Industry Support for Special Projects
Business providing support:
Special Project Title/Description:
Development of an e-Business Curriculum
Purdue's Computer Technology (CNIT) Department views e-commerce (EC) and e-business (EB) to be separate but interrelated. EC includes the dimensions of business-to-consumer and business-to-business transaction processing and relationship management. EB, as a superset of EC, extends that metaphor into the business infrastructure to radically redesign and improve internal business processes and efficiency based on EC technology.
An increasing number of businesses have implemented or are trying to implement EB solutions. In order to be immediately productive for their future employers, IT graduates need to be taught about the full range of EB, with a strong focus on technology selection, development/customization, implementation, business and information systems integration, and project management.
Most IT curricula are primarily geared toward teaching students how to develop new computer applications rather than teaching when to build new solutions and when to integrate purchased solutions. In the case of EB curricula, Business schools have created graduate-level courses and programs that may introduce the technology, but aptly focus on business management issues. CNIT builds technology and systems integrators at the baccalaureate level -- graduates who are knowledgeable in both developing customized solutions and integrating purchased solutions into the culture of an organization. The department is uniquely positioned to define, design, and implement an EB curriculum that prepares future graduates to address the varying needs of industry from both business and technology perspectives, so they can make the correct buy vs. build decisions.
Through the support of a $250,000 gift from the Ameritech Foundation, the CNIT Department embarked on its EB initiative in 2000. This critical seed money supported the CNIT faculty's educational research, travel, training, course and curriculum development, and conference presentation activities that continues to result in the design of new EB courses and course modules. It has also been used to leverage course development progress in a related project on distance delivery of IT courses and course modules.