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Chapter 12 - Role and impact of IT in society

Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
E-business: A business that performs most to all of its business online
(e.g. Amazon)
Some advantages of online shopping are:
 The speed at which the customer can receive products
 You can order items from anywhere with access to the internet
 Much more convenient than having to go out shopping and not
being able to find the product you are looking for
 Access to products from a wide range of sellers across the globe
(more likely to find better prices online than in shops)
 Can be better for the environment as less vehicles will be on the
Some disadvantages of online shopping are:
 More vehicles on the road delivering products (counters previous
 Difficult to examine the product before buying it online (e.g. size
and quality)
Services provided via online banking:
Checking bank balance
View bank statements
Set up direct debits
Apply for loans and overdrafts
Pay bills
Transfer money between accounts
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Advantages of online banking:
 Less need to actually go out to a branch as it can all be done
 Saves time as there is no need to wait in queues at the branch
 Able to use the services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Electronic funds transfer: The method of transferring money between
bank accounts without the need to physical money being exchanged
allowing for easy payments and allowing companies to take amounts
of money from your account on a regular basis (i.e. bills)
The biggest problem with online transactions is the possibility of
hacking. Since all of your confidential banking information is stored in
the computer system, if said system were to be hacked, the hacker
would be able to gain full access to your bank account and the funds
Automatic stock control: A method of automating the amount of stock
that comes in and goes out of businesses
Some reasons automatic stock control is used are:
 Measuring the stock level prevents too much stock being
purchased, so money and storage space is saved
 Measuring the stock level prevents too little stock being
purchased that might prevent a customer from buying
their desired item
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
How does automatic stock control work?
Each product has a barcode which the stock control system uses to
identify the product. When the product has been bought, the barcode
can be used to deduct one of said product from the system.
Advantages of automatic stock control:
 Easier way for a company to see the amount of stock in its
 It can be programmed to reorder stock once the amount of said
stock reaches lower than a certain number
 The automatic monitoring can be matched to a physical count of
the stock. If the two stock levels do not match, it can be an
indicator that a possible theft has occurred in the shop
Types of automatic stock control:
Real-time: This system adds/deducts the stock as soon as it enters of
leaves the company. It is used largely by bigger shops like
supermarkets because they have to control large amounts of stock and
need to restock regularly
Batch: This system records when items are scanned and saves that
data to a database. Then, during a time when the company has less
business, the transaction files are processed and a master file is
Digital currency: An internet-based form of money which has a
fluctuating value and removes the need for exchange rates making
international trading easier
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
The biggest problem with digital currency is that, since digital
currencies remove the need to record data regarding the user’s
identity, it makes the transactions more anonymous; therefore it tends
to be used by criminals to perform illegal transactions (especially on
the dark web)
The fluctuation of digital currency tends to be much more drastic than
that of physical currency, meaning how much money is made from
investing in digital currency depends almost entirely on when the user
decides to invest
Data mining: The method of sorting through vast amounts of data to
identify patterns and establish relationships. The patterns and
information gathered are then used to influence future decisions as
the decision-makers are able to look back and see past decisions and
the pattern that followed
Methods of using data mining to analyse data:
 Anomaly detection: The method of identifying anomalies in the
data that may require further investigation
 Association rule: Finds relationships between variables (e.g. how
recommendations work for shopping sites)
 Cluster detection: Identifies groups and subgroups in the data
 Classification: Classifying data into groups (e.g. how a spam
filter works in email services)
 Regression: Creating models based on the variables that can be
used to predict what might happen for the future
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Communication features of social networking:
 Instant messaging: Allows people to communicate instantly with
each other or with groups of people
 Blogs and microblogs
 Forums: Allows users to post and reply to questions on an almost
infinite variety of topics
The biggest concern with social networking is that younger children
see this form of communication as the normal way of communicating,
meaning they will be unable to read social cues and body language,
thus harming their social abilities leading the next generation to
become much more “socially awkward”. It also makes it easier for
younger children to access or be targeted by inappropriate content
Another concern is the fact that social networking sites track your data
and online actions to present them with personalised advertisements.
Some see this as a good thing as it means that the advertisements they
receive are only things that they are interested in. Others believe that
the method of tracking your personal data and actions (and sometimes
even selling it) is extremely intrusive.
Blogging: Blogs have become more popular in recent years. They are a
one-way form of communication which allows users to share interests
and anecdotes with readers. Microblogs are a newer format of
blogging adopted by sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr in which
users post short and frequent posts about their daily life. Video blogs
or “vlogs” are becoming ever popular on sites like YouTube. They are
basically the same as normal blogs, but in video form allowing the
points to be present more clearly and amusingly. Some people have
even been able to turn blogging into a business.
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Video conferencing: When computers are used to provide a video link
between two or more people
Requirements for a successful video conference:
A computer system
A web cam
A microphone
Speakers or headphones
A good broadband connection
Video conferencing software
Advantages of video conferencing:
 Employers do not have to pay for travel expenses for employees
to be able to attend a physical meeting
 There is no need for employees to travel at all
 People can be seen as well as heard allowing for body language
to be interpreted as well
 Documents can be shown, shared and emailed
Disadvantages of video conferencing:
 Can be expensive to buy initially
 Difference in time zones can make organising a date and time for
the meeting difficult
 If a person’s equipment breaks down, they can no longer
contribute to the meeting and might miss vital information and
 A fast and reliable internet connection is required for the
conference to work properly, which can be an additional cost
Web conferencing: A real-time communication where multiple people
are able to view the same content on their screens at the same time
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Requirements for a successful web conference:
 A computer system
 A web cam (optional)
 A microphone (mainly for the host but can be used by the
attendees as well)
 Speakers or headphones
 A good broadband connection
 Web conferencing software
How a web conference works:
 A link will be sent (generally by email) to all of the attendees to
enter the web conference
 If the software has not already been downloaded, the attendee
will have to do this before being able to attend
 The link will take the attendee to a “virtual room” where they will
enter their login details
 Once said details have been entered, the attendee will be able to
see the content displayed by the host/presenter
 The host/presenter will control what is shown on the screens of
the attendees, which will generally be documents that the host
has uploaded beforehand. The documents can also be made
available for the attendees to download
 The host can also allow other attendees to take control
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Advantages of web conferencing:
 The host controls what is on the screen, ensuring everyone is
staying on task
 Saves time that would have been spent travelling to a physical
 Saves money that would have been spent on travelling to a
physical meeting
 The host can us pre-recorded things that prevent them from
having to repeat stuff for every presentation
 Documents can be made downloadable for the attendees
Disadvantages of web conferencing:
 Since the host generally cannot see the attendees, it is difficult
to tell if a person is following what they are saying
 Can be time consuming for the host to set up
 The software can be expensive
 The host and the attendees will likely need training on how to
use the software
 A poor internet connection can make interpreting what the host
is saying quite difficult
Teleworking: The method of using IT to be able to work without having
to be at their workplace physically
Advantages of teleworking:
 More freedom over when the employees want to work and take
 Saves money for the employee as they do not need to travel to
and from work every day
 Better for the environment as the employee does not have to
travel to and from work every day
 Less employees in an office at one time means that they are able
to have a smaller building, saving on costs of facilities and energy
for the employer
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Disadvantages of teleworking:
 Employees may find that there are too many distractions at home
 Using extra electricity at home can be costly for the employee
and the environment
 The employer may feel they have less control over their
employees and their productivity
 The employer may have to worry about the confidentiality of
sensitive documents
Technology in sports:
Technology is generally used in sport to provide a more accurate
outcome for the game since recorded footage can be used to
determine important decisions (i.e. bookings in football). While this is
obviously better since it provides a more fair and accurate game, some
people believe that the constant stopping of the game to look at the
recorded footage makes the game less enjoyable to watch
Technology in medicine:
With the introduction of technology in medicine, we can now help
patients by doing things like:
 Measuring heart rates
 Analysing DNA samples for infections
 Train doctors and nurses for important procedures via
 Providing artificial limbs and organs
 Using nanotechnology to target the delivery of drugs to a
specific area of the body
Scientists are currently experimenting with the use of smart devices
implanted in the body (i.e. in the brain or heart) to monitor and detect
issues (such as Parkinson’s disease) before they fully develop
Chapter 12
The role and impact of IT in society
Technology in manufacturing:
The introduction of robotics in assembly lines has meant that:
 Humans no longer need to work on dangerous jobs
 The products that are being manufactured are more consistent
and accurate
 Products can be manufactured faster and for longer periods of
time (even possibly 24 hours a day)
However, it also means that:
 People are losing jobs to these machines
 If the company cannot afford the equipment, they are put at a
severe disadvantage to those who can
Technology-enhanced learning:
Examples of how technology has enhanced education are:
 Teachers can use computers to make teaching easier
 Teaching can be provided from anywhere in the world thanks to
online courses
 Interactive whiteboards increase the quality of the teaching
 Online tutorials on sites like YouTube are readily available for a
wide range of things