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APCO 1P50 (12)
Harry John (11)


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Brock University
Applied Computing
Harry John

APCO 1P50 Wednesday October 10, 2012 Ethics for IT Workers and IT Users  What key characteristics distinguish a professional from other kinds of workers, and is an IT worker considered a professional? o there are in some provinces attempts to license professional software engineers.  What factors are transforming the professional services industry?  What relationships must an IT worker manage, and what key ethical issues can arise in each?  How do codes of ethics, professional organizations, certification, and licensing affect the ethical behaviour of IT professionals?  What is meant by compliance, and how does it help promote the right behaviours and discourage undesirable ones? Professionals  Profession is a calling that requires specialized knowledge + long and intensive academic preparation.  Professionals require advanced training and experience  Must exercise discretion and judgment in their work  Their work cannot be standardized  Contribute to society, participate in lifelong training, assist other professionals  Carry special rights and responsibilities IT workers as professionals Programmers, system analysts, software engineers, database admins, LAN admins, chief information officers Legally IT workers aren’t professional – not licenses or governed, not liable for malpractice The Changing Professional Services Industry  IT workers are considered part of the professional services industry.  Seven forces are changing professional services: 1. Client sophistication (able to drive hard bargains) 2. Governance (due to major scandals) 3. Connectivity (instant communication) 4. Transparency (view work-in-progress in real-time 5. Modularization (able to outsource modules) 6. Globalization (worldwide sourcing) 7. Commoditization (for low-end services) Relationships Between IT Workers and Employers  IT workers agree on many aspects of work relationship before workers accept job offer  Other aspects of work relationship defined in company’s policy and procedure manual or code of conduct, some aspects develop over time  As steward of organization’s IT resources, IT workers must set an example and enforce policies regarding the ethical use of IT in:  Software Piracy: o Act of illegally making copies of software or enabling access to software to which they are not entitled APCO 1P50 Wednesday October 10, 2012 o Area in which IT workers can be tempted to violate laws and policies o The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade group representing the world’s largest software and hardware manufacturers; mission is to stop the unauthorized copying of software. o Thousands of cases prosecuted each year  IT workers must set an example and enforce policies regarding the ethical use of IT in: o Trade secrets – e.g. Coca Cola recipe  Business information generally unknown to public  Company takes actions to keep confidential  Require cost or effort to develop  Have some degree of uniqueness or novelty  IT workers may come across this in their everyday work. o Whistleblowing  Employee attracts attention to a negligent, illegal, unethical, abusive, or dangerous act that threatens the public interests.  Ethical problems arise if a company recommends its own products and services to remedy problems they have detected o Creates conflict of interest  Problems arise during a project if IT workers are unable to provide a full and accurate reporting of project’s status  Function Creep – add-ons that add to more and more functionality which leads to cost overruns o Finger pointing and heated discussions can ensue, e.g. cost overruns. o Fraud
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