Is strategy

IS Strategy

Question: Organizations are progressively going more capable in taking advantage of new technological solutions to enable and widen their value concatenation. Using illustrations when appropriate illustrate the advantages and challenges that organisations face when using engineerings in their value concatenation. Explain how organisations can cover with these challenges and benefit from the advantages.


Value concatenation is a set of activities that add value to the whole system, it entails all the maps performed by an organisation in planing, bring forthing, selling and presenting the merchandise ( Evans and Wurster:1997 ) . Evan and Wurster ( 1997 ) in their article describe ‘information as a gum ‘ keeping an organisations maps together, and value concatenation is of import for flow of strategic information, non merely within the oraganisation ( house ‘s value concatenation ) but besides between its providers and clients ( industry value concatenation ) ; see figure1.

Having understood value concatenation theoretical account, we need to believe that how can engineering be used inorder to heighten operational efficiency, and better supplier-firm-customer dealingss? Hammer argues that IT is increasing being used to excite organisational alteration aimed at public presentation betterment ( Hammer:1990 ) . IT advantages to organisation hold been identified in three wide context:

– Enabler ( Laudon & A ; Laudon:2007 ) : IT enables maps to be performed, supports systemsA and helps communicating within and outside the organisation.

-Differentiator ( Carr:2003 ) : Information technology is a beginning of competitory advantage, adds value by bettering firm-supplier coaction ( supply-chain direction ) , and increasing customer-firm familiarity ( client relation direction ) .

-Architectural stuff: IT holds the different foundations of an organisation together.

Now I will research benefits and challenges of IT with regard to value concatenation, and explicate how the benefits be exploited and challenges be tackled.

Quick and efficient communicating improves supplier-customer familiarity

‘Having a relationship means that company has establishes good channels of communicating and electronic informations interchange ‘ ( Evans and Wurster: 1997 ) .

Technology enables better communicating non merely within the organisation but besides outside the organisation. The usage of wikis, on-line web logs, intranets and extranets enables instant communicating regardless of clip and distance barriers, which is particularly of import for planetary houses runing in many different states and currencies to heighten coaction and associate their internal and external environment. Hence this means the strategic and of import information can be shared rapidly and expeditiously, which adds value by cut downing clip for determination devising and responses to market alterations. The point should be mistaken to presume that the extranets may merely associate planetary concerns together, enabling the several different subdivisions to run as individual unit but Carr argues that IT besides connects ‘far-flung ‘ supply-chains, enabling them to run as if being a individual entity, e.g. American infirmary service introduced Analytic Systems Automated Purchasing that enabled them to put orders electronically ( Carr:2003 ) . Hence when IT improves familiarity with the providers as fewer costs and less clip is incurred when sharing strategic information as IT breaks off the physical mailing restraints and this familiarity reduces stock list cost and increases efficiency. The inquiry arises that how does better communicating cut down stock list cost? Firms can setup an electronically inventory direction, and stock sheets linked to supplier ‘s webs, and therefore when stock falls below the needed degree, providers know automatically that a bringing has to be made. Firms can direct electronic mails, and usage extranets to pass on with the providers, taking the barriers of keeping physical meetings, ideas can be changed immediately and determination devising procedure is accelerated.A IT makes it easier for JIT production system to be operated, and therefore houses can avoid high repositing costs by hive awaying inordinate stock list or lost gross revenues by non holding adequate stock lists, therefore more than 25 % of operating cost can be reduced by supplying up-to-date information. Information technology can besides assist to cut down ‘Bullwhip ‘ consequence in and outside organisation, which is deformation of information as it passes from one degree to another ; accurate information will assist members of supply concatenation manage their buying and programming determinations better ( Laudon & A ; Laudon:2009 ) .

Not merely better dealingss with providers adds value, but Evans ( 1997 ) stats that pull offing client dealingss by sharing proprietary information between houses and clients is infact an of import beginning of competitory advantage. Companies are able to expect client picks by pass oning and garnering of import client information. Interaction with clients is enhanced by developing a well managed client question and ailments systems. IT helps to better velocity, assortment, client service and reactivity ( Brynjolfsson:1993 ) . Customer call clip can be reduced and immediate solutions to jobs will heighten trust and trade name trueness, enabling a pull-based production method to be introduced. Companies that produce and sell what clients demand instead than what houses determine gaining control high proportion of market, taking to lifting net incomes, better satisfied clients and lower stock list cost. “Diamonds in Data mine” by Loveman demonstrates how client dealingss can better public presentation dramatically. ( Loveman:2003 ) .A Companies can besides setup online tracking system, which makes it easy for clients to mange and track their purchases, and we have illustrations of companies such as Federal express which exploited immense benefits by presenting such system.A A A A A

Firms can utilize supply concatenation direction package to calculate demand and find optimum telling points e.g. Whirlpool makes usage of demand planning to guarantee its production agenda matched client demand. Supply-chain executive system guarantee that right merchandises are delivered at the right topographic point and clip, besides it makes tracking of merchandises easy and manage fiscal information of all involved parties ( Laudon & A ; Laudon:2009 ) . E-commerce can besides be used to organize web sites and ease communicating between providers and consumers ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . Hence a good incorporate supply concatenation direction system will non merely enable companies to calculate demand accurately, manage stock list and cost but besides make speedy alterations to merchandise design, and efficaciously use their assets.

Customer dealingss are a house ‘s most precious plus so it should be managed decently. It should non be forgotten that it is “customer ‘s existent experiences with the house that determine true existent and IT helps in prosecuting clients in a duologue and surrogate coaction that improves efficiency” ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . CRM consolidates and analyze client informations from all over the organisation and pass on the consequences, consequences can be used to analyse the profitable clients, their likes so that mark publicities can be made e.g. Tesco clubpoints, Encarta package helped JP Morgan Chase to work out client jobs rapidly ( Laudon & A ; Laudon:2009 ) . This will better service quality, leave better satisfied client, better company image and cut down client churn.

IT enhances operational efficiency, reduces costs and provides better monitoring and control

‘Companies such as Cemex have used IT to go efficient and are therefore taking the markets ‘ ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . By utilizing specialist up-to-date engineering, production can be made efficient and high quality production become house ‘s trade name individuality. The hazard of doing mistakes and errors is reduced, since package such as CAM, CAD help set up a mock theoretical account and designs to prove the viability ( particularly incase of building ) , with more machines instead than human power to make work the hazard of calculating mistakes, and errors caused by emotional or physical effort are reduced. Hence IT adds value to production by cut downing operational hazard. Furthermore, IT reduces transactional cost such as stock list ordination, if stock sharing is setup online, and the demand to manually entre each dealing, since clip an activity occurs. It is particularly important for big houses where 1000000s of minutess are made each twenty-four hours. Production cost can besides be reduced by doing digital production e.g. cost of bring forthing an Encarta book is $ 200-300, but to bring forth a Compact disc read-only memory it merely costs $ 1.5, hence by take downing costs net incomes can be increased ( Evans and Wurster:1997 ) . Besides intermediary parties can be removed with organisation selling straight to clients, cut downing the monetary value of the merchandise and increasing net income border for Sellerss, since mediators profit portion can be removed.

Employee work agenda can be monitored automatically, and computing machines can be designed to enter work timings, and production accomplishment of the twenty-four hours. This makes it easy to distinguish hardworking employees from the free riders ; hence wagess can be decently managed. Workforce will stay active and synergistic due to an active monitoring system. Employee relation direction package can be used to mensurate, manage and better employee public presentation ; “if the quality of life can be improved by IT theory suggests that lower rewards can be paid” ( Brynjolfsson:1993 ) .

Cost nest eggs besides include nest eggs of physical infinite e.g. benefits by superior information and lower retail infinite, but still supplying clients with greater pick, therefore Amazon saves on stock list and retail infinite ; it is estimated by computerworld that 70 % of storage capacity is wasted ( Carr:2003 )

Besides engineering can supply better valuable information to direction and assist them with determination devising. At any one clip they can entree organisational public presentation studies and comparison with the bench or best pattern accessible globally through the cyberspace and package such as Oracle, SAP. This will assist them measure the profitable and unprofitable units, and at that place demand for disciplinary action. Hence IT adds value by bettering direction of information, since ‘value is in the message and non agencies of conveyance ‘ ( Carr:2003 ) . Britannica ‘s ruin is a good illustration of how information direction can alter forces of completion ( Evans and Wurster:1997 ) .

IT provides better motivational work force and Knowledge direction

IT fostersA cross-sectional coaction and communicating, multi-talented groups can be formed which non merely enables co-ordination amongst the assorted concern sections, but besides exchange and transportation of cognition and accomplishments ; less rigorous hierarchies increases committedness and engagements amongst the work force ( Evans and Wurster:1997 ) . Companies can utilize enterprise systems such as centralised databases to portion information amongst different concern divisions. Besides direction can supervise the effectivity of employee enlisting and cost of presenting services. The usage of on-line web logs such as Facebook and intranets will heighten sense of belonging amongst employees, create better on the job conditions and better managerial dealingss.

Technology can be used to hive away employee experience and cognition on job and state of affairss they have faced in the yesteryear, which can subsequently be viewed by other employees for developing intent, and speedy and efficient solutions to similar type of jobs. This is known as cognition direction value concatenation, since the clip that is saved, and value added to tauten by speedy and efficient determination devising is a beginning of competitory advantage. This can be done by developing an organisational memory to steer on organisational determination devising. Interviews with experts can be recorded on videotape and CD-ROMs i.e. coding cognition, which can so be made available to all. Hence engineering can besides be a beginning of edifice dealingss and thought exchanging by organizing chartrooms. Data bases such as Lotus Notes, intranets, cognition infinite and After Action Reviews ( as used by Ford ) can besides be used, and exchange of thoughts can happen irrespective of clip zones and geographical distance. Learning from errors of others increases the quality and velocity of job work outing e.g. Mcdonalds has used cognition direction that has made it impossible to overcook, E & A ; Y developed knowledge powerpacks that can be downloaded on single computing machines ; supply enless value by hiking employee morale, speedy and accurate determination doing heightening profitableness ( Cross and Baird:2000 ) .

Porter and Miller ( 1985 ) argue that IT contributes to bettering the competitory place of an organisation, so it is of import IT section be involved in scheme scene and designing and implementing applications to back up schemes, that differentiates a company from its rivals ; hence IT has a ‘strategic impact ‘ evoking cost and heightening growing ( Brynjolfsson:1993 ) .

However, IT acceptance in value concatenation may convey a figure of hazards that may destruct value and hence should be actively managed. Carr ‘s article ‘IT doesnot affair ‘ shows that there are a figure of operational hazards associated with IT such as ‘security breaches, proficient bugs, obsolesce, service outages, undependable sellers etc ‘ ( Carr:2003 ) , some of which I will research in my essay.

IT outgo, flexibleness and Organizational alteration

Although IT acceptance in value concatenation may convey a figure of benefits, but inorder to profit from these organisations need to expect how much organisational alteration will be needed inorder to congratulate technological initiation. Carr argue that “inorder to derive true economic sciences value from IT, working manner demands to changed” ( Carr:2003 ) . Introducing the system maynot work out the job, it demands heavy committednesss from the direction and employees, debut to engineering ‘s use and importance and some considerable changed in working manner. It may trip negative reaction from the employees. It is of import for direction to recognize that it is non IT that makes the true difference but the manner it is used and applied in concern. Therefore as acceptance should be based on sensed utility ( Davis:1989 ) or comparative advantage ( Rogers:1962 ) . It is of import for direction to foretell the extend of alteration that will be required, developing employees on IT use, affecting them in most phases of execution to cut down uncertainness, and welcoming suggestions and betterments ; enables clients, employees to propose and vote on concern thoughts e.g. Dell ‘s Ideastrom Oracle ( Laudon & A ; Laudon:2009 ) . As IT is strongly associated with execution failures ( Saver:1993 ) , Henderson and Venkatraman ( 1999 ) argue that it is of import that IT be aligned with concern scheme. Different schemes means that different engineerings should be deployed ( Yetton, Sharma, Southon:1999 ) . A world cheque in footings of where the organisation is, and where IT might take it to maybe a utile get downing point. Besides it is of import the alterations are decently communicated ; altering in some steadfast supply concatenation may necessitate alterations in other providers procedure every bit good. We have illustrations of Kmart and Hersey ‘s who experienced heavy losingss as they failed to gauge the needed change.A Hence it is of import to observe that ‘disruption in IT or deficiency of apprehension of needed alteration may turn out to be paralysing for the company ‘ ( Carr:3003 ) . Technology lacks flexibleness ; one time incorporated it may be hard to alter harmonizing germinating markets, unless whole system is changed, which may destruct value e.g. if it is non updated so it may go incompatible even market conditions change, taking to hapless quality information. The manner of working may non reflect the recent market patterns go forthing house at a disadvantage e.g. Ford motor tyre crisis shows the importance of IT up step as Attewell ( 1992 ) says “technology is demanding, fragile and lumpy” ( Yetton, Sharma and Southon:1999 ) .

Management and workers need to hold a proper apprehension about IT ; ‘its function in scheme edifice and facilitating concern procedure, grade of alteration required and so on ‘ e.g. Kellogs moved from outsourcing to inhouse production when it realized that grade of alteration required made it impractical ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . Hence it is of import to hold a “shared docket and common apprehension between all concern divisions” hence directors should be educated sing IT policies and companies should measure frequence of alteration, deficiency of engagement can besides take to inflexibleness ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . However companies should non alter for the interest of alteration, infact they should engineering that helps them with their construction as CIO of GE argues “the of import thing is non whether engineering is old but instead how relevant it is to current production” ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . Dell besides has a similar position.

“41 % of the companies donot hold a cardinal inadvertence of their IT budget” ( Jeffery and Leliveld:2004 ) . IT applications are non one off expenditures ; non merely the initial purchase and execution are expensive, and the applications are capable to changeless alteration. This is because engineering is capable to obsolesce, therefore gets out-of-date rapidly necessitating frequent alteration. Failure to upgrade the system we leave companies with outdated applications subject to failures and may destruct value. It is of import that companies estimate the needed outgo maintaining in head the changeless care and up-gradation cost. Another qualitative cost associated instead indirectly to IT outgo is exchanging cost. Once a hardware or package plan has been bought by a seller for care, so a company might go reliable on that peculiar seller, exchanging to other sellers may necessitate complete new installing. However, ability to organize multi platforms, will enable companies to be connected to many seller therefore cut downing dependance on a individual seller ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . However, Evans and Wurster ( 1997 ) argue that exchanging costs can be reduced by organizing common criterions for processing and interchanging information.A Inorder to recognize existent advantages from IT, companies should understand that it is an on-going procedure, and should be on a regular basis viewed and updated to avoid breaks. ‘Firms with unequal IT budget may lose net income to high IT Spenders ‘ ( Brynjolfsson:1993 ) , nevertheless it must non be misunderstood that high IT budget is equal to high net incomes ; ‘overspending can besides set houses at a cost disadvantage ( Carr:2003 ) . Hence as Carr says “it is of import to pull off IT with a economical manus and matter-of-fact eye” ( Carr:2003 ) . Oracles ‘s Larry Ellison argue that “lavish outgo seldom translate into high returns” ( Carr:2003 ) . Brynjolfsson argues that no relation has been found for IT disbursement and productiveness or profitableness, infact IT can even take to a crisp diminution in labour productiveness, therefore the point is non how much to pass, but analysing whether disbursement truly means lifting productiveness ( Brynjolfsson:1993 ) .

Carr says that most of IT disbursement infact driven by seller ‘s merchandising schemes, so in his article IT does n’t count he proposes three solutions to provide this ( Carr:200 # 3 ) :

  • Spend less: companies should measure expected returns from IT outgo, distinguish between of import and discretional investings and research cheaper options e.g. most of informations storage consists of music files and like which are non relevant to production, puting bounds on what can be stored can be a immense cut on outgos.
  • Follow donot lead: companies should avoid up-to-date innovations ( high cost and rapid obsolesce ) , that have small relevancy ; purchases should merely be made once criterions are established harmonizing to Moore ‘s Law.
  • Take a pessimist position by concentrating on hazards and exposures and non chances: companies should concentrate IT resources on forestalling breaks and non happening new ways to deploy IT. Companies should concentrate on long-run challenges and chances as Dell and Wall-Mart have done.

It may be good for concern to concentrate their resources on ‘incremental instead than Big-Bang investings, as these instead than making destroy value ‘ , a lesson learned from 1990 ‘s ( Carr:2003 ) . Besides, the organisational alteration should be a uninterrupted procedure if invention in concern pattern, and direction preparation inorder to derive true proficient advantages ; ‘it is skill that transform IT into high value architecture ‘ ( Carr:2003 )

Performance measuring

Since engineerings are normally associated with high monetary values, companies expect higher returns as good. Harmonizing to a study “57 % of the companies donot hold standards to mensurate success, 82 % place the ability to gauge IT benefits as a major challenge and 68 % donot track the benefits” ( Jeffery and Leliveld:2004 ) . Enterprise systems can non add value, if the organisation fails to acknowledge and appreciate these ; execution is associated with considerable employee preparation and committedness and organisational alteration. If non appreciated so employees morale would be severely affected, and productiveness will fall destructing value. Brynjolfsson ( 1993 ) argues that it can take up to % old ages for IT to pay-off, hence, it is of import that companies recognize and appreciate even little betterments and efficiency additions to keep morale, and large betterments donot come nightlong ( Laudon & A ; Laudon:2009 ) .

Security and lost informations

Privacy is a major issue confronting on-line databases and information sharing. If privateness is non managed decently so hackers can entree confidential information, and work them to their ain advantage, e.g. incase of retail Bankss entree to client debit card inside informations may set the client ‘s money at hazard, and any default usage of debit cards due to bank ‘s deficiency of security direction may do the bank to discontinue trading and incur heavy punishments. Besides a bound has to be placed on the sum of information shared with clients and providers ; excessively much information will cut down house ‘s dickering power as Evans and Wurster ( 1997 ) argue that information dissymmetry exploits competitory advantage. Besides, excessively much information may give rivals an penetration in house ‘s operations, which rivals can work to their advantage or even fix a coup d’etat command. Privacy can be managed by separating confidential from general information, and so make up one’s mind whether usage of ASP possibly utile ( Prahalad and Krishna:2002 ) . Besides by necessitating several different user designation methods such as signature confirmation, IRIS, security codifications and so on, before leting entree to private information.

Any hardware failure or system shutdown means that all informations will be lost which can non be retrieved once more. The loss of utile informations ; client information, stock list orders etc, will restrict company ‘s operations destructing value. Companies should ever keep backup files and printed transcripts, to avoid losingss from engineering misbehaviours.

Carr argue that IT has become more of a necessity, accessible and low-cost by all, so it no longer offer existent strategic value to anyone ; companies gain advantages by making something others can non make, “ IT power and ubiquitousness has grown its strategic importance has diminished, it is no longer scarce, and nucleus maps of IT have instead become costs of making business” , hence when a resource becomes indispensable for competition the hazards it creates are more of import than the benefits it provides ( Carr:2003 ) . Carr besides argues that although “IT has increased connectivity and interoperability but it is capable to standardisation and homogeneousness, accelerated by the cyberspace ; even the most edged border solutions are available to all due to IT being capable to monetary value deflation” ( Carr:2003 ) . Hence it is of import that companies should concentrate more on IT hazard than benefits due to digitalisation of future doing IT a necessity than a beginning to standout. Merely the companies which are able to capture advantages without giving inducement to retroflex them are the 1s to govern the hereafter. However, we have illustrations of Dell, Wall-Mart, eBay with its cyberspace auctions and Mobil Oil with its speed-pass payment system who have used to IT to turn impermanent benefits into digesting 1s ( Carr:2003 ) .

An of import point to indicate is that it is non IT acceptance that affairs but instead the manner it is used that exploits true competitory advantages, it is of import that IT be complimented by high quality, preparation, accomplishments and expertness merely so would it add value to business.The usage of IT in value concatenation should be viewed through several different lenses such as cost economy, exposures, menaces, fringy efficiency additions and non merely on development of strategic advantage ( Carr:2003 ) . Hence as Carr puts it “The true strategic advantages come from the unique and distinguishing ways IT is married with concern scheme, rational capablenesss and organisational civilization. What is invested and how it is applied counts more that the sum invested, companies need to understand that new inventions donot ever act as a innovator, it is infact the manner information is used that adds value” ( Carr:2003 )