Critical Analysis Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

With the increasing development and innovation in information technology, preferences of managers and businesses have also changed significantly. Today, most of the companies are trying to make their processes more standardized and effective so that they can cope with the emerging needs of technology and automated business operations. In order to remain in competition, businesses have to integrate the modern technologies into their operations and make huge investments in this regard. They should understand and evaluate the relationship between traditional industry practices and the modern IT enabled systems because the increasing developments in IT have redefined the competitive structure of the industry. It is also important to develop a proper coordination system between the IT and non-IT personnel of the company so that they can effectively perform their respective duties towards the achievement of the organization’s goals.

After performing a critical analysis of the assigned readings, I have learned that in order to attain or achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in today’s IT based industry; it is a primary need for all the organizations to renew their existing strategies and systems according to the needs of their customers. I agree with Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson that the increasing development in information technology has significantly changed the competitive dynamics of the industry but still the overall performance of a company is dependent upon the choice of  the right talent and execution of a right strategy at  the right time.This is because an automated order processing system will not work effectively on customizable orders as these orders specifically requires the input of human judgment i.e. in the case of a U.S furniture maker who sells both custom and standard pieces through his 100 nationwide showrooms. So in this case the standardized order can be processed easily and effectively through an automated order processing system because all the orders are already listed in the database. However, in the case of customized orders, it will be difficult to process them through an automated system as these orders differ from region to region.

I have also observed that most of the people consider that the internet is a cannibalistic technology that means, it will overturn all the advantages of traditional modes or strategies of doing businesses and can replace them in the near future, but I agree with Michael E. Porter. He said that the internet is merely an advance channel for doing businesses and managers can only ensure the sustainable position of their company by following the traditional strategic approaches. The online businesses can also be affected by all the five driving forces of the industry in the same way as those have an impact on the traditional modes of businesses. Porter has stated that although the emerging trends of the internet have changed the preferences of customers and all the other stakeholders, however it is still not capable to make high economic value for the company and to give it a sustainable market position in the long run.  This is due to  the uncertain profitability and the stock market conditions. But I don’t agree with him at this point because internet is not limiting the scope of the industries rather it has provided a worldwide exposure at a very low cost which in turn has provided businesses an opportunity to enjoy high profit margins. It is also not fair to blame internet for being an uncertain medium for business because most of the  well-established companies have stepped in to the dot com world and they have established a sustainable online market position and brand image, i.e. Wall Mart, Laurel etc…

I have learned the application of an IT engagement model for the successful execution of a project and the integration of linking mechanism to bring together IT and non-IT executives of the company to make  widespread decisions regarding the company. With the help of the examples of Toyota Motor, Marketing Europe and BT’s linking mechanism, I have been convinced by the three step IT engagement model of Nils O. Fonstad and David Robertson. I have learned that for a successful execution of a project, it is very important to involve the key stakeholders that can be affected by the project and try to adjust the overall project according to their needs and priorities. If there is lack of co-ordination between the project team and the IT department, then the whole project may result in a huge failure because the IT department is considered as an enabler to design and run the projects through their respective checkpoints and milestones. According to Jeanne W. Ross, a competent IT architecture can be developed through four stages i.e. application silo architecture, standardization technology architecture, rationalized data architecture and finally the modular architecture. I agree with the concept given in the Johnson & Johnson Baby case because a successful integration of some sort of system can be better done at the individual level.....................................

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