Application of service innovation, ICT and CoPs Essay Example

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Application of Service Innovation, ICT And COPS 7

APPLICATION OF SERVICE INNOVATION, ICT AND COPS

There are several information and communications technology (ICT) that learning institutions and organizations use to enhance service delivery. The utility of service innovation applications yields several advantages to the firms that use them. In most developed countries, the service sector plays a pivotal role towards the growth of the economy. According to Crozet & Milet (2015), the service industry has complemented the declining performance of the manufacturing sector. Service innovation suffices to be the driving force behind the continued growth of the economies of many nations with ICT playing a significant role. Being the main consumer of ICT, the service industry has capitalized on the technologies and the current technology-ready environment to develop ICT applications that would enhance the management of services in organizations and other institutions. The increasing demand for ICT-intensive services in the industry has also necessitated service innovation applications. Below are some of the applications

Online Learning Technologies in Higher Institutions

Online learning technologies have revolutionized the delivery of education services in universities and other institutions of higher learning. Online learning has eliminated the need for attending physical classrooms and libraries with the help of online libraries. The educational and academic technologies used in online learning encompass the use of Connect, Presenter, Adobe Connect and Captive (Casares et al. 2012). The technologies aid in holding academic meetings, collaborating on materials and sharing presentations. The other online learning technology is iClicker that srves as an audience response device. Online learning also makes use Wiki for information collaboration and sharing. The technologies also aid in the evaluation of online courses. This entails the evaluation of the students of a faculty pursuing an online course. The technology has also extended its application to the teaching of face-to-face courses at the universities.

Higher learning institutions also make use of clipboards to conduct online surveys thereby reducing the resources utilized in conducting the services (Casares et al. 2012). The institutions also use Bookbag as a bookmarking application. The application enables students and instructors to share links to course-relevant articles and books. Peer2peer has also revolutionized the evaluation of peers since students use the application to avail their feedback to instructors. The other students cannot view the comments and ratings of the other team members provided by the instructor using the application. It is important to note that the online learning technologies have transformed the delivery and access to educational materials in the universities and institutions of higher learning. Apparently, the educational technologies used in the institutions are both ICT and service innovation technologies. However, they are also CoP applications since members can share knowledge and information just as is the case with Skype and LinkedIn CoP applications.

The use of Smartcards

There has been an increasing propensity of learning institutions and other businesses to develop smartcards for students and customers respectively (Alliance 2012). Learning institutions develop the cards for their staffs and students to enable their access into their premises rather than having to manage the services physically. Besides granting access to buildings, the cards can also have electronic purses for business individuals that have the permission of conducting business in the institutions and loyalty schemes for some vendors. Either a contact or a contactless connection handles the communication between the system and the cards. In the case of contact cards, there should be a physical connection between the system and the card’s chip. The compatibility of such systems with the existing banking infrastructure and the security attached to the use of the systems have been responsible for the unanimous utility of smartcards in the banking sector to handle certain customer services such as issuing receipts, cash payments and mini-statements. Smartcards are both ICT and service innovation applications.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine refers to the use of technology to deliver healthcare services to patients situated in remote areas. The technology has played a tremendous role towards eliminating the barriers to healthcare; thereby enabling individuals and communities located in rural areas to access healthcare services. The technology has also enabled the provision of specialized care to the underserved individuals since there is a shortage of sub-specialty care providers in rural and remote areas. The utility of the technology has yielded substantial benefits such as the increased access to medical specialists, increased patient satisfaction from the improved healthcare access, and the general improvement in the clinical outcomes. The other merits associated with the technology include reduction of the costs and the emergency rooms utilized by in-patient cases (Alexander et al. 2012).

HealthSpot is one of the telemedicine applications that provide healthcare services to patients and communities located in remote areas. With the use of the application, it is possible for the patient to undergo high-quality diagnosis regardless of the time and location of the patient. The platform enables the access to follow-up treatment following the face to face diagnosis dialogue between the patient and the service provider. Furthermore, the platform provides access to an electronic health record thereby easing electronic prescribing and enabling patients to send their health records to other providers. The healthcare provider usually positions the health spot in a secure and quiet site such as at universities and employer sites (Kim 2013). Telemedicine applications are ICT, service innovation and CoP technological platforms.

ICT in Education

The increasing significance of ICT in education has necessitated its continued utility in delivering educational services to students. The existence of a new society implies the necessity of new skills. Since information communications technologies are preeminent tools in the processing of information, it is evident that both students and teachers require computers and network to share information effectively. Moreover, schools are institutions that handle knowledge and information. As a result, they use ICT as the fundamental tools of management to enhance their productivity. The use of video teleconferencing tools such as Skype and Microsoft office Live Meeting has enabled tutors and managers in learning institutions and organizations to disseminate information to students and junior workers respectively regardless of the distance between the communicating parties.

According to the study conducted by Gawad et al. (2014) on the relationship between economic development and telecommunication revolution in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India, it was evident that the continued utility of information technology services in the countries impacted positively on their economies. Apparently, video teleconferencing tools have been essential towards enhancing quality learning in schools and other learning institutions. For instance, the use of e-learning and the existence of e-libraries courtesy of the existence of the internet and computers have enhanced the access to learning materials in the school environment. Apparently, video teleconferencing tools are ICT, service innovation and CoP applications.

Online Communities of Practice

According to a study conducted at the University of West England to determine whether or not healthcare students could develop features of Communities of Practice when subjected to an inter-professional online module, it emerged that the respondent students developed CoP characteristics. There were two sessions for the study. In the first session, the research team administered questionnaires to the 109 students to gain information pertaining the perceived computer use, previous computer use, gender and age. In the second study, there were three strands of data collection for both males and females. The research required the respondents to access computers from their homes, university premises and other sites. The session also covered the understanding of the students on radiotherapy, radiography and other branches of nursing. The study revealed that the students developed elements of shared repertoire, joint enterprise and mutual engagement (Moule 2006). The other online CoP’s used by learning institutions include faculty learning portals, chatrooms, listservers, and webchats (Pamela et al. 2003).

Reference List

Alexander, V O, Brooks, G B, Farr, R. and Raimer, B 2012, Benefits of Telemedicine in Remote Communities & Use of Mobile and Wireless Platforms in Healthcare.

Alliance, S C 2012, ‘Smart Card Technology in US Healthcare: Frequently Asked Questions’,
Estados Unidos: Smart Card Alliance.

Casares, J, Dickson, D A, Hannigan, T, Hinton, J & Phelps, A 2012, ‘The Future of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’, RIT.

Crozet, M & Milet, E 2015, ‘Should everybody be in services? The effect of servitization on manufacturing firm performance’.

Gawad, Gaber M A & Venkata, S S R M 2014, ‘Telecommunications Revolution and its Effects on Economic Development: An Applied Study of Developing Economies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India,’ British Journal of Economics and Sustainability Development, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-23.

Kim, J 2013, ‘12 Telemedicine innovations that will shape Healthcare’s Future’.

Moule, P 2006, Developing communities of practice, framework for on-line learning, In Academic Conferences (Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 133-140).

Sherer, P.D., Shea, T.P. and Kristensen, E., 2003. Online communities of practice: A catalyst for faculty development. Innovative Higher Education, 27(3), pp.183-194.