Saturday, December 7, 2019
Introduction to Computing Re engineering
Question: Describe why Actor Network Theory is a relevant theory for studying computing. Name and categorise the actants in your stories. Describe how they are acting upon other actants in the assemblage. Include the connection between the hardware and software actants, as well as other categories of actants. Discuss how the actions of the software actants can enhance management functions within the computing news stories. How can you link your analysis to some of the larger issues/questions raised due to the constant use of computing within modern society. Discuss some of advantages/disadvantages of contemporary computing. To achieve this, compare and contrast the viewpoints of a range of theorists and critics explored throughout the module. Conclude by summarising how your answers relate to the statement Within modern computing, every actant acts on or is acted upon by at least one other actant, in order to fulfil the aims of the assemblage. Answer: Introduction The computing technologies have drastically evolved with passing time to innovate new ideas and new methods that utilize the power of scientific data and processing techniques. The rapid advancement of information technology brings about new concepts and elements onto the field that collectively participate in forming an assemblage of computing. These technologies consist of several aspects of science and communication study. It is important to perform an effective evaluation of the system assemblage essentially involves identifying the human and non-human actors that interact with each other by playing individual roles; and ultimately form a network of information systems (Willcocks 2013). For this purpose, the paper analyzes two modern computing stories based on actor network theory to unveil the major aspects of fulfilling the technical objectives of the assemblage by establishing proper interactions among the actants. Actor Network Theory Actor network theory or ANT provides a conceptual framework that guides the socio-technical processes involved in different technological systems. The main components of actor network theory are actor and network. The core of ANT describes interrelationships among the various actors in scientific networks. It is closely relevant to the present study of identifying the participation of actors in modern computing assemblage (Sayes 2014). It is mainly because ANT helps understand the technical innovation processes and scientific knowledge creation. The actors (both human and non-human) act on the network, more specifically, between sociology and technology sciences. Computing story 1: Xiaomi's $45 billion formula for success Xiaomis Mi Pad specifications (pink / green/ blue/ white) entirely resembles with iPad Mini 4s specifications, including display of 7.9 inches, resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, and per inches 326 pixels (Wired UK 2016). In this regard, the CEO and co-founder of Xiaomi, Mr. Lei Jun, have stated that the design of Mi Pad has been greatly influenced by Apples iPhone (Farias and Bender 2012). For this purpose, Xiaomi approached Apple manufacturers and as a result, Mi Pad happened from the inspiration. However, the real story lies in the pricing strategy adopted by Xiaomi that made them worlds most valuable technology start up business (Qiu 2013). It enabled them to not only run successful smart phone business, but also initiated a potential fan base out of its existing as well as new customers. These fans participate in co-designing, facilitating transfer of market demand risk. The strategy enabled Xiaomi to enter into Indian, Indonesian markets and many more. It soon became Chinas biggest smart phone company, selling 7.2 million phones in 2012, 18.7 million in 2013, 61 million in 2014, and finally over 70 million in 2015 (Shih, Lin and Luarn 2014). From the ANT viewpoint, the actants directly involved in the scientific and socio-technical network work together to establish an assemblage that develops a connected life style with a new era of technological innovation. The actor network theory considers the customers as significant human actants in the network of smart phone business. The product it develops and sells can solely determine the fate of the business (Lajoie and Derry 2013). It essentially necessitates the adoption of internet thinking. According to Barra, China has tremendous potential and capability to reach the leading position in consumer electronics in both innovation as well as execution. The socio-technical aspects on the concerned network involve focus, entrepreneurship and scale. ANT analysis reveals Xiaomis mission and the evolution applied on strategies for making Chinese products. In relation to this context, the story seeks to identify the relationships between Xiaomis customer existence and the influence of social elements in the technical objectives of the business (Rainer et al. 2013). Furthermore, it has been identified that the network significantly relies upon and functions depending on the valuable feedbacks from customers, friends, and users; that are considered as the non-human actants indirectly acting upon the assemblage. Computing story 2: The app AutoGo is fixing China's mess of petrol stations The innovative idea of Guang Xiao facilitates a significant boost to the petrol station business in China by means of using an app called AutoGo that transforms the independent petrol stations into a single integrated business brand (Farias and Bender 2012). The AutoGo app is targeted to establish a networking system bringing together all the petrol and fuel stations that presently operate in the market, including Sinopec and PetroChina (Wired UK 2016). This particular app of AutoGos have been able to capture a million users within five months after it launched in 2015 April. Therefore, through this app, an integrated network can be enabled where the petrol stations signs up for free to learn about methods and strategies to enhance their level of service. Apart from that, the app also facilitates the customers by providing them a platform to make online payments for fuel purchase (Fenwick and Edwards 2012). In addition, many other benefits and services can be presented brought to consumers the single platform facilitated by the AutoGo. Some of these features and facilities include easily and efficiently targeting the loyalty discounts, presenting retail offerings through the app online. This particular process brings about significant changes in the mindset of society. It requires analyzing the social-technical aspects from the ANT point of view in order to develop the loyalty programs for doing the marketing at scale (Wired UK 2016). The primary goal or strategy formulated by AutoGo essentially involves building loyalty with the consumers and expanding the retail offering. The independent petrol and fuel station owners in China can now implement easy payment mechanism, loyalty payments, retailing and other relevant services (Davenport 2013). In this context, Xiao shared that he has significant inspiration from the US Company Fleetcor that provides fleet management services. It includes features such as signing up facilities for the gas station owners, loyalty discount offers to fleets and many more. In relation to this context, Xiao utilized the fragmented nature of the petrol station business to apply the asset-light model to integrate the common services in a sin gle brand. The application of ANT in this regard facilitates a contrast as well as interrelationship among the human and non-human actants based on the scientific advancements (Golub and Ortega 2014). Hence, the petrol station owners as well as the customers who pay for fuel online are the human actors who are acted upon by the non-human or technical actants i.e. the AutoGo app. Enhancement of management in the stories The co-founder and CEO took and utilized the positive aspects of Apples manufacturers. However, the he believed to view Xiaomi that brings about innovation and evolution in technological strategies as well as technical objectives rather than establishing itself as a facilitator of quality services (Hooper 2012). The high quality of the companys products e.g. Mi Pad solely and purposefully intends to develop a connected life style in the era of information technology advancements. The effective management of Xiaomi enabled them to become the third largest electronic commerce website (mi.com) all across China. Issues raised in the stories The fundamental strategy that it incorporated relies on the saying less is more. It is relatable with Xiaomis business method of developing a limited number of smart phone products that on the other hand, includes more number of services, facilities features and characteristics. A specific mission also adequately drives the consumers of Mi Pad (Tran et al. 2013). Maofang Road in north Beijing Haidian district there is a Xiaomi showroom that consists of Mi pads, Mi phones, Mi television smart display screens and Mi cloud remote storage. The administrative functions of Xiaomi are targeted to achieve constant improvement. On the other hand, the difference in the scenario for China significantly involves the sudden impact of mobile. The increasing use of mobile phones and smart phones essentially helps the process of making AutoGos app for petrol and fuel stations a huge success (Wired UK 2016). The comparison of actors and network in the story naturally clears the picture of the accurate relationships in its power to influence the society and its interaction with the technical aspects within the identified network (Feng et al. 2013). The human and non-human entities interacting within the network are properly functioning; this is investigated with the help of actor network theory. Conclusion The two stories have been explored from the perspective of actor network theory. A thorough analysis performed on the computing stories using the perspectives of actor network theory helps accurately identifying the actants (human and non-human) and the way the participate in the interactions within the concerned network. It effectively helps realize the importance of an integrated approach that is required to be followed by the associated actors in order to activate the assemblage and enable the operations. The smart innovation and technical developments of modern computing entities have been taken into consideration for evaluating and analyzing the role of actants in an information technology network. The network of technologies identified within the digital world of information and communication technology (ICT) radically transforms societys relationship to technology and the associated human and non-human actors. The study of social science deeply incorporates the identification of technical as well as non-technical components, human associations with the fundamental base. References Davenport, T.H., 2013.Process innovation: reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press. 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