The satellite mapping activities of Google is aggravating the security concerns of many nations. However, if this information is to improve from the nascent stage it is today, where detailing of the maps is restricted to very few countries and beyond them only to landmarks, there will be pressure from affected nations to curtail or block Google’s activities. 2. 2. 2. Cultural Issues regarding free flow of information to children Social pressure is building up against information unsuitable for children and other vulnerable groups available from Google search.
Frequent demands for blocking sites will be raised including possibly a listing of undesirable sites from Google. 2. 2. 3. Information to citizens in controlled societies Many controlled societies like China prefer information to be blocked to their citizens. This pressure could go either way, and the desire for localized censorship could increase or drop depending upon political developments. 2. 2. 4. Privacy of Individuals/ Unchecked Spider accessing confidential information
Concern has been expressed in the past about the Google spider crawling all over the net and retrieving information from restricted sites. Local bodies and citizen groups think of this as an infringement on their privacy and self-respect. Wit improvement in technology pressure will come on Google to respect the need for privacy of individuals and organizations. 2. 3. Geographical Factors 2. 3. 1 Different Languages for access Google, as a Search Engine will need to keep on reaching out to people who do not speak English and meet their information requirements.
While Google is already available in numerous languages, these will have to be augmented progressively to make the search available as the desire for information increases in a multilingual and multicultural world. 2. 3. 2. Translation of Information available in English The information available in languages other, than English, more so in languages which are not native to Europe and America is extremely inadequate compared to the plethora of information available in English. There is a growing demand for people who speak these languages to access information available to the English-speaking people.
There will thus be a demand for translating information into other languages. Considering the enormous amount of data that will need to be processed this appears to be an overwhelming task. 2. 4. Technological Factors 2. 4. 1. Semantics Google’s business continuously works towards pulling meaning from context, contributing towards precise search results, contextual ads and the highly secret and dynamic search algorithm. 2. 4. 2. Technical Talent The Company attracts the best engineers and talent making Google labs an innovative research organization continuously working on new and improved products
2. 4. 3. Artificial Intelligence Google’s Artificial Intelligence team headed by Marissa Meyer is building sharper artificial intelligence. Their new ambient sound translator can identify a TV show from five seconds of computer-captured sound. This will be used for more contextualized ads and content. 2. 4. 4. Innovation and New Products Google is continuously innovating and Google Labs is right now working on extensions for Firefox, Spreadsheets, Photo Organizers, Notebooks, Trends, Mars Mapping, Web Page creators, Transport Conveniencing, Ride Finders and Froogle for mobile users. 2. 4.
5. More Efficient Tools for Search Information There is the need to develop more efficient tools for search information, which can accompany the increase of devices used by the user to save information. There is a universal trend to migrate to digital information. 2. 4. 6. Growth of Wi-Fi The growth of Wi-Fi is mushrooming and will soon become as widespread as broadband. The need for accessing information will grow exponentially as people will be able to access the internet while on the move. Google has published key patents that help the search giant monetize the wireless nets better.
2. 4. 7. Speed of Development Technology is changing at enormous speed and Steve Ballmer, Chairman of Microsoft has predicted that changes in technology might make Google obsolescent in the next five years. He stated at a lecture at Stanford Business school that “if so far, the number of world wide active computing systems has exceeded the 1 billion threshold, by 2008, their number will exceed 2 billion … according to the same ‘clairvoyant’, this new generation of systems will be totally different from the one we have been accustomed to.
In the first place, it is outlined the need to develop much more efficient tools to search information to accompany the increase of devices used by the user to save information. Considering the universal trend of migration to the digital information, its organizing in a structure which is easy to consult and to administer becomes a priority for software producers. ” (Softpedia, Pg 1) 2. 5 Economic Factors 2. 5. 1 Dependence on Advertising Revenues from advertising make up the bulk of revenues for the company.
Advertising spends are dependent on business climate and are known to oscillate significantly with economy. As such any prolonged recession could hurt the company’s revenue growth, which during the last five years been the highest ever recorded by any enterprise. 2. 5. 2. Cash Reserves The company has very substantial cash reserves, approximately US $ 9 billion. It is investing strongly in cutting edge R&D to change from a search engine provider to Technology giant. The company is eying many areas including media, video, telephone, cable and transaction sales.
2. 6 Investigation of IS The previous investigation elaborates the multiplicity of factors, quantitative and qualitative as well as the potential for conflict in forming Google’s corporate and IS strategy. Its incredible rise in a phenomenally short period, its’ transnational character and involvement with different and opposing cultural and political systems create multiple perspectives and the contradictions and inherent conflicts in this sort of business situation. When examining the applicability of various enquiry systems to the situation, it is found that
In UST “everything interacts with everything,” that all branches of inquiry depend fundamentally on one another, and that the widest possible array of disciplines, professions, and branches of knowledge–capturing distinctly different paradigms of thought–must be consciously brought to bear on our problems. (Mitroff & Linstone, 1995, p. 91) It does appear that in situation as complex as this, the UST or Multiple Perspectives IS will probably be the most appropriate to use. Most problems humans face, as individuals or in business situations are complex, consisting of a number of problems with inherent contradictions and conflict.
Sets of problems are related to each other and an attempt at solving a particular set of problems has an effect on another. Google for instance wishes to spread its wings in China and to do this agrees to a certain amount of censorship and blocking of some sites from its’ search engines. This creates a furor in the west as well as with other democratic nations who follow the dictum of free speech. How does Google manage this inherent conflict in its’ business? What will be the best IS system to follow in such a situation?
In examining such a problem, it is evident that multiple perspectives will need to be used. The value in using multiple T (Technical), O (Organizational), and P (Personal) perspectives lies in their ability to yield unique insights. None by itself suffices to deal with a complex system, but together they give a richer base for decision and action. Using a single perspective may be compared to employing a single dimension to depict a three-dimensional object. Each added dimension facilitates comprehension.
On the other hand, the ability to live comfortably with and tolerate multiple perspectives is extremely difficult for many people. No matter how much additional insight they provide, some people simply cannot tolerate three very different perspectives of a single problem. (Mitroff & Linstone, 1995, p. 101) As such, the applicability of the Unbounded Systems Thinking, the Multiple Perspectives Method seems to be most suitable for investigation of Google’s IS strategy. The following figure (Vidgen, R, 2002) shows the various factors which come into play when devising an IS system based on Unbounded Systems Thinking.