To what extent do you agree that information

To what extent do you hold that information engineering can confabulate competitory advantage to a concern?


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With the death of the dotcoms corporate bookmans and experts perceived the diminution of the information engineering border. These perceivers have predicted the digital mammoths as being excessively speedy in accomplishing excessively much excessively shortly. As with any concern that expands excessively rapidly based on brickle foundations the dotcoms had been inclined to its inevitable destiny. These perceivers failed to detect the cause for the destiny of the dotcoms had non been information engineering but concern theoretical accounts adopted by these organisations. Harmonizing to David Stauffer ( 2005 ) companies whether immature or old achieved success in the twenty-first century have non sprung out of nowhere. They all have based their schemes on strong foundations and concern constructions. Organizations like Office Depot, Dell, Amazon and EBay have succeeded non because they have become “ on-line ” but because they have adopted a competitory scheme and gained an border over their challengers based on competitory concern theoretical accounts.


The undermentioned treatment argues that information engineering like any concern strategic tools can be used for the benefit of the organisation. What organizations that enterprise to utilize IT as the footing of organisational restructuring demand to understand is that IT can merely confabulate concern competitory advantage to the extent that the organisation integrates it into its operational criterions. On its ain IT can non be a competitory advantage.


The treatment aims to research the issues and arguments prevalent among bookmans whether IT does nor does non confabulate competitory advantage in footings of operational and concern schemes ; how IT can profit the industries and economic system likewise ; and investigates how houses that have non already integrated IT into their theoretical accounts achieve fight and competences.

In the procedure the research worker programs to recite on the assorted practical and theoretical backgrounds that could be utile for modern bourgeoiss and bookmans likewise.


Business Strategy and competitory advantage

Competitive advantage and IT have frequently been misjudged and misinterpreted by direction and concern strategians. Companies harmonizing to Michael Porter ( 1998 ) need competitory advantage in order to accomplish its strategic ends. Competitive advantage can be of two types:

a. the cost advantage

b. the distinction advantage

When houses are able to present to their clients at a lower cost than it is said to hold gained a competitory advantage over its challengers ( cost advantage ) . Alternate if its merchandise characteristics and benefits exceed those offered by its rivals it is said to hold a distinction advantage. Given these competitory advantage characteristics, one can now travel on to what leads to be or distinction advantage. Porter ( 1998 ) is of the sentiment that a concern theoretical account of competitory advantage is based on its ability to pull strings its resources, create typical competences or capablenesss. In this context it is imperative to observe here that during the bubble most companies did non alter their concern theoretical accounts but had become on-line based on the same construction. They depended on the singularity of the Internet and information engineering to give them an border over challengers non recognizing that information and related engineerings does non offer much unless it is coupled with some sort of incorporate organisational schemes.

Stauffer ( 2005 ) for illustration has indicated that companies are successful in today ‘s concern environment because they integrate the chinks ( practical ) and bricks ( physical ) . He points out how organisations must back up its physical construction by meticulously strategizing based on the current resources and using its practical capablenesss to drive operations. Technology therefore should be the tool for accomplishing organisational schemes and non be the distinction point. It should be used as the agencies for cost advantage by utilizing it to construction production, deliver services, and carry out operational functionalities to let clients to exchange from chinks to bricks and frailty versa. Thus Barnes and Noble have succeeded in deriving a competitory advantage over Amazon non because of its presence on the Internet but because of its ability to utilize its extended database on books available at its physical shops online and allow the same consumers to take merchandises online/offline.

Information systems

Information engineering in the signifier of systems for support to make efficiency in day-to-day operations ; to make value ; and to accomplish distinction through merchandise rescue can offer purchase for companies that adopt it. Suresh Kumar ( 2005 ) writes that concern processes require concern inventions in doing procedure reengineering meaningful and worthwhile for the concern. Information systems non merely ease by smoothening the concern reengineering processes through betterment in workflow design, occupation demands, organisational constructions and operational efficiencies but besides enable organisational entities such as direction to accomplish legerity in competitory public presentation.

This position is consistent with those presented by Davenport in “ Enterprise Information Systems ( 2005 ) in which he argues how information systems have become an built-in portion of how organisations work and compete in today ‘s concern environment. He is of the sentiment that without information systems, that is to state systems that support concern activities, organisations would be setback in pull offing clients, procurances, supplies and stock list, and even pull offing its employees. Particularly in organisations that have subdivisions and units spread far and broad across the Earth, it is critical to hold integrated information systems that would assist to join forces the assorted sections through integrating such as:

– “ accounting and fiscal

– homo resources direction

– gross revenues and order direction

– logistics and supply concatenation

– fabrication

– stock list direction

– client relationship direction ” ( Davenport 2005 )

Not merely are this but information systems utile in cut downing concern dealing activities which in bend affect costs. Firms such as SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft have concentrated on making value through supply concatenation package because they realize organisational demands and because their merchandises have been designed to turn to the complexnesss in procedures, picks, utilizations and users inherent in dynamic organisations ( Davenport 2005 ) . However, this is non to state that such information systems are fault-proof. Despite enterprise systems utilizations and supports, the cardinal challenge is for direction to place what they consider mutable, what is dynamic and which facets of their organisations can integrate alteration. Of class holding a flexible organisational construction helps but it does non contradict misinterpreting chances, misjudging the use of the information systems ; and abuse of engineering for incorrect intents etc.

Business intelligence

The intent of information engineering is to make concern intelligence a construct derived from the Japanese which the Western universe has been slow to follow. Harmonizing to Mark Davis ( 2005 ) concern intelligence is the beginning for accomplishing competitory advantage because legitimate inventions support concern maps. Information engineering excessively have the of import function of transforming concern maps to intelligent maps and aid in set uping competitory advantage. For illustration imagine a web site that offers a list of auto theoretical accounts available for sale. The map of the website therefore would merely be that of a booklet listing and offering information on the auto theoretical accounts. Competitive functionality would be if the web site offers interactivity in footings of leting users to take, do picks and do the purchase determination online. This functionality would therefore create value for the user by salvaging clip, attempts and resources.

Furthermore, Davis writes intelligent concern information systems would be one that allows organisations to:

“ path current and possible rivals,

analyse markets,

develop profitable new merchandises,

determine likely campaigners for acquisition or amalgamation,

proctor technological developments, and maintain abreast of a wide scope of political, economic, societal and legislative tendencies with important impact on a company ‘s hereafter ” ( Davis 2005 )

Not merely this but utility of information engineering would be if organisations identify concern procedures that could be made intelligent, incorporate it for supplying focussed and directional support to heighten commercial procedures. Intelligent procedures serve the intent of enquiry and analysis which in bend support competitory advantage.

Core competences in Business Web

Davis ‘ theory therefore back up the cost advantage. Don Tapscott ( 2005 ) furthers this political orientation by sketching that dealing costs have been in being of all time since adult male has learned of trade. Corporate legerity, efficiency and resources are useless if they are non aimed at minimising dealing costs. This may consist of:

a. hunt costs for happening resources, providers and mediators for administering merchandises ;

B. Catching costs for exchange and dialogue with contractors.

c. coordination costs which involve the cost of organizing resources and procedures.

Any alteration in the organisation like procedure reengineering or structuring of organisations have to bear in head how the activities impact dealing costs. Consistent with this political orientation, Tapscott is of the sentiment that “ a house will spread out until the costs of forming an excess dealing within the steadfast become equal to the costs of transporting out the same dealing to the unfastened market. ” Yet despite this fact it has been observed that concerns have expanded to the cyberspace utilizing its model for patterning their concerns and expect marvelous successes. Tapscott thinks that such concerns negate their focal point on nucleus competences and how these competences such as employees, resources and providers will adversely impact ( or make non ) the dealing costs. Finally they will recognize that some resources are hard to mobilise which add costs to mobilization while other resources can be acquired immediately from the topographic points where they are ordered hence decreases the dealing costs. In sum engineering may and may non be the footing for explicating nucleus competence, other resources may make.

Operational Standard

In the above context it can be said that dealing cost is the kernel of strategic development. Contemporary organisations must understand the importance of strategic development, confederations and direction. Information engineering is simply a tool that supports all of these facets but it can non be used as the exclusive resource for accomplishing them. Michael Cunningham ( 2005 ) in his work “ Making B2B Your Operational Standard ” realizes the importance of collaborative commercialism systems and indicates that endeavor benefit from across the supply concatenation productiveness as it reduces costs and offers cost and procedure distinction advantage. Technology in this respect helps out by minimising the concatenation through instant entree and cut down response clip for users. This theory is besides supported by Nirenburg ( 2005 ) who is of the position that developing an cyberspace epoch mentality throughout the organisation may non be every bit different as physical organisations because the footing for the relationship between the concern theoretical accounts are the same. At the terminal of the twenty-four hours the practical universe and the brick universe have to join forces to accomplish satisfaction from providers, companies and clients. Thus integrating of information engineering is more of developing nucleus competences through coaction instead than utilizing it as a individual beginning for strategic development.

Virtual Collaboration

The kernel of Nirenburg and Cunningham ‘s positions are more permeant. No uncertainty in their ain right they have been accurate in foretelling a collaborative model for concern operations but they have non recite on how these could be achieved. For this purpose one can mention to Clegg, Hermens and Porras ( 2005 ) Virtual Collaboration. In this they discuss how organisations need to join forces for the intent of reacting to clients fast, add value to the organisational theoretical account and allow spouses to convey together resources and to win over clients. It is merely through corporate confederations and administration that one can accomplish competitory border over challengers. And because engineerings like the Internet, telecommunications and computing machines enable organisations to go knowing it is likely that concerns achieve effectivity and fight. However, concerns on their ain can non accomplish this unless the organisational procedures, activities and direction becomes attune to the demands of information engineering – that is organisations must affect people to larn, conceive of, develop, innovate and internalise cognition before they can efficaciously utilize it for the intent of accomplishing competitory advantage. As Clegg, Carter and Kornberger ( 2004 ) indicate organisations must extinguish the seven spreads of strategic be aftering before they can efficaciously accomplish their coveted ends:

( I ) “ the spread between managerial phantasy and organisational capablenesss ;

( two ) the spread between existent, clear ends and possible, unpredictable hereafters ;

( three ) the spread between planning and implementing ;

( four ) the spread between planned alteration and emerging development ;

( V ) the spread between agencies and terminals ;

( six ) the spread between a planning caput ( direction ) and a planned organic structure ( organisation ) ; and eventually,

( seven ) the spread between order and upset ” ( Clegg, Carter and Kornberger 2004 ) .

Summary and decision

From the above treatment one learns that competitory advantage in organisations is the consequence of cost advantage or distinction advantage. In this sense information engineering as a tool does non ease advantage but direction can use it to accomplish it. Successful companies that uses information engineering in their concern theoretical account after holding identified their cardinal competences with regard to the operating environment and non because information engineering would distinguish their concern theoretical account. Alternatively engineering can assist back up houses operations by making value, and accomplishing distinction through merchandise rescue. It can assist organisations in introducing its concern procedures which in bend affect its bottom-line costs and thereby assist in deriving a competitory cost advantage over challengers. In any of the procedures within the organisation, information engineering can be integrated to assist to accomplish bottom-line successes whether it is human resources, fiscal resources or client relationship direction. The challenge nevertheless for organisation is to place which procedures will be most affected by the alteration. Change is necessary because organisations need to be dynamic and intelligent in order to better maps and increase value to the consumers. Not merely this but intelligent concern procedures help in strategic thought and development of schemes for organisational end accomplishments. More significantly it allows the organisation to accomplish nucleus competences by leting it to join forces within its units, providers, other organisations by making a web of concerns. the bottom-line is to accomplish organisational, clients and employees satisfaction.

The key is non built-in in information engineering but in the ability of the direction to utilize it to develop competitory advantage.

Therefore information engineering in footings of the above confer to concern competitory advantage by leting concerns to go flexible ; collaborate ; innovate ; efficient ; and finally distinguish and cut down costs. Information engineering on its ain is non a competitory advantage but instead it is a tool by which organisations can widen their competences. Despite many claims and sensed impressions, information engineering can non be engaged with the position to add advantage. As Clegg, Carter and Kornberger ( 2004 ) indicate unless concerns learn to extinguish the spreads between its procedures elements incorporating expensive information systems would non extenuate costs neither would it assist in accomplishing competitory advantage. The kernel of concern as discussed earlier is in strategic development and integration concern intelligence in the procedures. This can be achieved by incorporating information systems but the fact remains that concerns depend on its transition to the environment ; it depends on the effectual usage of resources ; it relies on direction schemes ; and it requires changeless alteration to stay dynamic within its operational environment. Information engineering allows organisations flexibleness and the ability to react fast to alter but it does non needfully warrant success.


Clegg, S. , Carter, C. and Kornberger, M. 2004, ‘Get up, I feel like being a scheme machine ‘European Management Review. Houndmills: Spring Vol.1, Iss. 1 ; pg. 21

Clegg, S. , Hermens, A. and Porras, S. 2005, “ Virtual Collaboration ” fromBusiness: The Ultimate Resource.

Cunningham, M. 2005, “ Making B2B your new operational criterion ” fromBusiness: The Ultimate Resource.

Davenport, T. 2005, “ Enterprise Information Systems ” fromBusiness: The Ultimate Resource.

Davis, M. 2005, Business intelligence: Exploitation concern intelligence for competitory advantage.CRM Today, p. 3 Online accessed on 2-12-2005 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Kumar, S. Nov 2005, Becoming an nimble rival with strategic IT.Pulp & A ; Paper.San Francisco: Nov 2005.Vol.79, Iss. 11 ; pg. 23.

Nirenburg, J. 2005, “ Developing an cyberspace epoch mentality throughout the administration ” fromBusiness: The Ultimate Resource.

Porter, M. 1998,Competitive Advantage, Free Press ; 1st Free P edition.

Stauffer, D. 2005, “ Integrating Real & A ; Virtual Strategies ” fromBusiness: The Ultimate Resource.

Tapscotr, D. 2005, “ The Business Web ” fromBusiness: The Ultimate Resource.

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