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For this assignment you will have to prepare a paper that critically discusses how organisations apply the strategic use of IS/IT to achieve IS/IT-enabled innovation. Some aspects and issues you may discuss in your paper could include (but are not limited to):
∙ Discuss at least 4 examples of the use of IS/IT for innovation.
∙ Highlight some success factors or some lessons learned (i.e., what went wrong?) for your examples.
∙ Discuss the impacts of internal factors (e.g., organisational, individual, and management factors) and external factors (e.g., market, industry, social, economic, technological and political/policy factors) on the success (or the failure) of IS/IT enabled innovation.
∙ Suggest recommendations and guidelines for helping organisations succeed in their efforts to embark on using IS/IT for innovation with good explanation and discussion.
You should apply relevant knowledge discussed in your unit. You should prepare for this assignment by reviewing the literature (i.e. by using ProQuest 5000 and Science Direct databases at http://www.scu.edu.au/library/index.php/) and searching the World Wide Web (i.e. via Google). You should show evidence that you have read at least 10 references, which must be published after January 2012, in the literature (including references from academic and professional publications) to prepare this assignment. A variety of references are expected including books, refereed journals, case studies, newspapers, magazines and electronic references.
The use and application of information systems and technology in innovation and competitive advantage is widely studied in industry and in academia. The developments in technology and the growth of internet offers immense potential for organisations big or small. Hence, organisations have started applying IS in their business operations in a strategic manner towards innovation for achieving growth, more competitiveness and value. It is important to note that IT/IS must be aligned with business strategies in order to achieve innovation and growth. In this assignment, four organisations are chosen to analyze and discuss the strategic use of IS in their operations to achieve innovation, competitive advantage and value. The assignment makes use of four examples in this analysis and discussions. The four organisations chosen are Nike Sports wear, Amazon, WalMart and FedEx.
Strategic use of IS/IT
Information systems can be a strategic tool only if it works directly to execute business strategies and help the organisation towards achieving competitiveness. There are organisations that have included IS as one of the key elements in their competitive strategy, for example, Apple, Toyota, and others. Some examples of business applications and tools that enable competitiveness are enterprise resource planning applications, business intelligence tools, big data analytics, and so on. It is important to note that the application or tool must have the capability to change how the company compete in the industry and must support in enhancing business performance.
Usually, the term strategy in business is used to determine long-term goals in an organisation. The strategy also refers to the concept of where the company finds itself in the market in order to defend itself from structural forces and it can influence goals in its favor. Here structural forces refer to Porter's five competitive forces namely rivalry between industry competitors, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers, and the threat of new entrants, and pressure from companies that offer substitute product or service(Dalken, 2014). Hence, this concept will determine whether an organisation can achieve its goals and objectives (Xue, 2016).
The strategic use of IT defines as the action, policy or plan, an application or the deployment of resources which is aimed towards achieving company's success and is a key component in the company's business strategy. Again, this is based on Porter's generic strategy which includes cost leadership, focus and differentiation(Tanwar, 2013). The strategic use of IT will provide the capability to shape business outcomes and result in competitive advantage(West et al., 2015). In fact, IT is the plan for gaining and maintaining competitiveness in markets. Further, the strategic use of IT can influence the company's strategy and objectives or can play a direct role in the implementation of business strategies (Peppard & Ward, 2016).