Wordtrade LogoWordtrade.com


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Creation, Use, and Deployment of Digital Information edited by Herre Van Oostendorp (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates) (Hardcover) The aim of this book is to present results of scientific research on how digital information should be designed and how artifacts or systems containing digital content should maximize usability, and to explain how context can influence the nature and effectiveness of digital communication. Using a philosophical, cognitive, and technical standpoint, the book covers the issue of what digital information actually is. The text also presents research outcomes from the perspective of research in information science--broadly construed--a term now used to cover a range of theoretical and practical approaches.

Creation, Use, and Deployment of Digital Information is broken down into three parts:

  • Part I presents information on how electronic documents can be realized--the complexities, alternatives, functions, and restrictions are treated here.

  • Part II discusses how human beings process information and how technical solutions can satisfy human restrictions.

  • Part III treats the context in which digital information processing and deployment takes place.

The book has much to offer to academics in many disciplines, including science, the arts, psychology, education, and the information and computing sciences.

Embedded Systems Handbook edited by Richard Zurawski (Industrial Information Technology: CRC Press) Embedded systems are nearly ubiquitous, and books on individual topics or components of embedded systems are equally abundant. Unfortunately, for those designers who thirst for knowledge of the big picture of embedded systems, there is not a drop to drink. Until now. The Embedded Systems Handbook is an oasis of information, offering a mix of basic and advanced topics, new solutions and technologies arising from the most recent research efforts, and emerging trends to help you stay current in this ever-changing field.

With preeminent contributors from leading industrial and academic institutions around the globe, this authoritative handbook presents timely tutorials, surveys, and technological overviews spanning the range of issues and technologies involved in embedded systems. Many of the technology developments, deployments, and trends are made available in this book for the first time. Six sections provide coherence to the presentation, detailing:

  • A broad introduction to embedded systems

  • System- and network-on-chip (SoC/NoC) design

  • Testing of embedded core-based integrated circuits

  • Networked embedded systems

  • Sensor networks, and

  • Automotive, industrial automation, and intelligent sensor applications

  • With concise yet comprehensive coverage of the latest developments, solutions, tools, products, and research results, the Embedded Systems Handbook is ideal for both novices and seasoned engineers looking to enhance and expand embedded systems capabilities.

  • Detailing the latest advances and technologies, this monumental work:

  • Discusses real-time issues, methods, and trends along with design, modeling, software, and power-aware embedded computing

  • Provides broad coverage of IC technologies, embedded security, and networked embedded systems

  • Explores safety-critical embedded systems, synchronous languages and software, and fault-tolerance

  • Delves extensively into sensor networks

  • Anchors the discussion with several practical, real-world embedded system applications

The purpose of the Embedded Systems Handbook is to provide a reference useful to a broad range of professionals and researchers from industry and academia involved in the evolution of concepts and technologies, as well as development and use of embedded systems and related technologies.

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the field of embedded systems and applications. The emphasis is on advanced material to cover recent significant research results and technology evolution and developments. It is primarily aimed at experienced professionals from industry and academia, but will also be useful to novices with some university background in embedded systems and related areas. Some of the topics presented in the book have received limited coverage in other publications either owing to the fast evolution of the technologies involved, or material confidentiality, or limited circulation in the case of industry-driven developments.

The book covers extensively the design and validation of real-time embedded systems, design and verification languages, operating systems and scheduling, timing and performance analysis, power aware computing, security in embedded systems, the design of application-specific instruction-set processors (ASIPs), system-on-chip (SoC) and network-on-chip (NoC), testing of core-based ICs, network embedded systems and sensor networks, and embedded applications to include in-car embedded electronic systems, intelligent sensors, and embedded web servers for industrial automation.

The book contains 46 contributions, written by leading experts from industry and academia directly involved in the creation and evolution of the ideas and technologies treated in the book.

The material presented is in the form of tutorials, surveys, and technology overviews. The contributions are grouped into sections for cohesive and comprehensive presentation of the treated areas. The reports on recent technology developments, deployments, and trends frequently cover material released to the profession for the first time.

The book can be used as a reference (or prescribed text) for university (post)graduate courses: Section I (Embedded Systems) provides "core" material on embedded systems. Selected illustrations of actual applications are presented in Section VI (Embedded Applications). Sections 11 and III (System-on-Chip Design, and Testing of Embedded Core-Based Integrated Circuits) offer material on recent advances in system-on-chip design and testing of core-based ICs. Sections IV and V (Networked Embedded Systems, and Sensor Networks) are suitable for a course on sensor networks.

The handbook is designed to cover a wide range of topics that comprise the field of embedded systems and applications. The material covered in this volume will be of interest to a wide spectrum of professionals and researchers from industry and academia, as well as graduate students, from the fields of electrical and computer engineering, computer science and software engineering, as well as mechatronic engineering.

It is an indispensable companion for those who seek to learn more about embedded systems and applications, and those who want to stay up to date with recent technical developments in the field. It is also a comprehensive reference for university or professional development courses on embedded systems.

Embedded systems is a vast field encompassing numerous disciplines. Not every topic, however important, can be covered in a book of reasonable volume without superficial treatment. Choices need to be made with respect to the topics covered, balance between research material and reports on novel industrial developments and technologies, balance between so-called "core" topics and new trends, and other aspects. The "time-to-market" is another important factor in making those decisions, along with the availability of qualified authors to cover the topics.

One of the main objectives of any handbook is to give a well-structured and cohesive description of fundamentals of the area under treatment. It is hoped that the section Embedded Systems has achieved this objective. Every effort was made to make sure that each contribution in this section contains introductory material to assist beginners with the navigation through more advanced issues. This section does not strive to replicate or replace university level material, but, rather, tries to address more advanced issues, and recent research and technology developments.

To make this book timely and relevant to a broad range of professionals and researchers, the book includes material reflecting state-of-the-art trends to cover topics such as design of ASIPs, SoC communication architectures including NoC, design of heterogeneous SoC, as well as testing of core-based integrated circuits. This material reports on new approaches, methods, technologies, and actual systems. The contributions come from the industry driving those developments, industry-affiliated research institutions, and academic establishments participating in major research initiatives.

Application domains have had a considerable impact on the evolution of embedded systems, in terms of required methodologies and supporting tools, and resulting technologies. A good example is the accelerated evolution of the SoC design to meet demands for computing power posed by DSP, network and multimedia processors. SoCs are slowly making inroads into the area of industrial automation to implement complex field-area intelligent devices which integrate the intelligent sensor/actuator functionality by providing on-chip signal conversion, data and signal processing, and communication functions. There is a growing tendency to network field-area intelligent devices around industrial communication networks. Similar trends appear in the automotive electronic systems where the Electronic Control Units (ECUs) are networked by means of safety-critical communication protocols such as ElexRay, for instance, for the purpose of controlling vehicle functions such as electronic engine control, anti-locking break system, active suspension, etc. The design of this kind of networked embedded system (this also includes hard real-time industrial control systems) is a challenge in itself due to the distributed nature of processing elements, sharing a common communication medium and safety-critical requirements. With the auto-motive industry increasingly keen on adopting mechatronic solutions, it was felt that exploring, in detail, the design of in-vehicle electronic embedded systems would be of interest to the readers of this book. The applications part of the book also touches the area of industrial automation (networked control systems) where the issues are similar. In this case, the focus is on the design of wet) servers embedded in the intelligent field-area devices, and the security issues arising from internetworking.

Sensor networks are another example of networked embedded systems, although, the "embedding" factor is not so evident as in other applications; particularly for wireless and self-organizing networks where the nodes may be embedded in the ecosystem, battlefield, or a chemical plant, for instance. The area of wireless sensor networks has now evolved into a relative maturity. Owing to novelty, and growing importance, it has been included in the book to give a comprehensive overview of the area, and present new research results which are likely to have a tangible impact on further developments and technology.

The specifics of the design automation of integrated circuits have been deliberately omitted in this book to keep the volume at a reasonable size and in view of the publication of another handbook which covers these aspect in a comprehensive way: The Electronic Design Automation for Integrated Circuits Handbook, CRC Press, FL, 2005, Editors: Luciano Lavagno, Grant Martin, and Lou Scheffer.

The aim of the Organization section is to provide highlights of the contents of the individual chapters to assist readers with identifying material of interest, and to put topics discussed in a broader context. Where appropriate, a brief explanation of the topic under treatment is provided, particularly for chapters describing novel trends, and with novices in mind. The book is organized into six sections: Embedded Systems, System-on-Chip Design, Testing of Embedded Core-Based Integrated Circuits, Networked Embedded Systems, Sensor Networks, and Embedded Applications.

Strategies for Information Technology Governance by Wim Van Grembergen (Idea Group Publishing) Text presents IT governance models, processes, and mechanisms such as the balanced scorecard, COBIT framework, ITIL processes, and more. For academics and practitioners. Hardcover, softcover available. DLC: Information technology--Management.

In many organizations, Information Technology (IT) has become crucial in the support, the sustainability and the growth of the business. This pervasive use of technology has created a critical dependency on IT that calls for a specific focus on IT Governance. IT Governance consists of the leadership and organizational structures, processes and relational mechanisms that ensure that the organization’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategy and objectives. Strategies for Information Technology Governance records and interprets some important existing theories, models and practices in the IT Governance domain and aims to contribute to the understanding of IT Governance.

Excerpt: This book, Strategies for Information Technology Governance, is aimed at improving the understanding of Information Technology (IT) Governance and its struc­tures, processes and relational mechanisms. As will be defined in this book, IT Gover­nance is the organisational capacity exercised by the Board, executive management and IT management to control the formulation and implementation of IT strategy and in this way ensure the fusion of business and IT. Theoretical models and practices regarding IT Governance will be discussed in the different chapters of this book and attention will be paid to its mechanisms, including IT steering committee structures, Balanced Scorecards, control objectives and management guidelines developed by ISACA, and relational mechanisms such as business/IT job rotation.

This book brings together 14 papers on IT Governance written by academics and practitioners from different countries including Belgium, Canada, Finland, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The authors of the different chapters have been included in the review process and have reviewed and critiqued the manuscripts of their colleague-authors. I wish to thank the contributors to this book for submitting their chapter(s) and for assisting me in the review process as well.

The overall structure of this book follows a logical sequence: introducing the IT Governance frameworks in Section I; reviewing performance management mechanisms in Section II; presenting other IT Governance mechanisms in Section III; and illustrat­ing how IT Governance can work in practice in Section IV.

Section I: IT Governance Frameworks

This section introduces the IT Governance concepts and consists of three chap­ters.

Chapter I: Structures, Processes and Relational Mechanisms for IT Governance by Wim Van Grembergen, Steven De Haes and Erik Guldentops respectively from the University of Antwerp, the University of Antwerp Management School (Belgium), and the IT Governance Institute (US), defines the IT Governance concepts and overviews the different IT Governance mechanisms. It records and interprets some important existing theories, models and practices on IT Governance. The chapter is based on relevant academic and professional publications and integrates also the main contribu­tions of the other chapters in this book.

Chapter II: Integration Strategies and Tactics for Information Technology Gov­ernance by Ryan Peterson from the Instituto de Empresa (Spain) has three objectives. First of all, to describe past developments and current challenges complex organisations are facing governing the IT portfolio of IT applications, IT development, IT operations and IT platforms. Secondly, to discuss how organisations can diagnose and design IT governance architecture for future performance improvement and sustained business growth. Finally, to provide a thorough understanding and holistic picture of effective IT governance practices, and to present a new organising logic for IT governance.

Chapter III: An Emerging Strategy for E-Business IT Governance by Nandish Patel from Brunel University (UK) develops a framework for global e-business IT gov­ernance. This framework is based on fundamental re-directions in global e-business IT governance thinking and it applies to companies that seek to integrate Internet, intranet and World Wide Web technologies into their business activities in some form of an e-business model. The framework explains and elaborates e-business strategies for cop­ing with emergent organisations and planned aspects of IT. The basic premise of the proposed framework is that organisation, especially virtual organisation, is both planned and emergent, diverging from the dominant premise of central control in IT governance.

Section II: Performance Management as IT Governance Mechanism

Section II: Performance Management as IT Governance Mechanism reviews IT governance mechanisms including Balanced Scorecards, business-IT alignment matu­rity assessment models, ROI measurement and technical IT measurements. This part consists of six chapters.

Chapter IV: Assessing Business-IT Alignment Maturity by Jerry Luftman from
Stevens Institute of Technology (USA) discusses an approach for assessing the maturity of the business-IT alignment. The proposed strategic alignment maturity assessment approach provides a vehicle to evaluate where an organisation is and where it
needs to go to attain and sustain business-IT alignment. The careful assessment of a
firm's alignment maturity is an important step in identifying the specific actions necessary to ensure IT is being used to appropriately enable or drive the business strategy.
Chapter V: Linking the IT Balanced Scorecard to the Business Objectives at a Major Canadian Financial Group by Wim Van Grembergen, Ronald Saull and Steven De Haes respectively from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Great-West Life, Londen

Life, Investors Group (Canada), and the University of Antwerp Management School (Belgium) illustrates how the Balanced Scorecard concepts can be used to support the business-IT fusion. The development and implementation of an IT Balanced Scorecard within this financial group is described and discussed. An IT Balanced Scorecard maturity model is developed and used to determine the maturity level of the scorecard under review. An important conclusion is that an IT Balanced Scorecard must go be­yond the operational level and must be integrated across the enterprise in order to generate business value. This can be realised through establishing a linkage between the business Balanced Scorecard and different levels of IT scorecards.

Chapter VI: Measuring and Managing E-Business Initiatives through the Bal­anced Scorecard by Wim Van Grembergen and Isabelle Amelinckx both from the Uni­versity of Antwerp (Belgium), applies the Balanced Scorecard concepts to e-business projects. A generic e-business scorecard is developed and presented as a measuring and management instrument. The proposed e-business scorecard consists of four per­spectives: the Customer Perspective representing the evaluation of the consumer and business clients, the Operational Perspective focusing on the business and IT processes, the Future Perspective showing the human and technology resources needed to deliver the e-business application, and the Contribution Perspective capturing the e-business benefits. It is argued that a monitoring instrument such as the proposed e-business scorecard is a must when building, implementing and maintaining an e-busi­ness system because these initiatives are often too technically management and are often initiated without a clear business case.

Chapter VII: A View on Knowledge Management: Utilizing a Balanced Scorecard Methodology for Analyzing Knowledge Metrics by Alea Fairchild from Vesalius Col­lege/Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) (Belgium) addresses the problem of developing measurement models for Knowledge Management metrics and discusses what current Knowledge Management metrics are in use, and examines their sustainability and sound­ness in assessing knowledge utilisation and retention of generating revenue. The chapter also discusses the use of the Balanced Scorecard approach to determine a business-oriented relationship between strategic Knowledge Management usage and IT strat­egy and implementation.

Chapter VIII: Measuring ROI in E-Commerce Applications: Analysis to Action by Manuel Mogollon and Mahesh Raisinghani respectively from Nortel Networks (US) and the University of Dallas (USA) focuses on measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) as a key element of the IT Governance process. The research in this chapter aims to provide an overview of how to calculate the ROI for e-commerce applications so that this information, and the attached ROI Calculator Tool Template, can be used by organisations to reduce time in preparing the ROI for a project

Chapter IX: Technical Issues Related to IT Governance Tactics: Product Metrics, Measurements and Process Control by Michalis Xenos from the Hellenic Open Univer­sity (Greece) deals with some technical aspects of the strategies for IT Governance and aims at introducing the reader to software metrics that are used to provide knowledge about different elements of IT projects. Internal metrics are presented that can be applied prior to the release of IT products to provide indications relating to quality characteristics, and external metrics are introduced that can be applied after IT product delivery to give information about user perception of product quality. The chapter also analyzes the correlation between internal and external metrics and discusses how these metrics can be combined in a measurement program.

Section III: Other IT Governance Mechanisms

Section III: Other IT Governance Mechanisms describes other mechanisms in­cluding roles and responsibilities within the IT organisation, the control objectives and management guidelines of COBIT, and the IT outsourcing solution. This part consists of three chapters.

Chapter X: Managing IT Functions by Petter Gottschalk from the Norwegian School of Management (Norway) discusses imperatives for IT functions, organisation of IT functions, roles of IT functions, roles of chief information officers (CIOs) and key issues in IT management. A survey conducted in Norway revealed that CIOs find the role of entrepreneur most important and the role of liaison least important. This survey also revealed that "Improving links between information systems strategy and busi­ness strategy" was ranked as most important key issue in IT management in Norway.

Chapter XI: Governing Information Technology through COBIT by Erik Guldentops from the IT Governance Institute (USA) reviews the COBIT framework that incorporates material on IT Governance. COBIT presents an international and generally accepted IT control framework enabling organisations to implement an IT Governance structure throughout the enterprise. Its management guidelines component consists of maturity models, critical success factors, key goal indicators and key performance indi­cators for 34 identified IT processes. This structure delivers a significantly improved framework responding for management's need for control and measurability of IT by providing means to assess and measure the organisation's IT environment against COBIT's IT processes.

Chapter XII: Governance in IT Outsourcing Partnerships by Erik Beulen from Tilburg University (The Netherlands) is based on 11 international IT outsourcing part­nerships, five expert interviews and on literature. Three dimensions are described in a descriptive IT outsourcing partnership governance framework: the outsourcing organisation, the maintenance of the relationship, and the IT supplier. In this frame-work, 11 governance factors are defined including the existence of a clear IT strategy at the outsourcing organisation, a mutual trust between the outsourcing organisation and the IT supplier, and an adequate contract and account management. Furthermore, the chapter focuses on the IT outsourcing contract.

Section IV: IT Governance in Action

Section IV: IT Governance in Action describes the application of IT Governance structures in respectively an enterprise and in the health care industry. Section IV includes two chapters.

Chapter XIII: The Evolution of IT Governance at NB Power by Joanne Callahan, Cassio Bastos and Dwayne Keyes, from New Brunswick Power Corporation (Canada) describes the IT Governance framework that NB Power has implemented. Through IT Governance the organisation was able to address the results of a diagnostic study on their internal IT service provider who was attempting to respond to a seemingly end-less list of requests for IT support. Now, after four years, factors critical to the success of implementing an IT Governance framework are evident. The IT Governance frame-work is still evolving, but the organisation is now well positioned to take advantage of its IT investment.

Chapter XIV: Governance Structures for IT in the Health Care Industry by Reima Suomi and Jarmo Tähkäpää from the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration (Finland) discusses the role of IT in the health care industry and focuses on the question of which governance structures are best for managing IT within this industry. Two Finnish cases are described — a small health care federation of munici­palities and a medium-sized health care unit — to illustrate internal and external gover­nance structures. It is shown that internal governance structures such as developing a comprehensive business strategy are essential parts of IT Governance and that outsourcing activities suggest that there is a need for developing and managing external governance structures.

Headline 3

insert content here