Several developments in professional ethics are invaluable to the operation of professionals in their different fields. Professional ethics help when handling behavior within an industry. The role of Information Technology is becoming evident in the workplace. With the specialization of careers where professionals become more and more specialized in areas of work professional code of ethics is being refined to suit the new careers. Professionals are to be qualified and to have the expertise in a certain profession. Professional ethics are the acceptable standards that must be followed by individuals, businesses, and organizations (Bowern, Burmeister, Gotterbarn, & Weckert, 2006). Professional code of ethics is the guiding rules and principles used to enforce discipline and administration. Most professions have internally registered rules and codes that the members of the profession who have been registered must adhere. It is one of the tools used to maintain trust between the professionals as those regarded to have low ethical standards will have to stick to the professional code of ethics stipulated. The disciplinary codes help to enable a profession to define a standard and ensure that the members stick to that standard. It enables the profession to discipline the members who do not follow the standard to the letter. They guide the way businesses should be done. Codes of ethics are established by professional bodies. Ethics entail the principles that make the professional ethics.
Professional ethics entail the personal and corporate rules that guide behavior within the content of a particular profession. Regarding Information Technology, professional ethics are the set of rules that will guide the behavior within the context of information technology. An example of professional code of ethics in information technology is the ACM Code of Ethics. The professional ethics will define the actions of a professional to do and those that are not required doing (Rogerson, Weckert, & Simpson, 2000). In Information Technology, professional ethics will entail the actions that befit working in the context of technology and the way this will affect other people. It is more on the professional life and how it will affect others. In case an individual must adopt a professional code of ethics in any way, he/she will have to work on the ethics adopted in all dealings that he/she will undertake within the company.
Ethics is different from morals. The latter term means the behavior of someone in the general senses. Ethics comprises a social system in which morals are applied in the end. In other words, ethics is concerned with the code of behavior for a group of individuals to which one belongs (Burmeister, 2013). Each group has a code of behavior that governs the way they behave while in that profession. For example, the code of ethics for accessing the files of clients is that there should be privacy and confidentiality. All IT technicians are required to uphold privacy and confidentiality while handling client data.
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Business ethics is known to change with time. It means that with time, some of the practices will not be upheld to be relevant in a given profession when compared over a period of time. The approval of other professionals in a business will determine whether the industry ethics is still applicable. On the other hand, professional ethics do not change and will go to the point that certain professional codes will continue to be trusted by the public (Burmeister, 2013). They ensure that there is trust from the public. For a trade group, to be elevated to the level of a professional body, there should be a code of ethics.
Contrary to business ethics, the professional ones will entail the ethics followed by a business as a whole. This means that the business will adopt some of the rules that have been put in place. The business ethics entail the entire business rules to be followed. Business ethics should be incorporated as part of rules for any organization. The extent in which it has been incorporated is something of concern and require further probe. The professional ethics will define what a professional will do and what he/she is not required doing. In information technology, professional ethics will entail the actions that befit working in the context of technology and how this will affect other people. It is more on the professional life and the way it will affect others (Burmeister, 2013). In case someone has to adopt professional ethics in any way, that person will have to work on the ethics adopted in all dealings that he/she will undertake within the company. Professional ethics in Information Technology will help to define the way computer procedures will be done.
Professional ethics are concerned a higher standard of ethics due to the distinction they have on the professionals. There are different professionals, and each profession has defined their professional ethics. This means that there is no more generality of the ethics as it is in morality and business ethics. Business ethics do not differentiate the ethics according to the different profession. Professional ethics are different from personal and business ethics and are held at higher standards of ethics because of the strictness with which they are enforced on an organization. Most individuals will conform to the ethics that have been defined in the profession. Some procedures have been defined in a professional body contrary to the business ethics in which there are no rules to be followed in the end. Professional ethics have disciplinary measures that will be taken in case one does not follow them. This proves that there is high strictness in the process of ensuring that the professionals will stick to the code of ethics that they are following. The rules imposed on an individual will determine how they have been followed and how the professional will stick to them. The professional ethics are learnt when an individual has a particular profession. It means that there is a formal way in which the professionals will be taught of the rules and the ethical principles to follow. It qualifies the fact that professional ethics are in another standard of ethics as there is a form training of people to follow the standards (Burmeister, 2013). This is not the same as the ethics in other areas. There is also some value to lose if someone does not conform to these ethics. There is a need to have ethical standards in place. This has been known to help professionals be strict about the code of ethics.as the technology field is growing; there is a growing concern about the ethics in this profession.
Trust is important in professional ethics due to the issue of clients who trust that the professional will use their expertise in a responsible manner. This means that the clients will ensure the professional understands what they expect from him/her (Quinn, 2014). In case of information systems, professionals in IT will be required to be objective and thorough in recommending systems to be adopted by the clients. They are elevated in the position of trust in which they are required to be objective when advising the clients about the course of actions they should take.
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The questions of value arise due to the role that professionals play in advising the clients. Questions of value entail what the professional and the client hold. An example is that the clients will have their way and say. However, the professionals should be ready to provide the facts. They have to come out clearly and advise the client on the consequences of the choices that they will make in the end (Quinn, 2014). Facts are what the professional know and how he should make them be understood by the client. Facts are what have been researched and can be used as a basis for advising the client. Values are what should be followed in order to act properly and leave the client satisfied. In many cases, the professionals will give their objective opinion of what they believe to be true. This opinion will help as a guide to have the clients follow and achieve whatever they want to be achieved in the company. Value comes after the fact. The client will have to get explanation of the consequences of the choice they have made and how that choice will affect the quality. In any case, the clients will have to know the consequences of the various choices because as they make choices, they make them from informed mindset.
One.Tel Company Analysis
The case that will be analyzed in this case is that of One.Tel Company. It is a telecommunication operated in Australia.
One.Tel Company operated in Australia in the telecommunications industry. It was formed in 1995 and started trading in 2001. In the brief operations in the market, the company managed to be ranked position two in the telecommunications companies in Australia. That raised the notoriety in the gains it amassed. The gains surpassed the position it held in the market place (Corey, Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2014). The company had directors having high profiles, with the popularity of being promoted in the marketplace more often. The company was declared insolvent in 2001 and has since been liquidated. The reasons that have emerged resulted in the liquidation of the company. Among the leading ones are management decisions which now appear to have been misguided. In addition, serious IT problems were not managed well. This paper will re-examine the case of One.Tel in the perspective of the professional ethics of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and what could have been failed in this case.
The aim of this case is to analyze the case of One.Tel and define the issues that led to insolvency. The problem encountered is that of insolvency in 2001, which further resulted in liquidation. The liquidation of the company was caused by lack of adherence to code of IT ethics. The reason is that the company had just adopted computer information systems but with lack of organization in the entire process. There was lack of procedure to be followed in order to have the code of ethics in place. Information systems implemented by One.Tel were good and could be regarded as initial level of maturity levels described by the Carnegie Mellon University. There was no coherence in the systems that had been implemented. The systems were chaotic and heroic at the same time. In addition, the IT management in the company was performed in non-technical and a non-participatory manner. The systems were delivered quickly that were used for billing, call center, and dealer management. There was no management in the entire process in which only two systems were outsourced, namely financial systems and data warehouse to generate key performance indicators. The billing system was one of the systems developed by the company, in-house, and can be used to show the approach to information systems of the company. The task, therefore, is to find out the professional ethics violated in the building of the billing system and what could have been done to salvage the situation at hand (Corey, Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2014). There should be the strife to have value for money for any information system. One.Tel should have struggled to have better systems in place. There was competence and hard work on the part of the programmers; however, the company could also be said to be incompetent with the use of professional code of ethics. They were required to make use of ACS Code of Ethics.
The professional programmers at One.Tel would work on the new systems with enthusiasm. When the need arose, the developers would work towards achieving the necessary functionality. They would make sure that they had made the necessary arrangements to have the systems in place. However, the specifications, documentation, and standards were ignored in this environment (Burmeister, 2000). This was not a surprise in this environment due to the stage of the company’s growth. Although this was understandable, it became problematic, especially in case of the billing system within the company. Timelines are crucial in billing systems because companies will use them to make and follow the payments. With time, some of the flaws in the billing system at One.Tel came out clearly in the open. Some of the problems included the long-term dependence on a design that was not adequate, lack of checks and balances, lack of way of prioritizing, and forward planning.
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Some of the actions necessary in this case were to apply the code of professional ethics for IT. One of the requirements for this case is that there should have been a manner in which professional code of ethics could be put in place. When the company received huge funding to build the billing system, it failed to put the interests of the community above those of the individuals. Another principle that might have been violated is that of endeavoring to have continuity of information technology services (Corey, Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2014). This was not achieved in the case. The billing system was not able to cope with the increasing volume of users and consumer market which was increasing and expanding at high speed. Additionally, the programmers did not meet the operational and financial needs of the clients. They did their work as long as the immediate need was met. They did not worry about the capabilities of the clients and the system that they had in place.
There should be the strife to have value for money for any information system. One.Tel should have struggled to have them for better systems in place. There was competence and hard work on the part of the programmers; however, they were incompetent in the use of professional code of ethics. They were required to make use of ACS Code of Ethics.
The results are that the systems could have worked effectively. What resulted, however, were problems with the events regarded as too simplistic. In description of the billing system at One.Tel, one can state that there was total disregard of the ACS Professional Code of Ethics (Quinn, 2014). The company was aware of the wrong actions, but it had the “can-do” attitude that spoilt everything in the end. It had a management-by-crisis concept which made everything come fumbling down. The systems continued to be delivered to the company without adherence to professional ethics. Even if those issues had been presented to the top management, there is high likelihood that they would not be listened to by the management. They would disregard the advice and people who were making them.
If the recommendations and the professional code of ethics have been followed, the company could have had successful billing systems. It could have been able to get the systems that would be successful and would follow its requirements. The programmers would have been trained on the code of ethics and how they would be useful in understanding and following the professional code of ethics for the company.
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Professional code of ethics is a significant process that should be followed within any organization. It is one of the highest codes that need to be followed when designing systems. Failure to follow professional ethics will result in long-term problems. Professional code of ethics can occur in the development of any information system to be used in business. Although this is the case, the Internet and the web enables many people to connect to any information system that they have wanted to have. For this case, professionals will confront many issues when dealing with the World Wide Web and the Internet. Professionals will be called to account for their actions in their countries as well as in areas outside their jurisdiction.