Information in use - In- and outsourcing aspects of digital services

Document type: Dissertations
Full text:
Author(s): Louise Östlund
Title: Information in use - In- and outsourcing aspects of digital services
Series: Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series
Year: 2007
Issue: 5
Pagination: 126
ISBN: 978-91-7295-110-5
ISSN: 1653-2090
Publisher: Blekinge Institute of Technology
City: Ronneby
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Engineering - Dept. of Interaction and System Design (Sektionen för teknik – adv. för interaktion och systemdesign)
School of Engineering S- 372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: This thesis is founded on the global growth of the service sector and its significance for society as a whole and for the individual human being. In the last decade, technology has changed the way services are created, developed and delivered in remarkable ways. The focus of the thesis is technology in interplay with humans and organisations and the socio-economic-technical systems in which digital services play a central role. Challenges addressed by the thesis include requirement analysis, trustworthy systems, in- and outsourcing aspects, the proper understanding of information and its use in real world applications. With this in mind, the thesis presents a configurable methodology with the purpose to quality assure service oriented workflows found in socio-economic-technical systems. Important building blocks for this are information types and service supported workflows.

Our case study is of a call centre-based business called AKC (Apotekets kundcentrum). AKC constitutes a part of the Cooperation of Swedish Pharmacies (Apoteket AB). One of their main services offered to Swedish citizens is the handling of incoming questions concerning pharmaceutical issues. We analysed the interactive voice response system at AKC as a starting point for our investigations and we suggest a more flexible solution.

We regard a socio-economic-technical system as an information ecology, which puts the focus on human activities supported by technology. Within these information ecologies, we have found that a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) can provide the flexible support needed in an environment with a focal point on services. Input from information ecologies and SOA also enables a structured way of managing in- and outsourcing issues. We have also found that if we apply SOA together with our way of modelling a Service Level Agreement (SLA), we can coordinate high-level requirements and support-system requirements.

A central insight in this work is the importance of regarding a socio-economic-technical system as an information ecology in combination with in- and outsourcing issues. This view will prevent a company from being drained of its core competences and core services in an outsourcing situation, which is further discussed in the thesis. By using our combination of SOA and SLA we can also divide service bundles into separate services and apply economic aspects to them. This enables us to analyse which services that are profitable while at the same time meet important requirements in information quality.

As a result, we propose a set of guidelines which represent our approach towards developing quality assured systems. We also present two main types of validation for service oriented workflows: validation of requirement engineering and validation of business processes.
Subject: Computer Science\General
Computer Science\Effects on Society
Keywords: digital services, in- and outsourcing, information, information ecologies
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-00357