibid, p. 268)  M a n y of the disadvantages are being addressed through a multi-tiered client-server paradigm. A n example w o u l d be where legacy data is dealt w i t h by a single specialized server rather than being directly accessed b y the i n d i v i d u a l clients desktop clients access a data warehouse which i n turns accesses a legacy b i l l i n g system on a mainframe.  2.2.2  T H I C K AND T H I N CLIENTS  Depending on the processing power of the hardware and the sophistication of the software, differing degrees of client-server computing can be established. A client can be considered either "thick" or "thin." Part of the differentiation depends on the hardware setup of the client. "Thick" clients are full fledged desktop computers, capable of standing alone, while "thin" clients contain fewer components, m a k i n g  8  the most of the network.  Industry studies suggest that email, word processing and web surfing make u p the vast majority of business computer use, functions for which many feel thick clients are overkill. A 1996 Gartner G r o u p report has estimated that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a desktop P C to be $11-$15,000 per year. While some criticize this study, it is considered to be a conservative estimate b y others i n industry. According to Sun Microsystem's Java Computing white paper (1996), part of the high cost of thick clients is due to: • •  a high (and growing) cost of desktop management a proliferation of expensive to run 'fat clients' (primarily networked PC's) whose sole purpose is running 'thin' applications (e.g. word processing and data entry) • a rigid application architecture that limits the ways in which computers can be used to add value (for example analyzing data, servicing customers, executing transactions, etc.) <http: / / www.sun .com / J A V ACOMPUTING / whpaper / ch5_prob_ja va_a ddress.html>  The Gartner G r o u p notes the following points o n thick client expenses: These costs include depreciation, maintenance, support, training and the administration of upgrading software. Hidden costs in lost time and productivity can be as much as half of the total cost... These can include the time lost when highly paid professionals help colleagues fix computer problems, time wasted by people struggling to understand the complexities of a PC and the effects of viruses or other interruptions. Over the typical three-year life span of an office PC, costs can mount to over $40,000. (San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 1996  <http://www.sjmercury.com/business/compute/javalllO.htm>)  The concept behind thin clients are embodied i n the first generation of what are 9  known as 'network computers/ a standard proposed by major hardware and software companies. These thin clients do not consist of much more than a 3  processor, R A M , network connection, and industry-standard ports (for video, keyboard and mouse). There is no internal hard drive. The operating system, configuration, files and programs are loaded off of a server, but run locally. This contrasts with a dumb terminal, (an 'anorexic' client, to coin a phrase), which contains no processor - it relies on a mainframe for all its computational needs.  This is not to say that the NC's are not powerful - Sun's N C currently contains a mid-range workstation processor approximately equivalent to a mid-range Pentium or PowerPC chip. It will be capable of running any program written in the Java language with the graphical interfaces and responsiveness that users take for granted from thick clients. The centralization of the operating system yields what some in the industry call "near-zero administration" - the high cost and time requirements of thick clients and their configuration problems are radically reduced. Sun feels that a network computer paradigm can answer the following shortfalls in thick client computing: • Too much complexity • Too expensive • Inadequate security • Inadequate reliability • Applications not available to all users • Software development too slow <http:/ / www.sun.com/JAVACOMPUTING/whpaper/ch5_prob_java_a ddress.html>  3.  Apple, IBM, Netscape, Oracle and Sun. 10  However, Gartner Group predicts that N C s are currently best suited to replace d u m b terminals, not existing thick clients: NCs will not displace many PCs in commercial environments but are wellpositioned and priced to replace the large installed base of terminals, and PCs used primarily as terminal emulators. With the ability to access personal productivity tools on servers, the promise of future personal productivity tools based on Java, and the future growth of intranets in the enterprise, NCs should eventually take a 10percent to 20-percent market share of commercial desktops. NCs' first major successes, however, will be as terminal replacements and terminal alternatives. <http://www.gartner.com/hotc/pcl216.html>  11  The table below compares the cost per seat of various weights of clients, as estimated by Gartner and Sun Microsystems.  Table 1 - Yearly Costs of Thick and Thin Clients  Heterogeneous,  highly customized f a t c l i e n t s and  servers  (Wintel, UNIX, O S / 2 , Mac, MVS, e t c . ) w i t h p r i m a r i l y l o c a l a p p l i c a t i o n s and l o c a l data f i l e  per  $10,000-15,000 seat per year  storage:  Homogeneous, standardized fat c l i e n t s and s e r v e r s  (i.e.,  c l i e n t s and servers are d e s k t o p - c e n t r i c and binary-compatible —  $9,000-12,000  per  seat per year  S o l a r i s c l i e n t s and S o l a r i s servers, for example): X-terminal c l i e n t s backed up by v e r y - h i g h - b a n d w i d t h network  $7,000-8,000  i n f r a s t r u c t u r e s and high-performance servers:  seat per year  Diskless c l i e n t s backed up by v e r y - h i g h - b a n d w i d t h network  $6,000-7,000  i n f r a s t r u c t u r e s and high-performance f i l e  seat per year  servers:  Homogeneous dataless c l i e n t s w i t h a l l a p p l i c a t i o n s and d a t a  $4,000-5,000  f i l e s s t o r e d on servers of the same a r c h i t e c t u r e ; e . g . , S o l a r i s  seat per year  per  per  per  servers w i t h dataless S o l a r i s c l i e n t s that have a l o c a l hard d i s k only for v i r t u a l memory:* P r o j e c t e d c o s t o f dataless t h i n c l i e n t s w i t h a l l a p p l i c a t i o n s  less  and data f i l e s s t o r e d on servers ( i . e . , Java d e v i c e s ) : §  per seat per year  12  than  $2,500  *This data i s based upon t h e experience at Sun o f moving t o a homogeneous dataless network a r c h i t e c t u r e f o r i t s 35,000 internal-use network nodes. §This estimate i s based upon an a n a l y s i s and extension o f the cost elements o f t h e homogeneous dataless environment that has already been implemented i n t e r n a l l y by Sun. X-terminal c l i e n t s r e l y on a c e n t r a l server f o r both p r o c e s s i n g and s t o r a g e .  Response  time i s t h e r e f o r e h i g h l y dependent on network latency. D i s k l e s s c l i e n t s s t o r e a l l f i l e s remotely, whereas d a t a l e s s c l i e n t s use a l o c a l d i s k f o r v i r t u a l memory/swap space. In both cases the operating system i s run l o c a l l y , but loaded from a f i l e system on a network. Other data i s from Gartner Group (1996), v i a <http://www.sun.com/javacomputing/whpaper/ch5_prob_java_address.html>.  These figures and their repercussions are discussed further in Chapter 5.  13  2.2.3  O P E N SYSTEMS  The Open Group, a consortium of organizations whose "brand mark is recognized worldwide as a guarantee of compliance to open systems specifications, defines an open system in the following way:  Unlike proprietary environments, an open systems environment allows users to choose from a wider selection of computers that fit their business needs. These systems also offer increased interoperability, scalability and portability, permitting different systems to fit together, and software developed on one platform to run on another with minimal adaptation. Users also have the assurance that future purchases will easily integrate with existing systems, decreasing their reliance on a single supplier, and the need to replace an entire system. (Open Group 1996, <http://www.xopen.org/public/news/feb96/whitepap.htm>)  Gartner Group defines an open system as: a compliant implementation of an evolving set of vendor-neutral specifications for interfaces, service, protocols and formats designed to effectively enable the configuration, operation and substitution of the entire system, its applications and/or components with other equally compliant implementations preferably available from many different vendors. (Gartner, 1993, p.3)  These specifications are to be defined by a multilateral association which must: • • • •  be representative of a broad cross-section of the computer industry be open to new members publish the rules of membership operate according to democratic principles (Ibid)  Netscape Communications Corporation states: •  •  Open standards are defined as published specifications that enable multiple vendors to create independent implementations of a given technology. These implementations must interoperate on heterogeneous computing platforms. Innovative changes and proposed new standards can come from users, vendors, or standards bodies.... Ongoing evolution of open standards should  14  •  occur in an open forum, trusted to a vendor-neutral standards body, so the market can benefit from innovation, regardless of its origin. Open standards benefit customers by ensuring interoperability, healthy competition, and customer choice. (Netscape, 1996, <http://home.netscape.com/comprod/products/platform/open.html>)  However, as Tom Sheldon notes, "Recent trends have moved away from striving for complete openness and more towards acceptance of in-place standards." (Sheldon, 1994, p. 675) TCP/IP, a widely used networking protocol that resides in the public domain, is an example of this - an 'open' alternative existed, but TCP/IP proved far more popular, especially given the "program of testing and certification carried out by the government to ensure that developers met... standards which are published and available to the public free of licensing arrangements." (Ibid, p. 879)  Gartner Group (1993) suggests two criticisms of official standards - it takes too much time to produce a vendor-neutral specification, and a reference implementation is not produced. Often, non-official standards bodies will fill the void, or a 'ported proprietary' solution will become the de facto standard.  A slightly different approach is interoperability, which includes support for multiple protocols. As an example, the most recent version of Netscape's Enterprise Web Server can deliver documents over IPX, a networking standard from Novell, as well as TCP/IP. Other networking software can encapsulate protocols within protocols, so an alternative to the above would be to encapsulate the IPX packets as they travelled over a TCP/IP network, allowing them to travel 'incognito' until they  15  reached a point where they could travel natively. However, there is often a tradeoff as this can create more network traffic than the native method.  4  Sheldon (1994, p. 667) remarks that interoperability is often as important as openness, but that this interoperability has been made possible b y "advances i n processing power, multiprotocol routers, and middleware software."  2.2.4  T H E INTERNET  The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standardizes Internet protocols. It is a volunteer effort i n w h i c h w o r k i n g groups (with open membership a n d participation) create "rough consensus and working code." (Associate Press, 1996) It distributes a set of documents k n o w n as RFCs, or "Request for Comments."  These  have been the authoritative source for protocol definition and Internet information for more than t w o decades.  R F C 1206 states:  The Internet is a large collection of networks (all of which run the TCP/IP protocols) that are tied together so that users of any of the networks can use the network services provided by TCP/IP to reach users on any of the other networks. <http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/htbin/rfc/rfcl206.html>  4  Encapsulation can also be applied to file types as well. A common exercise while sending a binary file as an email attachment is to encode it into text. (An example would be a binary file (an image, Microsoft Word document or sound) 'binhexed' or 'uuencoded' into a larger text file.) This is often necessary because many email hosts only know how to speak ASCII, the 'standard' set of 128 letters, numbers and symbols. This 7-bit data path (27 = 128) is not 'wide' enough to handle documents, such as those mentioned above, which use the upper-level characters of 8-bit ASCII (28 = 256 characters). Thus for an 8-bit file to make it through a 7-bit email server, it must be 'squeezed' down. This is akin to taking a roll of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough and trying to get it to fit through a napkin ring. You can roll it to make it thinner, but this also makes it longer. 16  The Federal N e t w o r k i n g Council unanimously declared the following resolution i n 1985: RESOLUTION: "The Federal Networking Council (FNC) agrees that the following language reflects our definition of the term "Internet". "Internet" refers to the global information system that — (i)  is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons;  (i i)  is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and  (iii)  provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein."  (FNC, 1995, <http://www.fnc.gov/Internet_res.html>)  The Internet's roots date back to efforts i n the 1960's to allow better communication and collaboration of military-funded researchers.  The result of this was one of the  first packet-switched networks. W h e n data is send over such a network, the information is divided up into 'packets' of small size. In addition to the data, the packets contain addressing information. Unlike a phone call, where a dedicated connection is established between two points, with packet-switching, there exist "many different possible physical connections and routes that a packet can traverse to get to its destination." (Sheldon, 1994, p. 693)  Some sources say that the U.S. Department of Defense demanded a communications system that could withstand a nuclear attack and the resultant loss of switching  17  stations, w i t h the data being routed around the damage. to be an 'urban legend.'  This is considered b y some  Vince Cerf, one of the pioneers of what became k n o w n as  the internet, writes: In 1973, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a research program to investigate techniques and technologies for interlinking packet networks of various kinds. The objective was to develop communication protocols which would allow networked computers to communicate transparently across multiple, linked packet networks. This was called the Internetting project and the system of networks which emerged from the research was known as the "Internet." The system of protocols which was developed over the course of this research effort became known as the TCP/IP Protocol Suite, after the two initial protocols developed: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP). <gopher://gopher.isoc.org/00/internet/history/_A Brief History of the Internet and Related Networks_ by V. Cerf>  However, he states that the military d i d not become directly involved until 1978, nearly a decade after the first research started. <gopher://gopher.isoc.org/00/internet/history/how.internet.came.to.be>  According to Bruce Sterling, it was actually R A N D , "America's foremost C o l d W a r think-tank," that pondered the question, " H o w could the U S authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?" (The study initially dealt w i t h voice communications.) R A N D researchers, realizing that the centre of a network w o u l d be the first to go i n a nuclear assault, came u p with a radical notion - a network that had no central authority and w o u l d be designed from the beginning to operate while i n tatters. All the nodes in the network would be equal in status to all other nodes, each node with its own authority to originate, pass, and receive messages. The messages themselves would be divided into packets, each packet separately addressed... Basically, the packet would be tossed like a hot potato from node to node to node, more or less in the direction of its destination, until it ended up in the proper place. If big pieces of the network had been blown away, that simply wouldn't matter; the packets would still stay airborne, lateralled wildly across the field by whatever 18  nodes happened to survive. This rather haphazard delivery system might be "inefficient" in the usual sense (especially compared to, say, the telephone system) — but it would be extremely rugged. <gopher://lib-gopher.lib.indiana.edu:70/0/pub-data/internetroom/history/history-bruce-sterling>  Legend or not, the result has been a highly resilient, peer-based, widely distributed open network protocol that has scaled extremely well.  The early 1990s saw the lessening of governmental involvement and funding of the day-to-day operations of the Internet (especially the backbone, or the highb a n d w i d t h networks that connect together the smaller networks). W i t h this, entities were allowed to use the Internet for commercial purposes for the first time. Though an exact census is impossible, most authorities agree that at the least, tens of thousands of networks and many tens of millions of users and computers make u p the Internet. This is a significant increase from the four nodes i n California and Utah that made u p the Internet's most distant ancestor.  Distributed electronic mail has existed almost as long as the Internet has - the first protocols were developed and messages sent soon after the first network connection was established. File transfer and newsgroups (electronic bulletin boards) soon followed. However, these were somewhat arcane and posed significant barriers to entry, limiting usage to military and civilian researchers and academics users pursuing technology for technology's sake. It took T i m Berners-Lee, a British researcher at C E R N , to propose the protocols for the W o r l d W i d e Web  19  (<http://www.w3.org/pu^  is the location of  his original proposal), and Marc Andreeson and other programmers of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications ( N C S A ) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champlain (UIUC) to create Mosaic, the 'killer app' that brought the Internet to the public eye.  W h y was the W o r l d W i d e Web so popular? This can be partially answered b y study that examined using a Web-based interface i n place of a w i n d o w i n g system for a specific application. It found that the use of H T M L - c o m p l i a n t browsers: • • • •  attracts a large user community improves the rate of user acceptance avoids software installations and distribution problems dramatically reduces turnaround time for software development (Rice, Farquhar, Piernot and Gruber, 1995, p. 110)  However, there are significant limitations, as H T M L defines content, not layout. Programs, written i n portable languages such as Java and using the web page as a delivery mechanism, can make u p for such shortcomings. A l s o , H T M L ' s layout capabilities are being strengthened by players such as Netscape and Microsoft. However, this is much to the chagrin of traditionalists w h o look o n H T M L as a timeless standard. They note that while the ASCII-based H T M L maybe readable, there is no guarantee that layout specifications, such as specific fonts, w i l l be available 50 years from now.  2.2.5  INTRANETS  A s the Internet grew and its content, capacity and quality increased, corporations saw  20  the advantages of deploying mini-Internets internally. They provided corporatewide connectivity for reasonable costs. The open framework allowed organizatio to avoid proprietary hardware and software lock-in.  Forrester and Associates (1996) narrows an intranet to five critical components: directory, e-mail, file, print and network management.  Sun defines the basic  infrastructure for an intranet as consisting of : an internal TCP/IP network connecting servers and desktops, which may or may not be connected to the Internet through a firewall. The intranet provides services to desktops via standard, open Internet protocols. <http://www.sun.com/javacomputing/whpaper/ch2_what_intranet.htmI>  Oracle's July 1996 intranet strategy white paper outlined some advantages of intranets over various alternatives designed to replace legacy systems. These advantages include: Open, non-proprietary standards Lower cost of application deployment and management Universal access to information and applications Self-service information systems Lower training costs  But there are other factors that must be considered in intranet design and implementation before it can be considered mission critical: Confidentiality : Integrity: Authentication: Assurance:  ensuring that data is not improperly disclosed. protecting data against corruption or unauthorized change. having confidence in the identity of users, hosts and clients. security mechanisms are robust and correctly implemented.  <http://www.oracle.com/promotions/intranet/html/intranet_wp.html>  21  2.2.6  JAVA  Java, once the domain of eye-catching (if not somewhat tiring) animations embedded i n web pages across the globe, has progressed dramatically since its relea in the spring of 1995. N o w appreciated as a robust and secure programming language, Java is applicable not only to the Internet but to intranets as well. Sun Microsystems defines Java as: A simple, object-oriented, network-savvy, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture neutral, portable, high-performance, multithreaded, dynamic language. <http://java.sun.com/doc/Overviews/Java/>  Characteristics associated w i t h Java include: •  Applications are much more secure than schemes running native code because the Java run-time system (part of the Java Virtual Machine) inspects all code for viruses and tampering before running it.  •  Applications are adaptable to changing environments because users dynamically download application code from anywhere on the network.  •  Shortened application development and deployment through code reuse, easier testing and rapid deployment via intranet.  •  Portability across computing platforms because the Java Virtual Machine is available on all systems.  •  Applications are fast because today's processors can provide efficient virtual machine execution. JIT (just-in-time) compilation and direct Java execution in silicon can deliver even more performance.  •  Simple to learn and use with component-level object programming.  •  Graphical applications and GUI functions are high performance because of Java's built-in multithreading.  •  Robustness because the Java run-time system manages memory. (Memory management errors are a major bug source in traditional software.) <http://www.sun.com/JAVACOMPUTING/whpaper /ch3_what_java_comp.html>  Since its release i n M a y of 1995, Java has spread faster than anyone had predicted,  22  even surprising its creators at Sun. However, it is more than just a programming language.  Java's true power comes when it is combined with a new hardware paradigm. Guy Tribble, Sun's chief Java architect, gives a thorough overview of the relationship of Java and its use in a new approach to computing: The essence of Java Computing is a client/server model in which Java application code is dynamically downloaded from server to client on-demand. In some cases, the applications are stored in cache on a hard disk at the client location and in others, they are stored only in DRAM. Since applications normally reside on the server and are delivered only as needed, all administration can focus centrally on the server, and users are assured of access to the latest application release level. Java applications can run anywhere the Java Virtual Machine software is installed. Thus, they can run in any Java-enabled browser (e.g., Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer). This is a key feature that allows a gradual migration to a simpler-to-manage client - a Java device. This is a desktop client machine that is connected to the network and can download and run any Java application, but is free of the complexity and client administration needs of a traditional PC. Rather than a traditional OS, the Java device contains a simple Java OS with a Java Virtual Machine. The Java OS and Java Virtual Machine can be stored at the client in flash R O M or can be booted from the network. Client data storage is done centrally on a file server or servers, and all client administration and configuration control is accomplished centrally. <http://www.sun.com/JAVACOMPUTING/whpaper/ch3_what_java_ comp.html>  2.2.7  ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT M A N A G E M E N T  While the Internet is sometimes criticized as lacking for content, businesses tend to be more focused in terms of deliverables. When it comes to their intranets, one such application is electronic document management.  23  The Gartner G r o u p estimates there are some 318 billion pages of documents on file. M o r e frightening is their projection "that U.S. businesses alone generate one trillion pages of documents each year, and "that companies w i l l spend between six and ten percent of their gross revenues publishing these documents." (Interleaf, 1994(2)) Computer printouts make u p approximately 775 billion pages of the one trillion. Some 92 billion additional pages are filed each year. (Miller, 1994; Sprague, 1995)  A w o r k i n g definition of Electronic Document Management ( E D M ) is as follows: Electronic: Document  Management:  the use of modern information technologies a set of information pertaining to a topic, structured for human comprehension, represented by a variety of symbols, stored and handled as a unit. creation, storage, organization, transmission, update, and eventual disposal to fulfil an organizational unit. (Sprague, 1995)  W i t h this k i n d of volume, paper is not only pervasive but expensive and difficult to manage as well. Network Support Incorporated estimates that: • • • • •  Managing documents can cost up to 10% of a company's corporate revenues and take up 60% of its time. Knowledge workers spend 15 to 40% of their time seeking and gathering information. 3% of documents are misfiled. It costs an average of $200 to recover each misfiled document. The average business document is copied 19 times during its life. Today's executive spends about four weeks a year waiting for documents to be located. (NSI, <http://www.nsi.com/paper.html>,1995)  In his 1995 paper, Sprague presents three "perspectives" to help b u i l d an E D M structure. H e lists and defines these as follows: technology:  What are the technologies that will make E D M possible, and how can they be assimilated into the organization's IS  benefits:  infrastructure? What are the application areas for which documents are  24  responsibilities:  mission-critical, and what is the plan for implementing them so that they are integrated? What are the roles and responsibilities of the organizations departments and functions for which E D M will be strategic?  Cleveland (1995) of the National Library of Canada points out that the elements of a document management system "include software to perform all functions necessary to manage the document across a organization from cradle to grave." He notes several points that should be considered: • • • • • •  2.3  Underlying Infrastructure Authoring Workflow Storage Library Services Presentation/Distribution Services  SUMMARY  Having examined the details of these technologies and factors, we can now see how they fit together. While the initial retreat from the centralized mainframe computing model during the 1980's led to an increased adoption of client-server systems, financial and organizational gains were not as large as predicted. At the same time, though not in the commercial mainstream, the highly distributed Internet was developing rapidly, taking advantage of open systems. All the while, higher order tasks such as electronic document management were waiting for a technology base easy enough to deploy but strong enough to be functional.  The open-system philosophy sped and gave credence to the adoption of Internet technology and paradigms by the commercial world, thus yielding intranets. Java 25  and on-fhe-fly creation of content diversified Internet and intranet content. The client-server model was further refined into 'thin' clients and 'thick' servers, taking advantage of the network and the delivery model provided by corporate intranets and the Internet.  M a n y see this as a return to the centralized mainframe model, and they are correct i n the sense that much of the administrative burden associated w i t h desktop computing is being recentralized.  However, it is critical to note that a thin client is  not a d u m b terminal. (Some have commented that the network computing model is client-server finally done right.) With such a dynamic, reliable and scalable underlying infrastructure, tasks such as electronic document management and connection to legacy systems can be facilitated more easily, as w i l l be shown i n the following chapters.  26  CHAPTER 3  RESEARCH METHODOLOGY  3.1  CASE STUDY  3.1.1  ANONYMITY  This case study was conducted in an company that wishes to remain anonymous for reasons of competitive advantage. However, the integrity of information that can be revealed has not been compromised and is still detailed enough to yield valuable information on intranet development for both the Company in question as well as other organizations.  3.1.2  RELEVANCE  A case study was deemed relevant in this situation, primarily because of the nature of the technology and its near-exponential growth demanded rapid analysis. Also, the case study was conducted during an internship which was of limited time span and uncertain funding. Equipment and software was on short-term loan and could not realistically be kept for more than six months. Additionally, it was hoped that this could be a starting point for more in-depth studies and deployments, given the apparent need for new IT options within the Company.  3.2  ORGANIZATIONAL A N D DEPARTMENTAL DESCRIPTION  The Company provides services throughout the province and has strategic alliances with other organizations providing similar services throughout the nation. Portions of the Company are subject to government regulation and supervision,  27  though these requirements are diminishing over time. A large multinational firm owns a majority stake in the Company, but is not directly involved in its day-to-day operations.  There are several autonomous profit centres that exist beneath the parent company. One of these is unprofitable, but the others are doing well, giving the Company as a whole a reasonable profit. The Company has not lost money in recent memory.  The Company's employees number in the thousands.  This level has decreased  notably during the past decade, largely through early retirement and voluntary separation, though some employees have been released 'involuntarily.' However, employee headcount is approaching the level desired by senior management.  Approximately 85% of the Company is unionized. The union is strong and in the past the Company has been the site of several intense strikes. The current relationship between management and union members is strained, especially given the recent drawdowns, but the two sides are still communicating. However, the union's contract expires soon and could be a source of concern. It is also important to note that the current contract contains a 'technological redundancy' clause, which guarantees employment if a position becomes outdated by technological advancement.  28  A few departments and organizations within the C o m p a n y were directly involved w i t h or had an affect on the study. Department A l p h a is responsible for planning for future capital expenditures. It also coordinates the creation and distribution of the administrative guidelines for the Company. Department Beta provides support for financial analysis and decision support systems. Department G a m m a supports a portion of the Company's in-house information technology needs. G r o u p Epsilon is one of the autonomous profit centres, and is an IT outsourcing organization. It is a joint venture between the C o m p a n y and a nationwide IT outsourcing firm.  The  nationwide firm is i n turn owned by a large multinational firm.  Employees can access the IT resources several ways. Perhaps most ubiquitous are the 'dumb terminals' or 'green screens' that connect to the mainframe. Services include email and distribution of corporate information. However, the mainframe is aging and expensive. It is maintained b y G r o u p Epsilon.  A t the 'thick client' level, the Company has settled on an Intel standard. There are a significant number of 286' and 386's. 486's are not as common and are largely i n the hands of managers.  Pentium class machines are usually only i n the hands of  developers. There are a limited number of Macintosh-class machines, mostly Power PCs or 68040's. These are mainly used for graphics or publishing. A number of Sun workstations are i n place, usually used for high-end financial and numeric analysis.  29  C o m p a n y officers estimate that only between 25% to 35% of employees have access to a machine that is capable of running current releases (at least 2.0) of Netscapeclass browser software. Policy papers that discuss the need to retire the 286's and 386's have been distributed, but for the past year and for the foreseeable future, little of the budget has been allocated for desktop P C acquisition. This is partly due to the high costs associated w i t h fat clients.  A unique condition of the Company's computing environment is a section of the labour agreement that declares installation of software a union duty. This has been interpreted b y the union to mean that all computers coming into the C o m p a n y must have their operating system reinstalled b y the union. C o m p a n y management petitioned this to the provincial labour board for binding arbitration. However, the C o m p a n y lost the appeal and the section remains i n effect. This is estimated to add approximately $3000 to the cost of each P C entering the Company.  For the Intel-based machines, the predominant operating system is W i n d o w s 3.11. This is gradually being superseded by W i n d o w s 95, though many users are hesitant to upgrade as the process has not been a smooth one. The Macintoshes are r u n n i n g either System 7, 7.1 or 7.5. A few users are running O S / 2 Warp.  30  3.3  IACOVOU MODEL  3.3.1  DESCRIPTION  In his 1994 paper, (later published i n M I S Quarterly i n December 1995), Iacovou et al propose a methodology to be used to analyze the adoption and impact of electronic data interchange (EDI) i n small business. In the original model, three independent variables — Perceived Benefits, Organizational Readiness, and External Pressure — affect the dependent variables A d o p t i o n & Integration and Impact.  A chart of his  Small Business E D I A d o p t i o n M o d e l is included as appendix 1.  Perceived benefits  "refer to the level of recognition of the relative advantage that  E D I technology can provide the organization." (Iacovou, 1995, p. 468) These include benefits, both direct (operational savings, reduced inventory levels) and indirect (increased competitiveness, better customer service). Iacovou refers to the indirect benefits as 'opportunities.'  O r g a n i z a t i o n a l readiness "refers to the level of financial and technological resources of a firm." (Ibid, p.469) Financial readiness deals w i t h the concerns surrounding setup, implementation, integration and ongoing expenses associated w i t h the E D I system, w h i l e technological readiness "is concerned w i t h the level of sophistication of IT usage and IT management i n an organization." (Ibid, p.469)  Competitive pressure and imposition b y trading partners are components of  31  external pressure to adopt i n the Iacovou model. "Competitive pressure refers to the level of E D I capability of the firm's industry and, most importantly, to that of its competitors." (Ibid, p. 470) Iacovou notes that weaker partners are "extremely susceptible" to the standards set b y imposing partners.  In Iacovou's model, while adoption and integration are grouped together, they m a y or may not occur simultaneously. " E D I adoption is the process d u r i n g w h i c h a firm becomes capable of transacting via EDI," while " E D I integration is the process d u r i n g w h i c h a firm alters its business practices and applications so that they interface w i t h its EDI applications." (Ibid, p. 468)  Iacovou's dependent variable impact "refers to the actual benefits adopters receive from utilizing EDI." (Ibid, p. 468, italics Iacovou's) Iacovou uses system integration as a measure of direct benefits.  Iacovou stated d u r i n g an interview with this author that his model w o u l d be appropriate for IT adoption i n general, as well as E D I specifically.  3.3.2  APPLICABILITY TO INTRANET ADOPTION  Before proceeding, consider the four essential features of E D I as per Pfieffer: 1. 2.  At least two organizations (not necessarily ownership-independent) having a business relationship must be users of the system. Data processing tasks at both (all) organizations pertaining to a  32  3.  4.  transaction are supported by independent application systems. The integrity of the data exchange between application systems of trading partners is guaranteed by ex ante agreements concerning data coding and formatting rules. Data exchange between the application systems is accomplished via telecommunication links. (Pfieffer, 1992 via Iacovou, 1994)  G i v e n that Internet technology easily fulfils these four features, it seems reasonable to assume that such technology can act as a superset to EDI.  A p p l y i n g this to an  intranet, this approach seems even more appropriate if parallels are d r a w n between small businesses and depasrtments within an organization acting as cost recovery centres. Under such conditions, point one has been covered. The second point is given credence b y the multitude of systems running within each department. The standards formulated b y organizations such as the IETF fulfils point three, w h i l e the last point is satisfied b y the network links that connect most departments.  I propose to take Iacovou's E D I adoption model and use it to examine intranet adoption w i t h i n the Company.  However, within each independent variable  (perceived benefits, organizational readiness, external pressure), analysis w i l l be sorted into three sub-sections, technological, economic and organizational. These are standard categorizations found i n introductory IT textbooks such as L a u d e n and Lauden (1994). Details concerning these sub-variables are covered i n Chapter 5.  I propose that the modified Iacovou model w i l l be able to extract the detail necessary to adequately explain this project's success or failure, even considering the limited scope and non-empirical nature. However, these subcategories should not be set i n 33  stone. They exist for convenience of analysis and should not be used if the situation does not warrant that level of introspection.  34  CHAPTER 4 4.1  FINDINGS  OVERVIEW  D u r i n g the internship at the Company, several projects were investigated to see if they w o u l d be feasible candidates for inclusion within an intranet.  T w o proved  worth pursuing: conversion of the administrative guidelines of Department A l p h a into hypertext markup language ( H T M L ) , the language of Netscape and other web browsers; and the creation of a mock-up H T M L version of the Company's expense statement (thus delving into database connectivity), w h i c h was sponsored b y Department Beta.  4.2  ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT  4.2.1  ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES  The Administrative Guidelines seemed an attractive intranet candidate.  Along  w i t h the facts cited i n the hterature and technological review, the excessive cost of physical, on-demand distribution of paper documents to multiple offices spread throughout the province seemed to justify the examination of electronic delivery.  The guidelines consist of largely text files w i t h some tables and diagrams.  These  files are stored i n WordPerfect 5.1 (DOS) by the W o r d Processing department. The study focused largely on the conversion and distribution process.  35  4.2.2  INFRASTRUCTURE  In the study, the administrative guidelines were served from a Sun Microsystems Sparc 5 (and later an Ultra 1, as described i n the next section) w i t h 96 megabytes of R A M and a 2 gigabyte hard drive over a 10 base-T (10 megabits per second) ethernet connection, running the Solaris 2.5 operating system. The H T M L documents were delivered b y Netscape Corporation's Communication Server 1.0, and were authored on an A p p l e Macintosh PowerBook 520, using PageMill 2.0 and BBEdit 3.5.  The m i n i m u m client system required to access the administrative guidelines is a 386 class I B M compatible running W i n d o w s 3.1 (or 68020-class Macintosh) and a Netscape 1.x equivalent browser. Theoretically, H T M L allows text-only connections (e.g. Lynx), but this 'lowest-common denominator" approach strips the administrative guidelines of most character formatting and all graphics. The benefit over the printed version is questionable, though the system of hyperlinked pages is preserved, adding navigational benefit to such text-only online versions.  4.3  ONLINE EXPENSE FORMS (DATABASE CONNECTIVITY)  4.3.1  DESCRIPTION  The C o m p a n y creates and distributes hundreds of forms for data collection, the vast majority of which must be rekeyed by data entry personnel. Department Beta undertook a study to examine the feasibility of creating an online expense form i n an Netscape environment.  Though not directly w i t h i n its purview, (other than  36  having to generally do with finance), Department Beta realized that it w o u l d accrue additional benefits such as learning more about database connectivity i n a web environment.  The manual expense form is intended for recording expenses associated w i t h employee travel and out-of-pocket expenses. The charges are billed to the appropriate budget centre, which must approve the charges before the employee is reimbursed. This process takes up to two weeks.  A n informal review determined that many organizations of the C o m p a n y ' s size have online expense entry, authorization and reimbursement procedures.  This led  members of Department Beta to believe it w o u l d be worthwhile pursuing such a solution for the Company.  4.3.2  INFRASTRUCTURE  The online expense form/database connectivity study was deployed on a Sun Microsystems Ultra 1/140, running the Solaris 2.5 operating system. A beta version of Netscape's LiveWire database extension was used along w i t h the Netscape Communication web server. Oracle's Webserver 1.0 also ran the expense form/database connectivity project i n parallel to the Netscape server software.  Both the Webserver and the Live w i r e / C o m m u n i c a t i o n Server accessed a data  37  warehouse running Oracle 7.1, running on a Sparc 2000 w i t h 8 processors. This database contained 13 months worth of the Company's revenue and organizational data, which amounted to approximately 300 gigabytes, though only a limited subset of this data was used i n the online expense form/database connectivity trial.  38  CHAPTER 5  5.1  ANALYSIS  IACOVOU M O D E L  E v e n w i t h the applicability of the Iacovou model to analyzing the deployment of a intranet i n an organization moving towards a cost-centre model, it is beneficial to modify the model to gain more detail and resolution. (It is important to note that the author of the original model concurrs w i t h this assessment.) A s previously mentioned i n during the discussion of the original model i n Chapter 3, this is achieved b y combining a standard technical/organizational/ economic analysis w i t h i n each variable of the Iacovou model.  The following analysis reflects this  approach, and is illustrated i n the modified Iacovou model matrix s h o w n below.  39  Table 2 - Extended Iacovou Model c o n o m c i r g a n i z a t i o n a l E T e c h n i c a l O P e r c e v ie d B e n e f i t s n Id e p e n d e n t  O r g a n i z a t i o n a l  V a r i a b l e s  R e a d n ie s s E x t e r n a l P r e s s u r e  V  V  n / a  V  V  A d o p t o in & D e p e n d e n t  V  V  I n t e g r a t i o n  A / a r i ; i f*i 1 p Q  |  Independent Variable  m I p a c t  V  V  v  1  Overview:  The independent variables reflect the state of the Company upon the eve of the intranet test. The first variable, perceived benefits, reviews the perceptions and considerations of deploying intranets and the associated technology. The economic analysis covers the assumed financial costs of software and hardware, while the technological review discusses the opinions concerning their deployment and use. Philosophies concerning use and deployment of electronic information, as well as some of the cultural and contractual consequences of dealing with information technology, are analyzed in the organizational section.  40  A s per Iacovou's original model, perceived benefits are d i v i d e d into direct and indirect benefits. However, the limited scale and scope of this study may prove a barrier i n effectively measuring the latter. Direct benefits w i l l largely be covered i n the economic and technical sections of the modified model.  Organizational readiness deals largely with factors internal and specific to the C o m p a n y itself and this study in particular. This includes technical preparedness of department and personnel, and financial conditions and the effects u p o n projects. This section is complicated by the intersection between organizational readiness and its organizational subsection. Because this paper uses organizational, technical and economic factors as subsections w i t h i n the three original Iacovou independent variables (as opposed to existing as a completely different set of independent variables), the detail not included w i t h i n technical and economic areas is covered i n the 'organizational' subsections of the other two independent variables.  Note also that i n Iacovou's original model, organizational readiness "refers to the level of financial and technological readiness resources of the firm." (Iacovou, 1993, p. 468) This lends credibility to the absence of an organizational vector w i t h i n the organizational readiness variable.  External pressure examines influences arriving from outside the C o m p a n y a n d / o r  41  departments.  Organizationally, it encompasses political forces and choices (which  have affects o n technical and economic decisions.) These economic and technical factors include costs of current systems and their comparision to current market hardware and software trends.  Iacovou notes that when dealing with EDI, smaller companies are often subject to imposition b y larger trading partners. However, this may not be the case w i t h intranet technology and departments being treated like cost-centres.  G i v e n the  standardization found w i t h intranet-base hardware and software, smaller departments may gain additional leverage i n demanding such non-proprietary solutions. Solutions proposed for deployment have usually evolved i n the crucible of the Internet and are well developed. In fact, smaller departments may enjoy collective negotiating power and together could conceivably dictate to larger departments which standards w i l l be deployed.  Dependent  Variables Overview:  A d o p t i o n & Integration covers events and factors that arose d u r i n g the period of the study. A s i n the original Iacovou model, adoption is the period of time i n w h i c h an organization becomes capable i n the technology, while integration is the alteration of the organization's business practices i n order to interface w i t h the technology. Details of the two major components of study (electronic document distribution and the online expense form) are covered i n the technical section. Organizational  42  concerns (again including political issues) are discussed, as well as economic costs of adoption and integration issues.  Economic considerations have to be approached differently i n the final dependent variable, impact. Whereas other variables considered the financial cost, impact is better served b y investigating the economic benefits of adoption and integration. Impact measures the actual benefits of the adoption and integration of the technology i n question. Organizational issues involve any change i n w o r k patterns by employees or departments.  Technical issues include the effect o n institutional  memory and deployment and usage of new hardware and software.  Iacovou's  subdivision of benefits into direct and indirect subsections does not map cleanly into the modified model's subcategories; however like i n adoption and integration, economic and technological concerns seem better suited for direct benefits.  The above example of 'misalignment' between the original model and the modified model is a prime example of w h y the subcategorization of the modified Iacovou model must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. This is a suggested framework w h i c h w i l l hopefully reveal additional detail. It should not be forced o n the analysis as a matter of course. Attempting to apply it to inappropriate circumstances w i l l cause the analysis to suffer. The danger of artificial constructs w i l l benefit neither the writer nor the reader.  43  5.1.1  INDEPENDENT VARIABLES PERCEIVED BENEFITS Perceived Benefits : Economic  The economic advantages to an intranet were apparent i n the Company, despite some studies that show client-server technology as being more expensive than mainframe based systems. (Gartner 1995) The Company was involved i n a highly priced contract w i t h its outsourcing firm, G r o u p Epsilon, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars per year. For many tasks, web-based server configurations (both hardware and software) were seen as being much cheaper, even when considered for parallel deployment across the Company at the departmental level. Hardware costs were low - existing desktop P C ' s could be used as servers i n many cases, and the C o m p a n y could b u y new servers with appropriate hard drive storage and memory for under $20,000. A t the time, web server software ranged from free to $5000. Other servers that make u p an intranet (mail, directory, print, file and network servers) were priced within the same order of magnitude.  The l o w cost of web browsers (ranging from $10 w i t h volume discounts from Netscape, to free i n Microsoft's case) seemed worth the potential functionality, though the logistics of getting the software to the desktop was a concern. A s well, the promise of low-cost network computers could also help bring this power to desktops throughout the Company.  44  Perceived Benefits  -.Technical  O f the technical benefits, the foremost perceived benefit was ease of setup.  Many  web servers are fairly straight-forward to set u p and maintain. Client browser software is generally agreed to be easy to learn and simple to use. (Tyre, 1996)  A higher level of technical expertise is assumed for the servers, especially w i t h the setup. However, the trend of basing most if not all of the web server administration within a web page containing forms is growing more popular, greatly simplifying the process. Some web servers can be u p and running literally w i t h i n 5 minutes after installation.  W h i l e web browsers may be easy to use, they can be challenging to install. However, this is more an issue w i t h the operating system, especially w i t h Windows-based platforms. Another issue is the divergence from a pristine operating environment that occurs after a user has been able to 'futz' with the computer. Extensions, libraries and resources may vary greatly from machine to machine, making a 'standard installation' difficult.  'Groupware' solutions, namely Lotus Notes, deployed within the C o m p a n y were anecdotally reported to be more complex to administer than web based solutions, as well as their taking u p considerable system resources.  45  Perceived Benefits : Organizational  Organizationally, some mid-level managers and employees found the idea of keeping control of the distribution of information at the departmental level attractive (as opposed to a central source, as currently maintained w i t h the mainframe system). However, whether those i n the C o m p a n y as a whole found the idea attractive or not was becoming irrelevant, especially since a cost-centre model was being imposed upon the departments by management. M a n y departments, especially A l p h a and Beta, felt that the charges that group Epsilon (and soon department Gamma) d i d and w o u l d soon impose were unreasonable. This included group Epsilon charging departments $55 dollars per user per month for Lotus Notes support. (Assuming 80% penetration across the Company, this could come to nearly $8 m i l l i o n a year.)  It seemed to some i n the Company that these groups were stuck i n a cost-per-CPUcycle mentality and not prepared to provide the best value for the customer. The current organizational plan calls for continuing to contract services from company departments for two years. After that point i n time departments w i l l be able to garner most services from any source, inside or outside the Company. M a n y departments were biding their time until alternate support sources became available. However, this assumes that the political leadership and philosophy of the C o m p a n y remains constant, something not guaranteed given that the current president is likely to retire i n the near future.  46 ORGANIZATIONAL READINESS Organizational  Readiness : Organizational  Given the nature of the matrix representing the modified Iacovou model, the intersection between 'Organizational Readiness' in the Iacovou model and organization factors is somewhat redundant, and is largely covered in the organizational sections of 'Perceived Benefits' and 'External Pressure' as well as the technical and economic factors in this section.  Organizational  Readiness : Technical  As previously mentioned, senior management was pushing the departments towards a cost centre model. However, many felt the Company was not providing the necessary technical support for such a venture to succeed. Some employees went through or created unofficial channels to obtain such support, this study being an example. This author was a member of a group of employees which could be called the 'intranet underground.' This group originally included representatives from Department Gamma.  Though initially somewhat facetious, the moniker  became unfortunately poignant a few months later when the Company transferred the majority of Department Gamma's personnel to Group Epsilon. Meetings that had once been open exchanges on technical and development issues became almost impossible to schedule. In fact, a week after most of Department Gamma had been absorbed by Group Epsilon, a meeting had to be cancelled due to Group Epsilon's  47  insistence that their attendance be financially compensated b y the cost centres of the attending representatives.  This was met with outright incredulity o n the part of  other members. A n y good faith that had existed w i t h Department G a m m a and G r o u p Epsilon degenerated into skepticism at best and hostility at worst.  Organizational  Readiness : Economic  Very little funds were available for research and development. G i v e n the ongoing cutbacks, it is unlikely this project w o u l d have started had it required a dedicated, full-time permanent employee. N o money was available for hardware, especially given the effective freeze o n P C acquisition. However, i n d i v i d u a l departmental managers were generous with the resources they had available. A n y criticism of funding difficulties is attributable to higher levels of the organization.  EXTERNAL PRESSURE  In Iacovou's original E D I adoption model, external pressure refers to any requirements large companies impose on their smaller partners as well as competitive pressure.  In this environment, the former can include: requirements  imposed b y executives, IT guidelines, pre-existing infrastructure limitations, or even requirements departments place u p o n each other. A l s o , competitive market forces are a factor, especially since departments w i l l soon be able to choose outside contractors and internal departments for services. Additionally, the rapid rate of intranet technology evolution (and the computer industry as a whole) can be a  48  competitive pressure. This is especially apparent when the 'state-of-the-art' is compared to existing infrastructure.  External Pressure : Technical  One of the largest technical issues was the aging mainframe infrastructure.  The  'dumb terminals/ or 'green screens' which provided mainframe access are only capable of display text. This access cannot not take advantage of advances in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) of the past decade, namely bitmapped fonts, highresolution colour graphics and multimedia content. Hypertext, i.e. active links w i t h i n a document, is possible but extremely limited - the viewer loses page layout, formatting and other interface benefits. G i v e n that several thousand users still relied on d u m b terminals (or low-end PCs w i t h terminal emulation software), most i n the C o m p a n y were unable to garner access to the emerging intranet, let alone the resources o n the Internet.  External Pressure : Organizational  Perhaps one of the largest barriers to the adoption of an open intranet was G r o u p Epsilon's favouritism towards Lotus Notes. For several years, Epsilon had been pushing Lotus Notes as a solution to the Company's infrastructure and information distribution problems. Though a technically sound solution, many i n the C o m p a n y felt that Lotus Notes was overkill for most users, especially for the $55 a month per user that G r o u p Epsilon charged. Several managers estimated that only five to ten  49  percent of their employees w o u l d require that level of 'groupware.'  3  M a n y managers resented G r o u p Epsilon's attempts to force them to accept a solution that they d i d not particularly want or need, and found the concept of a Netscape front end attractive, especially given the l o w entry cost.  The 'openness' of Netscape  was also considered a factor i n its comparison to Notes. Regardless, at the time both solutions suffered from the requirement of a high-end P C at the client end. It is somewhat ironic that G r o u p Epsilon was pushing a solution that most users could neither use, nor w o u l d be able to use i n the near future, given the near-freeze on P C acquisition. Some managers suggested that the partnership between I B M (which owns Lotus Notes) and G r o u p Epsilon could account for this behaviour.  Other forms of external pressure began to present themselves organizationally, namely other intranets and the Internet itself.  After the summer of 1995, as more  people realized that 'intranet' was not a typo, company employees began to discover examples of other organizations which had successfully built intranets of various scales, ranging from an enterprise-wide solution used b y Sun Microsystems to a simple document distribution system deployed by B C H y d r o . In addition, company employees w i t h Internet connections at home discovered the resources available  5.  Note that determining the cost per employee of a system is challenging, especially when support costs are taken into account. But even given this, Group Epsilon's rate was considered extreme. However, web-based technology has recently caused IBM to cut Lotus Notes' price dramatically and to endow it with many more web features. 50  w h i c h could be of benefit to the Company, such as online software distribution, upgrades and e-mail contact with contractors and vendors. Employees began asking their managers to obtain high-speed Internet access from within the C o m p a n y , and the president of the Company set a date b y which this was to be accomplished.  However, some individuals, especially those i n Department G a m m a and G r o u p Epsilon, saw this as a security risk for two reasons. The first concern was that of outsiders accessing internal company systems. The second was insiders accessing external systems. The latter included a concern about employees generally wasting company time by 'web-surfing/ as well as their stealing company data and electronically sending it to competitors.  This resistance caused the president's deadline to be missed b y a w i d e margin. Employees' already negative opinion of the reticent IT groups increased i n intensity, especially among those w h o truly required Internet access. Plans were i n place to provide internet access to the Company's customers before they were considered for employees. W h i l e some concerns, such as outsiders breaking into the C o m p a n y ' s computers, were considered to be valid, others, especially those of employees electronically stealing data, were met w i t h derision - some i n the firm responded that to be safe, the C o m p a n y should r i d itself of all telephones, fax machines and envelopes and doors, as those too could be used to export data.  51  However, in the spring of 1996, the security department allowed a few hundred employees access to the World Wide Web and external email by setting up a firewall between the Company's internal network and the Internet.  External Pressure : Economic  One component of external pressure on the existing environment is the mainframe environment. It is extremely expensive, costing the Company approximately $16 million per year. Though these costs are well understood within the Company, and a plan to retire the mainframe has existed for nearly half a decade, no action had ever been taken on it. (Interestingly enough, if Lotus Notes were deployed to every employee at $55 per month, Group Epsilon would only receive $9 million.)  Another economic issue is the cost of PC's, as mentioned earlier. On average, a PC had a three year life span, yielding a total cost of ownership (TCO) of anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000. These kinds of numbers could explain why the Company has been hesitant to continue upgrading its desktop hardware and why only 25% of the Company's employees have what could be considered a 'modern' desktop.  52  5.1.2  DEPENDENT VARIABLES  The dependent variables reflect the state of affairs after the feasibility study. ADOPTION AND INTEGRATION Adoption and Integration : Organizational  This section is complicated b y the fact that the Company d i d little to adopt or integrate either of the two projects described i n this study. A few other web servers still exist, but as of the summer of 1996, there was neither a cohesive movement towards an intranet, nor a strategy i n place to construct one.  Despite the actions and efforts of a few departments and individuals w i t h i n the Company, organizationally, intranet deployment and use was essentially a failure and remains an aberration i n the Company's IT infrastructure.  Unwillingness to dedicate resources or personnel was a significant obstacle. A l t h o u g h the creation of intranet content can be as simple as saving a file i n a w o r d processor, a certain level of technical expertise must be achieved. This requires trained, dedicated personnel. The location of these personnel w o u l d ideally be at the departmental level w i t h a small amount of support from a centralized IT group such as Department G a m m a , though d u r i n g the initial stages a roving team of 'intranet gurus' might be enough to spread the basic seeds of knowledge.  53  Weak IT leadership is a recurring theme i n the C o m p a n y and permeates m u c h of the topic at hand.  A prime example, details of which are discussed i n the technical  sections, is the mainframe 'sunset.' This 'plan' has been i n existence for nearly a decade, yet virtually no decision has been made or action taken o n it, other than 'it w o u l d be a good thing to do.' This indecision on the part of the IT personnel, w h i c h i n this case consists of both Department G a m m a and G r o u p Epsilon, made it very difficult to convince other entities within the C o m p a n y to consider alternate information delivery mechanisms, such as an intranet.  (It is ironic that an intranet  is an ideal solution to the problem of maintain connections to legacy systems such as the Company's mainframe and the information on it.)  G r o u p Epsilon's favouritism towards Lotus Notes (whether their reasons are technical or political is not relevant) also caused hesitation among departments to adopt an alternative system, even though many d i d not want a solution as complex and expensive as Notes. Ironically, an intranet and Lotus Notes can (and do) exist side b y side quit peaceably, but for some it seems to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Realistically, the two 'ideologies' seem to be converging to a significant degree. Web-based products' l o w costs and Lotus Notes' integration are encouraging (if not forcing) the other to improve.  6  However, web-based solutions are still more open  and enjoy a wider development base.  6.  In the fall of 1996, Lotus released a new version of Notes which included a well-integrated web publishing functionality, and Netscape began to develop collaboration software. 54  Adoption and Integration : Technical  A s mentioned above, a concern of intranet development was training of those involved w i t h the creation of distributed documents. This is as m u c h an economic and organizational concern as a technical one, but it is included i n the latter category because as the tools that allow creation of intranet content evolve, they also tend to become easier to use, and thus require less training. A s per Gartner, training and time spent mastering software is a significant portion of the total cost of ownership of most computer systems.  The Internet has been chided for being little more than a mechanism to spread one's vanity to global extremes and derided for having little content. While perhaps appropriate for the literati and university undergraduate students, most business prefer more serious content. Fortunately, like most tools, Internet technology can be used for both good as well as evil: the potential exists for in-depth content, and an intranet can be used as an easy-to-use interface to existing though difficult to access information. Gateways can be created to bridge the gap between an intranet and the corporate data stored o n the mainframe. Once the intranet interface is set u p as an abstraction layer, the source data can eventually be ported to another system entirely. If done properly, the user w i l l not notice the change of source. The t w o systems picked for the study, Adminstrative Guidelines and database connectivity, and their relationship to an intranet are examined below i n further  55  detail.  Adoption and Integration : Technical : Administrative  Guidelines  Concerning the administrative guideline electronic distribution, a few technical points are i n order. This directly deals with the creation of hypertext markup language ( H T M L ) and issues concerning a web browser as an interface.  The latest versions of most w o r d processors contain a 'Save A s H T M L ' command, w h i c h is adequate for converting different font sizes and typesets (such as bold and italics). M a n y also provide the ability to convert the w o r d processors internal indexes and footnotes to clickable hypertext links. These conversion processes were helpful i n conversion, but definitely not complete.  Other word-processing constructs can also be replicated i n H T M L . For example, H T M L has a built-in bullet-based outlining method. Testing showed that the WordPerfect w o r d processor provided surprisingly good conversion from its hierarchical bulleted lists to H T M L . However, it was very syntax dependent. 'Find 7  and Replace' commands were useful i n locating these idiosyncracies, but many had to be replaced b y hand.  7.  As an example, it would not convert 'dashed' lists. Additionally, it was quite particular as to the kind of tab utilized. Specifically, an 'indent' had to be used, as opposed to a normal tab. Needless to say, tabs far outnumbered 'indents' in the existing Guidelines.  56  H T M L handles tables well, and W o r d Perfect's conversion of its tables into H T M L was quite robust. However, tables that stretched beyond one page were broken u p into separate H T M L tables. These required rather inelegant measures to fit back together.  This illuminates a significant difference between H T M L documents and w o r d processing documents. U p o n creation, most of the latter are bound b y the size of the printed page. Web-based documents are not bound by the limitations of paper, nor should they be. Entities such as a large table can either be scrolled through or saved as a separate web page.  A significant problem occurred when previous users 'cheated' and used WordPerfect tables as a structure to make line charts and diagrams.  This does not  convert well. Ideally these diagrams w o u l d be saved as an image that w o u l d appear w i t h i n the final H T M L document.  Other users created diagrams using only A S C I I  characters (i.e. 'typewriter art'). Though somewhat inelegant, these can be converted into H T M L . The output w i l l vary depending on the font used.  H T M L allows the inclusion of hypertext links that allow the user to connect to 'anchors' within the document, i n addition to other documents. A s w i l l likely not be a surprise, the H T M L conversion process i n this regard is helpful but not complete.  57  These examples should indicate that while the tools exist to convert existing w o r d processed documents, (Administrative Guidelines or otherwise), the process is still a fairly complex one and requires a strong knowledge of H T M L . Most employees dealing w i t h the guidelines lack such qualifications at this time. (This, however, is due largely to a lack of exposure as opposed to ability.) Note also that the challenge lies i n converting documents that were poorly constructed to begin w i t h (not to mention stored i n a proprietary format). Basic planning d u r i n g the initial creation o  process can save hours if not days of editing when converting to H T M L .  That noted, H T M L editing tools are growing more powerful b y the day and each generation requires less knowledge of H T M L syntax. M a n y graphically orientated tools are now on the market, making it increasingly easier to construct web pages. A combination of such software and a basic familiarity w i t h the requirements and limitations of H T M L w i l l likely be enough to allow adequate conversion of existing documents.  8  The difficulty in converting WordPerfect documents into an open format such as H T M L suggests that mission-critical documents should not be archived solely in a proprietary format. ASCII and RTF, while fairly universal, lack many of the features found in current word processors. As noted, H T M L was designed to preserve content, not layout. Adobe's PDF preserves layout, but unfortunately is not a published standard. Postscript requires a large memory footprint, though less than image files (e.g. GIF, JPEG, TIFF). Corel is taking an interesting approach - its next generation office suite will be able to 'Save...' documents as self-contained Java applets. Not only is this open, but it eliminates the need for an viewer application.  58  Ideally most of the HMTL conversion will be handled by the employee who initially writes the Administrative Guideline. If the process is to be made as painless as possible, the employee will receive document creation guidelines and templates (from the intranet, of course) that will ensure consistency in addition to minimizing maintenance and administrative costs during the life of the document.  There also must be some overlying structure or authority that will oversee links between Guidelines  as this is one of the most powerful characteristics of the web.  Site maintenance is a critical issue when it comes to web technology. Outdated information and broken links do not make an attractive and useful site. Also important is the maintenance of a central directory of Guidelines (and other electronic documents for that matter). A search engine can be very helpful in this regard.  9  Adoption and Integration : Technical : Online Expense Form  While investigating the second thrust of the project, the on-line expense form and database connectivity, technical limitations of HTML came more into play. Though all of the elements of the paper expense form could be implemented in HTML, the result was awkward and inefficient. This was due partially to the limited space on a standard computer monitor, resulting in a great deal of scrolling. Additionally, 9  Lycos, Infoseek and Excite are examples of public search engines which automatically traverse and archive web pages on the Internet. The hardware and software packages that make up these are being bought by organizations with large intranets and deployed behind their firewalls.  59  questions arose on how closely the paper form should be emulated to begin with. Some effort went into designing a different format for recording employee expenses that better took advantage of the electronic medium. This included breaking the form up into multiple pages and automatically populating some of the fields according to the identity of the user.  One advantage of using a web-based form is instant feedback (especially on input errors, such as putting letters i n a numeric field), as well as p r o v i d i n g menu-driven selection of data (such as a selection among departments).  Database access was quick and effective (though this was not done directly through the expense form due to database restrictions). A s previously mentioned, two web servers were running concurrently, Netscape's and Oracle's. Netscape provided access to the database though standard query language (SQL) calls i n JavaScript. (JavaScript is a scripting language embedded within the H T M L files and is designed to run when the web page is loaded. It is intended to add additional functionality and dynamicism to a web page. Its object-oriented syntax is based on Java, but it is not Java.) Oracle connected to the database through P L - S Q L w h i c h then dynamically created a web page. Note the difference between the two setups - JavaScript is embedded within pre-existing web pages, where P L - S Q L scripts create H T M L (and thus web pages) on the fly.  60  O f the t w o approaches, Netscape's was easier to implement, both w i t h the server itself and the database access. JavaScript's syntax is easier to follow, and code can be embedded within objects o n the web page. The ease of the web-based administration d i d not consume time better spent creating content.  Oracle's strategy was far less  elegant. The server was extremely difficult to set u p and maintain, and P L - S Q L was more difficult to work with, though the dynamic generation of H T M L was very promising. However, it must be remembered that the H T M L functionality was an add-on to P L - S Q L , whereas JavaScript was designed with web access i n m i n d . Oracle's implementation w i l l likely become easier w i t h time.  Adoption and Integration : Economic  There is a cost to an intranet, regardless of the technical considerations. A n intranet requires both the client and server software to be i n place. Obtaining the server software was simple, as Netscape was happy to set up a trial and was quite understanding of the political situation and the slow decision-making process w i t h i n the C o m p a n y .  W h i l e copies of Netscape's web browser are available for free to those i n academia, corporations must pay for them. Unfortunately, this proved difficult to accomplish. It was necessary to estimate the number of users i n order to calculate the cost of a site license. This number was debated internally, and it ranged from zero (from the Lotus Notes supporters) into the thousands (for those w h o believed a company  61  intranet w o u l d grow like the Internet). G i v e n the study's quasi-official status, funds for purchasing the software were close to non-existent.  A different department, working w i t h an internet service provider o n a separate project, was unaware of our efforts and was negotiating a license w i t h Netscape for over one hundred thousand users. We attempted to contact the i n d i v i d u a l i n charge of this effort many times but our calls were never returned. O u r feeling was that the C o m p a n y could leverage off of this site license and take advantage of the l o w cost. (The site license for that magnitude w o u l d have come to under $10 per client. This contrasts w i t h around $30 per client for 1000 users and approximately $50 for a shrinkwrapped single copy.)  After months of futile effort, this approach was dropped when we discovered that other parties were negotiating to be included i n the site license of the Company's multinational owner. O u r site license was valid for version 2.0 of Netscape, the latest release at the time. Ironically, we later discovered that the other internal effort to obtain a site license was only for version 1.0, at that point over a year out of date. IMPACT Impact : Organizational  W h i l e this study d i d not have a significant affect on the day to day operations of the Company, it d i d reveal that several departments and groups were w i l l i n g to  62  experiment with and adopt intranet technology.  Impact : Technical  Part of the technical learning curve was overcome by this study, but the benefit in the long term is questionable as the chief instigator of the study did not seek long term employment with the Company. Although position papers and technical briefs were submitted, these do not replace first hand knowledge of the systems and information in use. The lessons learned from the feasibility study did not permeate the Company's institutional memory.  Impact : Economic  While this study cost the Company very little, (the main cost was salary, as almost all of the hardware and software was loaned), economic benefits were limited as well. The critical mass that would have been required to actually show a measurable return on investment was not achieved. While adopted to a certain degree, the technology was not integrated with existing business practices. Hopefully some of the lessons learned will be applicable in later intranet development within the involved departments, especially since potential benefits, both direct and indirect, were well understood.  63  5.2  RECOMMENDATIONS  The lacklustre success of the study was not due to technical failure. M o s t shortfalls were rapidly addressed b y the software development companies. Organizational factors (such as poor IT leadership) and internal economic issues (including cost of desktop hardware) were the main barriers to adoption. This being noted, two elements, if adopted b y the Company, could greatly ease the implementation of an intranet, both at the departmental and corporate level. This w o u l d be applications written i n Java running on network computers.  5.2.1  NETWORK COMPUTERS AND JAVA  Recent hardware developments have given the C o m p a n y (and others like it) an alternative to the administrative issues associated w i t h the standard desktop P C . T h i n clients, also k n o w n as network computers ( N C s ) , are computers with a fullfledged processor but no local storage. This lowers the costs of the hardware, but more importantly, it dramatically reduces the costs associated w i t h administration and upkeep. The cost of the hardware itself can be under $1000, and the total cost of ownership (TCO) is estimated to be $2500 per year.  I B M , A p p l e , Netscape, Oracle and Sun have formulated an open hardware standard ( N C - 1 , soon to evolve to N C - 2 ) for network computers. The operating systems w h i c h r u n on top of this hardware standard differ, however. A p p l e uses a simplified version of M a c O S 7.5 and Sun is leveraging its Java programming  64  language to create a JavaOS. A t the time of this writing, I B M and Oracle have not yet defined their software standards, though Netscape, w h i c h has created an 'appliance' operating system k n o w n as 'Navio,' and Sun's JavaOS are leading contenders.  Various third parties are also working on N C s . Sun Microsystems' N C  was the first to be released, and has a very well defined model, w h i c h they refer to as the 'Java C o m p u t i n g ' paradigm. This was described i n greater detail earlier i n chapter 2.  A t the present time, it is unlikely that N C s w i l l sweep fat clients out of the organization: "There is certainly a role for thin clients in the business community," says a Gartner Group analyst of the highly touted network computer, "but it won't replace the PC. Most people will stick with fully configured devices, but employees who can't justify full-function PCs still deserve access to browsing and e-mail." Edupage, 17 September 1996, <http://www.educom.edu>  N C s are well-suited for replacing the 'green screens' or 'dumb terminals' that provide mainframe connectivity. In addition to emulating a VT100 or 3270 session, they can provide graphical interfaces to other legacy systems, e-mail, web access and r u n Java business applets. Sun, the only major vendor at the time of this w r i t i n g to have released an N C , (as opposed to merely announcing one), is charging approximately US$700 for a base model. Other industry players are predicting a price range of $500 to $1000.  W h i l e some i n the industry (specifically Oracle's Larry Ellison) predict a b i l l i o n N C s b y the year 2000, most estimates are somewhat more conservative. According to  65  Zona research, in just four years, the N C market is projected to equal the size, in units, of the P C market in 1997: Table 3 - Total Network Computer Market T o t a l Network Computer Market  (In thousands o f u n i t s )  SEGMENT 1996 1991 1998 1999 2000 Commercial 383 1,740 3,445 5,515 6,768 Consumer 100 2,000 7,500 37,500 70,500 Education 2 100 292 620 940 TOTAL 2,481 5,831 13,235 45, 634 80,208 Source: Zona Research (PC Week, <http://www5.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/pcwk/1351/pcwk0023.html>)  Some of these figures, especially those concerning the yearly cost figures discussed in chapter 2 along with the idea of the network computer paradigm itself, have been criticized by other organizations. •  Sun's estimates are "highly suspect," according to Pat Gelsinger of Intel, the leading supplier of microprocessors to the PC industry. Installing a network of JavaStations will mean replacing servers, the network and training users ~ an "enormous investment," he predicts. (San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 1996, <http://www.sjmercury.com/business/compute/javalllO.htm>)  •  Microsoft, Intel and several PC manufacturers announced a 'NetPC intended to simplify PC management in October 1996. However, this was seen by many in industry as a knee-jerk reaction to Sun's JavaStation announcement. However, unlike Sun, which actually had a product to demonstrate, NetPCs are not expected to appear until late 1997 or early 1998.  •  The Economist raised several points against the NC: • The initial cost of NCs is higher than promised. • The maintenance cost of NCs is higher than promised. • The compatibility of NCs is less than promised. (The Economist, Jan. 1997, <http://www.economist.com/issue/18-01-97/wb8527.htmI>  The Economist article may be justifiably critical of these points, but it is important to  66  remember that the network computer paradigm is still very new (at the time of writing, Java as a language is not yet two years old.) The initial cost is certain to go d o w n i n time, especially with Intel and Microsoft developing their o w n standards. It claims that the additional network traffic and increased server load w i l l require network and server upgrades, thus negating the savings of the thin client. However, it seems that most of the network upgrades w o u l d have occurred irregardless of the thickness of the desktop. The Economist also seems to misunderstand the amount of processing that is done on the thin client itself, and is overestimating the server loads. In fact, it is estimated that a single standard Sun workstation should be able to boot nearly a thousand N C s . However, the number of servers required for application support is a different matter, and depends on h o w server intensive the applications are. However, the same analysis w o u l d have to be undertaken w i t h standard desktop P C s as well, given the increasing networkawareness of standard software packages.  The last point concerns compatibility. The Economist is correct that currently, N C s from Sun o n l y boot off of Sun servers. However, the booting protocol is open and the limitation on Sun servers is a temporary one. Again, the Economist seems to forget that the N C , like Java, is under constant development and is realistically still i n beta-testing.  It is interesting to note that those companies with an interest i n maintaining a  67  thick-client universe (Intel and Microsoft) are highly critical of the N C . (Bill Gates once called the N C "dorky.") Yet despite their criticism, these groups are quickly attempting to build their own NC. As one industry analyst put it, Oh, and the funniest part about TCO (total cost of ownership)? According to those in attendance, it was listening to Microsoft execs at their recent Developers' Conference talk about the importance of thin N C clients. If the guys who brought you 30MB desktop OSs and 100MB office suites can spin this fast, you'd best be prepared to change too. (PC Magazine, <http://www.pcmag.com/issues/1603/pcmg0130.htm>)  It appears that the makers of PC's and associates have no products ready to fill the dumb terminal space. They are attempting to draw attention away from their own shortfalls (specifically the lack of a product) by criticising the N C for being a poor substitute for a market segement (specifically a full-fledged PC) is not yet intended to  The figures concerning TCO and the methodology used to derive them are defended by those in the industry who have actually deployed and used network computers: •  "The Gartner Group figures are dead on, with regard to the total cost of ownership of PCs and our estimates for the projected costs of NCs agree with Sun's," says Bill Phelan, FTD's vice president of technology. JavaStations are easier to maintain than PCs and provide more functionality than "dumb terminals," he adds. FTD plans to install up to 10,000 NCs in florist shops across North America. (San Jose Mercury News, Nov 11,1996 <http://www.sjmercury.com/business/compute/javalllO.htm>)  •  FedEx will replace tens of thousands of 3270 terminals-which today run a proprietary application and E-mail--with Java-based NCs. "We fully embrace Java, which obviously puts less emphasis on the desktop OS," said Dennis Jones, CIO at FedEx, in Memphis, Tenn. (PC Week, Jan 20,1997, <http: / / www.pcweek.com/ ne ws /0120/20ncs.html>)  •  Officials at Network Computer Inc., a division of Oracle Corp. that will  68  manufacture a Java-based N C , agreed that the devices would be used initially as additions to existing systems. "Initial deployments will be as terminal replacements, or for very old PCs ~ 286 or 386 systems. But as the Java application software evolves, there will be excellent and viable alternatives," said Bonnie Crater, vice president of marketing at Network Computer, in Redwood Shores, Calif. (PC Week, Jan 21,1997, <http://www.pcweek.com/news/0120/21enc.html>)  5.2.2  JAVA APPLICATIONS  The one common theme of all of these platforms is support for Java. Applets written i n Java and w h i c h remain faithful to the open, published application programming interfaces (API's) and libraries w h i c h Java provides, w i l l be able to run o n any Java V i r t u a l Machine or Java hardware.  This is true whether it is a N C ,  fat client, mainframe or server (or even a cell phone or stereo). Though young i n age, the amount of mission-critical software is increasing dramatically and maturing rapidly.  A s previously mentioned, mainframe client emulation (e.g. d u m b terminals), w i l l likely be one the first and most widespread Java applications adopted b y companies, connecting them to their legacy business systems. I B M is licensing Java to write applications that w i l l cross its product line, from P C s , workstations, mini-computers and mainframes.  Corel, w h i c h bought the rights to the WordPerfect family of  applications, has rewritten the entire suite i n Java. Software companies ranging from Oracle, PeopleSoft, Baan to even Lotus are also doing major development i n Java.  69  Anecdotal industry evidence shows that most users only use a small subset of the features (often below 20%) of most desktop productivity applications. Given the latest release of Microsoft Office, weighing in over 150 megabytes and $600, many users are questioning the logic of buying software they will never use. Java's objectorientation and JavaBeans object management means that software can be delivered on demand, and many developers are considering software 'subscriptions' or 'rentals' for the components that users actually use. Also note that Java applets are significantly smaller than their Microsoft-class applications. There are Java word processing applets that are smaller than 400K, versus over 50 megabytes for the latest version of Microsoft Word. These are not crippled and have most of the functionality and features that most users have come to expect from today's graphical user interfaces.  5.2.3  CONCERNS  There are a few issues that the Company needs to consider, both with its current situation and any future path. These include Microsoft's proprietary nature, availability of Java software, and a union condition that is unique to the Company.  MICROSOFT LOCK-IN  Industry pundits claim Java and the network computer can break the vicious cycle of Microsoft's 'bloatware' and Intel's hardware escalation, which requires an  70  increasingly powerful processor to provide functionality that most employees w i l l rarely use. (This may shed some light on the classic 'productivity paradox/ w h i c h suggests that computers and information systems do not actually make people more productive employees. These pundits claim that Microsoft Office is "50 m i l l i o n lines of code to type your name.")  This is especially relevant to the Company given their reliance on Microsoft software and Intel hardware. Since both the N C and Java are non-proprietary, if a vendor fails to live up to promises or expectations, the customer can afford to switch to a more reliable a n d / o r cheaper source.  Another concern is storage of mission-critical company documents i n a proprietary format. M a n y companies rely on Excel, W o r d and PowerPoint, but the fact remains that these are proprietary data formats. It is questionable logic to hand a single vendor so m u c h power, never m i n d the long-run implications of an organization not being able to easily access its o w n data i n 10 years, a problem already a factor at the Company.  Microsoft w i l l not give u p its position of leadership easily. Though it missed the initial Internet wave, it has made up for lost ground and is pushing an alternative  71  to Java called ' A c t i v e X . '  10  Industry pundits have labelled this 'CaptiveX' since it is a  proprietary Microsoft standard. A n attempt to get Microsoft to release the specifications of ActiveX to an international standards body has met w i t h resistance.  W h i l e Microsoft may tout ActiveX as a replacement for Java, it raises some serious concerns. First, as noted, it is not open. Second, it is not portable. ActiveX components must be recompiled every time they are moved to a different operating platform, assuming Microsoft has ported ActiveX to that platform. Thirdly, it is inefficient. This is because most of ActiveX was taken from O L E , another Microsoft closed standard. While effective, O L E was inelegant and used memory inefficiently. W h i l e an improvement, A c t i v e X has inherited many of O L E ' s roots.  One of these is what makes ActiveX actually dangerous. Java operates i n a 'virtual sandbox,' preventing it from accessing local resources such as memory and the hard drive. Java cannot do something unless it is explicitly allowed to do so.  ActiveX  controls do not operate under such restrictions. In fact, there is an ActiveX control on the Internet named 'Internet Exploder' that, if loaded, w i l l shut d o w n your P C . Another ActiveX control w i l l access the passwords stored i n Quicken, a popular personal finance program, and transfer funds from and to various bank accounts.  10  Technically, ActiveX is an object management environment. Java is often used as a generic term to describe both the programming language and the object management environment. However, 'JavaBeans' is in fact the object management environment for Java. (Note that JavaBeans also cooperates with ActiveX and OpenDoc objects.  72  These were both developed b y groups concerned w i t h the shortfalls i n Microsoft s 7  security approach. It seems only a matter of time before truly malicious ActiveX controls are 'discovered.'  Microsoft has responded that ActiveX controls w i l l be 'digitally signed/ allowing the author to be uniquely identified. However, simply because an ActiveX controls is digitally signed does not prevent it from inflicting damage. (The Exploder control was purposely signed to demonstrate the weakness of relying solely on identification as a security mechanism.)  Whereas Java was built from the ground  u p w i t h security i n m i n d , ActiveX seems to be fundamentally dangerous.  Scott M c N e a l y , President of Sun Microsystems (and no great fan of B i l l Gates and Microsoft), once quipped that "the Wintel platform is the petri dish of choice" w h e n it came to computer viruses and trojan horses. This legacy of insecurity seems to have been passed on to ActiveX. However, the implications are m u c h more severe when the transportation vector is a world-wide network as opposed to three-and-aquarter inch floppies.  Microsoft is attempting to encapsulate Java within ActiveX, claiming that Java is just another language w h i c h one can use to write ActiveX components. W h i l e this is true, it seems to make more sense to keep programs i n a secure and portable language and object management system that does not lock the user into a single  73  operating system, especially one w i t h well-documented security implications. AVAILABILITY OF SOFTWARE  A t the time of this writing, Java is only 500 days o l d , and the N C project is o n l y 9 months old. Some have voiced concern over the availability of software.  However,  there are more books published on Java than C++, and it estimated that there are nearly 200,000 'serious' Java programmers, compared to 400,000 developing for W i n d o w s . The number of serious business applications i n Java is increasing rapidly, as mentioned i n section 5.2.2. M a n y major software vendors are rewriting their applications i n Java. Even Microsoft has Obegrudgingly) licensed Java.  The critical factor w i t h Java, however, is its portability. Once a program is written i n Java, it can r u n anywhere there is a Java Virtual Machine or Java chip. The user does not have to recompile or customize. This protects a company's software investment, and it is unlikely Java w i l l suffer the same porting and legacy problems that afflict other platforms.  A s previously mentioned applets are small and operate i n an object framework. Because of this, they fit especially well i n a networked environment. A core set of applets can be upgraded incrementally, and the user w i l l download the latest version of the sub-applications (e,g, spell-checkers) on demand. A l t h o u g h the source cannont be identified, there is good reason to believe that Java-based  74  component software is going to be significantly cheaper than Microsoft-class software suites. This follows logicallly, given the limited feature set of the upcoming Java applets, as w e l l as competitors' desire to break Microsoft/s g r i p o n the market. U N I O N ISSUES  A s previously noted, one reason w h y P C ' s are especially costly at the C o m p a n y is the u n i o n agreement. Installation of software is a designated u n i o n duty. The u n i o n has interpreted this as allowing them to reinstall all of the operating system software on computers coming into the Company. This adds several thousand dollars to the initial cost of each P C , perhaps explaining the hesitance of management to acquire more. N e t w o r k computers are an attractive replacement for many existing desktops. However, there is a serious concern - w i t h a network computer, there is no installation of an operating system since there is no hard drive. A network computer boots over the network. This could potentially cause acrimony w i t h the union, especially given the employee technological redundancy clause. A literal interpretation could be taken that the operating system is being installed each d a y without u n i o n supervision. Though this m a y seem extreme, the C o m p a n y ' s u n i o n environment is a unique one.  75  CHAPTER 6 6.1  CONCLUSION  CONTRIBUTION  Hopefully this paper has shown that intranets are a powerful method for leveraging an organization's existing information system as well as preparing for future advances. They are cheap to b u i l d , have proven returns, and help employees access the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. A n intranet should allow employees to do things with their computers, not to their computers.  6.2  ANALYSIS OF APPLICABILITY OF IACOVOU MODEL  Analysis of this model is hampered b y the failure of the study at the Company. In the end, intranet technology was not advanced beyond the limited scope of the case study, and was not spread to other departments. While it is unfortunate that the model does not gain closure, (the dependent variables, especially impact, are essentially null), inferences can still be d r a w n as to its validity.  Specifically, the reasons for failure are largely highlighted through the organizational subcomponent across the independent variables. The economic factors were barriers, but not insurmountable ones, and the technology was not a issue i n the lack of adoption. (Some of these factors are discussed i n greater detail i n the following 'Shortfalls' section.) However, the ability to draw out specific organization issues w i t h i n each independent and depended variable reflects the  76  strength of the added attributes i n the modified Iacovou model. It is uncertain whether the original Iacovou model w o u l d have been able to easily reveal such information.  However, there are implications when the independent and dependent variables are broken d o w n into technical, economic and organizational subsections.  A t times  this structure seems unwieldy, sometimes suggesting artificial distinctions to exist i n terms of the newfound resolution. If implemented i n future studies, the author should decide on a case-by-case basis whether to take the analysis to the full depth. Nevertheless, the benefits of such resolution appear to outweigh its detriments.  A final note on the modified model is that there may be justification for having an 'organizational' section within 'organizational readiness,'  even though the analysis  d i d not suffer because of its absence. Other studies, however, w i l l have different requirements.  6.3  SHORTFALLS  A major downfall of this study was that the Company took little action i n fostering the growth of an intranet. While this paper was only based on a single feasibility study, it still is curious that so few web servers existed within the Company. W h i l e there were some obvious constraints of not enough PCs, the networks were largely i n place and the software was available. It seems that other companies have the  77  opposite problem of too many web servers going up. (This author has actually heard complaints at some companies w i t h large intranets that there is too m u c h information available.) The attitude of the internal IS departments and the restrictions imposed b y the union remain serious constraints that could partially account for this behaviour.  But perhaps most dampening is an apparent lack of entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm within the Company. The average age of managers is approximately 45, and there are very few people under 35 within headquarters.  G i v e n that the average  age of internet users is i n the upper 20's to lower 30's, (Georgia Tech, 1996, M I T , 1994), and the near-absence of younger employees close to the decision m a k i n g process, this age gap could very well be a limiting factor i n adoption of new technologies, though such speculation is the subject of another paper.  Hopefully w i t h the advent of Java and network computers, the C o m p a n y w i l l be able to jump-start an intranet program and be able to quickly leverage its benefits.  6.4  AREAS OF FURTHER STUDIES  This study was limited to two departments i n one building of the Company. M o r e information might have been gained had a wider internal study been undertaken. Though the first study was not successful, this should not prevent further study i n the area. However, dedicated resources w o u l d have to be put i n place for this to  78  succeed.  Some have jokingly called this paper " H o w not to H a v e Intranet Development i n a Large Organization." In all seriousness, much could be learned by examining other organizations of the same size and perhaps even i n the same industry. It w o u l d be illuminating to discover what factors make an organization more 'intranet-fertile,' and h o w they overcame their organizational limitations.  Another intruiging possibility w o u l d be to use the model i n a large enough context to assign empirical measures to each of the sub-variables. Iacovou's original m o d e l was empirical i n nature - approximately half a dozen small businesses were interviewed and analyzed. The increased resolution may yield interesting results, whether the study is w i t h i n an organization at the departmental level, or across small businesses as i n the original Iacovou model.  6.5  HIGHLIGHTS TO THE OUTSIDE COMMUNITY  G i v e n that this paper was developed i n a business as well as an academic environment, there are observations that may be of interest to the outside community. First, Internet technologies are highly applicable i n business environments.  Their non-proprietary nature make them relatively inexpensive  compared to standard IT solutions, and their arrival has caused the proprietary solutions (e.g. N o v e l l , Lotus) to not only come d o w n i n price but become more open  79  themselves.  Developing mission-critical software i n Java and deploying thin client network computers seems to be a viable solution to creating an intranet.. The N C s should be aimed at replacing any existing dumb terminals. If mainframe applications are switched to more powerful 'thick' servers, Java clients can run on both the existing P C base and the N C s , as well as any future hardware implementation that supports a Java virtual machine. However, given that the intranet w i l l likely be connected i n some fashion to the Internet, care must be taken i n adopting security policies that protect users and their data. It is also important to ascertain that critical documents and systems are not locked into proprietary formats which w o u l d be difficult to convert or withdraw from if the vendor fails to live u p to expectations.  80  Bibliography Applegate, L., McFarlan, F. and McKenney, J. Corporate Information Systems Management: Text and Cases, Chicago: Irwin, 1996. Attewell, P. "Technology Diffusion and Organizational Learning: The Case of Business Computing." Organizational Science, 3(1), February 1992. Blinco, K. "Some recent initiatives in electronic document delivery - MIME." <http://www.gu.edu.au/alib/iii/docdel/online.htm>, Division of Information Services, Griffith University. Cook, T. "It's 10 o'clock: do you know where your data are?" Technology Review, Jan 1995, pp. 4853. Cutler, M . "The Average Age of the Internet User," <http://farnsworth.mit.edu/~littlitt/age.html>,  MIT: 1994.  Cleveland, G. 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Modern Office Technology, pp. 58-66, Oct 1992. Gartner Group. "Open System Strategies Presentation." January 1993. Gartner Group. "Strategic Planning Research Note SPA-140-22." April 26, 1996.  81  Gartner Group, <http://www.gartner.com>. " G V U ' s W W W Internet Survey." <http://www.cc.gatech.edu>, Georgia Tech, 1993 - 1996. Hill, Karen. "Bright Future Seen for NC." Computer world, 12(19), Sept. 27, 1996, p. 1,16. Iacovou, C , Benbasat, I., Dexter, A. "Electronic Data Interchange and Small Organizations: Adoption and Impact of Technology." MIS Quarterly, 19(4), December 1995. Internet Engineering Task Force, RFCs, <http://www.cis.ohio.edu/htbin/rfc>. Kahle, Brewster. "Preserving the Internet: An archive of the Internet may prove to be a vital record for historians, businesses and governments." Scientific American, March 1997, p. 83. Lauden, K. and Lauden J., Management Information Systems: Organiziation and Technology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Macmillan Publishing, 1994.  Miller, M . "Document Management - Pushing the Paper Aside." CMA Magazine, February 1994, pp. 13 -16. Nash, K. "Figuring dollars, sense of intranets." Computer world, May 27,1996, p. 1. Netscape Communications Corporation, <http://www.netscape.com>. O'Connell, M . "Diving in? Lotus Notes vs. Web: Should you consider internal Webs as serious alternatives to Notes?" SunWorld Online, <http://www.sun.com:80/sunworldonline/swol08-1995/swol-08-notes.html>, August 1995. Open Group, <http://www.xopen.org>. Oracle Corporation, <http://www.oracle.com>. O'Brien, T. & Heise, D.. "Microsoft's Java Strategy: Embrace now, Smother Later?" PC Week, <http://www.pcweek.com>. "The SGML Guide.", <http://www.ileaf.com/eddguide.html>, Interleaf Inc, 1994. Rice, J., Farquhar, A., Pernot, P., Gruber. T. Using the Web Instead of a Windowing System." CHI 96, p. 103, May 1996. Roberts, B. "Groupwar Strategies." Byte Magazine, July 1996, pp. 68 - 78. San Jose Mercury News, <http://www.sjmercury.com>. Schlender, Brent. "Sun's Java: The Threat to Microsoft is Real." Fortune, November 11, pp. 165 170. Sheldon, T. Lan Times: Encyclopedia of Networking. Berkeley: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 1994.  82  Sprague, R., "Electronic Document Management: Challenges and Opportunities for Information System Managers." MIS Quarterly, March 1995, pp. 29 - 49. Sprague, R., McNurlin, B. Information Systems Management in Practice, pp. 467 - 493 : Addison Wesley, Englewood, NJ, 1993. Sprout, A. "The Internet Inside Your Company." Fortune, November 27,1995. Sun Microsystems, <http://www.sun.com/java>. Tapscott, D. and Caston, A. Paradigm Shift, New York: McGraw-Hill Inc, 1993. Tribble, B. Java Computing in the Enterprise. Mountain View: Sun Microsystems, 1996. Tyre, M . and Orlikowski, W. "Windows of Opportunity: Temporal Patterns of Technological Adaption in Organizations," Organizational Science, Vol. 5, No. 1, February 1994. Van de Ven, A. "Central Problems in the Management of Innovation." Management Science, 32(5), May 1986.  83  Appendix 1 - Original Iacovou Model (Iacovou, 1994, p. 467)  84  


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