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Can Information Systems Provide Businesses with a Competitive Edge? Are Such It Related Competitive Advantages Sustainable in the Long Run? Why or Why Not?

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Can Information Systems Provide Businesses with a Competitive Edge? Are Such It Related Competitive Advantages Sustainable in the Long Run? Why or Why Not?
Can information systems provide businesses with a competitive edge? Are such IT related competitive advantages sustainable in the long run? Why or why not?
In recent years, many businesses have faced an increasingly uncertain future. As a result, there is an "economic imperative" to gain advantage over their competitors (Bakos & Treacy, 1986). A competitive advantage is attained when "a firm reaches its comparative efficiency or bargaining power (Bakos and Treacy, 1986). There has been a need for the introduction of information systems into many businesses due to human limitations, with bounded rationality concerning the "memory, computation and communication" capacities of an individual (Bakos & Treacy, 1986). There is limit to which individuals are able to solve problems without the use of information systems. In order to shift the boundaries of rationality, information system must be implemented to aid "memory, computation and communication" (Bakos & Treacy, 1986). Information systems designed to gain competitive advantage are defined as "information systems that drive or formulate the organisation's competitive strategy in order to provide it with (or to maintain) a competitive advantage" (Wiseman, 1985). Wiseman (1988) also stated that companies should pursue short, medium and long-term investment in information systems, which display sustainability. He claimed their success could be measured in number of new clients, increase in market share and general return on the original investment. Some might argue that the continuous exponential improvement in technology would render long-term investment in it impossible. However, most of these 'new advances' will not overly benefit all companies in all markets. The importance of a well- implemented information system is very real. Clemons and Kimbrough (1986) believed that "recent attention given to the strategic use of information systems or the priority placed on finding opportunities is not overstressed". In order



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