State and explain the major strategic uses of information technology. Information systems have become very crucial in contributing to the accomplishment of organizational long term strategic goals. There are three strategic uses of information technology which are to redesign business processes (looking inward), as competitive tools (looking outward) and for organisational linkage (looking across)
In redesigning business processes the focus is on revamping inflexible paper-based processes and hierarchical structures. Two approaches evolutionary and revolutionary can be used. The evolutionary approach aims at following the continuous improving tenets of the total quality management movement. The revolutionary approach seeks at starting afresh and redesigns the process from scratch. This approach is useful for overcoming organisational inertia and it speedily achieves results, it has a lower probability of success. Organizational structures can be improved by the adoption of Information Technology. Redesigning business process can help save an organisation which is running at a loss. It can also help an organisation open up new dimensions in to the existing business. Quality of service delivery and customer service is also improve due to redesigning business processes. Organisations that have taken a revolutionary approach in changing their organizational structures using Information Technology are called virtual corporations. They do not have any head offices they operate from where they are.
Looking outward has been the most widely acknowledged strategic use of Information Technology. There are three ways of using the uses of IT for competitive purposes as described by McNurlin and Sprague (1998 p76-84). Jumping to a new experience curve, Embedding IT in products and services and making strategic use of market space. The traditional approach saw a decrease in the cost of using new technology as organisations gained more experience with it. The new view...
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