How Information Systems and Technology provide strategic advantage I’d like you


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How Information Systems and Technology provide strategic advantage
I’d like you to read the textbook chapters, then do a little research on the web, to understand how Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) provide strategic advantage. Grading criteria are spelled out in the “Syllabus & Grading” folder. I expect a thoughtful discussion, that debates issues, provides examples of relevant company scenarios and analogies – either from your experience, or from your research – and that reaches some conclusions about how IS&T provide advantage, given the pressures that companies face now. Thomas Friedman suggests that “the world is flat,” meaning that any individual or firm faces a level playing field as they participate in commerce from anywhere in the world (see Week 1 lecture notes for a summary of his arguments and a link to the supporting materials). Friedman argues that convergence between Internet-enabled access to information and communications, computing technology, and entertainment/multimedia technologies have provided the basis for ubiquitous computing – and that this enabled the “flat world” for e-commerce.
Q1. Do you think that this is true? Friedman’s book was published over 10 years ago. What other IS & Technology developments have affected the conduct of global business in that period?
Q2. What factors mitigate against a “flat world” for global commerce? Are these technology-related, or are they related to social, economic, or political factors?
Q3. In several analysis articles, McKinsey Quarterly writers suggest that most of the economic benefits from digitization have gone to consumers rather than companies – mainly because of the improved access to information that consumers have, concerning competition, pricing, and product alternatives. Can you think of some examples? Q4. If you wanted to start up a new business now, how would you go about researching specific groups of customers who have unmet demand or specialist needs that a small business might satisfy with customized products more easily than a large business? What sort of product or services might you offer to these customers?

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