IT Integration for a Competitive Advantage
Information Technology (IT) has grown like a vine into every nook and cranny of businesses worldwide. Within the past decade it has worked its way into the very foundation of the modern industry. With integrating new IT into any organization carries many competitive advantages. However, getting the technology isn’t the end of the game. A company’s strategy for that technology determines how it will be utilized, thus determining its effectiveness. This is where training and education comes into play.
When considering the impact that IT integration has on a business’s performance, there are several factors to take into mind including: your investment in IT, your current/future infrastructure, and specific information systems adaptation to the new implementation. New IT integration will affect the entire organization, but three main areas play key roles in post-implementation environment and will provide a company with measures of success or failure. These are: employee training/preparation, knowledge management, and management capabilities. If employees are prepared for the new implementation, organizations support a continuous learning environment, and management teams can administer and control teams/departments, then implantation will essentially, “go off without a hitch”.
As IT grows and e-commerce and organization globalization become an everyday occurrence, we know to thank information technology. Findings support the fact that IT implementation ameliorates the firm’s internal operations (e-business intranets) while improving supply chain even in e-business extranets. In both cases, there are cross effects from internal and external outcomes (Melville, Kraemer & Gurbaxani, 2004; Zhang & Dhaliwal, 2009). Further research was needed for the word “ameliorates” and it was described as meaning, “to make something bad or unsatisfactory better”. (Just in the case there are more laymen out there like myself.) That being said, IT integration can add operational flexibility, process efficiency, larger market scope, and better communication with stakeholders.
When deciding whether or not an investment is going to help the organization, several factors must be taken into consideration. This is often referred to as a Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA). A CBA is typically used to decide whether or not the favorable results of an alternate option is adequate enough to validate the price of choosing that alternative. This is typically where the price of new IT makes the CFO shutter, but without advancement and investment, opportunities are lost. In order to maintain a competitive advantage in the modern market, an organization must stay on their toes with their eyes on potentially trending information systems that could allow them to offer something new to their customer or attract additional customers.
Melville, N., Kraemer, K., & Gurbaxani, V. (2004). Review: Information technology and organizational performance: an integrative model of IT business value. MIS Quarterly, 28(2), 283-322.