New information systems quite often play a major role in the support of planning objectives of an organisation. Management participation is required for better evaluation and control of new systems.
Identify and explain three forms of competitive strategies which information technology would address.
(b) Name three tangible and intangible benefits associated with new information systems.
(c) List five ethical and societal dimensions to the development and use of information technology.
a) Competitive strategy
This refers to a strategy, which enables an organization to gain a competitive advantage. Competitive strategies that would be addressed information technology:
1) Differentiation strategy
This strategy aims at producing goods and services, which distinguish an organization from its competitors in terms of quality. Design software could be used to produce unique products that distinguish and organization.
2) Cost leadership/low cost production
This strategy aims at minimizing production costs so as to maximize profit. Low cost production could be achieved through sound managerial decisions, which are supported software systems such as decision support systems or expert systems.
1) Forming alliances
Alliances are aimed at making an organization stronger amongst its competitors. Information technology could sustain and alliance through fostering effective communication via communication hardware and software.
2) Growth strategy/ Globalisation
This strategy aims at tapping foreign markets. Information technology has enabled globalisation via the Internet. Companies can now offer their products and services to a distant clientele via e-commerce sites.
3) Lock-in strategy
This strategy aims at having a firm grasp of the customers of an organization thus making it difficult for them to switch to competitors. IT applications could be used to ‗lock-in‘ customers introducing switching costs (e.g. costs of changing telecommunication links, cost of changing hardware and software)
b) Tangible benefits can be quantified. These include:
1) Increased productivity.
2) Lower operational costs.
3) Reduced workforce.
4) Lower computer expenses.
5) Lower outside vendor costs.
6) Lower clerical and professional costs.
7) Reduced rate of growth in expenses.
8) Reduced facility costs.
Intangible benefits are difficult to quantify. These include:
1) Improved asset utilization.
2) Improved resource control.
3) Improved organizational planning.
4) Improved organizational flexibility.
5) More timely information.
6) Increased organizational learning.
7) Legal requirements attained.
8) Enhances employee goodwill.
9) Increased job satisfaction.
10) Improved decision making.
11) Improved operations.
12) Higher client satisfaction.
13) Better corporate image.
14) More information.
c) Ethical and societal dimensions to the development and use of information technology:
1) Information rights and obligations: What information rights do individuals and organizations possess with respect to information about themselves? What can they protect?
2) Property rights: How will traditional intellectual property rights be protected in a digital society in which tracing and accounting for ownership is difficult, and ignoring such property rights is so easy?
3) Accountability and control: Who can and will be held accountable and liable for the harm done to individual and collective information and property rights?
4) System quality: What standards of data and system quality should we demand to protect individual rights and the safety of society?
5) Quality of life: What values should be preserved in an information system and knowledge-based society? What institutions should we protect from violation? What cultural values and practices are supported the new information technology?