Computer & IT

Managing Information System Assessment 1

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Word Count

2500 words


3 Days

Assignment Criteria

For this assignment you will have to prepare a paper that critically discusses how organisations 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. organisational, individual, and management factors) and external factors (e.g. market, industry, social, economic, technological and political/policy factors) influencing the success or failure of organisations' 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?

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Assignment Solution


Over the past years, many companies have implemented different Information Technology and Systems. The purpose of IT and IS implementation is to support the existing business functions and simplify the processes. Among the various businesses software, Customer relationship management (CRM) software and Enterprise resource planning (ERP) are important packages which are implemented by the companies to establish a good relationship with the customers and managing the resources of the organizations. Many companies have implemented CRM and ERP systems to support customer services and another process of relationship management. However, every implementation of CRM and ERP system is not a success. The current study is carried out to analyze the factors responsible for the success of a CRM system and the failure of ERP implementation. The study would focus on two case examples of a successful and failed implementation of IS applications. The two organizations selected for the study are Zalando and Qantas airlines. Zalando is relatively a new company in comparison to Qantas which has been operating for many years now. Zalando has successfully implemented a CRM system for meeting its business requirement while Qantas has implemented an ERP but the implementation failed as it could not achieve the results as expected by the management.

Success Case: Zalando

Zalando was founded in 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The company functions in the online retail of clothing and footwear. Within the time frame of three years, Zalando became the market leader in its segment as a result of its operational excellence and marketing efforts. The energy contributed by the management and team has been successful in delivering the increasing margins year over year.

The success credit of the Zalando was attributed to the relationship building and management with the customers. The company realized that it is important to have a strong CRM tool which could enhance the business of the organization. The organization planned the implementation of an integrated CRM and e-commerce tool. Management realized that there should be a medium using which the company can connect with people, inform them about the products, offers, and policies and could listen to the grievance of the customer. The strategy was based on the fact that the customers must be satisfied in every case(Naseer, 2012). 

Zalando targeted the end customers through a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. It was decided that there should be no intermediaries in the structure and operational processes.  As part of the implementation strategy, Zalando decided to implement a custom package which would suit the requirement of the organization rather than opting for standard products available in the market. Zalando formed committee comprising of members from marketing and IT who evaluated different products and reached on the decision of implementing a custom solution.

Success factors of CRM at Zalando –

Before the implementation of CRM, the management has defined clear goals and objective that it will provide customized and exclusive services to its customers(Vlasich, 2012).

  • The company targeted the end customers and designed everything keeping in mind the preferences of the customer. The entire website and related services were designed from the customer point of view. Zalando has conducted a survey to understand the expectation of its customers. This helped the company to become the market leader because everything starts from the customers(Krigsman, 2015)
  • Zalando realized that the company was new to the business and needs to focus on a strategy which could present a ground for growth. The management team decided to opt for a CRM system and defined a dedicated team of experienced professionals to experiment with new systems and support the implementation and execution. The management also provided advisory support both in terms of the concept as well as letting the team understand the expectation.
  • From the beginning, the management team decided to obtain a holistic view of their customers at all stages from the acquisition to retaining. This includes the registration process, ordering, shipping and complaints(Krigsman, 2015).
  • The team identified the exact communication requirements between the organization and the customers. 
  • All these process management and implementation increased the complexity of the services at the back end. To meet this, organization recruited the required individuals as well as formed a dedicated team from business who supported the implementation providing support from the business perspective.
  • An important reason behind the success of Zalando's CRM system was that its management team has continuously guided and supported the rest of the executive team in charge of ensuring the high-end customer service quality(Lipiäinen, 2015)

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