Computer & IT

Strategic Use of IS/IT To Achieve Competitive Advantage

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Word Count

2500 words


Management Information Systems


6 Days

Assignment Criteria

Assignment 1

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 examples 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 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?

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 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 2012, 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.

Assignment 2

The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate your ability to develop a comprehensive implementation proposal for an information system that uses a systems approach. The proposal should be targeted at a potential 'sponsor' organisation that will need to be convinced of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the proposed new system.

Choose an information system (e.g., ERP systems, CRM systems, SCM Systems, Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Executive Information Systems, Enterprise Portals, Data Warehouse & Data Mining Applications, Enterprise Collaboration Systems, Knowledge Management Systems, and so on) that you have studied in this unit. Alternatively, you may wish to combine features of several systems.

Your assignment should describe the steps of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) discussed in Topic 4 of the subject. The proposed system must address an identifiable problem/opportunity that exists in the sponsor organisation and relate to particular aspects of the organisation's overall strategic directions. It is important that you select the features of your system carefully and justify your selection. Do not just use (be critical of the use of) the standard features of a commercially available software package. For the purposes of this assignment, try to keep the system that you are proposing to a manageable size.

Please note, you will have the option of doing Assignment 2 in a group of three or four students. Detailed information will be posted on MySCU by the end of Week 2 of Session 3, 2016.

Your proposed system could help the 'sponsor' by:

  • improving an existing manual information system
  • introducing a new information system
  • creating a new business opportunity
  • improving organisational productivity.

The sponsor could be:

  • top management of your company
  • an investor
  • a financial institution which will lend you money
  • a client who has engaged you as a consultant.

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Assignment Solution


Implementation of IS/IT not only includes the application of software systems but also incorporate a set of business processes and associated resources that operate incoherence to gather information from different business functions (Serova 2012). The collected data undergoes analysis and is reported to the mid-level and executive management through easily understandable reports in a timely manner to assist them in their decision-making process. There is a general misconception that for an IS/IT solution to be effective, and it has to be combined with all the existing systems in a company. Instead, the value of the solution is based upon how it assists managers to manage business operations (Berisha-Namani 2012). The main advantages of IS/IT implementation for companies are the availability of fast, real-time and clear reporting of business operations, reduction in redundant activities and improves resource utilisation, well-defined information flow, assists in planning and development opportunities, identify gaps in target markets and helps in decision making for business expansion plans.  

In general, the competitive advantage of companies is gained through the value created for the customer when compared to its competitors (Amit & Zott 2012). Experts have observed that implementation of IS/IT solutions does not offer competitive advantage but the way it is utilised for corporate advantage. Innovativeness in the usage of IS/IT forms the crux of business success over competitors (Barrett et al. 2015). A company has to adopt creative measures when using IS/IT to solve business problems which offer a competitive advantage. This report discusses how companies strategically implement IS/IT to gain competitive advantage through examples of successful and failed usages. It also identifies the factors that play a vital role in the success and failure of a company’s strategies to gain an advantage as well as measures to sustain a competitive advantage over the long term.  

Example of Successful use of IS/IT for Gaining Competitive Advantage

Implementing the correct IS/IT solution offers a company a competitive advantage. In the current economic scenario, companies have to target new markets, new competitors and growing customer expectations. This has induced companies to identify strategies to lower operational costs, optimise inventory, reduce throughputs, expand product/ service portfolio, increase product/ service quality, offering reliable customer service and efficient demand and supply management (WTO 2013). Due to competitiveness, companies are forced to re-engineer their business processes to be proactive and reactive to customers and competitors. 

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