ITEC-200 Emerging Technology (“ETech”) Project
Your project team has identified an emerging information technology that you think could be important to a business. Your job is to persuade senior management to adopt this technology so they can sell it to their customers or use it themselves to solve a business problem. It’s essential to understand that you are not selling the technology directly to the end users but to your client who will then use it accordingly.
Information Technology is everywhere in our lives. It would be impossible to cover the wide variety of currently available technologies in a one-semester course so the idea in this assignment is to give you freedom to explore an IT that interests your team and give you an opportunity to develop an under-standing of what this IT does and how it adds value to business.
The ETech Project consists of an evaluation of an important, interesting, and innovative IT. A successful project will be one in which:
(1) The IT is relatively new or will be coming into the market in the next 6 months to 2 years, innovative, specific, and has or could have good potential business impact.
(2) The team demonstrates good research skills that clearly show your understanding of the following:
WHAT the IT does
HOW it works (this must include data inputs, processing, output, storage, connectivity, and if data are available for analytics)
HOW you think it can benefit your client (i.e., the problem(s) it will solve)
WHAT the risks are
WHAT your conclusion are
(3) The team demonstrates effective communication – good research is useless unless it is well communicated to its target audience. You need to have clear, concise and informative presentations and written reports.
How to Select a Topic
It is important for teams to select interesting topics. Consider hardware, software and business applications – IT and general business journals devote considerable space to new innovations in IT related areas – be curious!
As your instructors, we will have the final say in the topic chosen by your team but let’s start with the kinds of topics that are not appropriate for this assignment:
1. Any topic from a previous semester presented at the “Best in Class” competition between sections (see the complete list in the file ‘ETech (ITR) Best in Class Topics.pdf’ on Blackboard).
2. Engineering-only type technologies such as batteries, chargers, filters, lights or any other technology that is purely mechanical or electromechanical. Your technology must include the input, processing, and output of data.
3. Consumer-only products or “gadgets”; remember, you are not selling the technology to end users but to a business.
4. Any IT that is too far in the future because quantifying costs and benefits will be too difficult.
Where to Investigate Ideas
• AU Library Subject Guide for ITEC200: http://subjectguides.library.american.edu/itec200
• Weekly technology columns in the NY Times (David Pogue) or WSJ (All Things Digital)
• IT News publications: Computerworld, CIO, Information Week, Wired
• Business publications: WSJ, Fortune, Business Week, Forbes, Economist
• Product Review Guides: CNET and web shopping sites for IT
• A good digital privacy resource is the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): https://www.eff.org
Take the time to read several of the publications above and you will be amazed about what you can write about. What companies are using an IT to innovate in product delivery, service? The source of this innovation may just be a new IT. Explore, be adventurous – you will be amazed at the diverse set of topics that await you and your teammates! Likewise, you are encouraged to read/watch the winning presentations from previous semesters (files and links are posted on Blackboard).
Milestones and Deliverables
In order to help your team to deliver a high-quality project in a timely manner, this assignment has a series of deliverables due at different points of the semester. The first deliverable is an individual assignment in which each team member explores one IT that interests them individually. The remaining components of the project then need to be prepared with your team. The complete set of deliverables includes:
A. Topic Paper (Individual): Choose a potential IT topic in a 1-page report of approximately 300 words. You will write the topic exploration paper individually but share your findings with your teammates. Format:
1. Title in 10 words or less
2. Introduction in 50 words
3. Technology description
4. Business benefits description
5. References. At least one external reference link to a web piece, article, book chapter, etc
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