The need of software programs in computers has led to several programming trends and initiatives. Among the most popular are in-house development, vendor development, and outsourcing. Vendor developed software dominates the market, and it sold through software licensing. Commercial developers spend time and money building state-of-the art applications, and they must protect their investment by copyright laws and software use. Software upgrades and versioning are also another way to sell valuable enhancements and software capabilities. Commercial vendors only sell the compiled code, keeping the source code away from the client. Shareware, open source, and freeware are also in style to decrease software cost and to tap on end-user development and user group development collaboration. All of these initiatives have provided plenty of opportunities for software selection. The most current offering is bundled cloud computing software, which not only provides solutions to hardware but also to application software.

The course materials in this module review a comprehensive list of software concepts as well as advances for developing effective global information systems.

Required Reading

Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2012). Essentials of MIS. (10th Ed.). Learning Track 4: The open source software initiative. Retrieved from

Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2012). Essentials of MIS. (10th Ed.). Learning Track 3: Cloud computing. Retrieved from

Gallaugher, J. (2012). Information Systems: A Harnessing Guide to Information Technology. FlatWorld Knowledge. Gallaugher Chapter 9 - E-textbook

Gallaugher, J. (2012). Information Systems: A Harnessing Guide to Information Technology.Gallaugher - Chapter 9 PPT [PowerPoint slides].

IBM (2008, May 13). Google and IBM produce Cloud computing. [Youtube video]. Retrieved from

IBM. (2008). IBM blue cloud is ready-to-use computing. [Youtube video]. Retrieved from

Forrester Research. (2008). Cloud computer is hyped and overblown. [Youtube video].

Case Assignments

  1. Explain what the software is and how it is used.
  2. Briefly describe the advantages and disadvantages of the software.
    1. Does it reside on a local computer, or is it web-based?
    2. Can the software easily be used via a mobile device?  Is this even necessary?
    3. Is the human-computer interface intuitive, or does it require extensive training?
    4. Is there training support from your organization or the vendor?
    5. Is there a means to report and correct problems?
  1. How would this software help you in a present or future job situation?
    1. Does the software directly match the business process it supports, or is there a gap between the process and the software?  In other words, do people need to use other tools, or can the process be executed completely within the software?  Why?
  2. What recommendations would you provide to improve the software you have used?

Your paper should be short (3-4 pages, not including cover sheet and references) and to the point. It is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner.

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