2.1Business and Employment

Topic Examples
Traditional businesses Banks, including ATM (automatic teller machines), EFT (electronic funds transfer), hotels, supermarkets, travel agencies.
Online businesses (e-commerce) Working practices such as teleworking and home working.
Transportation Airline reservation systems, navigation, package tracking, traffic control systems, IT systems in cars.

Traditional Businesses

  • Employee monitoring
  • Teleworking
  • Mail merge and macros
  • The Internet, intranets, and extranets
  • Supermarket technology
  • Spreadsheets
  • Banking: digital payment
  • Review Flash Cards

Online Businesses

  • E-commerce
  • E-commerce: C2C
  • Running an online business
  • Consumer data and advertising
  • Web design
  • E-marketing
  • Travel sites
  • Package tracking
  • Review Flash Cards


  • Smart cars
  • Full body scanners
  • Traffic control systems
  • Vehicle tracking
  • Driver monitoring
  • Review Flash Cards

The Smart Planet

IBM's Smart Planet


Employee Monitoring

The following articles are a good introduction to employee monitoring: Is your workplace tracking your computer activities?(HowStuffWorks), Employee Monitoring: It's Not Paranoia - You Really Are Being Watched!, and Employee monitoring: When IT is asked to spy (ComputerWorld).

Harvard Search of E-Mail Stuns Its Faculty Members (NY Times) is a good resource discussing the social impacts and implications of email monitoring.

Employee monitoring can take even more complex approaches:Mind your language (Economist) discusses the use of linguistic analysis software that scans employees' emails looking for key phrases and mood indicators, and identifies employees who may be more likely to commit fraud against the company. IBM's Security Tool (WSJ) performs a similar task. Tesco's have beenaccused of using electronic armbands to monitor its staff (The Independent) while Amazon's treatment of workers has also been criticised (FT).

Privacy in the workplace - ethical issues
Smartphone tracking
Computer Privacy in the Workspace

Wasting Time at Work 2012 - 64% of employees said they visit non-work related websites every day during working hours.

Monitoring Technology

Resource Links

California Specific Issues


  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages in monitoring a network for employers?
  2. 1) Are there any particular occupations for which employee monitoring would be essential? [4 marks]
    2) Discuss whether it should be required by law to inform employees that they are being monitored. [6 marks]
    3) Discuss whether employees should have a right to privacy when they lise their personal email at work. [6 marks]
    4) To what extent do you think monitoring of employees improves their productivity? [8 marks]
    5) To what extent are the different types of employee monitoring acceptable in an office environment? [8 marks]
  3. The management of a medium sized business with 50 employees wants to formalise its monitoring policy. All employees
    have desktop computers. Additionally, many employees have laptop computers which they use when travelling. A
    small number of employees telework from home.
    Create an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that clearly explains how and why management will use technology to monitor
    employees. The policy should cover at least five monitoring technologies. Cover both the monitoring that will be performed
    and the monitoring that will not be performed. Justify each decision.[IO marks]


Work Smart: Best Telecommuting Tools
Telework in the Government Sector
Telecommuting good or bad for business?

TeachICT is a good resource which covers the positive and negative impacts of tele-working on various stakeholders, including employers, employees, and their families.

Is teleworking driving us crazy? (BBC) primarily examines the negative social impacts of teleworking.

When going to the office makes you a better dad than working from home (The Atlantic) and The myth of working from home(BBC) both discuss a recent policy changed at Yahoo! that prevents its workers from tele-working.

Teleworkers often use collaborative tools for sharing general office files. There are free service such as Google Drive , ThinkFree, or Zoho which let you read, share and create written documents, spreadsheets or presentations. See this Computer Shopper article for a comparison between the three suites.

Resource Links:


  1. What are the main disadvantages of teleworking for the major stakeholders? To what extent do the disadvantages of teleworking for employers outweigh the benefits? [8 marks]
  2. Answer the following questions about teleworking.
    • a) Describe the types of jobs that are best suited to teleworking. [4 marks]
    • b) Describe which jobs (if any) you think would be difficult or impossible to do via teleworking. [4 marks]
  3. Consider the career that you wish to have when you leave School or graduate from university. Using what you have learned so far about teleworking, would you be able to telework in your desired job? ,
    • a) If so, explain the advantages and problems would it bring for you and your employer [6 marks]
    • b) If not, explain why not- what would stop it being possible? [6 marks]
    • c) Discuss whether you would want to telework in your chosen career. [8 marks]

Supermarket technology

How 'point of sale' became much more than a fancy calculator(BBC) describes what goes on 'behind the scenes' in typical retailers such as supermarkets.

In the future payment systems may also change: Supermarket of the Future discusses the use of mobile phones as payment devices, while IBM's Supermarket of the Future videodemonstrates how Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology might be used. Wal-Mart, however, cancelled their trial of an RFID 'smart shelf' system before it was even used.

Startup Lets Retail Stores Track Shoppers As Websites Do (MIT) explains how customer tracking is expanding from the online world to 'bricks and mortar' stores. Relatively basic technology such as cameras (albeit hidden in mannequins (NY Times)) or advanced systems that use many different consumer tracking techniques may be used. Various technologies, includingcustomer tracking and electronic tagging have been tried in German supermarkets.

Omo GPS stunt opens doors for marketers is an article detailing an infamous stunt by detergent manufacturer Omo, who included GPS trackers in some products.

Supermarkets have implemented several IT systems into how they deal with things such as storing and organising their products and the methods of payment. Some of the systems include the use of databases to store data on the products and their availability. Bar code readers are another device that has been made due to the development in supermarket systems, this device allows for cashiers to scan the item and therefore automatically updating the database, without any manual work having to be done. There have also been developments in the method of payment, the system used in a supermarket when you purchase an item is called Electronic Fund Transfer at Point-of-Sale (EFTPOS).


1- The customer gives the cashier the bank card
2- The cashier runs card through scan reader and enters value of purchase
3- The store's system connects to the bank's and sends a message
4- The bank uses the account number to access the information and check the balance
5- The bank then sends either a confirmation or rejection message to the store
6- The cashier confirms the purchase and sends an EFT message to the bank
7- The bank then subtracts the purchase value from the person's account and adds it to the store's account
8- The cashier returns the card along with a reciept. none

Download and try out the spreadsheet simulation of EFTPOS in action

Online Businesses

E-Commerce and ITGS: HERE

E-Commerce: How online shopping works

Inside Amazon as it faces its busiest shopping period (BBC video) explains how Amazon's e-commerce systems process 35 orders a second during peak periods such as the run-up to Christmas.

E-Commerce: Running an online business

The Australian government produces the Australian Data Tourism Warehouse (ATDW) for the local tourism industry. The site contains a great deal of useful and practical information about setting up an online business, including hardware and software requirements, costs, and related aspects such as digital marketing. As such, ITGS students may find it a very useful resource to study as part of a Business & Employment or Home & Leisure related case study.

E-Commerce: Customer-to-Customer (C2C)

Customer to Customer (also known as Consumer-to-Consumer or C2C) e-commerce involves buyers and sellers doing direct business with each other. Although a 'middle-man' company may be present, their task is simply to match the client with the buyer (and perhaps take a cut of the transaction) rather than buy stock and sell it at a mark-up. 

The BBC Click video The tech that lets you rent out your bike or car demonstrates one example of a successful C2C system in San Francisco which allows bike and car owners to find people who want to rent them. Airbnb is another example which allows home owners to rent out their rooms - though the New York Times reports that the system may be illegal as it brings local laws on permits and taxation.


Assignment #1

Assignment #2

Having considered the impact of technology on online-business and related issues in the previous lesson, now its time to analyze the impact of online business on buyers, sellers, government and other stakeholders. Before starting this it is worthwhile to examine some interesting aspects of online shopping.



India's e-commerce boom


How Search Engines Work

Inside Knowledge Graph is an interactive insight into how Google collates information and forms relationships between items to produce better search results.

Targeted advertising and consumer data

The collection of customer data and its use for targeted advertising raise a lot of privacy issues. The following news articles give examples of the information companies know about you, and how they acquire it. Data mining also opens the door for less salubrious technologies, such as offering special deals only to certain users (WSJ), and even providing personalised pricing (BBC). How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did (Forbes) is a particularly worrying example of data mining being used to make decisions about a customer.

Other advances - if that is the right word - have enabled companies to match online data with offline activities. Facebook will peer into your grocery bag, for example, explains how supermarket loyalty card data (which is often tied to an email address) can be bought and matched against social network email addresses.

The Wall Street Journal offers these tips to reduce online identity tracking.



Car crash models

Car crash models can be used to test the strength of different car designs, the effects of different safety measures, and the potential injuries to passengers and pedestrians. The following new articles and videos cover car crash models from standard road cars to racing cars:

IT Systems in cars: Smart cars

Even if future vehicles still feature human drivers, it is likely they will use technology to greatly enhance drivers' safety and comfort. A future without car crashes? (BBC), Volvo unveils a cyclist anti-collision system (BBC) and Building the crash-proof car (BBC) cover explain crash avoidance technology. Steer-by-wire technology improves stability and safety by processing all steering inputs via a computer.

Cars can also use networks: either to communicate with other cars to prevent accidents (ARS), or to provide passenger entertainment (BBC video).

To improve driver safety, 'drowsiness detectors' can automatic wake a driver who is  nodding off. Mercedes-Benz has added QR codes to their cars to provide essential information to rescue services.

Cars turn to augmented reality (BBC) and Toyota demos augmented-reality-enhanced car windows (CNET) demonstrate how this technology can be used to enhance a driver's awareness and passengers comfort. 

Smart cars is closely linked to driverless vehicles. The software page contains examples of potential software reliability problems in vehicles.


Study ITGS pages 138-139 and 215-217.

Design and develop a short presentation on your assigned topic with a partner. You may use Prezi or Google Presentation. The Presentation Marking Scheme will be used. Make a copy of the marking scheme in your Google Drive. Insert the name of your topic and the members of your group at the top. Email a copy of the marking scheme to Mr. Weaver ( your presentation with the same address.

Include the following within your presentation:


Body Scanners
TO WHAT EXTENT are people's concerns about full body scanners outweighed by the security benefits they provide? Research the various technologies which can be used instead of body scanners to improve airport security. EVALUATE the appropriateness of each one.

Smart Cars
Smart car technologies are constantly improving. Research some of the recent developments in driver safety and comfort. Label a diagram of a car with the systems used and the techniques they use (for example, sensors) to gather data.


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