IT Strategy Assignment Help
IT strategy has become instrumental strategy in today’s world to be competitive in the market. To understand the concept, we need to understand what strategy is and what the concept of business is and how it has evolved over the time. The basic economy activity in a country is about producing goods or services and all the activity centered on it are called business processes. As the country evolves from the developing state to the developed state, economy of the country primarily that depends on agricultural moves to industrialization and manufacturing and finally settles on service industry. And as the evolution progresses all the business processes centered on business economic activity also goes through the transformation. Land, labor and capital are termed as factors of production, because these were the necessary factors to start a business.
For a business, when Information Technology was not in business production (Operation) and sales are primarily driving a process that generates and delivers the business value. While Finance, HR where considered to be the support processes. Since the information age, in last two to three decades, information system of technology has changed everything in and around the business. As mentioned, the basic role of IT strategy was to streamline other business processes and provide support to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the organization, but the technological innovation and breakthrough have transformed the business in such a way that point of sale for a business has been shifted from the retail outlet to the mobile phone carried by the customer.
Strategy is the detailed plan developed by the organization on how it will reach its desired goal. When business plans to develop an IT strategy for the organization, first it needs to identify the intention behind implement the IT strategy. There can be various reasons why business is try to improve or implement the IT strategy viz. Increase customer sales through web and mobile channels, cut operation cost and increase efficiency, use of forecasted models and supply chain IT tools to avoid uncertainty, to improve the internal as well as the external communication in organization, to reach out to wider market etc. Hence it is important that first business decides what the intention behind devising an IT strategy is. It is termed as the technology environment alignment. When the business strategy is decided to achieve profit through cutting cost or through maximizing the sales, all the other strategies including IT are devised based on the business strategy.
After the business alignment with the technology, IT strategy starts with identifying the resources and capabilities (Internal as well as external). Chew and Gottschalk (2009) mentions that there is a resource based theory and activity based theory of an organization that helps to achieve the competitive advantage in the market. When we are talking in terms of the IT strategy we need to focus on both resource as well as the activity as it is a continuous process Resource based theory states the resource capability of the company decides how company can differentiate itself from its peers. For example, a company using SAP as ERP will have better competitive advantage than company using old flat file methods and ERP. Activity based theory states the continuous activity of the company helps in achieving the business goal. As the IT provides the seamless integration m among various business processes, the idea is to continuously monitor and improve these processes to reduce cost or improve sales. The recent example is the development of the brick and click model where complete e-business models are developed in aligned to the actual physical stores to bring in the more business. The advantage here in click model is there in time, land or resource constraint and It can be active 24*7.
McAfee & Brynjolfsson (2008) mentions every business supporting activity involves cost and so does the IT implementation strategy. It is important to do budgeting and value creation that will be achieved at the end of implementing an IT strategy. Budgeting define for the IT strategy helps in prioritizing and selecting the best available technology for the job. Once the budgeting is decided, IT strategy is evaluated from SWOT perspective and regular milestones are set to monitor the progress. IT strategy, like business strategy, requires continuous monitoring and control, and if it also requires improvisation in the time of crisis. Hence business strategy team and IT strategy team needs to work together for the planning, to ensure that both the teams are on the same page.
Information Technology – Past, Present and Future
Time of information age is defined in somewhere between 1960 and 1970 when the world started shifting from age old industrial processes to information world. As the industry started becoming more and more organized and data generation of everyday activity increased science started drifting towards the use of computers that helped managing the task and information which are not humanly possible to manage. Information technology was introduced in the business as a part of the support activity that helps manage the business information.
With the invention of personal computers and operating system, every household and every individual could possess and process the information for personal as well as the professional use. Hence computers became part of every small, medium and big enterprise. While there was one part of the world that was still relying on the traditional method of doing business, think leaders and innovators were busy trying to establish the concept of internet and mobility that will change the rules of the game and will erode all the barriers of physical proximity.
As the Enterprise and Resource Planning tools (ERP) were started being used in the large industries and then followed by the small industries, it instilled the trust in information technology that it is indeed work wonders. With the help of ERP, all the departments of the business (viz. Finance, Sales and distribution, Operations etc) had same information at any point of time and any department could generate reports that give them current picture. There was much tighter control on inventory and cost. The seamless integration of all departments within the organization and interface with the external application helped the different technologies communicate with each other in a better way. The MRP reports (Material requirement and planning) manufacturing reports plan the inventory much in advance and helped them predict the demand for the next few weeks in advance. Hence it helped the organization to improve its planning process to avoid uncertainty. Implementation of ERP required the training and development of the individuals who were actually using the system but also had to be dealt with the resistance as people are not open to the changes. Wade, Piccoli & Ives (2011) insists that every technology change requires a change management process that removes fear from the mind of employee that it will be difficult to use and change is for better
Now the world has moved the direction, where future is dependent on primarily three verticals i.e Big data (Analytics), Mobility and cloud Computing. Carr (2003) argues that every day millions of data is generated and it is a variety of data generated in volume at great velocity. Hence we need tool that can manage such massive amount of data and with the help of analytics tool; it should give the insightful information that helps business. With the introduction of ipad, mobile devices and available infrastructure of 3G and 4G, point of purchase has shifted to man’s pocket. Individual can buy or sell anything from his mobile device hence every business has to involve mobile reach as a part of its business strategy. Every ERP and technological architecture are centered around providing the interface on the mobile device that will help ease of access to end user. It is possible because of the recent innovation of in memory computing. Mobile application developed for the individual OS has given rise to the app economy that has largest reach in the world. Mobile app developed in one part of continent can be used by anyone in the world. With the help of cloud computing technologies, various e-commerce sites can open up and start the business in the shortest possible time. Because bigger giants like, Google and amazon are offering the database services to such e-commerce companies at cheap rates and companies have to pay only on how much they use. Burden of capital investment on infrastructure from the e-commerce company is removed and hence it becomes a win-win situation for all. As we are moving from information age to BIG information age, capability of company as well as the computers with massive data and providing mobility will become the need of the hour. Hence business will have to ensure that they are updated with the latest technology around in the market.
The future is uncertain and there will be many more technologies like artificial intelligence, gesture controlled devices that will find its way in the personal household and challenge for the company will be to make the products and provide services in line with those technologies to stay relevant in the market. Order Now