Computer & IT

Strategic Use Of IS/IT To Achieve Competitive Advantage

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Assessment Type


Word Count

2500 words


IT Management


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


Information Technology (IT) enables an organization to increase their efficiency and productivity thus, benefitting the overall growth of the organization. It leads to streamlining and functioning of the process which reduces the unwanted activities and leads to maximum optimization of the resources available. This optimization can be possible as it helps in storing and protecting the information available to the organization. This helps in the preservation of a large amount of data which the organization can use at its will to analyze their customer behavior and their changing trends. Not only this, but IT systems also automate the process and thus increase the productivity multiple times. This also leads to better communication within the organization.

The Management Information System is a user machine which is integrated to support the operations, analysis, decision-making functions of the top management of an organization. The implementation of the same can be done in two parts:

  1. Implementation through the organizational functions which the systems would support
  2. Implementation through the managerial activities for which the systems would be used for

Depending on these factors, the most commonly used ones are the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), etc.

These systems are of great use to the Top management of an organization as they help in finding out the bottleneck and the key areas of improvement which would help in increasing efficiency. They provide them with an opportunity to do better and would help in the process of decision making.

Customer Relationship Management at 3M

Introduction to 3M

3M was established in the year 1951 and is a $16 billion multinational company with its headquarters in the USA. It has operations in over 60 countries and its products are sold over 200 countries. The company is known for its innovation and encourages its employees to come up with innovative ideas so as to help in the development of the process. They offer their services and products to healthcare, safety and graphics, industrial and specialty markets. (Henschen, 2013)

Bottleneck at 3M

3M has over 40 business units which develop and market the various products and services. They have a very decentralized system in which each business unit functions as a separate identity. Thus, from the overall point of view, 3M does not have the overall database of its customers and this database is in bits and pieces with respect to every business unit of theirs. The major issue with this was that 3M did not know how much business a specific customer bought to them. Thus, the ABC classification of their customers became difficult. This also made it difficult for 3M to strategize as to which area to focus on, in order to improve the sales and revenue of the organization. 

Also, 3M could not take advantage of cross-selling to its customers as the detailed data of their customers was not available. This also hampered the analysis of the buying pattern of customers and 3M was not aware of the focus areas so as to hit the customers aggressively. Also, 3M was using the archival system which generally leads to a great deal of inconvenience for them as well as their customers. (Anon., 2015)

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