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Analysis of the Case by DET (Doing Ethics Technique)

Discuss About The Australasian Conference Information Systems.

In the present report, the adoption of novel digital technology and strategy of the organization to adopt 24*7 mobile applications for customer relationship management has been discussed. The company has adopted digital technology, which is ethically questionable. The company adopted new digital strategy so that it can fight stiff competition in the marketplace. Due to the advent of the mobile operators, the revenue of the company started declining, which motivated the company to adopt new strategies. It is important that the company adopt new strategies to increase the customer base and attract new customers. There have been several changes in the engineering culture of the organization, wherein the company adapted the traditional business model to a novel engineering platform. Other than that, the company is trying to reduce the human resource cost by crowdsourcing, in which it hires the employees on a contractual basis (Woods and Howard, 2014). In the present report, different ethical issues in the new changes of the organization will be discussed.

The doing ethics framework is used to analyze the ethical dilemma in a situation and provide recommendations to address them. With this technique, the ethical issues in the Telstra Case study have been analyzed.

With the increased competition in the marketplace, Telstra has adopted various techniques to improvise its digital strategy. Several methods have been included to strengthen its position in the marketplace. It can be stated that the company has decided to completely eliminate the customer relationship department so that the company can reduce the expenditure in the human resources. The crowdsourcing model is effective model; however, the company is not giving permanent employment to the companies. They are also terminating the employees in the customer relationship department of the organization. The long term and the permanent employees of the organization are losing their job. Further, it is breaching the customer and the data privacy. The crowdsourcing is also resulting in the different issues such as issues related to intellectual property, accessibility and the information security (Thomas, Burmeister and Low, 2017).

There are certain ethical issues in the present case study. The company is trying to reduce the cost of organization by adopting new technologies and mobile application which can replace the customer relationship department. The facts in the case study of Telstra are discussed in the present section:

  • Different types of companies are emerging at the marketplace and in the telecom industry, which has result in the company to lose its profits.
  • The company has developed a mobile application, which can provide immediate response to the user queries at any time
  • The mobile application is replacing the customer relationship department and the permanent employees of the organization are losing their jobs. It is an ethical issue for the government and the organization.
  • A large number of people are losing their jobs, which has attracted the attention of the Australian government
  • Further, the company has started using a crowdsourcing platform wherein, it can source talent from the community. Therefore, the company is not giving permanent employment and solely focusing on its profits and return on investment.
  • Although the crowdsourcing platform is reducing the cost of the company, it does not guarantee superior security
  • Being part of the telecom industry, the company has to give importance to the user privacy and security
  • The company is hiring talent at a low cost, which is making the mobile application vulnerable to the external attack
  • The crowdsourcing technology of the company is raising ethical issues concerning user privacy and the intellectual property

With the detailed analysis of the case, several ethical issues can be identified in the case of Telstra. The most significant issue will be the issues related to the user privacy and intellectual property. In the crowdsourcing activity, the company provides access to the confidential and the private user data to the contractual employees. They are temporary employees of the company and can use the confidential organization’s information for malicious intent.

What’s going on?

In crowdsourcing, the company collects the private user information regarding the use of mobile application and this information is accessible to every contractual employee. More people will get familiar to the security system of the organization and can enter the system in future for malicious intent. There is also issue of the intellectual property rights of the people. The application developer is investing in the development of the application; however, they are not given any intellectual property rights. It is a breach of the basic rights of the contractual employees of the organization. When the company is not giving any long term employment to the employees, it will negatively impact the economic growth of the employees. There is also a major issue that the application developer is not given credit of their work and intellectual property rights are breached in the organization (DesJardins, 2011).

Telstra should also be concerned about external malware attack and the probability that the security in the organization will get reduced. As the company is using crowdsourcing activity, it will not be able to implement quality measures and therefore, it will be skeptical to future attacks on the organization.

The digital disruption case of Telstra is impacting diverse stakeholders in the case. In the present section, different stakeholders of the case have been discussed:

Telstra telecom organization: Telstra is the biggest stakeholder in the case. The company has employed several strategies, which will be beneficial for the company in short-term; however, it may impact the company negatively in the long-term. Developing a digital customer relationship management and employing automated system will reduce the cost to the company. It can negatively impact the privacy and the security of the organization. The company has developed various open-source applications, which has reduced the overall cost to the organization; however, it will negatively impact the security infrastructure of the organization (Yoon, 2011). The application has been developed to provide excellent customer relationship services to the customers. It is increasing the efficiency of the organization and customer satisfaction is also growing. The strategic move of the organization is helping it to regain its lost customers. However, if the company loses the confidential data, it will negatively impact the customers and the customer loyalty (Danielewicz-Betz, 2012). The contractual employees will get an easy access to all the data stored in various platforms. It will also bring issues related to user and data privacy.

What are the Facts?

Customers: The customers are another major stakeholder of the organization. There are several people, who will be impacted by the changes in the services provided by the customers. The customer relationship management of the organization will resolve the customer queries and engage different customers (Chakraborty and Chatterjee, 2012).

Cyber criminals: The cyber criminals will get an easy access to the different technological platforms of the company.

There are several ethical issues such as user privacy, data privacy, intellectual property and the job loss. These issues will negatively impact the customer trust, and the information can be used by the cybercriminals for malicious intent. Further, the intellectual property laws will negatively impact the morality of the actions. The case can be analyzed through different ethical theories. The deontological theory agrees with the action as the company is not breaching the law. However, utilitarianism theory states that the actions should be focused at the public good (Bunge, 2012). Therefore, this action is not justified as the user will face the increased risk of data breach and the privacy.

The company should emphasize on adopting user technology and data security with the development of technology. The business organization should adopt a digital framework and security infrastructure to maintain the security of the organization.

The company can redesign it business model or it can increase the digital security. The company can sign data security contracts with the employees hired through crowdsourcing. Additionally, Telstra should relocate the employees from the customer relationship department to other departments (Burmeister, 2013).

The best option for the organization is to enhance the security infrastructure of the organization.

Telstra has selected a digital route in order to provide better customer service experience to its users which provide it a competitive advantage. However, the use of digital structure has raised various issues relating to privacy and security of customers.

The concept of IT governance is related to the implementation of an IT infrastructure in a business. This concept focuses on aligning the objectives of a business along with its IT infrastructure which assists the company in gaining a competitive advantage (Tallon, Ramirez and Short, 2013). However, while complying with IT governance guidelines, there are a number of issues faced by corporations. Most common IT governance issues include the establishment of an IT risk management structure, forming a governance framework, promoting teamwork, using the IT structure to deliver value and conducting a regular audit of the actions (Zarvic et al., 2012). Telstra has implemented an IT risk management framework because the company relies on digital technologies to perform its operations. Effective compliance with IT governance regulations ensures that the privacy and security of customers are secured while they use 24/7 mobile application and crowdsupport platform of the company (Telstra, 2018a).

What are the issues?

In case of Australia, the IT governance framework implemented by the government is relatively strict on IT companies operating in the country. Following policies are required to comply with them (Pink Elephant, 2016).

  • Responsibility

Firstly, companies have to ensure that they use the IT governance framework responsibly to ensure that it is focused towards achieving organisational goals. The senior-level executives of Telstra realise that the company faces a number of privacy and security threats relating to its data and information of its customers. The corporation is responsible; therefore, it has established Security Operations Centre (SOC) which assists in ensuring the security of the company and its customers' data (Telstra, 2018b).

  • Strategy

The IT governance strategy of a company which be clear and it should be focused towards achieving organisational objectives of the business (Rubino and Vitolla, 2014). Telstra’s IT strategy is focused towards improving its customer service experience which provides the company a competitive advantage by achieving its corporate objectives and creating a loyal customer base.

  • Acquisition

The IT governance framework should incorporate both internal and external factors during the decision-making process to ensure its effectiveness. Telstra uses its IT structure for performing both internal and external operations which improve its efficiency.

  • Performance

The IT infrastructure should be established after evaluation of the resources and capabilities of the company because lack of performance resulted in the collapse of security of the IT structure (Pink Elephant, 2016). Telstra understands that issues associated with the use of a crowdsupport platform, therefore, it ensures that its IT structure is capable of ensuring the security and privacy of its members.

  • Conformance

All stakeholders of the company should know about both internet and external regulations regarding IT infrastructure of the company. Knowledge of these regulations avoids confusion, and it ensures that all the IT governance regulations are enforced on the organisation (Pink Elephant, 2016). Telstra issued an annual report regarding its IT governance policies and structure to spread the information about the same.

  • Human Behaviour

An IT governance structure should align with the requirements of human capital in an organisation. The company should clearly assess the needs and characteristics of individuals who are affected by the IT structure, and they should be taken into consideration (Pereira and Da Silva, 2012). The IT infrastructure of Telstra is focused towards improving customer service experience of its members in order to fulfil their needs and increasing efficiency in the organisation.

Following is a list of technologies which are used by Telstra to perform its business operations and to increase the efficiency of its IT infrastructure.

  1. The corporation leveraged digital technologies and established a crowdsupport platform in order to improve its customer service experience. Customers can easily and quickly resolve their queries which are easier solutions than compared to call support.
  2. Telstra has introduced a mobile application for both Android and iOS platform through which customers can resolve their queries 24/7 directly from their homes which increase its loyal customer base (Telstra, 2018c).
  3. The customers also used ‘internet of things’ technologies to provide a ubiquitous experience to its customers and providing them a customised experience.

Who is affected?

Following are a number of advantages which Telstra receives due to use of an effective IT governance structure while using digital technologies in the business.

  • Firstly, it increases the loyal customer base of the company because users receive effective and efficient customer service experience which makes them loyal to the company (Penn, 2016).
  • The use crowdsupport platform reduces the operating costs of the company because the firm did not have to invest heavily in hiring customer service executives and training them to improve their operations.
  • Due to 24/7 mobile application, the corporation is able to reach and provide better customer service experience to users across the globe, whereas, it is not possible in any other scenario.

Telstra takes the issue of security and privacy of its customers very seriously and implements appropriate IT risk management structure to address these issues. Firstly, the corporation has implemented Security Operations Centre (SOC) which is focused towards ensuring that the data of customers and the company is secure from unauthorized access (Telstra, 2018b). The center continuously monitors the digital services of the company for ensuring their security. Furthermore, the corporation has two new cybersecurity centres in the country in order to address the issue of cybersecurity and data breach (Foye, 2017). The company also provides appropriate training to its employees and hires IT professional to maintain the security and privacy of its customers.

Following are different suggestions which can assist Telstra in improving its IT governance framework to maintain the security and privacy of its customers.

  • The corporation uses a crowdsupport platform which creates potential threats for breach of customers’ privacy and security. In order to address these issues, the company should increase awareness among its users to ensure that they take appropriate measures to protect their privacy. For example, encourage them to use strong passwords, report any suspicious activities and carefully monitor their activities to ensure the security of their data.
  • The company should encrypt all of its data along with data from its customer to protect them during transmission because they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks especially in case of use of internet of things devices.
  • Use of updates firewalls and antivirus are must for the company to ensure the security of its users and protect their data from unauthorised access.

Conclusion

To conclude, Telstra has adopted a digital framework in order to provide effective customer service experience to its customers. However, along with advantages, there are many ethical issues has risen due to use of digital technologies relating to security and privacy of its customers. The use of digital framework has increased the risk of cyber-attack and data breach which affects the privacy and security of the company and its customers. Different alternative solutions are discussed in the report, and the best solution is given after evaluated a number of ICT principles. Furthermore, various IT governance issues are discussed in the reports which are faced by Telstra and advantages of the use of technologies are discussed as well. The security and data control measures taken by the company such an establishment of SOC and cybersecurity centers are discussed along with their role in the company. Moreover, recommendations are given in the report for Telstra to improve its IT governance framework and security of its customers such as increase awareness regarding the issue, use of encryption and other security measures such as firewalls and antiviruses.

References

Bunge, M., 2012 Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Ethics: The Good and The Right (Vol. 8). Springer Science & Business Media.

Burmeister, O.K. 2013 Achieving the goal of a global computing code of ethics through an international-localisation hybrid. Ethical Space, 10(4), pp.25-32.

Chakraborty, S.K. and Chatterjee, S.R. eds., 2012 Applied ethics in management: towards new perspectives. Springer Science & Business Media.

Danielewicz-Betz, A., 2012 Interrelation between Work Ethics and Business Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.

DesJardins, J.R., 2011 An introduction to business ethics. McGraw-Hill.

Foye, B., 2017. Telstra to open two new security operations centres in Sydney and Melbourne. [Online] CRN. Available at: https://www.crn.com.au/news/telstra-to-open-two-new-security-operations-centres-in-sydney-and-melbourne-456404 [Accessed on 6th June 2018].

Penn, A., 2016. Transforming the customer experience. [Online] Telstra. Available at: https://exchange.telstra.com.au/transforming-the-customer-experience/ [Accessed on 6th June 2018].

Pereira, R. and da Silva, M.M., 2012. IT governance implementation: The determinant factors. Communications of the IBIMA, 2012, p.1.

Pink Elephant., 2016. ISO 38500 for the Design and Implementation of IT Governance. [Online] Pink Elephant. Available at: https://www.pinkelephantasia.com/iso-38500-governance/ [Accessed on 6th June 2018].

Rubino, M. and Vitolla, F., 2014. Corporate governance and the information system: how a framework for IT governance supports ERM. Corporate Governance, 14(3), pp.320-338.

Singer, P., 2011 Practical ethics. Cambridge university press.

Tallon, P.P., Ramirez, R.V. and Short, J.E., 2013. The information artifact in IT governance: toward a theory of information governance. Journal of Management Information Systems, 30(3), pp.141-178.

Telstra., 2018. Apps for a more magical mobile experience. [Online] Telstra. Available at: https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/moreonyourmobile/apps [Accessed on 6th June 2018].

Telstra., 2018a. Ethics, values governance. [Online] Telstra. Available at: https://exchange.telstra.com.au/ethics-values-governance/ [Accessed on 6th June 2018].

Telstra., 2018b. See the future of cyber security. [Online] Telstra. Available at: https://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/solutions/security/security-operations [Accessed on 6th June 2018].

Thomas, G., Burmeister, O.K. and Low, G., 2017 Issues of Implied Trust in Ethical Hacking. In Proceedings of The 28th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, December(pp. 4-6).

Woods, D. and Howard, E., 2014 An Active Learning Activity for an IT Ethics Course. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(1), p.73.

Yoon, C., 2011 Theory of planned behavior and ethics theory in digital piracy: An integrated model. Journal of business ethics, 100(3), pp.405-417.

Zarvi?, N., Stolze, C., Boehm, M. and Thomas, O., 2012. Dependency-based IT Governance practices in inter-organisational collaborations: A graph-driven elaboration. International Journal of Information Management, 32(6), pp.541-549.

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