1. Why is it important for Information Technology to be involved in the overall strategy of a business?
Corporate strategy involves the formulation of decision patterns that will define and address the corporate goals and objectives. In order for the corporate managers to examine objectively and efficiently the needs of the organization and to adopt the appropriate business strategy to use, the adoption of information technology plays a major role in the achievement of gathering an accurate information that needs to be processed. The technological perspective of adopting a solid and well founded corporate decision making is well emphasized in most business strategic schemes to attain the overall success of an organization.
Information technology plays a crucial role in the formulation, implementation and strategic planning of business strategies. Information technology planning for instance is important in planning for the allocation of resources needed by the organization. It is also important in disseminating the organization’s goals to the employees in order to induce cooperation and consolidation of information that are available in every organizational department. Resource planning is important as it helps prevent costly approach in business strategy. The consolidated information is crucial in the evaluation of the overall steps needed in formulating business strategies that will be cost effective, efficient and optimized for a progressive development by using all the company resources (Sutherland and Moreiux, 1991). The information gathered can be used in evaluating the company’s current circumstances and use the same to explore more options and introduce improvements in the company management and operational system.
2. What are two ethical issues that Information Technology must address from a strategic perspective?From a strategic perspective, there are two ethical issues that can be cited involving Information Technology. The first is the ethical issue involving the Information Technology provider whenever an organization finds the need to outsource this aspect of their corporate strategy. Apparently, the ethical issue involved here is not primarily concerned with the practice of using Information Technology as part of the strategic plan but rather it involves the common ethical problems arising when companies hire a service provider to deliver professional services in line with their target of gathering information needed for the formulation of their business strategy. Ethical violations are commonly committed by a service provider when he withholds important and crucial information needed by the company in furtherance of his own personal motives such as pursuing financial gain that could deprive corporate managers the ability to evaluate available information that are withheld from them. This is an ethical issue involving the provider’s step of taking their personal interest higher than the employers (Sahlenia, 2002).
Another ethical concern with Information Technology involves the infringement of privacy issues such as the infringement of intellectual property rights and the management of the information available within the company. Corporate managers are highly apprehensive about leaking corporate secrets which can become vulnerable with the adoption of Information Technology as part of its business strategy scheme. The ethical issues of privacy as well as security are considerations with regard to the information access of third parties within the company and are of great concerns that compel companies to evaluate the need of adopting Information Technology as part of their business strategy system.
3. As we have learned data collection, storage, and access are important strategic challenges faced by Information Technology. How would you address the topic of data in an organization?When a data topic is raised within the organization, it would be the best approach to introduce the same as an intellectual capital needed by the organization in terms of the formulation of business strategy approach in managing the company. Business professionals underpin the concept of using a good data strategy as a part of an effective approach to business strategy where it offers a gainful value to the company by obtaining all the needed resources for it to thrive and sustain its competitiveness using proper data management. Data is a collection of information that the organization can use as a strategic capital in pursuit of a more highly advanced approach to business management and strategic approach.
It is also worth emphasizing that the data collection should be handled with a flexible approach instead of a more rigid data collection and processing systems because data information is often processed differently. According to Wright (2000), a clearly defined indicators should be used in order to address key points and collecting accurate raw data may be reinforced using information technology in order to reduce human errors and prevent delay in data processing. Moreover, the importance of keeping the collected data safe and the implementation of an automatic system that will classify each information obtained will make the data more highly accessible for reference. Data gathering may involve the collection of complex information that needs to be classified and sorted out and with the volume of data that may be collected, manual classification is always subject to delay, inaccuracy and human errors. The organization of data collection within the organization is fully addressed by using information technology for better efficiency and accuracy of the process.
4. Describe two areas of improvement that Information Technology can implement to improve efficiency in an organization. You will address this question from a user perspective.Most organizations in the modern society are experiencing more pressure and high level of challenges that demand them to create business strategies and business management approach that are more efficient and consequently effective. From a user perspective, the introduction of Information Technology may be overwhelming at first and it is the management’s responsibility to address the needed improvements that will make employees more efficient in using and adapting to IT business approach within the organization.
One of the areas of improvement worth noting is the accessibility and connectivity of information within the departmental units of the organization. The adoption of Information Technology is more efficient when data are available from one department to another, making them more accessible for the efficient processing of information needed to improve production.
Another aspect of improvement needed when using Information Technology is the implementation of accurate data processing method which employees are well versed about. Sending the end users of the collected data to a training that will make them more effective in handling the collection of data available before them for use and evaluation will further optimize their productivity and efficiency. After all, the achievement of efficiency and effectiveness in using Information Technology involves four key components namely the people, processes, information and technology which are all complementary to each other to attain organizational efficiency (Knapp, 2010).
5. Describe three roles of Information Technology that you believe are the most important from a strategic perspective.
Companies are currently confronted with the pressure of improving its ability to sustain competitiveness and meet the demands for modernizing its business processes. They find a significant partner in addressing these needs using Information Technology to make their organizational strategies more efficient, accurate and effective. Information Technology takes three vital roles in terms of improving business strategies through these three perspectives.
- Information technology improves and strengthens communication. IT offers a cost effective means of exchanging information that helps every member of the organization to become productive and efficient in their roles and responsibilities. It also fosters an organizational environment where important data is accessible making the decision process more convenient and fast which is crucial in the formulation of business strategy approach to implement within the organization.
- Information technology improves the organization’s systematic competency by providing a more accurate and efficient way of processing information and organizing them more effectively. It eliminates the risks of human errors and prevents the delay of processing vital data collection needed by the organization’s business strategy decision makers (Papp, 2001).
- Information technology drives an organization towards competitiveness. It encompasses the improvement of managerial roles towards better production and makes them more efficient problem solvers. As such, they can easily adapt to change and is more competent in providing competitive service and product delivery because this aspect of business management is also information technology driven.
Knapp, D. (2010). The ITSm Process Design Guide: Developing, Reengineering and Improving IT Service Management. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: ITSm Academy.
Papp, R. (2001). Strategic Information Technology: Opportunities for Competitive Advantage. London, UK: Idea Group Publishing.
Sahlenia, A. (2002). Ethical Issues of Information Systems. London, UK: IRM Press.
Sutherland, E. and Moreiux, Y. (1991). Business Strategy and Information Technology. New York, NY: Routledge.
Wright, C. (2000). Issues in Education and Technology: Policy Guidelines and Strategies. London, UK: Commonwealth Secretariat.