Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd: Hbr Case Study

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Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd: Hbr Case Study

By | March 2008
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Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD: A Case Study
1.Using the Information Systems Triangle as a framework, evaluate the alignment of RCCL's business strategy, organizational strategy, and information systems strategy before Tom Murphy became CIO and then after Tom Murphy took over as CIO (up to 9/11/2001). Prior to Tom Murphy's tenure as CIO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Line's (RCCL's) business strategies were not fully aligned with the organizational and IT strategies. Tom Murphy was instrumental in bringing these together.

A threefold business strategy was in place. It consisted of 1) design better cruise experiences, 2) reduce costs and 3) grow revenues. It improved guest experiences through luxurious ships with rock-climbing walls and ice-skating rinks, the Silverwhere seating arrangement program, Internet cafés and the introduction of a debark card for reduced debarkation times. While Royal Caribbean was not the low-cost leader that larger competitor Carnival was, it offered a premium cruise experience at mass-market price and leveraged the individual character of its two brands – Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

In the past, its organizational strategy was to groom from within. As a result, the staff focused on the status quo, and changes were difficult to introduce. Jack Williams, COO, upgraded the organizational strategy to recruit the best from outside the cruise industry and grow from a small to a medium-size company. A planning committee consisting of key business executives, met regularly to review strategy and operation plans. In addition, the IT organization was isolated and reported up through the CFO.

Because of IT's isolation, its activities were not aligned with the business or organizational strategies.

Jack hired Tom Murphy, who had come from American Airlines, as CIO. Because of the new organizational strategy of utilizing a CIO, he had peer relationships with the business teams he needed to support. He was also used to an aligned IT and...

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