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Book Contents

Ch. 8
Implementing Communications-Driven and Group Decision Support Systems

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Evaluating Group Support Tools

The following six criteria should be carefully considered when evaluating any of the group support tools mentioned in this section.

Reliability. Many companies want a solution that has proven it can meet their needs. Managers want to know what software and software is going to perform the necessary tasks without failing. Some innovative companies will need to be early adopters of unproven technologies. Reliability should still be evaluated.

Cost. Given the significant costs of technology and the rapid advances of new technologies, companies want an affordable package. We may want to examine the cost per user for a system as well as the total cost of the system. Ongoing operation of a proposed Communications-Driven DSS needs to be considered when solutions are compared.

Scalability. Companies need a package that will easily integrate with existing software applications and hardware platforms. Also, the systems should support all of the anticipated users. Managers do not want to purchase separate components to connect legacy systems with new group support applications.

Security. Many organizations and individuals are beginning to increase the amounts of shared data and number of transactions being executed across firewalls and geographic regions through the Internet. With this increase in shared data, there is an increasing concern regarding the security of this information.

Development features. Many vendors produce standard packages to run on many different platforms. It is important to most organizations that a group support package allows for easy development of customized capabilities.

Ease of installation and use. Companies and managers are under extreme pressure to do things rapidly. With this pressure managers want a software package that is easy to install and requires minimal amounts of training for its users.

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