Information Technology and the Challenge for Hong Kong

Information Technology and the Challenge for Hong Kong

Janice M. Burn
Maris G. Martinsons
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 396
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  • Book Info
    Information Technology and the Challenge for Hong Kong
    Book Description:

    The twenty-first century is frequently cited as the Asia-Pacific Century due to the phenomenal success of Asian countries over the last three decades. Nowhere has this been more visible than in Hong Kong which became the first Newly Industrialized Economy to enter the world's top ten trading communities in 1991. This book describes the current state of information technology (IT) exploitation in Hong Kong and the role of IT in the rapid advancement of the Asia-Pacific region. It raises issues - such as the impact of politics, culture and societal growth on IT effectiveness - but does not try to provide all the answers, and is therefore of interest to both business and IT managers in global organizations or companies operating in cross-cultural settings. It is also invaluable for students of business, management and IT who will play a strategic role in the future development of the new global economy.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-184-2
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Section 1 Information Technology in Asia:: The Role of Hong Kong as a Regional and Global Hub
    • [Section 1 Introduction]
      (pp. 1-2)

      Section 1 presents an overview of the social and economic fabric which makes up the dynamic East Asia region.

      In the first chapter, Janice Burn describes the socio-economic context of the Asia Pacific region and the role of Hong Kong as both a regional and international hub for business. The particular role of Hong Kong as a gateway to China (the worldʹs largest unexploited market) and as a shopfront for China trading is discussed in relation to Hong Kongʹs economic success. An introduction is given to the role which IT plays in the development of the territory, and comparison is...

    • 1 Hong Kong as a Hub for Regional and International Business
      (pp. 3-26)
      Janice M. Burn

      A unique situation, one of the greatest success stories, can be found in Hong Kong, once described as ʹa borrowed place on borrowed timeʹ. This chapter looks at the development of Hong Kong, the nature of its ʹspecialʹ relationship with China, the role of the other three Dragons as major competitors, the growing influence of the young but developing ʹLionsʹ, and the special threats and opportunities which the next century presents to the region as a whole.

      The rapid and sustained economic growth experienced throughout the Asia Pacific region over the last few decades has led many economists to label...

    • 2 IT Policies and Information Infrastructures: Comparing Hong Kong to the Singapore Model
      (pp. 27-60)
      Maris G. Martinsons

      Although Hong Kong and Singapore have remarkably similar historical, social and economic profiles, their attempts to realize social and economic benefits from information technology (IT) are based on substantially different government policies. This chapter uses Singapore as a comparative benchmark for assessing the IT policies and information infrastructure in Hong Kong. First, the IT policies and state-driven IT initiatives in Singapore, and their impact on economic competitiveness and quality of life, are reviewed. The IT policies of the Hong Kong government are then examined, with a focus on education, industry support, legislation, and civil service usage. Finally, the transferability of...

    • 3 Hong Kongʹs Communication Infrastructure: The Evolving Role of a Regional Information Hub
      (pp. 61-90)
      Ben Petrazzini and John Ure

      Changes overtaking the telecommunications industry are giving it a central role in the development of the information economy. As an open service economy, Hong Kongʹs future growth depends largely on the successful diffusion of these technologies, and this is true also for Hong Kongʹs immediate regional competitors: Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The first part of this chapter examines these issues, and concludes with a review of the information market in Hong Kong. The rest of the chapter then examines Hong Kongʹs policy on telecommunications network and network services competition, and how policy on telecommunications and the diffusion of...

    • 4 Electronic Commerce and EDI in Asia
      (pp. 91-118)
      Janice M. Burn and Ali F. Farhoomand

      This chapter provides an overview of EDI developments in Asia and identifies the most critical issues that have slowed down the adoption, implementation and diffusion of electronic commerce in Asia. An overview of regional developments is provided and a particular comparison made between the Hong Kong and Singapore experiences. A number of regional examples of proprietary EDI services are described and their strategic role in Hong Kong trading, transport and finance evaluated. Finally, the planned developments for China are introduced and the critical issues identified which may impact on the effective development of electronic commerce for the next century.


  6. Section 2 Practices, Problems and Productivity in Hong Kong
    • [Section 2 Introduction]
      (pp. 119-120)

      An overview of the social and economic fabric which makes up the dynamic East Asia region was presented in the previous section, and Hong Kong was identified as an international business hub and a gateway for China trade and investment. This section provides a more detailed look at some of the practices and problems associated with the productive use of information technology in Hong Kong.

      The first two chapters in this section were contributed by the team of Eugenia Tye and Patrick Chau. Chapter 5 flashes out some of the general themes mentioned in Section 1 to provide the reader...

    • 5 The Use of Information Technology: Practices and Problems
      (pp. 121-140)
      Eugenia M.W. Ng Tye and Patrick Y.K. Chau

      Hong Kong is one of the most dynamic places in the world. It is the fifth largest trading economy in the world and is the worldʹs busiest container port. Information Technology (IT) is considered to have contributed to its success, and this chapter will look at the use of information technology in Hong Kong.

      The chapter discusses one study which was conducted by the Vocational Training Council in late 1993 and another study conducted by the authors in April 1993. The first study gives an overall picture of the IT environment in Hong Kong, namely:

      1. the characteristics of IT users,...

    • 6 IT Manpower Issues in Hong Kong
      (pp. 141-168)
      Patrick Y.K. Chau and Eugenia M.W. Ng Tye

      One of the crucial factors in making an information system successful is people. This is especially true in Hong Kong as it is a service-oriented economy which does not produce much computer hardware or software. This makes IT manpower in Hong Kong an important issue, exacerbated by a chronic shortage of IT staff. Since 1989, the problem of retaining, recruiting and training IT personnel has been consistently ranked as the most critical issue in IT management (Burn, et al., 1993).

      The Information Technology (IT) sector in Hong Kong witnessed a phenomenal growth in employment in the 1980s, with the number...

    • 7 Improving Application Development Productivity: A Hong Kong Study
      (pp. 169-192)
      Sunro Lee and Roy Schmidt

      There are two levels of attack for finding solutions to the problems of application development productivity. The micro-level approach concentrates on programmer productivity, and has received the most attention from managers. Macro-level measures attempt to affect the entire life-cycle. In this chapter, the authors describe micro- and macro-level practices observed in Hong Kong organizations. We further distinguish between technical and managerial interventions. We found that although most Hong Kong organizations use micro-level tools with little effect on productivity, the successful organizations are using macro-level methods.

      A recent survey (Genuchten, 1991) shows that 35% to 50% of software projects had overruns...

    • 8 CASE in Hong Kong
      (pp. 193-220)
      Jahangir Karimi and Chan Wan Kong

      Recent dramatic improvements in the price/performance of hardware, the need to replace the growing number of old software systems and the growing sophistication of computer users have fuelled demand for software solutions to todayʹs business problems, especially in the growing global business environment in Hong Kong. Information systems providers are increasingly challenged to build software systems that are easy to maintain and are competitive in quality. New technology, such as Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE), has been shown to be effective in achieving these goals. Although many believe that CASE tools provide an opportunity for software developers to sharply reduce...

    • 9 Business Process Change Enabled by Information Technology: Case Studies and Cultural Constraints
      (pp. 221-248)
      Maris G. Martinsons

      Information technology (IT) can substantially improve business performance by transforming how work is done. This chapter briefly reviews the native American concept of business process re-engineering (BPR) before illustrating its application in two Hong Kong organizations. The enabling role of IT is highlighted in the initiatives undertaken by a local bank and the Immigration Department. However, the prevailing culture is argued to be a constraint on the local use of BPR principles. Comparative propositions for business process change in Hong Kong are developed by considering Confucian-based cultural values and Chinese management systems.

      Information technology has been applied to industrial and...

  7. Section 3 Strategic Application and Exploitation of IT in Hong Kong
    • [Section 3 Introduction]
      (pp. 249-250)

      Section 2 looked at IT applications in Hong Kong from a macro perspective, but it ended with a preview of the way two organizations have implemented business process re-engineering. In Section 3, we continue to use our microscope to consider the way information technology is being applied at the organizational level. The particular organizations selected are all critically dependent on IT for strategic advantage and so show examples of IT in the world today.

      In Chapter 10, the scene is set as Janice Burn reports on a study of over 200 Hong Kong organizations which examines the extent to which...

    • 10 The Strategic Application of IT in Hong Kong
      (pp. 251-266)
      Janice M. Burn

      This chapter examines the strategic application of Information Technology (IT) in Hong Kong organizations. The unique environment of Hong Kong offers opportunities but also presents problems for organizational growth and IT exploitation. These problems are discussed in the context of organizational strategy and the alignment with IT planning, then related to strategic IT developments within the territory. The concept of business transformation is examined with reference to examples of dynamic change through IT. Finally, the impact of IT on the business culture of Hong Kong is specifically addressed and recommendations are made with respect to private and public IT policies...

    • 11 Information Technology to Enable Global Banking: The HongkongBank and HEXAGON
      (pp. 267-298)
      Maris G. Martinsons

      Widespread investments in information technology (IT) by the banking industry have raised productivity and contributed to improved customer services. Significantly though, most of the IT-supported initiatives to create global banks have failed. This chapter examines one of the few global banking success stories, the HongkongBank (HKB). HKB has leveraged its reputation and infrastructure in developing economies to rapidly become a major global provider of financial services. Its success has been strategically supported by its innovative use of information technology, in particular the HEXAGON system. This electronic banking system has enabled HKB to geographically expand its market and to improve its...

    • 12 Strategic Use of IT for Competitive and Cooperative Advantage by Small-Medium Local Banks in Hong Kong
      (pp. 299-318)
      Steve R. Elliot

      The focus of many of the chapters in this volume is the impact of Hong Kong on global and regional business. This chapter considers the converse. While facing virtually unrestrained exposure to global competition, small to medium sized local banks in Hong Kong have managed not only to survive but to compete successfully. The Hong Kong banking context is reviewed along with the challenge presented to local banks of competing in a market dominated by international banks. Based on original research, the chapter examines the experiences of several of these local banks and the strategic impact of IT on their...

    • 13 Strategic Approach to Information Technology at the Hong Kong Jockey Club
      (pp. 319-340)
      Claudia Loebbecke and Robert W. Blanning

      The Hong Kong Jockey Club is recognized as one of the most innovative users of information technology in Hong Kong. It has developed and implemented a very secure and reliable system for placing bets at its own racing tracks, at remote betting centres, and at any location with telephone access. We describe the club, its role in Hong Kong, and its IT Division. Then we outline its new strategic IT framework which provides the basis for the clubʹs transition towards open systems. Finally, we discuss the impact that the framework may have on the clubʹs ability to adapt to a...

    • 14 SMART Use of Information Technology in Hong Kong
      (pp. 341-356)
      Janice M. Burn

      This chapter attempts to show how technological innovation can have a greater impact on those countries at a lower stage of economic development by allowing them to leapfrog a number of development phases. In so doing, Asian countries may well find themselves in the midst of social revolution. The chapter looks specifically at smartcard developments around the world and highlights the major problems of security and standards. The main features of alternative products are reviewed to provide a comparison and examine the potential of each for market penetration. The impact of smartcards on business are explored and related to societal...

    • 15 Strategic Use of IT in Port Management
      (pp. 357-380)
      Janice M. Burn and Colonel Kwok Ho Szeto

      This chapter provides an overview of operations at Kwai Chung Container Port and an overview of container terminal operations using Hong Kong International Terminals Ltd. (HIT) as an example, and examines their use of IT for innovation to maintain their strategic leadership position. It then examines the critical information systems issues for the container port industry compared to Hong Kong companies in general using the results of a 1995 survey and identifies whether IT developments are culturally or industry dependent. This leads to a proposed model for IT innovation and to suggestions which can be applied to any industry for...

  8. Index
    (pp. 381-384)