Paper 7: Information Technology and Strategic Management (One paper – three hours – 100 marks)
 Section A: Information Technology ( 50 Marks)

Contents: 1. Introduction to Computers
(a) (Computer hardware: Classification of computers – personal computer, workstation, servers and super computers, Computer components – CPU, input output devices, storage devices)*

(b) (BUS, I/O CO processors, ports (serial, parallel, USB ports), expansion slots, add on cards, on board chips, LAN cards, multimedia cards, cache memory, buffers, controllers and drivers)*

(c) Computer software Systems software – operating system, translators (compilers, interpreters and assemblers), system utilities General purpose software/ utilities - word processor, spread sheet, DBMS, scheduler / planner, internet browser and e-mail clients Application software – financial accounting, payroll, inventory Specialised systems – Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), artificial intelligence, expert systems, decision support systems – an overview

2. Data Storage, Retrievals and Data Base Management Systems
(a) Data and information concepts: bits, bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB

(b) Data organization and access Storage concepts : records, fields, grouped fields, special fields like date, integers, real, floating, fixed, double precision, logical, characters, strings, variable character fields (Memo); key, primary key, foreign key, secondary key, referential integrity, index fields. Storage techniques: sequential, block sequential, random, indexed, sequential access, direct access, random access including randomizing Logical structure and physical structure of files

(c) DBMS models and classification: Need for database, administration, models, DML and DDL (query and reporting); data dictionaries, distributed data bases, object oriented databases, client server databases, knowledge databases

(d) Backup and recovery – backup policy, backup schedules, offsite backups, recycling of backups, frequent checking of recovery of backup

(e) Usage of system software like program library management systems and tape and disk management systems – features, functionalities, advantages
(f) Data mining and data warehousing - an overview

3. Computer Networks & Network Security
(a) Networking concepts – need and scope, benefits Classification: LAN, MAN, WAN, VPN; peer-to-peer, client server Components - NIC, router, switch, hub, repeater, bridge, gateway, modem Network topologies – bus, star, ring, mesh, hybrid, architecture : token ring, ethernet transmission technologies and protocols – OSI, TCP/IP, ISDN etc. Network operating system

(b) Local Area Networks – components of a LAN, advantages of LAN

(c) Client server technology Limitation of single user systems and need for client server technology Servers – database, application, print servers, transaction servers, internet servers, mail servers, chat servers, IDS Introduction to 3-tier and “n” tier architecture (COM, COM+)

(d) Data centres: features and functions, primary delivery centre and disaster recovery site

(e) Network security need; threats and vulnerabilities; security levels; techniques

4. Internet and other technologies
(a) Internet and world-wide web, intranets, extranets, applications of internet, internet protocols

(b) E-commerce - nature, types (B2B, B2C, C2C), supply chain management, CRM, Electronic (Data Interchange (EDI))*, Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT), payment portal, e-commerce security;

(c) Mobile commerce, bluetooth and Wi-Fi
5. Flowcharts, Decision Tables. * The Council has decided to exclude these topics effective from November, 2012 examination onwards.

Section B: Strategic Management (50 marks)
1. Business Environment General environment - demographic, socio-cultural, macro-economic, legal/political, technological, and global; competitive environment.

2. Business Policy and Strategic Management Meaning and nature; strategic management imperative; vision, mission and objectives; strategic levels in organisations.

3. Strategic Analyses Situational analysis – SWOT analysis, TOWS matrix, portfolio analysis - BCG matrix.

4. Strategic Planning Meaning, stages, alternatives, strategy formulation.

5. Formulation of Functional Strategy Marketing strategy, financial strategy, production strategy, logistics strategy, human resource strategy.

6. Strategy Implementation and Control Organisational structures; establishing strategic business units; establishing profit centers by business, product or service, market segment or customer; leadership and behavioural challenges.

7. Reaching Strategic Edge Business process re-engineering, benchmarking, total quality management, six sigma, contemporary strategic issues.

Sources: Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

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