Future (finance): How will society work after capitalism?

Future (finance): How will society work after capitalism?


Capitalism refers to a system of economy in which private companies control a state’s industry, trade and profits. In a capitalistic system, capital owners determine prices to ensure maximum return on investment even when the economy is underperforming.

Answer and Explanation

After capitalism, the control of state’s industry, profits and trade will shift from capital owners to workers. Although it is still unclear on how such a concept can be implemented, its proponents argue that it can yield some of the best economic paradigms. Efforts to market their allegedly appropriate frameworks, which include zero marginal cost society, have seen capitalism antagonists poke numerous holes on the system. Capitalism is an economic framework which accurately predicts human behaviors ranging from corruption to micro-economics. Because capital owners have exclusive control of the market, they can manipulate it to benefit at the expense of the majority non-capital owners in society. In this regard, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase.

At some point, society will have to deal with the issue of income inequality. A revival of the Marxist economic theories, such as the zero marginal cost society, is one of the avenues that can be used to address the issue of income inequality. One of the most popular theories proposed by Marxism proponents is the zero marginal cost society. An economic model in which labor is expensive and the marginal cost reduced to zero. With zero marginal costs, production will increase to a level that can meet or exceed demand at the market. In this regard, prices will become affordable and consumption significantly rises. Eventually, while organizations will have an expanded market, the cost of living will reduce to insignificant levels. Thus, the technique will successfully assist the society to eliminate the gap between the rich and the poor in the country. 

Can Russia emulate China’s economic growth model?


China seemingly relies on exports and capital investment as the primary drivers of economic growth. About 40 years ago, the country initiated market-related reforms to encourage both domestic and foreign entities to increase capital investment and improve productivity.    

Answer and Explanation

Russia cannot and should not try to emulate China’s model of economic growth. China and Russia possess different categories of resources. While China has an abundance of cheap labor, Russia relies on natural resources for economic growth.

With the highest population in the world, China has a reliable supply of cheap labor. Foreign companies running away from high labor costs in Europe and the USA have always found a haven in China. A youthful population is readily available to enhance production in the country. Thus, the state can support high capital investment and increased domestic production.

In the case of Russia, the country has a shortage of labor. Compared to China, Russia has a large set of the country’s population possessing formal education. With a relatively better education system and an aging population, Russia will soon start experiencing a severe shortage of both skilled and unskilled labor. In this regard, the country cannot support increased domestic production to a level such as that of China. However, Russia is among the world’s most prosperous countries in terms of natural resources. The country has an abundance of precious metals, oil and natural gas. Thus, the country needs a continuous supply of cheap labor from overseas markets, hence cannot attract foreign investment. Therefore, the state should focus on attracting labor or developing the necessary technology to increase domestic production and economic diversification.

How much of its revenue does a typical power company spend on fuel?


Utility power companies are responsible for the provision of power, which is one of the primary needs of industrial enterprises and households. A utility company can use a wide range of avenues, including natural gas, electricity and multiline to power, to fulfill its responsibility.

Answer and Explanation

The specific amount that a typical power company spends on fuel is challenging to verify. Across different utilities, the energy mix, as well as the proportion of cost used for fuel expense, significantly varies from one company to another. For a firm with a significant either hydro or nuclear capacity, the percentage of the fuel component can is considerably small. However, the utility will have a higher fixed, because it does not derive any return from fuel-based production, but directly passes the cost to the consumer.

A Power Company, including equally yielding hydro, nuclear and fuel components, spends considerably high amount of resources on fuel than in other generation techniques. However, compared to other components, fuel has a significantly reduced initial investment capital. Hydro or nuclear power plants can be relatively expensive to construct. In this regard, while many companies focus on other components to cut operational costs, fuel-based generation is necessary to supplement output. However, a typical power company spends a significantly reduced amount of resources on fuel only when there is a need to increase production to reduce the amount of fixed costs.

What countries should the US impose economic sanctions on?


A country, such as the US, or a conglomerate of nations, including the UN can impose sanctions on another state to punish or encourage behavioral change. Some of the ways that a country or a set of nations can exercise sanctions include quotas, embargoes, non-tariff barriers and asset freezes and seizures.

Answer and Explanation

The US should sanction numerous categories of countries that commit atrocities locally and abroad. With an explicit foreign policy which defines its interaction with other countries and the manner in which its corporation, organizations and system citizens, the US can impose economic sanctions several categories of nations. For instance, the country can impose weapon trade embargoes on warring states. In addition, the country can impose economic sanctions to country that have a record of gross violation of human rights as identified by the UN or the US constitution.

Countries facing allegations of gross misappropriation of public funds through corruption can fall victim of the US economic sanctions. The US can withdraw its economic aid or suspend trade with those countries to until they become accountable to public resources.

The US can also impose economic sanctions to countries linked with terrorism. Economic sanctions imposed on governments found guilty of funding or offering any logistical support to terror groups can immensely assist in ensuring that they have limited resources to achieve their heinous endeavors.

Countries producing and/or testing weapons of mass destruction can receive economic sanctions from the US government. The US sanctions such countries discourage production, selling and purchase of weapons that can lead to devastating man-made disasters.

How do macroeconomics changes have an impact on B2B marketing process?


Macroeconomics is a section of economics, which studies the behavior of the entire economy, including market systems that work on a large scale. The section focuses on phenomena like price levels, inflation, economic growth rates, GDP and national income.

Answer and Explanation

Current Business to Business studies have evaluated factors, which drive seller/buyer relational exchanges in the markets. Nevertheless, the emphasis has primarily been on the customer, the supplier and/or their interactions, but little focus has been put towards the effects of macro-factors on these relationships. The aftermath is a limited knowledge on complexities encompassing macro-environment, the manner which management of such complexities impact the B2B theory and practice and the manner in which their management can yield the differentiation of B2B enterprises. There limited knowledge or an adequate view regarding the operation of B2B companies.

Changes in the macro-environment are both significant and uncontrollable. Some of these changes include social conditions, political and legal changes, technological advancements, civil war and natural disasters. Some of the areas affected by these changes include strategies, technological prowess, decision making and market performances.

What are the economics of a drier cleaner? Why are most so profitable?


Dry cleaning refers to the eaning garments without the use of water. The process is referred to as dry because it does not involve the use of water.

Answer and Explanation

Dry cleaners carry convenience to many people and are profitable because they take advantage of the large general market. Although the end user incurs some costs, they get professionally cleaned set of clothes in return. Dry cleaning does have significant impacts on garment quality and colors. In this regard, dry cleaners offer value that is worth the customer money. However, some dry cleaning organizations have been accused of using unscrupulous means to enhance profitability.

In the US, the economics of a dry cleaner primarily depend on the knowledge of workers and customers. In most cases, dry cleaner owners employ poor people with limited knowledge on the operations of their employer or cannot risk losing their jobs. Such workers provide the business operators with several opportunities to maximize profits.

One of the avenues that drycleaners use to optimize returns on investment is directly exploiting the worker. Because poor employees value their jobs, dry cleaner owners exploit them by deducting some unwarranted charges, such as unoffered lunch, from their wages. In some instances, business owners total fail to compensate workers

Apart from direct exploitation, employers take advantage of the worker’s lack of information to avoid some costs. Many dry cleaner organization pay employees under the table and compensate overtime as straight time in cash to evade FICA and unemployment taxes.

Does China have any chance winning the trade war against America? Why?


Trade between two or more countries is controlled with taxes. For instance, a country in shortage can reduce or eliminate taxes on imports of specific products that are inadequate to encourage increased supply from foreign markets.  

Answer and Explanation

In the long run china may emerge victorious in the trade war against the US. The country has a unique resource that the US does not have. China has an abundance of cheap labor which it can use to power domestic production. On the other hand, the cost of labor in the US is significantly high. In this regard, by imposing taxes on Chinese products, the US will experience a sharp rise in the cost of living. Nevertheless, both countries will experience negative impacts in the short run.

By increasing taxes on Chinese product, the US will significantly reduce income earned from exports. Currently, the US is the largest consumer of Chinese products. In this regard, high taxes will see China lose one of its largest sources of revenue. However, the long run impacts of these taxes will be devastating to the US. Because a reduced amount of taxes on Chinese products, a high number of American corporations shifted production to China to take advantage of cheap labor. In this regard, these companies will have to go back to the US upon the implementation to evade high taxes by the US government. However, the cost of labor is significantly high in the US.

Companies will have to increase selling prices of their products to recover high labor costs. The affordability high and the cost of living will become significantly high in the country. Consequently, the market will start contracting and levels of unemployment significantly increase. With a severe economic situation at hand, the US will be forced to turn on cheap products from China. Thus, whether the US decides to increase tax on Chinese products, China will eventually win the trade war.

How does the zero marginal cost help the society to be uplifted from inequality?


The zero marginal cost idea involves eliminating the cost of increasing production by an extra unit to increase affordability. Market prices include material costs, but not value addition charges.

Answer and Explanation

By implementing a zero marginal cost-based economic framework, a country can overcome inequality. In a capitalistic system, capital is owned by a few members of the society, who control trade, industries and profits. Private companies can manipulate supply and demand to increase returns on investment even without considering the welfare of the economy. Thus, capitalism yields a tremendous gap between the rich and the poor in the society.

Unlike capitalism, the concept of zero marginal cost which involves lowering the cost of products and increasing labor costs can significantly enhance affordability. The prices of products include only the material costs. Because production inputs are owned by the public, sales proceeds or cost recovered are used to pay wages. With higher wages, the people can afford a wide range of products in the market. Consequently, affordability of products increases the market for business organizations. Eventually the people will have significant financial power, while private organizations will make more profits from increased consumption. Thus, system can eliminate the income inequality between the rich and the poor in a country.

Who creates worse recessions, Democratic or republican economic policies?


A recession is a period of at least six months, which is characterized by significant economic declines. In general, Recessions are not a policy issue, but a correction, which emanates from an accumulation of irrational or thoughtful exuberance.

Answer and Explanation

 Republican economic policies create the worst recessions. The Republican Party consists of two constituencies, which are the middle class and the poor. Being economic liberals, republican supporters demand economic opportunities in terms of investment prospects, jobs and trade. Improved perception on individual economic prospects creates significant consumer confidence, which encourages spending. Irrational exuberance escalates as the people start spending even on dubious projects and unnecessary items using borrowed money.  Nevertheless; the real economy is not based on perception. When the inappropriately spent loans come due, a retrenchment starts and recession is inevitable. Republic economic policies result in boom-bust cycles. Busts are also referred to as recessions.

Unlike the Republican approach, Democratic economic policies lead to depression.  The party consists of two major constituencies. One of the proponents is the economically conservative, mostly white people, in favor of the status. The second constituency comprises of the economically conservative disadvantaged, mostly the minorities, who perceive the status quo as permanent and pursue progress through entitlements and services from the government.  In this regard, democratic regimes favor higher taxes, regulation and more expenditure in the public sector. The resulting costs on citizens significantly reduce investor and consumer confidence. Because exuberance is not possible, democratic polices do not yield recessions. Nevertheless, the economy is dominated by a few large investments that can outdo small and midsize competitors through competition of resources, such as labor.

I want India to become a first world country, at the same level as Norway. How can I contribute to it as a citizen?


A first world country is an industrialized and developed nation characterized by democracy, a capitalistic economy, political stability, rule of law, high living standard and economic stability. While there numerous metrics used to define first world country, one of the best indicators of establishing a first world country is human development index.

Answer and Explanation

As citizen, there is much to do for India to become a first world country live alone leveling Norway. On almost every account, Norway is relatively too far when compared to India.  While considering any relevant indicator of socio-economic progress, Norway is one of the most developed countries in the world. On the other hand, India is average at best or tops the list of the least developed nations in the world. Thus, the country requires a combination of numerous contributions from its citizens to become a first world country like Norway.

One of the contributions that the Indians can make to improve economic growth in the country is to pay taxes as required by the government. By paying taxes, Indian citizens can ensure that the government has adequate resources to spend on social services, including health, security and education.

An increase in expenditure on social services can yield remarkable economic. For instance, expenditure on education and health will ensure that the country population becomes more productive. Increased production will generate resources for local consumption and probably for export. Thus, the country will experience significant economic growth from an expansion of the local market, as well as from revenue earned from exports.

Apart from paying taxes, Indian citizens can contribute towards economic growth by providing oversight services. Through activism, citizens should compel the government to appropriately spend public resources.

Why the US does not impose sanctions Qatar despite being linked to terrorist organization


The United States imposes sanctions to specifically punish nations that it can ascertain beyond reasonable doubts that they are guilty committing serious crimes. According to the US foreign policy, allegations are not part of the criteria used to determine the need of imposing sanctions on other countries.

Answer and Explanation

There are several reasons that make the US fail to impose sanctions on Qatar despite allegations of having links with terrorist organizations. The US would be at a great disadvantage if it terminated its relationship with Qatar. Apart from being one of the major US allies, the country is the gateway to the Middle East (ME) region. The United States must cooperate with the country to achieve its agenda in the Middle East. For instance, the US can gather intelligence, put bases and depend on the country in war.

Qatar is also a major economic partner to the United States of America. The country buys a variety of commodities, including weapons, from the US. Moreover, after an increased government to globalize the Qatari local market, several US corporations have started operations in the country.

Just as the United States, the highest level of Qatari government is opposed to terrorism. Nevertheless, the country has powerful individuals who seem to support terrorism by offering either logistical or monetary help. Thus, the US cannot victimize an entire nation because of a few individuals.

Financial and Data Literacy

Financial and Data Literacy

Financial and data literacy is the upcoming evolution of practice in a wide range of sectors. In many organizations, accountants, bookkeepers and certified public accountants have been offering compliance, processing, tax, reporting and accounting services to their clients. In this regard, the accounting practice has accumulated a wide range of methods and information that are used to improve the quality of financial services. Because professionals in this field possess tremendous skills and knowledge, they do not only offer high-quality financial services but provide significant value to their employers. However, many professionals do not possess adequate cybersecurity knowledge and skills. At a time of increasing information and information system threats, organizations have a significantly high risk of cyber-attacks. Large and small organizations can incur significant financial losses, especially from the loss of confidential data and system compromise. Because of the low levels of financial and data literacy, high profile cybercrimes can have devastating impacts on both organizations and individuals. For instance, Hillary Clinton’s bid for presidency 2016 was significantly affected by a release of confidential information acquired through a phishing attack on her campaign manager, John Podesta (Gilbert, 2016). Despite having significant knowledge and skills in campaign management, the manager released confidential information to phishers, hence putting both the candidate’s privacy and that of his boss at stake. Thus, professionals , especially in health sector must possess adequate levels of cyber security threats and risk mitigation knowledge and skills, to effectively execute their duties.  

Case Study Overview

On Jan 28, the ministry of health in Singapore reported a massive cybersecurity breach that leaked confidential records, including the positive status, of about 14,200 HIV victims, their contact details and identification details. According to the ministry of health report to the media, Farrera Brochez, HIV positive American living in Singapore, used numerous techniques, including lying to the ministry of manpower officials. Bronchez’s case reveals numerous information and information system security threats and vulnerabilities in the Singaporean government institutions, which facilitated the successful execution of the breach. Until the breach, access to confidential information from the HIV registry was still active. Moreover, the ministry of health workers has several untrustworthy individuals, including doctors, which can facilitate cyber breaches. With such vulnerabilities, there is a significantly high number of threats, hence an increased risk of privacy breaches, as well as the security of the information system at the ministry of health.


Social Engineering

Social engineering techniques are some of the most effective techniques that can be used to successfully access confidential health information from the ministry of health in Singapore. Phishers are a significant threat to the security of information and information system at the ministry of health in Singapore. Without the appropriate information security policy, departments in the ministry of health cannot effectively protect the privacy of patient and employee information. Failure to regularly update records and revise information access requirements significantly increases the chances of losing information to people who are no longer employees at the ministry. Despite having resigned from the ministry in 2014, doctor Ler could still access confidential information from the registry department. With a high number of information system users such as doctor Ler, the ministry it a considerably high risk of losing information to cybercriminals, especially phishers. Retired personnel can sell or manipulate the system for financial gains.

Despite being one of the simplest methods of com, phishing is one of the most popular and effective techniques of cyber security breach execution. While using spam emails, phishers can successfully send malware or acquire confidential information from unsuspecting employees in an organization. Current statistics indicate that phishing cases have significantly increased in the recent past. A high success rate has sustained a high number of phishing cases in the world. According to Marshal and MailGuard  (2018), about 44% of spam emails contain attachments that contain malware.  Moreover, about 44% of spam emails lead to successful information and information security breaches in the world. Thus, because the ministry of health employees in Singapore possesses significantly reduced levels of information security knowledge, social engineering techniques can be used to successfully compromise the information and information security.

Malware attacks

Apart from compromising privacy, phishing can be used to spread malware, including worms, viruses and Trojans. Phishers can use spam messages to spread malware to compromise the information system. Because of the high success rate of phishing in the world and the reduced level of information security at the ministry of health, phishers can use spam emails to introduce malware in the healthcare information system. A large number of workers cannot easily differentiate genuine and malicious emails. Thus they will probably open attachment links from phishers hence enabling to successfully infect the information system at the ministry of health.

Social Media attacks

Because there are many people with information system access credentials, the cluster that cybercriminals can focus on to compromise information and information system security is extremely large in Singapore. Through social media platforms and websites, cybercriminals can not only target current employees at the ministry but retired personnel. Unlike compared to when access is given to a set of few employees, hackers and attacks have a high chance of success when there is a large number of users with access to confidential information. The high number of employees with access to information indicates that chances of having untrustworthy or vulnerable users are considerably high. In this regard, attackers do not only have a large number of people that they can exploit but a variety of execution techniques as well (Blake, Francis, Johnson, Khan & McCray, 2017). For instance, cybercriminals can choose to focus on users who have inadequate information system security knowledge and skills to execute social engineering-based techniques or directly acquire direct access from untrustworthy employees. Therefore, because there are many employees without sufficient information security knowledge, it is highly likely that attackers and hackers will successfully conduct information security breaches at the ministry of health in Singapore.

Data privacy

With an expanding economy, data has become one of the most valuable assets in the modern organization. Multinational organizations, such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, focus on gathering, using and sharing of data to ensure enhanced operations. In this regard, there is a need to emphasize transparency on the process in which companies request, consent, manage, and adhere to policies to develop trust and accountability with partners and customers who demand privacy. A high number of organizations have identified the purpose of upholding data privacy through failures that have resulted in huge financial losses (Abouelmehdi, Beni-Hessane & Khaloufi, 2018). The 2014 leakage of patient data in Singapore is a typical example that reveals how organizational failures can compromise the privacy of customers and partners. Despite holding essential patient information, the ministry of health is yet to implement an effective access structure that can safeguard data from cybercriminals. Hackers can easily perform uninvited surveillance; hence violate the patients’ rights to privacy. Because the high sensitivity of the health information data, the ministry of health must implement the necessary information security measures to safeguard the privacy right of patients in Singapore.

Although the ministry of health possesses a relatively secure information system, it cannot guarantee the privacy of patients; there are significant loopholes that can lead to violations. The ministry does not have an effective strategy to govern the process of gathering gathered, utilizing and sharing information. In this regard, Employees, such as Ler, may significantly increase the number of data mishandling cases; hence increase the chances of exposing confidential information to unauthorized users, such as Brochez. Because the ministry is yet to implement effective worker verification procedures, it is extremely difficult to protect the privacy of patients, especially when there are many untrustworthy workers in the country. Therefore, the ministry of health cannot guarantee the privacy of patients in the country.

Data Theft

Despite having become a significant information and information system security in many countries across the world, the ministry of health is yet to formulate and implement an effective strategy to prevent data theft. With a significant increase in the number of recorded cases, data theft is already an overwhelming problem in many parts of the world. In 2016, the United States recorded more than 450 breaches that resulted in the exposure of about 12.7 million records. Despite data theft being a significantly overwhelming issue in the world, Singapore still performs a considerably reduced amount of background checks to foreign health experts seeking employment in the country. In this regard, most likely there is a high number of untrustworthy workers, such as Brochez, who used stolen data to enter acquire an opportunity to work in the country. Thus, the ministry of health faces a considerably increased risk of information security breaches from domestic or foreign medical practitioners.

Data Security

In many countries around the world, some of the most compelling data breaches occur in the health sector. In 2015, the top three data breaches in the United States occurred in the health sector. The leakage of confidential health information is the largest data security breach that has ever happened in Singapore. In this regard, the ministry of health must implement robust information security measures to enhance the security of confidential data. Nevertheless, despite the high vulnerability of confidential health data, the Singaporean ministry of health is yet to formulate adequate risk mitigation measures. For instance, the ministry of health does not have an explicit recruitment strategy to facilitate the recruitment of trustworthy data handlers. In this regard, the ministry has been recruiting untrustworthy employees, such as Ler, who pose a significant threat to the privacy of patients (Wang, Ali & Kelly, 2015). Moreover, the ministry cannot prevent cybercriminal emanating from high-risk regions, such as the United States, from working in the country. With a high number of such employees in strategic positions, the information security system is considerably vulnerable to cyber-attacks, hence cannot successfully reduce or eliminate chances of data breaches at the ministry of health.

Proposed Mitigation Strategy

The ministry of health requires an effective information security strategy to reduce or eliminate the chances of information security breaches that can lead to significantly compromise the privacy of patients. In particular, the ministry must ensure that relevant departments possess procedures and tools to prevent threats from getting into the health information system. Moreover, must align its IT management strategies with the organizational structures to effectively reduce or eliminate the occurrence data breaches that may emanate from any part of the organizations. For instance, to minimize the chances of doctors exposing confidential information, the cyber security team must change access rights for several categories of system users. Although doctors should be able to access confidential records, they should be able to copy, print or transfer the materials from the internal information system. Apart from changing the information access structure, the ministry must implement an effective event handling procedure to minimize the impact of information security breaches (Attema et al., 2018). By making such adjustments, the ministry will reduce the rate of security breaches occurrence, as well as their impacts on the patients.

Data Security Policy Changes

The ministry of health must make a wide range of policy-related changes that can yield a significant reduction in the rate of security breaches that can lead to the loss of data and the violation of patient privacy rights. For instance, the ministry should implement information access rights to reduce the chances of privacy breaches and data thefts. Although information security users should be able to access confidential information, they should not be able to make changes that can yield a significant reduction in the risk of data theft from the ministry registry. Furthermore, it is necessary to implement policies to enhance the training of the information system users to increase the level of literacy in all the departments in the ministry.


In Singapore, there is a considerably high risk of information data security breaches, hence data theft and the violation of the patients’ privacy rights. The 2012 information security breach in the country reveals that there exists a high number of information and information system security issues within the ministry of health. Because the ministry does not conduct adequate background checks to significantly reduce or eliminate malicious insiders, who can facilitate the compromise of the information system security. In this regard, malicious insiders and external insiders, such as Brochez and Ler, can easily acquire access to highly confidential information of patients. Furthermore, because the ministry does not conduct information system security training, do not possess adequate skills and knowledge to differentiate genuine requests and malicious actors. Thus, the ministry must make comprehensive changes to its data information security policy to reduce the chances of breaches, especially facilitated by malicious insiders. For instance, the ministry must introduce information system access rights to ensure to reduce the chances of data theft. Furthermore, the ministry should introduce information security training programs that can equip employees with knowledge and skills that can reduce the vulnerability of the information security systems. With such programs, the ministry of health can effectively minimize or eliminate information security breaches, hence reduce the cases of data theft or privacy right violations.


Abouelmehdi, K., Beni-Hessane, A., & Khaloufi, H. (2018). Big healthcare data: preserving security and privacy. Journal of Big Data5(1), 1.

Attema, T., Mancini, E., Spini, G., Abspoel, M., de Gier, J., Fehr, S., … & Cramer, R. (2018). A New Approach to Privacy-Preserving Clinical Decision Support Systems for HIV Treatment. arXiv preprint arXiv:1810.01107.

Blake, L., Francis, V., Johnson, J., Khan, M., & McCray, T. (2017). Developing robust data management strategies for unprecedented challenges to healthcare information. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics14(1).

Marshal, E., & MailGuard P. (2018). MailGuard Blog ? Breaking alerts, news and updates on cybersecurity topics. Retrieved from http://mailguard.com.au/blog/clinton-campaign-phishing

Wang, P., Ali, A., & Kelly, W. (2015, August). Data security and threat modeling for smart city infrastructure. In 2015 International Conference on Cyber Security of Smart Cities, Industrial Control System and Communications (SSIC) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Gilbert, B. (2016, October 31). Hillary Clinton’s campaign got hacked by falling for the oldest trick in the book. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-campaign-john-podesta-got-hacked-by-phishing-2016-10?IR=T

Ethical and Legal and Issues in Healthcare

Ethical and Legal and Issues in Healthcare


Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are some of the most controversial cross spectrum subjects, which a permanent consensus will probably never be identified. A plethora of ethical and legal issues about assisted death and euthanasia fundamentally sustains the debate. For instance, in cases of terminal and chronic illnesses, the scope of compassionate care can be extended to include relieving the patient from pain by way of death, which is generally the most undesirable outcome in healthcare practice. Without a universal understanding of concepts and practices, it is extremely hard to develop common guidelines or policies and agenda in healthcare and many other realms. Moreover, there exists a medical technology and capability limitation, especially in precisely identifying cases of depression, which is highly linked to the need for suicide in both health and terminally ill patients. In this regard, matters regarding euthanasia and physician assisted suicide evokes immense controversy in the public domain, which can cause some confusion in the healthcare realm (Emanuel, Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Urwin & Cohen 2016). However, despite the compelling debate there exists a consensus of purpose regarding matters, such as the need for improved care for the dying patients to minimize requests for hastened death, which can immensely assist in handling the controversy about death and dying (Quill, Back and Block 2016). Therefore, as the legal and ethical discourse persists, there is a need to address the overarching factors that have contributed to the resurgence of the debate regarding physician assisted suicide and euthanasia in the twenty-first century, especially by focusing on matters regarding death with dignity.

A Brief History of Euthanasia

The contentious debate about euthanasia has existed since ancient Rome and Greece where the act was practiced to shorten the suffering of terminally ill patients. Developed from the Greek words ‘eu’, which means good) and ‘thanatos’ for death, euthanasia literally means ‘good death.’ The modern discourse about euthanasia started in the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Thomas More, an English philosopher, addressed the issue of euthanasia in his 1516 work ‘Utopia’ deeming it acceptable in cases of terminal illnesses, but only with magistrates and priests’ permission. In ‘Progress of Knowledge’ 1605, Francis Bacon, another English thinker, reintroduced the term euthanasia in modern western culture. Bacon, as well as other pro-euthanasia ideologies of the early twentieth, such as that of jurist Karl Binding and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche expressed in their 1920 joint authored book titled Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living, indicate that prolonging life in cases of terminal illnesses involves extended suffering for the patients and the people around them. In this regard, euthanasia should be perceived as a social remedy to the agony of the sick, as well as the social economic costs of illnesses. However, euthanasia evokes immense legal, ethical, medical and religious debate. For instance, Christian sentiments on euthanasia have constantly emphasized the sanctity of human life, which the Catholic Church terms as a gift from God, hence should be protected from conception until natural death (Vecchio 2012). With a huge ideological difference between pro and anti-euthanasia factions, the debate on the subject has sailed through the ages up to the modern without even an abstract hint of a consensus.

The Escalation of the Debate. In the late years of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century, the concept of euthanasia, despite being discussed in more acceptable contexts, such as death with dignity and assisted suicide, was still highly contentious. During the period, euthanasia was not only contentious, but the debate degenerated to a plethora of equally controversial components ranging from legal to ethical aspects of the subject. For instance, the legal and ethical discourse about death with dignity focused on factors, such as the will of the patient and the people around him or her, which can necessitate the need for euthanasia. While one of the factions argued that the will of the patients and family should be taken into account when making the decision to undertake euthanasia, the other still maintain that under no any circumstance ending of human life can be acceptable. Activities and sentiments from either side were always met with counter actions and arguments from the opposing side. For example, the formation of the ‘World Federation of Right to Die Societies,’ by twenty-seven groups from eighteen countries, in 1980, received immense criticism, especially from the church. On twenty-sixth June, 1980, the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,’ published a declaration entitled ‘Declaration on Euthanasia,’ which reaffirmed nobody had the authority to permit the murder of an innocent person whether a fetus, an embryo or a child or an adult or terminally ill, in reiteration of the pro-euthanasia activities. Intensified activities from both factions are still sustaining the euthanasia debate in which a consensus seems far from being realized.

The Contemporary Discourse

Underlying Causes of the Heated Debate.

                Denial of Death. Although the euthanasia and physician assisted discourse has existed for ages, the force of the current debate about death and dying, which poses a tremendous dilemma in the medical field is extremely marveling. The primary cause of the resurgence of the assisted death interests is the ambivalent stance of both the society and medicine towards death. According to MacLeod, Wilson and Malpas (2012), the current resurgence of the assisted death debate is propelled by an immense denial of death itself. Because of the success of modern medicine against disease, as well as its increased ability to forestall, patients and physicians cannot perceive death as an unavoidable fact of life but an option. Thus, some people feel that an individual should possess the right to select the method and time of death, because it is a matter of choice.

                An increased Number of Terminal Illnesses and Hospital Deaths. In a bid to deny the power of death, people have assumed some sought of control to conceal it from public scrutiny. The current high number of people dying in hospitals confirms that the society is putting increased efforts to ensure that death is hidden from the public. For instance, the number of people dying in hospital increased from fifty percent in1949 to about 73 percent in 2010, which is about thirty percent increase (MacLeod, Wilson and Malpas 2012). In this regard, people have become extremely unfamiliar with death, because unlike in the past when individuals used to die at home near their loved ones, they are dying far-away in hospitals. Combined with the appearance of new plagues, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, as well as the control of acute infectious illnesses, which have considerably increased the number of chronic diseases, such as arthritis, as well as progressive illness cases, little knowledge about dying has given assisted suicide immense prominence as the simplest answer to the issue of death and the dying process issues.

The Nature of the Debate in the Medical Realm.

While the euthanasia and assisted suicide debate is intensifying in the public domain, the medical profession is largely reluctant about participating, especially because of the wide diversity of opinions among physicians. A 1994 poll, which was published in the New England Journal Medicine, revealed that while physicians are opposed to active euthanasia, they are evenly divided on assisted death (Emanuel, Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Urwin & Cohen 2016). Most of the support for physician assisted suicide came from care givers possessing the least amount of interaction with dying patients, while opposition mostly emanated from those with daily participation. It is suspected that the commonly held believe among oncologists and hematologists that effective use of the existing treatments to relieve the pain and suffering of patients can obviate the need for physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. However, such believe cannot adequately justify the existing professional reluctance, hence there must be overarching issues that are suppressing the interest of physicians (Quill, Back and Block 2016). Medical ethics, which provide significant guidance to medical practitioners, are the most cited source of the reluctance among caregivers.

                Importance of Medical Ethics. Both euthanasia and physicians assisted suicide provoke a dramatic shift from a historic ethic in the medical profession. One of the most essential components of the physician’s duty to the patient is the relief of suffering. Unlike in the past when physical presence and knowledge entailed all that could be offered, anesthesia and modern pain control have immensely improved the ability of medicine to alleviate suffering. Nevertheless, the physician’s special knowledge to heal can be utilized to actively end life. Because of the duality, there emerged one of the earliest and widely recognized Hippocratic admonitions: ‘First, do no harm’ in medicine. Furthermore a more direct prohibition: ‘To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death’ was crafted (Spence, Blanke, Keating & Taylor 2017). Through the admonitions, physicians have been ethically constrained from causing the death of their patients.

The admonitions are not hypothetical, because at their core, there is an overarching concern for value-patient trust. Physicians are required to care for patients they know, as well as strangers whose lives depend on their care. Previous studies confirm that the largest percentage of Americans still have considerable trust in their personal physician. Failure to observe the ‘First, do no harm’ can immensely damage the trust which is the medical profession’s foundation (Radbruch et al. 2016). Thus, because the admonitions provide a clear guideline on the manner in which to conduct in the process of administering care, especially by emphasizing the value of patient, the debate about euthanasia and physician assisted suicide is not as intense as in the public domain.

Ethical Concerns Associated with Hastened Death. The inappropriate extension of the right to reject treatment is another source of ethical concerns regarding physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. In most cases, physician assisted suicide supporters assert that legalizing it would only be a small step from the current regulations. For instance, pro-euthanasia a physician assisted sentiments quote the administering of large doses of substances, such as narcotics, and the withdrawal from life support as nearly equivalent to assisted death. However, this is a misconception, because withholding or withdrawing from life sustaining treatment is only allowed after the patient or his/her proxy decides that the demerits of a treatment outweigh the potential merits (Emanuel, Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Urwin & Cohen 2016). When treatment is stopped, the illness continues along its natural course, hence probably causing death without the involvement of a medical practitioner.

The physicians’ inability to prevent death does not suggest that they have the liberty to intentionally cause it or trigger the process of dying. In the case of administering large doses of narcotics, the intention is to relieve the pain, as well as other symptoms experienced by the dying patients, but not to end life. However, at very high doses, the narcotics can lead to the depression of respiration, which may cause death. Professionally, it is ethical to gradually increase the medication dose regardless of having the potential to depress respiration, hence leading to the death, provided the intent is to relieve pain (Loggers et al. 2013). Despite intent being better known in the heart of the physician, it provides a fundamental distinction in ethics and medicine as it does in law.  Therefore, the right to refuse medication or the administering of large doses of narcotics cannot be used to justify euthanasia or physician assisted death.

                High Prevalence of Depression among Terminally Ill Patients. The prevalence of depression and suicide in terminally ill patients is another source of concern regarding assisted death and euthanasia. Every case of terminal illness consist an element of depression, which may lead to suicide considerations (MacLeod, Wilson & Malpas 2012). Significant depression may emanate from a number of sources, including unrelieved symptoms, the belief that one has become a burden, especially to the family, the fear of abandonment/and or suffering in future, and the sense of worthlessness. Despite the high prevalence of depression among terminally ill patients, there is a compelling challenge, in both healthy and dying patients, to identify a depressed individual. In this regard, significant depression in the dying patients will be missed, and from it, requests for assisted death will arise. Assisting patients to die in such a circumstance does not constitute to the acknowledgement of their autonomy, but a confirmation of their sense of abandonment and worthlessness.

The Way Forward

Considering the existing ethical concerns and challenges regarding the subject of death with dignity, it is highly unlikely that a consensus on the contentious matters will be identified in the near future. However, such a heated debate, which includes highly important matters, has compelling negative impacts, especially in healthcare. For instance, people genuinely in need of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide may not access it in places where it is still illegal. On the other hand, in regions where it is legal, euthanasia or assisted death may be abused. In this regard, while a consensus may not be possible, a solution is required. One of the most effective techniques to handle the issue is to focus on factors that can reduce the force of the current debate, especially by addressing the end of life issues, which are used to justify the need for hastened death.  

Addressing the End of Life Issues    

                Patient Decision-Making Rights. Despite the heated debate, there exist a common ground on several end of life issues, which is occasionally used to justify euthanasia and assisted death. For instance, most people agree that patients possess the right to reject or withdraw or quit medical treatment, even when death is one of the probable consequences of their decision. The consensus is based on the understanding that the possible harm is by far more than the potential benefit of persistent medical treatment. In every state of the US, there is a codification of the medical decision-making right of the patient. For example, in the state of Washington, as well as many other US states, the codification is referred to as the Natural Death Act, which was amended in 1992 to incorporate artificial treatment and hydration, as well as the persistent state condition (Loggers et al. 2013). It is highly essential to understand the medical decision-making right, because the menace of patients being put on machines to sustain their lives against their desire is often used to justify euthanasia and assisted suicide (Glaser & Strauss 2017). Thus, having an open discussion with family members, as well documenting the patient’s wishes is highly important to avoid such scenarios.

                Palliative Care. The need for enhanced care of the dying patient is another widely agreed concept about end of life issues. In most physician assisted death campaigns, repeated testimony on patients dying in agony because of medical ignorance or inattention is among the most compelling arguments, which highlights the need for enhanced physician and other providers education on pain control methods, as well as the demand for hospice programs’ support (Loggers et al. 2013). In this regard, physicians and caregivers must be ready to shift from curative efforts in dying patients to emphasize comfort and palliation. Notably, over eighty percent of patients withdraw euthanasia requests after getting improved symptom control in the Netherlands, which has a well-established healthcare transition from curative efforts to palliative and comfort (Radbruch et al. 2016). Therefore, it is clear that proper care for the dying patients can immensely tone-down the discussion about euthanasia and assisted death.

                HealthCare Reforms. Healthcare reforms to enhance access to quality care is another factor that can immensely assist in addressing the debate about physician assisted death and euthanasia. While the law does not guarantee healthcare for every citizen, it would be ironical to only give euthanasia and physician assisted suicide a constitutional status (Rady and Verheijde 2010). In absence of quality healthcare access assurance, many uncovered dying patients would opt for euthanasia or physician assisted suicide out of fear of an agonizing death (Glaser & Strauss 2017). Thus, to reduce the future demands of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, it is highly essential to ensure that every citizen has a right to quality healthcare.


The debate about euthanasia and assisted death, which significantly increased after the development of ether about one and half centuries ago, has resurfaced in the twenty-first century. Pro-euthanasia and physician assisted suicide sentiments are often supported with the need for the patient autonomy to make decisions regarding death with dignity, especially in cases of the intense suffering experienced by the terminally ill. On the other hand, the anti-euthanasia and assisted death faction cites the ethical concerns and the sanctity of life. In this regard, there exists a continuous and unending debate regarding the end of life issues. Moreover, because of the increased number of terminal illnesses and a reduced understanding of death and the dying process, the debate about euthanasia and assisted death has escalated in the contemporary world. However, previous studies have established that there exists a plethora of factors, which can be used to address the contemporary debate about death with dignity in a similar manner as in the healthcare realm. For instance, improving the care of the dying patients has immense potential to reduce requests for assisted death, hence can tone down the escalated debate on the euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. Emphasizing palliative care can as well ensure that people can come into terms with death as an inevitable fact rather than a matter of choice phenomenon. Therefore, while the debate persists in the public and healthcare domain, focus should shift on mechanisms, which can be used to tone it down, because a consensus about euthanasia and physician may not be achieved in the near future.

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Emanuel, E.J., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B.D., Urwin, J.W. and Cohen, J 2016, Attitudes and practices of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Jama316(1), pp.79-90.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L 2017, Awareness of dying. Routledge.

Loggers, E.T., Starks, H., Shannon-Dudley, M., Back, A.L., Appelbaum, F.R. and Stewart, F.M., 2013. Implementing a death with dignity program at a comprehensive cancer center. New England Journal of Medicine368(15), pp.1417-1424.

MacLeod, R.D., Wilson, D.M. and Malpas, P 2012, Assisted or hastened death: the healthcare practitioner’s dilemma. Global Journal of Health Science4(6), p.87.

Quill, T.E., Back, A.L. and Block, S.D 2016, Responding to patients requesting physician-assisted death: physician involvement at the very end of life, Jama315(3), pp.245-246.

Radbruch, L., Leget, C., Bahr, P., Müller-Busch, C., Ellershaw, J., De Conno, F., Vanden Berghe, P. and board members of the EAPC, 2016. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: a white paper from the European Association for Palliative Care. Palliative medicine30(2), pp.104-116.

Rady, M.Y. and Verheijde, J.L 2010, Continuous deep sedation until death: palliation or physician-assisted death?, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®27(3), pp.205-214.

Spence, R.A., Blanke, C.D., Keating, T.J. and Taylor, L.P., 2017. Responding to patient requests for hastened death: Physician aid in dying and the clinical oncologist. Journal of oncology practice13(10), pp.693-699.

Vecchio, I., Tornali, C., Rampello, L., Rigo, G. S., Migliore, M., & Rampello, L 2012, Brief history of euthanasia and the contribution of medical and surgical ethics to the cultural debate, Acta Medica28, 185.



Table of Contents


1.    Introduction. 3

1.1.     Drawbacks of PI Management 3

1.2.     Organizational Mergers. 4

2.    Enhancing IT Functions in an Organization. 5

3.    Case Study Scenarios. 6

4.    Strategic Analyses. 8

5.    The Zachman Framework. 9

6.    Enterprise Vision Development 10

6.1.     Scope. 11

6.2.     Integration. 15

6.3.     Process Improvement 16

6.3.1.      The AS-IS State or Condition. 16

6.3.2.      TO-BE State. 18

6.3.3.      The Required Change. 19

6.3.4.      Enterprise Application Integration. 20

7.    A SWOT Analysis of the ERP System.. 20

7.1.     Strengths. 21

7.2.     Weaknesses. 21

7.3.     Opportunities. 22

7.4.     Threats. 22

8.    Root Cause Analysis (RCA) 24

8.1.     Problem Definition. 24

8.2.     Problem Evaluation. 25

9.    Prioritized System and Technical Requirements Requirement 26

10.      Conclusion. 27

References. 28


1.      Introduction

One of the typical business goals for a high number of organizations across all industry and the globe is to achieve improved performance. While pursuing to become highly efficient, a firm must interact departments and business functions. In modern organizations, information technology functions are integrated into the business strategy to ensure achievement of business goals. A few decades ago, such integration was achieved through communication between people and parties concerned. Some of the initial information technology systems and paradigms focused on metrics, analysis and quality improvement. In many of the past instances, a considerable number of organizations utilized one or more enterprise system and strategy integration models to enhance business excellence within distinct departments, but the element of people discussions and printing of information from the information technology systems still prevailed. One of the commonly encountered issues emanates from a variety of performance models used in different departments. In many cases, various departments customize performance improvement to meet the demands of a specific process. According to Goedegebuure (2012), different organizational units perceive varied performance improvement models as suitable for their particular scope of practice. Thus, the number of performance improvement techniques and system used even in a single department within an organization can be more than one.  

1.1.            Drawbacks of PI Management

While a robust performance improvement management strategy can be immensely rewarding to an organization, some of its elements possess immense drawbacks. For instance, performance appraisals can have detrimental impacts on employee morale. Moreover, performance improvement management can be immensely time-consuming. Because most of the PI management frameworks possess unique drawbacks, an organization implementing a high number of paradigms possesses a significantly broad scope of drawbacks to manage. In the event of a merger, such disadvantages can be extremely overwhelming to an organization. Therefore, in the case of a merger, an organization must seek a universal framework of performance improvement management to evade an increasing number of demerits associated with multiple paradigms, systems and strategies.

1.2.            Organizational Mergers

With the complexity of large modern organizations and intense market competition, business process improvement paradigms have acquired IT function support, and information technology systems are interconnected and communicate without the need for physical meetings between the involved parties. However, the communication is never smooth; hence firms proceed to struggle with process performance and establish a coherent strategy to merge the existing techniques. While some organizations manage to maintain coherent and straightforward business improvement initiatives, a high number of companies strive with too many procedures, hence leading to transparency issues, because, the use of different paradigms within different sections of an organization usually leads to misunderstanding between departments. However, understanding other departments’ working strategies is an essential requirement for common goal achievement in an organization. According to Romero and Vernadat (2016), understanding of shared goals is highly desirable for in-house benchmarking. Thus, it is increasingly difficult for the current large organizations to conduct effective planning for the realization of collective organizational objectives, especially in the event of a merger.

Because of increased differences in performance improvement frameworks within an organization, mergers can be extremely complex to manage. For instance, integrating two companies with different IT strategies may include a change of both organizations’ business processes, which are composed of overlapping elements, to develop universal goals and objectives for the newly formed firm. In most cases, mergers are highly costly to manage without a comprehensive approach that can be used to reduce a high number of drawbacks emanating from an avalanche of PI management strategies from the merging organizations.

2.      Enhancing IT Functions in an Organization

Because of an increasingly dynamic business environment, modern business organizations must implement an intensive IT management strategy to survive in an immensely competitive environment. Some IT elements, such as Information Assurance (IA), are no longer the responsibility of the IT the department, but of the entire organization, because they rely on an increased number of factors that transcend a single department. For instance, IA does not only rely on technology but with a plethora of both internal and external business environment factors, such as government regulations, systemic competences and the skills of relevant employees. In this regard, IT management must be appropriately integrated with the business strategy to significantly enhance information assurance within an organization. Because like IA, most information technology function rely on an organization-wide array of factors, IT management must be aligned with the overall business strategy to appropriately support the achievement of the organizational goals. Specifically, IT systems and procedures must be appropriately aligned with interdepartmental demands to significantly improve performance. In the case of a merger of relatively different organizations with regard to size and strategy, IT management efforts must be focused on organization’s business environments to identify an effective model for PI strategies within a newly formed organization. For example, a merger of organizations with different ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platforms must address both platform-specific challenges, such as availability and cost, as well as merger-based issues, including communication problems emanating from different organizational cultures and systems (PWC 2019). Therefore, the proposed merger between Auspost and Toll must include a comprehensive analysis of both organization’s IT systems and strategies to appropriately support the overall business strategy.

3.      Case Study Scenarios

With a high cost of IT operations, Auspost must establish an IT integration technique that can enhance the overall organizational performance. However, the currently estimated cost of IT integration and operation as part of the merger is too high for the organization. In this regard, there is a need for intensive strategic analyses to identify the best framework to reduce the high cost of integration, as well as optimize the per annum operation cost reduction efforts. Whether the proposed union is a full merger or an acquisition, the new organization will need considerable integration efforts to reduce the per annum cost of operations, especially for the IT department, especially by emphasizing a one-size-fits-all’ strategy to improve transparency across the organizational structure. However, the level of required integration depends on a wide range of interlocked factors, including the sizes of the merging organizations and the category of the adopted merger. For instance, in a full merger of equal organization usually requires a reduced level of integration, but it is extremely complex to undertake for companies with different sizes (Rouzies, Colman & Angwin 2019). Therefore, there is a need to conduct an extensive analysis to identify the best merger category to implement, hence reduce the cost of integration.

            In the case of a merger, the IT department at Auspost will have to be aligned with the operational demands of Toll to optimize the overall organizational performance. Moreover, because both companies operate on relatively different IT philosophy and platform, they will require an immense integration effort to support the realization of the merger goals. For instance, a full merger of equals will demand an integrated approach to IT management to enhance a ‘unity of effort’ for the achievement of common organizational goals (Ombaka & Jagongo, 2018). To reduce logistical hiatuses, Toll and Auspost IT services must be supported by a single service provider because distinct ISP provide have unique strengths and challenges that can immensely complicate planning, management and operation of the merger. Furthermore, like any other contemporary organization, Toll and Auspost probably include a wide range of performance improvement frameworks for specific processes (Goedegebuure, 2012). Because information technology functions transcend the demands of a single department within an organization, the merger between Auspost and Toll must be conducted while considering an entire organization perspective to considerably improve performance.

            In an acquisition arrangement, where Toll will become an operating department within Auspost, the merger will require a significantly reduced integration effort in the IT department. In a typical organization, despite having an obligation to support the achievement of the entire organization’s goals, each department can have a diversified perception or approach to some specific attributes of management to improve its achievement of departmental objectives. In this regard, organizational strategies and infrastructure usually require significant customization at each department to improve its performance. Because the merging organizations possess immense similarities, including in the type of technology platforms in place, the merger will only require a customization of the acquiring organization’s strategy and infrastructure to support the operations of the acquired firm to be possible (Kumar, 2019). On the other hand, a merger of equals will require an overhaul of the organizational structure for both companies to form a single organization, hence demanding immense integration efforts, because of the enormous departmental differences existing in contemporary business firms. Therefore, compared to the merger of equals, an acquisition is the best merger category to adopt in the case of Auspost and Toll.

Auspost Div1
Auspost Div2
Auspost Div3
Auspost Div4
Merger model (i)

Figure 1: The adopted merger category: Source (course material)

4.      Strategic Analyses

For the Zachman model to adequately support the proposed merger between Auspost and Toll; there is a need to conduct in-depth analyses of the current business processes to identify the specific areas of improvement, hence optimize the performance of the entire organization. As earlier noted, the Zachman model of performance improvement focuses on an organization-wide scope of perspective but does not necessarily lead to specific challenges emanating from a merger. In this regard, combining the Zachman model with effective business analysis techniques, such as the SWOT and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) can considerably enhance shared strategy formulation efforts. For instance, a SWOT analysis of both organizations’ implemented tools  can immensely enhance efforts to precisely identify common strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with regard to CRM (customer relationship management) and SCM (supply chain management), hence significantly improving formulation of a universal strategy to improve the overall performance of the firm resulting from the merger. Moreover, a root cause analysis of specific strengths and weaknesses, hence possibly leading to effective techniques addressing the weaknesses and enhancing the strengths can considerably improve efforts to integrate the information technology of the merger. This analysis adopts the Zachman enterprise framework to ensure improved performance improvement management. Moreover, the study considers several Strategy evaluation techniques, such as SWOT and root cause analysis, to establish effective means that can be used to address unique business challenges and enhance existing opportunities (Cho & Arthurs, 2018). Thus,  a universal IT system and strategy will be developed to ensure a smooth transition of the organization from two distinct firms into a single-highly performing enterprise.

5.      The Zachman Framework

 For the past three decades, the industry has been flooded with techniques methodologies and methods, each of which is intended to radically enhance productivity, hence enabling the delivery of better systems that consume less energy. Although the immense goal is yet to be entirely met, there have been significant achievements. While each new perspective does not provide a means of dealing with the vast problems encountered in the new millennium, it contributes immensely to the entire body of knowledge. John Zachman developed one of the mostly used paradigms for performance improvement in the 1980s. Alblawi, Stracener and Williams (2016) indicate that the Zachman enterprise model (as shown in Table 1 below)  is one of the most utilized techniques for merger management, because of its ease of use and the ability to enhance the organizational focus on the entire array of business processes in an organization. The framework is immensely crucial in the performance improvement management for mergers, because it offers significantly essential guidance in the entire system development lifecycle, hence leading to the adoption of technologies that can address the whole organization’s performance (Bondar, Hsu, Pfouga and Stjepandic 2017). Therefore, the Zachman framework is recommended for management of mergers which include a significantly broad scope of techniques and strategies used for performance improvement. 

 Data (What)Function (How)Network (Where)People (Who)Time (When)Motivation (Why)
Objectives / ScopeList of things important to the enterpriseList of processes the enterprise performsList of locations where the enterprise operatesList of organizational unitsList of business events/cyclesList of business goals/strategies
Model of the BusinessEntity relationship diagram (including m:m, n-ary, attributed relationships)Business process model (physical data flow diagram)Logistics network (nodes and links)Organization chart, with roles; skill sets; security issues.Business master scheduleBusiness plan
Model of the Information SystemData model (converged entities, fully normalized)Essential Data flow diagram; application architectureDistributed system architectureHuman interface architecture (roles, data, access)Dependency diagram, entity life history (process structure)Business rule model
Technology ModelData architecture (tables and columns); map to legacy dataSystem design: structure chart, pseudo-codeSystem architecture (hardware, software types)User interface (how the system will behave); security design“Control flow” diagram (control structure)Business rule design
Detailed RepresentationData design (denormalized), physical storage designDetailed Program DesignNetwork architectureScreens, security architecture (who can see what?)Timing definitionsRule specification in program logic
 (Working systems)
Function SystemConverted dataExecutable programsCommunications facilitiesTrained peopleBusiness eventsEnforced rules

Table 1: The Zachman Framework: Source (course material)

6.      Enterprise Vision Development

For improved performance, Auspost and Toll must develop a common vision to guide overall organizational activities. One of the essential elements of corporate performance improvement management is people. According to Kiesel, Ries and Tielmann (2017), for an organization to substantially improve its output, there must be a coherent system to enable appropriate collaboration between relevant stakeholders, such as employees and customers within different departments. For instance, employees from different departments must be able to communicate to significantly improve customer experience, by providing a comprehensive response to customer queries. Thus, system development for the merger must consider the communication demands of all stakeholders, including those for both Auspost and Toll, especially by implementing a robust ERP package.

Because both stakeholders are distributed across the organization spectrum, the information technology strategy adopted for the merger must consider a broad scope of focus to satisfactorily address the interaction issues among stakeholders across the two merging organizations. For instance, for relevant customer relationship management personnel must continuously communicate with the customer to fetch feedbacks about product and services, as well as with all departments to ensure that suitable experience improvement measures are adopted to enhance the customer experience. In this regard, the CRM system must effectively support communication between the relevant employees and customers to achieve improved performance with regard to consumer experience improvement. Moreover, people are strategically positioned to support operations in the entire organization. Thus, the IT vision for the proposed merger must focus on integrating CRM systems for Auspost and Toll to improve communication between relevant people to enhance the achievement of organizational goals.

6.1.            Scope

            Data. The merger intends to offer international and domestic freight forwarding and supply chain management, international logistics and warehousing, government logistics, parcel and courier delivery, postal, agency, and digital services. Notably, for the company to be able to offer these services, it must adopt the necessary processes and coordination. Figure 2 shows some of the considered data models with regard to the Zachman Enterprise frameworks. The Enterprise data architecture models show some of the essential things that the organization must conduct to ensure improved performance.  

Figure 2:  The Zachman enterprise data architecture models: Source (Bondar, Hsu, Pfouga and Stjepandic 2017).

Processes. Some of the procedures involve general (air) freight forwarding, customs clearance, sea cargo liner and agency operations, container freight services, warehousing, land transport operations, track and trace, and international geo-locational compliance. The organization must support customer activities from request to the delivery of services. For instance, the company must provide essential customer relationship management to improve efficiency. Therefore, the company must have necessary facilities and services, including a smooth flow of information across the entire organizational structure.

From the contextual model, a conceptual framework (from the perspective of planners) can be developed using all the deliverables of row two of the Zachman framework.

Network.  With domestic and international services, the organization needs a global outreach to be able to achieve its objectives. Specifically, the organization needs to establish a presence on major ports of entry in as many countries as possible. Moreover, the organization requires a robust network to support seamless inter-branch communication.   

People. There is a high number of companies and institutions which are immensely crucial to the achievement of the organizational goals for the new organizations. The organization needs to make the necessary arrangements with governments and agencies in its region of operation. For instance, the new organization must cooperate with relevant port authorities, such as FAA (Federal Airport Authority) and CAA (Civil Airport Authority), for appropriate licensing and establishing suitable warehousing and clearing and forwarding infrastructure at the ports of entry. Moreover, Auspost, as the acquiring firm, needs to develop relevant links with Toll’s partners, including British Telecom Plc and AT&T corporations, to improve decision-making for the new firm. Moreover, Auspost will require appropriate communication with its suppliers, including IT services providers, such as IBM, Oracle and Kaspersky, to improve its operations. For instance, the company must cooperate with security product suppliers to ensure improved information security, especially for financial transactions. Moreover, the company requires employees and customers to be able to achieve its objectives. Employees will help the organization to deliver the intended services, while customers assist the company in generating revenue, by purchasing its products. Failure to appropriately collaborate with relevant stakeholders can immensely undermine the organization’s ability to achieve its objectives. For instance, the organization without the necessary customer support can immensely reduce revenues, because of diminished customer support (Cadersaib, Sta & Rahimbux, 2018). Therefore, the company must improve interaction with relevant parties to improve its performance, hence achieve its organizational goals and objectives. For the enterprise to accomplish its goals and objectives, it must immensely enhance collaboration between relevant people in the organizations.

The implemented information systems must support communication and collaboration of people in the entire supply chain to sufficiently enhance customer relationship management. For instance, to ensure a highly enhanced customer relationship, an organization must ensure a continuous supply of products and services. Because the ability to sustain a constant availability of products depends on supply chain management, the organization must provide a seamless flow of activities from the supplier up to the customer. For instance, the supply chain management systems must enhance collaboration between relevant people in the organization and suppliers to be successful. Moreover, the organization must support must keep constant communication between the organization and the consumer. Furthermore, the production department highly depends on customer feedback collected by the customer support departments to design products that meet the needs of the consumer. Therefore, CRM systems must provide the necessary collaboration between relevant people in the merger to successfully meet the organizational goals and objectives.

 The merger category significantly determines the scope of information technology systems and strategy. If an acquisition is preferred, the CRM system for the acquiring firm must be customized to meet the requirements of the acquired firm. On the other hand, if a merger of equal partners is adopted, the CRM systems for both organizations will have to be replaced with a single solution to significantly enhance the achievement of the overall organizational goals and objectives, especially by reducing the cost of IT operations, as well as improve communication between relevant people within the organization (Romero & Vernadat 2016). In this regard, a comprehensive analysis must be conducted to identify the technique of performing the merger as well as the unique IT systemic and strategic requirements that can be used to improve organizational performance. 

Motivation. The primary goal of the merger between Auspost and Toll is to improve financial performance, by increasing revenue and reducing operational costs. In this regard, the company must pursue several performance improvement objectives. For instance, the company must ensure immediate and secure communication between several stakeholders, including the government, management, employees, customers and suppliers, to improve organizational performance aspects, such as workflows and decision-making. Moreover, the organization must improve visibility and transparency across the entire organization by adopting an integrated approach to operation process management, especially in the supply chain. Furthermore, the organization should focus on optimizing performance by reducing the Supply-demand mismatch and improve efficiency (Lapalme, et al. 2016). With improved efficiency in workflows and decision making, secure and immediate communication and transactions, the organization can immensely reduce the cost of operations and increase its revenues having a broadened scope of customers and an extended market region.

6.2.            Integration

Because the firm is a combination of two companies probably with different philosophies, targets, customers, management and systems, it will require immense integration to achieve enterprise objectives. For instance, to achieve improved communication across the entire organization, the enterprise must integrate some divisions, such as email services, in the two merging firms. Moreover, the organization must integrate the domestic logistics-related processes and data to enhance the delivery of the parcels in the domicile country. Furthermore, the organization must emphasize an integrated operation to logistics and freight forwarding logistics canters (Weichhart, Stary & Vernadat, 2018). Thus, the organization should conduct an extensive analysis to establish areas of improvement to achieve its objectives.

People. For a proper IT system and strategy integration, there is a need to identify a conceptual architecture or a business model with defined deliverables, including workflows with defined responsibilities and the expected output for specific people in the organization. In the current highly competitive business environment, the IT strategy must be appropriately aligned with the business model to significantly enhance the achievement of the organizational objectives. In this regard, for a seamless IT systems integration, a new IT strategy in line with the proposed model business model must be formulated to guide the transition (Weichhart, Stary & Vernadat 2018). However, in the case of an acquisition, where Toll will be incorporated in the business model of the Auspost, as the acquiring firm, its IT strategy of the can be adopted to guide the transition.

Figure 3 below shows a business system model, which is derived from the Zachmam enterprise framework. 

Figure 3: Business System model, the planners perspective; Source (Weichhar, Stary & Vernadat 2018)

6.3.            Process Improvement

The organization must conduct tremendous systemic changes to achieve its organizational objectives. Although the merging organizations possess immense similarities, there is a plethora of system architecture artefacts that must be changed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in the entire organization (Vitasovic, Olsson, Liner, Sweeney & Abkian, 2015). For instance, the organization must implement an integrated sales platform to address the demands of the enterprise, which include an expanded market, increased customer diversity and possibly enormous differences existing in the sales departments of the two merging organizations.

6.3.1.      The AS-IS State or Condition

 Currently, there are two distinct enterprises with almost equal differences as similarities in the implemented information systems, with some of them possessing a distinct approach to operations. For instance, Auspost implements SAP ERP R/7 while Toll implements the Oracle eBusiness Suite ERP which uses a different approach to enterprise resource management, hence resulting in significantly varied architectural artifacts. Examining the differences and similarities between Oracle ERP and SAP ERP, and other aspects of the merging companies can immensely assist in identification and understanding of the probable issues that will emerge from the merger. 

            To achieve the organizational objectives, the Zachman framework suggests a business information model, such as shown in Figure 4 below. In

Figure 4: Business Information Model (Weichhar, Stary & Vernadat 2018).

Oracle ERP and SAP ERP

 Both Oracle and SAP (System Application and Products) offer business solutions, including SCM software, CRM software and HCM (Human Capital Management) software. However, the two companies utilize different strategies with regard to the development of business solutions and market orientation, hence possesses unique strengths and weakness for specific categories of businesses. Figure 5 below shows that Oracle ERP and SAP solutions possess a wide range of similarities, but some differences, as well. For instance, SAP primarily utilizes a ground-up method to build its products which possess a deep functionality but is highly skill and time intensive during implementation. Because of increased depth in its products, SAP targets companies with at least $1 billion in per annum revenues. On the other hand, Oracle focuses companies with at least $750 million in annual revenue to increase its market size through affordability.  Moreover, Oracle acquires product lines to offer flexible functionality to its wide range of industry niches. Nevertheless, niche functionality is yet to fully transition from the e-business suite and JD Edwards to the new products; hence Oracle ERPs still encounter a wide range of challenges in some industries. Therefore, Oracle ERP provides increased flexibility in functionality, but lacks substantial depth for some functions, such as security, while SAP ERP offers depth for a few organizational services.

With an increased number of functions and need for depth for some processes, such as financial transactions and a wide range of processes, because of the merger, the enterprise requires both depth and flexibility to significantly improve performance. In this regard, both Oracle ERP and SAP ERPs are essential to the smooth running of the organizations. However, with the two ERP products, the organization is subject to immense challenges, especially in SCM and CRM, because of the expected integration issues (Rouzies, Colman & Angwin 2019). For instance, because SAP is yet to improve interaction with the non-SAP customer base, the company will encounter a significant reduction in the quality of communication between SAP and Oracle customers (Chofreh, Goni & Klemeš 2018). Therefore, the company must identify a system integration technique to ensure improved services from both sections of the company.

Figure 5: A comparison of SAP ERP and Oracle ERP: Source TEC (2019).

6.3.2.      TO-BE State

The envisioned organization needs to have immense visibility and transparency to enhance a smooth flow of activities, as well as reduce operational costs. Figure 6 below shows an integration model derived from the Zachman enterprise framework. Using such a structure, the organization can achieve immense visibility and transparency. For instance, customer request can be processed without any major challenger regardless of their CRM platform. Moreover, SCM employees and applications can interact in the internal and the external environment to eliminate resource wastage in the supply chain (Seyffarth, Kuehnel & Sackmann 2018). For example, the company must implement the necessary changes to ensure that customer feedback can be received and addressed immediately to improve customer experience. With the proposed setup, the Toll, which uses Oracle Siebel CRM will function as a department within the Auspost, which utilizes the SAP ERP, it is expected the organization will face immense transparency and visibility challenges. Therefore, tremendous integration efforts are required to integrate Toll to the Auspost. 

Figure 6: The integration of business information and system models using the Zachman Framework: Source (Weichhar, Stary & Vernadat 2018).

6.3.3.      The Required Change

Both SAP ERP and Oracle ERP are essential to the effective and efficient functioning of an organization; hence they must be incorporated in the new enterprise. In this regard, a hybrid ERP solution, including SAP ERP for the acquiring firm and Oracle ERP for the acquired company, is required. With a hybrid ERP, the organization will be able to achieve significant visibility and transparency on matters without performing extensive customization to the existing system and strategy (Paredes-Gualtor, Moscoso-Zea & Luján-Mora 2018). However, the necessary integration will be needed for some of the ERP tools, such as the CRM and SCM to improve communication across the entire business environment. SalesForce.com is one of the platforms that the enterprise can use to integrate Oracle Siebel (the Oracle CRM tool) on the cloud to improve communication (Trivedi, Negi, Anand, Patankar & Kumar 2018). Figure 7 below shows integration architecture for the proposed hybrid solution where the oracle is integrated to the in-house IT environment through a third party cloud platform.

Figure 7: Oracle integration cloud service: Source Cheng (2018).

7.      A SWOT Analysis of the ERP System

 The success of the proposed merger immensely depends on the ability to identify overarching strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats resulting from strategic and systemic integration of the two distinct ERP tools. For instance, with a clear understanding of the strengths, the business can establish a clear requirement prioritization scheme to improve the performance of the enterprise (Ahmadi, M. R., Maleki & Ahmadi 2019). Moreover, with a comprehensive description of the overarching strengths, the organization can implement effective performance improvement strategies (Waschull, Wortmann & Bokhorst 2018). Therefore, efforts to improve enterprise performance should begin with an in-depth SWOT analysis of the proposed ERP solution.

7.1.            Strengths

A hybrid ERP package includes a plethora of strengths that can be used to significantly improve the newly formed organization. For instance, the proposed solution will help the company to manage the high number of customers distributed across effectively. The solution will help the company to retain both SAP ERP and Oracle Siebel customers, hence steady financial performance. Moreover, the company will possess a broad market scope to acquire new customers and suppliers, especially because of retaining the Oracle ERP, which can be used in a wide range of industries. Furthermore, most of the processes will be highly secure, because a significant part of the organization will be under the SAP ERP (Jain & Sharma 2016). Thus, the organization will need a significantly reduced security integration effort.

7.2.            Weaknesses

            The proposed ERP solution possesses several weaknesses, especially with regard to information security and operational cost, hence must be supplemented with additional performance improvement methods. SalesForce.com will slightly increase the cost of enterprise resource planning for the new organization. Because part of the enterprise will enterprise will be using Oracle ERP and the cloud component of the solution, the organization will encounter a few information security challenges. For instance, the cloud component, which is a shared resource, will introduce IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities, such as BYOA (Bring Your Own Device) and BYOA (Bring Your Own Application), with immense information security risks. Moreover, the solution introduces a cloud interface controlled by a third party, hence leaking confidential data to people outside the organization. Furthermore, the hybrid ERP includes a SAP component, which is an in-house-IT solution, hence may significantly impact transactions and communications when hosted on the cloud (Demyanova et al. 2018). Therefore, the organization must consider deploying extensive risk mitigation and performance improvement measures to reduce chances of cyber-attacks.

7.3.            Opportunities

Despite having a high number of security challenges, the hybrid ERP solution possesses immense opportunities that the organization can exploit to improve the performance. For instance, the company can utilize the cloud infrastructure to implement other performance boosting components, including IoT systems and storage, at a significantly reduced cost. IoT systems with remote access capabilities can immensely assist the organization in conducting and monitoring its significantly increased field activities, especially because of its extended global presence.  Using the IoT systems, the firm can deploy remote access capabilities, such as the BYOA and BYOD, to increase the number of people accessing the company network. Furthermore, cloud services can be used to automate services at the company headquarters and main branches. For example, the company can implement IoT systems, such as smart offices at the main branches to enhance coordination and management activities. Moreover, the company can use the cloud to exploit the cloud infrastructure to automate services, such as training, maintenance, and troubleshooting services. Because most of the cloud services are offered on a pay-per-request basis, they are considerably cheaper compared to the in-house IT systems (Chavarría-Barrientos, Batres, Wright & Molina 2018). Therefore, the hybrid ERP tool will immensely enhance cloud services benchmarking efforts for the company to improve efficiency and effectiveness, hence reduce the cost of operation and management.

7.4.            Threats

 The proposed solution possesses several risks that the company must address to ensure continuous business operation and achievement of organizational goals. One of the primary threats associated with the new solution is the expected change resistance. Information systems usually encounter immense resistance from customers and employees, hence leading to an extremely complicated and costly implementation. Failure to address change resistance can collapse the integration, hence leading to tremendous financial losses, especially from the funds invested in the project and increased cost of operations. Thus, the company must appropriately address change resistance issues to ensure successful implementation of the integration project.

            The cloud element of the solution, which immensely increases information security risks for the company, is another source of significant threats because it allows third-party access to confidential information. ERP tools, such as CRM and SCM, usually utilize sensitive data from customers and suppliers. In this regard, by transferring some of these services to the cloud offers the cloud services providers access to confidential, hence reducing the organization’s control over information security. Moreover, because IoT systems include a wide range of information security issues, the organization will significantly increase the cyber-attack risks, by deploying cloud hosted IoT services. Furthermore, some IoT capabilities, such as BYOA and BYOD, considerably increase the cost of CNO (computer network operation), by increasing the number of devices and applications accessing the company network. Moreover, the IoT systems introduce a significant information security risks, especially from shadow IT that includes a vast network of devices, embedded to the company network, which the organization cannot monitor or manage. With such information security risks, the frequency of information system attacks, with some of them leading to extremely long downtimes, may significantly increase, hence leading to enormous disaster recovery costs and loss of revenue, when core operations are affected. Therefore, the company must adopt appropriate techniques to mitigate immense cyber-threats emanating from the implementation of the hybrid ERP solution.

8.      Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

The enterprise must address all or a significant part of the threats and weaknesses addressed, by conducting a SWOT analysis of the hybrid ERP. Moreover, by performing a root cause analysis, the organization can identify some of the most efficient techniques to address the proposed ERP solution. For instance, by recognizing that the most significant source of information security risk is BYOA and BYOD aspects, the organization can start implementing risk mitigation measures at the IoT device layer level. Figure 8 below shows a root cause analysis procedure, which can be used to identify effective methods to address the proposed hybrid ERP package.

Figure 8: The Root Cause Analysis Cycle: Source (Seyffarth, Kuehnel, Sackmann 2018).

8.1.            Problem Definition

The SWOT analysis of the proposed solution reveals significant weaknesses and threats that can adversely impact operations, hence organization performance. Some of the major weakness and threats identified include:

  • Change Resistance
  • High cost of maintenance
  • Business continuity challenges
  • Reduced process quality
  • The increased cost of operations
  • Increased CNO costs

8.2.            Problem Evaluation

A cross-examination of the primary threats and weaknesses reveals a set of overarching factors that the organization must at least attempt to address to ensure successful integration. For instance, one of the primary sources of change resistance is the lack of necessary skills set and knowledge from relevant stakeholders expected to interact with the system under implementation. Moreover, a lack of clear understanding of the purpose and implications of the new systems can lead to substantial change resistance. In this regard, the organization must conduct immense stakeholders’ mobilization seminars and training to enhance system implementation of the project. However, some projects fail even after implementing a training and mobilization strategy. In this regard, there must be underlying factors either connected to training and mobilization strategies or not, which precipitate change resistance.

High CNO, maintenance and operational costs and business continuity challenges emanate from either extensive system complexity or increased frequency and length of downtimes. Because the proposed solution is an integration of two considerably different solutions on a third-party platform, it is expected to significantly complicate the integrated solution compared to each of the currently existing systems. Specifically, hosting SAP ERP, which is largely an in-house IT solution, is expected to be significantly complicated. On the other hand, the cloud-hosted integration platform is expected to substantially increase the information security risks, which possibly can raise the frequency of attacks, hence leading o downtimes. Efforts to address integration platform related issues can yield tremendous outcomes in threat and weakness reduction. Similarly, the rest of the problems associated with the proposed solution can be addressed using a common underlying factor to reduce the cost developing, implementing and operating the solution. Table 2 below shows some of the identified root causes of proposed solution issues, as well as the recommended corrective measures.         

Problem identificationRoot CauseCorrective Action
Change ResistanceLack of inclusive system development.Inclusive project development teams
High Cost of MaintenanceCloud-based integration  Use of powerful cloud platform owned by trustworthy third-parties and qualified personnel to conduct the necessary integration. Implementation of proper cloud-based information security risks mitigation tools.
Business Continuity ChallengesCloud-based integration and lack of inclusive project development effortUse of powerful cloud platform owned by trustworthy third-parties and qualified personnel to conduct the necessary integration. Inclusive project development teams
Increased cost of operationsCloud-based integrationUse of a powerful cloud platform owned by trustworthy third-parties and qualified personnel to conduct the necessary combination.  
Reduced Process qualityCloud-based integrationUse of powerful cloud platform owned by trustworthy third-parties and qualified personnel to conduct the necessary integration.  
Increased CNO costsCloud-based integration  Use of powerful cloud platform owned by trustworthy third-parties and qualified personnel to conduct the necessary integration

 Table 2: Part of the business root cause analysis

From Table 1, it is clear that most of the proposed solutions are linked to the on-cloud integration of the SAP ERP and Oracle ERP package. Thus, the organization must ensure that threat and weakness reduction efforts are appropriately addressed during the migration of the system to the cloud. Moreover, the organization must conduct continuous monitoring of the implemented solution, to identify any more issues. If further problems are identified, the same cycle should be followed to establish the most effective solutions.  

9.      Conclusion

The Zachman framework yields an integrated enterprise with immensely improved performance, because it enhances immense transparency and visibility across the entire organization. In this regard, the framework can be used to integrate two different organizations, especially after a merger or an acquisition. The toll can be integrated into the Auspost after the acquisition to form a single enterprise with immensely improved performance. For instance, by integrating the Toll’s IT department into that of Ausopost, the organization can immensely reduce the cost of operation, as well as coordinate essential activities, such as CRM and SCM in the entire organization. However, because of strategic and systemic differences between the two distinct firms, there is a wide range of issues that must be addressed to ensure that the organization can achieve its intended objectives and goals. For example, the integration of Auspost and Toll must consider the overarching differences between the implemented Enterprise resource planning packages to improve customer relationship management and supply chain management. While Toll utilizes an Oracle ERP package that has a wide range of applicability, but reduced depth, Auspost uses SAP ERP, which emphasizes depth.  Thus, by using a hybrid design composed of Oracle and SAP packages can assist the organization to harness the benefits of both solutions. Nevertheless, although performance improvement effort is essential, an organization must conduct extensive analyses to establish weakness and threats associated with such activities. For example, a root cause analysis of the proposed hybrid solution reveals several drawbacks which can be addressed through the integration strategy adopted. Therefore, the proposed IT integration will effectively help the organization reduce operational costs, through improved visibility and transparency, as well as by minimizing the cost of IT operations, without including immense threats and weaknesses.




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Emerging Technologies

Emerging Technologies

Emerging Technologies

            The need to enhance cyber-security for space programs is manifested in the increased government, economies and infrastructure dependence on space-supported services, such as the GPS (global positioning system), which are significantly vulnerable to the cyber operations. While operation of space assets immensely relies on internet-based networks, and the internet becomes increasingly dependent on space-supported information and communication services, cyberspace and outer space are converging. However, meshing cyberspace and space includes immense challenges that must be addressed to reduce probable national security risks. According to Fidle (2018), an industry, government and international effort is required to address cyberspace and space challenges. Specifically, actors in the private sector should adopt robust cyber-security best practices and cooperate with one another on cyber-security strategy implementation improvement. Therefore,

TechFite Security Demands

            The business relationship between TechFite and the US government through Federal government agencies, such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), indicates that the organization must implement a robust information security strategy, because of the currently increased space cyber-security risks. Moreover, the organization must significantly improve information security for its business partners. With regard to the NIST framework, TechFite must emphasize identification, protection and detection of, and response to cyber-security threats. Furthermore, the company must deploy efficient information security strategies to comply with the demands of customers future customers from outside the US. Thus, regardless of a shrinking budget, TechFite must implement a robust cyber security solution to meet the immediate, as well as future organizational demands.

            The current information security system at TechFite is considerably ineffective, hence inadequate to help the organization meet its endeavours. For instance, the organization is yet to install adequate storage infrastructure for the significantly increased firewall logs. Moreover, the collaboration between Techfite and NASA, as well as other similar European space agencies and JAXA will immensely increase the information responsibilities for the organization. As earlier noted, space services are currently at an increasingly high cyber-security risk. Furthermore, space services In this regard, an organization, whether directly or indirectly, dealing with or dependent on space services must implement effective cyber-security risk mitigation strategies to reduce or avoid information security incidences. Thus, for TrendFite to successfully meet its vision,

Proposed Solution

The blockchain is the cyber-security solution proposed for the TechFite.

Solution Category Justification

Implementation Plan

Adoption timing

Early adoption of risks and benefits

Later adoption risks and benefits

Potential Impacts of the Security System

Positive impacts on people and processes

Negative impacts on people and processes

Addressing the Negative impacts

Technological Opportunity Cost

Support of the organizational mission, goals and vision

System Performance Metrics


Fidler, D. P. (2018, April 3). Cybersecurity and the new era of space activities. Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/report/cybersecurity-and-new-era-space-activities

Eat Drink man woman

Eat Drink man woman

Eat Drink man woman

            Literary elements play an extremely essential role in film, by enhancing director-viewer communication, as well as unique methods of articulating the message. Film directors can use scenes to articulate their intended message or evoke a particular reaction from the viewer.

Eat Drink man woman is a Chinese romantic-comedy film directed by Ang Lee .The story revolves around the life of Mr. Chu, a widower living in Taipei city of Taiwan with his three daughters. The drama balances on the relationships within this family of a master chef who’s lost his sense of taste. In this typical Taiwanese family of the 90’s entanglement is observable with every member of the family struggling with their own baggage in a society where traditions are still affecting the lives of those living in Taiwan.

Nevertheless, failure to use literary devices in a consistent manner can send conflicting messages and evoke unintended reactions, as well as confuse the viewers. For instance, some of the scenes in Eat Drink man woman film are highly disturbing and emotionally affecting, while the movie is a romantic-comedy drama; hence supposed to be comical.

 On the other hand cultural pattern, such as low context communication is used to express how cross-age communication is inclined in this culture and the taboo of talking about sensitive life topics when Mr. Chu openly talks to his daughters about their relationship life’s.  The low-context communication is portrayed in the manner by which the family emphasizes verbal messages so as to know about the family members’ wellbeing. The Chu’s family has a Sunday dinner where each member of the family can share verbally, about recent developments.

Therefore, Eat Drink man woman film, utilizes scenes that contradict the belief that in the Chinese culture  such issues cannot be openly discussed amongst family members and especially in a father to daughter setting like this one.

Scenes and camera angles focus vastly on the cuisine and magnifying Mr. Chu’s culinary skills more than anything else. These off the rail shots draw the emphasis away from the intended theme of comical and romantic effect .It is because of this that most reviews about the film give appraisal to the families culinary traditions giving less emphasis on the entire emotional drift that was meant to be a key theme of the film.

Show the manner in which cultural patterns such as the low context communication language contradict the Chinese culture; hence reinforcing the change theme in the movie, which is the primary theme in the movie. Low context culture is associated with individualism where individual affairs are valued higher than the groups and members are independent and value privacy even in the presence of family. In the Chinese culture members of the same family do not openly talk about their relationships at the family table hence the theme of the film contradicts the culture it is representing.

The scenes articulate particular emotions and send a message regardless of the viewers’ expectations. All the scenes were professionally taken to evoke the intended and unintended reactions. On the other hand the cultural patterns exemplified in this movie are low-context communication, individualism and equality; evident in the manner by which the family emphasizes verbal messages, the manner in which the daughters aggressively pursue their personal goals and, how the family members seem to share roles and duties.


Does the United States violate the WHO rules

Does the United States violate the WHO rules

Does the United States violate the WHO rules when it imposes economic sanctions on other countries?


A sanction refers to threatened punishment or penalty for acting in the contrary to a certain rule, law or failing to meet a particular expectation. While making sanction-related decisions, many countries use a set of codes that do not necessary adhere to the international guidelines on sanctions. 

Answer and Explanation

When imposing sanctions the US may violate or uphold WHO rules. Depending on the circumstances and outcome of a sanction, USA upholds or violates WHO rules. A cross-examination of the major categories of US economic sanctions indicates that the country does not necessarily observe WHO rules when imposing economic sanctions.

Arms embargoes- imposing arms embargoes in countries rocked with internal conflicts can reduce the intensity of war and increase economic activities. An increase in economic activities raises the aggregate household income increases to enhance affordability of balanced diets and healthcare in the sanctioned countries. Thus, by imposing embargoes, the US may uphold WHO rules.

Financial sanctions- the outcome of financial sanctions can be extremely devastating to the sanctioned country. Financial sanctions can make credit scarce, negatively affect capital markets, decrease trade and increase trade. Any of these impacts increases the level of unemployment in the sanctioned countries. Because the unemployed people cannot afford balanced diet and healthcare, medical cases significantly increase in the sanctioned country. Thus, by imposing financial sanctions, the US violates WHO rules that requires nations to refrain from compromising healthcare in any region in around the world.

Travel-Related Sanctions- The impact of travel bans depends on their magnitude, but in most cases they do not have significant adverse impact on healthcare.