Computer & IT

Decision Support Systems

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Assessment Type


Word Count

2500 words


3 Days

Assignment Criteria

For this assignment you will have to prepare a paper that critically discusses how organizations Apply the strategic use of IS/IT to achieve competitive advantage. Some aspects and issues you May discuss in your paper could include (but are not limited to):

  • Discuss at least one (1) successful and one (1) unsuccessful example of the use of IS/IT for

Gaining or enhancing competitive advantages.

  • Highlight some success factors for the successful example.
  • What are some lessons learned (i.e. what went wrong) for your unsuccessful example?
  • Suggest some internal (e.g. organizational, individual, and management factors) and

External factors (e.g. market, industry, social, economic, technological and political/policy Factors) influencing the success or failure of organizations' attempts at gaining and Enhancing competitive advantages. Are internal factors more important than external factors? Or the other way around?

  • How can competitive advantages gained via IS/IT be sustained?

You should apply relevant knowledge discussed in your unit. You should prepare for this assignment by reviewing the literature (i.e. by using ProQuest 5000 database at and searching the World Wide Web (i.e. via Google). You should show evidence that you have read at least 10 references, which must be published after January 2011, in the literature (including references from academic and professional publications) to prepare this assignment. A variety of references are expected including books, refereed journals, case studies, newspapers, magazines and electronic references.

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Assignment Solution


Information technology and information systems are widely used in businesses. These technologies and systems help businesses to grow and make more profits. Information technology has become an important part of organizations. They invest significant amount for development and implementation of proper information technology infrastructure that can help the business in gaining strategic advantages over their competitors. However, there are several factors behind successful or unsuccessful implementation and deployment of information technology infrastructure for a business (Rosemann & Brocke, 2014). 

The aim of this paper is to present a critical evaluation and discussion on different factors behind the implementation of different types of information systems in different organizations. There will be a discussion on a successful implementation of an information system in an organization and unsuccessful implementation of an information system in some other organization. The focus on the discussion will be given on how organizations strategically use these information systems for gaining competitive advantages. The critical success factors will include internal and external factors. Some examples of internal factors may be individual, organizational and management related issues. On the other hand, some examples of external factors may include industry, market, social, economic, political and legal issues. There will be a critical evaluation to find which category of factors play a crucial role in the success or failure of information system implementations in different organizations. The range of information systems considered for this paper includes ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning systems, CRM or Customer Relationship Management systems, KMS or Knowledge Management Systems, DSS or Decision Support System and EIS or Executive Information System (Giachetti, 2011). 

Successful Implementation of Decision Support System: Elbeco Case

In this section, Elbeco's case of successful implementation of the DSS system will be considered for discussion.

Analysis of the Case 

Elbeco is an old and famous uniform clothing manufacturing business from the US. It operates in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Elbeco manufactures uniforms for police force, fire, EMS and various government and non-government departments. It is one of the biggest professional uniform manufacturers in North America. In terms of sales, the company has around 400 dealers and 17000 corporate customers. It supplies around 1.5 million uniforms to its customers (DSS Corp, 2012).

DSS or Decision Support System is a special kind of an information system that helps in decision-making activities related to the business process of an organization. Such systems work at different organizational levels starting from the top level management and coming down of the management hierarchy. Usually, it works for operations, management and planning functions. Managers become able to make critical and strategic decisions using this system. Organizations can make decisions based on structured and unstructured data (Bonczek, Holsapple, & Whinston, 2014). 

Organizations use DSS for making competitive advantages by using those strategically as, 

  • Aiming those at working with underspecified, unstructured or not well-structured data used for decision making by top level management. 
  • Combining different analytical techniques and models and retrieval functions with traditional database management and access systems. 
  • Focusing on the usability part and improving the system for making it usable to non-technical end users.
  • Improving adaptability and flexibility of the systems so it can focus on the environments of the end user and help in more effective decision making. 

DSS is a superset of knowledge-based systems and interactive systems. Usually, the following data are processed by a DSS, (Bonczek, Holsapple, & Whinston, 2014) 

  1. Sales data
  2. Inventory data from relational databases, data warehouse and so on. 
  3. Sales forecast, projected revenues and so on. 

During 2012, Elbeco needed a suitable DR or Disaster Recovery system for its business. The existing system was used for managing and operating all parts of its business. Elbeco wanted to add the DR system with the existing one. The requirement was for a system that will be up-to-date and reliable, work seamlessly with the existing system and help in testing data and access the result anytime. Due to some issues with their existing information system, iSeries system, there was an outrage. That risked significant loss for the business. Elbeco was interested in the DR to cope up with such outrage in future.

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