Summary: As technology becomes more mainstream and accessible, companies must develop new ways to use their IT resources in order to compete. In this extensive revision, IT expert Bernard Boar provides a methodology that shows readers how to use IT as a competitive business asset. He tackles the latest challenges facing IT departments over the next several years, including how to devise a complete strategy to make the department more effective and how to choose the best strat
egy framework for a company. Boar also shows how technologies like e-commerce, data warehousing, architectures, and Java can be used to make a business more competitive.
Summary: As technology becomes more mainstream and accessible, companies must develop new ways to use their IT resources in order to compete. In this extensive revision, IT expert Bernard Boar provides a methodology that shows readers how to use IT as a competitive business asset. He tackles the latest challenges facing IT departments over the next several years, including how to devise a complete strategy to make the department more effective and how to choose the best strategy framework for a company. Boar also shows how technologies like e-commerce, data warehousing, architectures, and Java can be used to make a business more competitive. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:2ND 01 Cover: Print On Demand Publisher:Wiley Print On Demand Published: 01/28/2001 International: No
View Author Bio
Boar, Bernard :
Bernard Boar is Vice President for Strategic Solutions at RCG Information Technology where he implements and teaches the strategy discussed in his books. A frequent speaker at conferences and lectures, he consults about his methodology all over the world. Boar is also the author of Constructing Blueprints for Enterprise IT Architectures, Strategic Thinking for Information Technology, and Practical Steps for Aligning Information Technology with Business Strategies (all from Wiley).
View Sample Chapter
The struggle of business has always been and remains the struggle for advantage. Those who build, compound, and sustain competitive advantage win; those who do not, lose. Competition is all about advantage. It really is that simple, yet at the same time, so complicated.
There is much confusion and misunderstanding in the information technology (IT) community. Many do not understand the purpose of the technologies that they deploy daily; they proceed in a fog. They do not understand why the IT industry is a $1.5 trillionplus worldwide industry growing at over 10 percent per year. Some think the purpose is to ''save money,'' some think it is to ''help in making better and faster decisions,'' and others think it is to simply improve productivity. This understanding is very nearsighted and shallow; they have entirely missed the deeper point.
The purpose of IT is competitiveness. The purpose of IT is to provide a robust resource for the building, compounding, and sustaining of competitive advantage for the enterprise. Cost reduction, expedited decision making, and improved productivity, while of course important, are but specific instances of this greater purpose. In the new millennium, the purpose of IT is to be the foundation of competitive advantage for the business. The purpose of IT is to enable the business to engage in IT fighting:the uses of IT as the primary resource and weapon system to build, compound, and sustain competitive advantage.
At RCG Information Technology, we fully understand this mission and collaborate daily with our clients to fulfill this purpose. To compete and succeed, one cannot be confused about the purpose of such a valuable resource. We are in the business of developing, provisioning, operating, and selling competitiveness. Regardless of the industry and the technology set, we understand the critical importance that the superior deployment of IT means to their success, and we position our services to enable the realization of IT-based advantage.
The strategic planning methods presented in this book contribute significantly to our success. By applying concepts such as core competencies, critical success factors, Five Forces, driving force, strategic intent, scenario analysis, benchmarking value chain analysis, and product maps to our strategic planning efforts, we are better able to master the possibilities of technology and position chosen technologies for maximum leverage.
The business model of the new millennium is in significant transition. The ''command-and-control'' model of management, the ''order chain,'' is dying and being replaced by a team model in which professionals are engaged, enrolled, and challenged to innovate. The resulting business structure more resembles an orchestra of skilled musicians than a traditional hierarchical military command structure.
But even an orchestra needs a score. Strategic plans provide the required score to enable our staff to craft ever more powerful solutions for our customers while maintaining harmony across the multitude of efforts. Agile employees working in an empowered environment require an anchor. The strategic plan provides that point of common reference; ''super glue'' for direction and purpose.
We are witnessing the emergence of a winner-take-all economy. The distance between the gold and silver and bronze medallist is widening. The rise of the digital enterprise makes the strategic management of IT for competitive advantage an urgent necessity. We all need ways to both understand the ascent of IT in strategic importance and to think and act strategically. Though information technologies over the last two decades have unquestionably gotten cheaper (on a unit cost basis), faster, and more functional, the resulting systems, from a user perspective, have not correspondingly gotten better. This will not suffice. We need better strategy. We must make strategy actionable.
We strongly urge you to study and apply the methods presented in this book. We are confident of continued future success and believe it is neither an accident nor simply good fortune; rather, it is the result of the stimulating, challenging, and exciting insights derived from careful planning. Though not at your command, the future is also not a totally impenetrable mystery. Sun Tzu, the master of strategy, said, ''Much strategy prevails over little strategy, so those with no strategy cannot but be defeated.'' We concur completely; how else could it be? How else could it be in a world of intense IT fighting?
Thomas J. O'Brien Senior Vice President RCG Information Technology
Vincent J. Raineri Vice President-- Enterprise Solutions RCG Information Technology
View Table of Contents
Foreword. Acknowledgments. Strategic Planning for Information Technology. Managing IT for Competitive Advantage. Assessment. Strategy. Execution. Quality Control. Administration. Epilogue. Appendix A: Aphorisms of Strategy. Appendix B: Glossary. Appendix C: Customer Satisfaction Measurements. Index.
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