Information Technology Strategy And Planning Essay, Research Paper
Assignment title: Main Report and Activities
Assignment deadline: 12/5/2000
Discuss how various businesses incorporate different I.T strategies available and how these can benefit an organisation.
Activity 1: Critical Success Factors. Customer Relationship Management
Critical Success Factors (CSF) are certain operations or jobs that must be carried out by a business to ensure they maintain a competitive edge. These are the few areas where things must work efficiently in order for business to prosper. Siebel is an organisation that provides a comprehensive family of multichannel eBusiness applications and services. In this sense, their variety of channels is a CSF for them and this service prevents them from becoming obsolete in their field of expertise. This service they offer makes them unique.
The theme to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is providing exceptional customer service. This entails rapid responses to all customer inquiries and demonstrations of active concern for customer satisfaction. It is a comprehensive sales and marketing approach to building long term customer relationships and improving business performance (See Appendix 1). For the company Cooperative Bank their offer of the first UK Visa Gold Card was a form of CRM because by targeting their largest customer range they were providing an exceptional form of customer service. This is because they excluded the owners of this Gold Card from annual charges for life. Mitsubishi Motors targeted a specific age range (consisting of married men aged 35-54 years) using the Claritas database. The ability of the database to target specific customers is a form of CRM. Certain ranges of customers are catered for whether they are distinguished by age, gender, or annual income and the customer can be tailored for their general preferences. CRM is implemented as it is providing them with exceptional customer service by taking their preferences into consideration.
Activity 2: Power/Influence analysis of your position
Managers have to be aware of the different motivational forces behind their workers. Not all people are motivated by the same things. Offering money as an incentive to meet a company objective may not appeal to some colleagues in the same way it would appeal to others and this factor needs to be recognised by managers. A business deals with people whether indirectly or directly, and it is important not to get caught up in the sheer administrative duties of a company without realising that people need to be catered for. Companies target people and their internal operations are determined by people. Therefore when a manager makes decisions concerning the company, he should elevate beyond the business perspective at times, to realise the different needs of people. By understanding the different desires and different motivational needs of people, s/he will be able to effect a desired or expected response. This will be done through knowledge of influential tactics. These are the internal issues that have to be dealt with in a company and they are not often as promoted or praised as a company’s ERP system.
Developing an effective power of influence entails the managers knowing themselves (therefore s/he will know what they tend to expect from people in a given situation), understanding what perception the workers have of her/him, clarifying her/his target, deciding on which strategy and tactics to adopt and diagnosing the system (Tutorial 2: Worksheet).
The definition of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an attempt to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those different departments’ particular needs. It facilitates communication and enables information to be shared more easily. In the business sense for example, if an order is made, it can be done with all the information about the product or service being ordered available and by eliminating the need to go into different departments, it saves time (See Appendix 3). The company PeopleSoft offer a range of leading hardware and database platforms. These platforms offer an open integration functionality, which means one can connect her/his enterprise to any environment giving a smooth upgrade (http://www.peoplesoft.com/en/tools_technology/index.html).
This is a form of ERP because the open integration quality of this software integrates all associated departments thus planning for all enterprises resources.
Benchmarking can be used in a marketing purpose. It is a form of justifying the need for IT in a business. It is an increasing requirement for organisations that need a baseline to compare themselves against; to quantify improvements made; to compare with others; to focus and prioritise investment. It gives a company grounding; a reasonable look into reality so a company can recognise the necessary changes that need to be made to remain competitive. Benchmarks needs to be repeatable in order to measure, over time, improvements and the effects of change.
Due to the fact that IT matches a large variety of concerned, it cannot be benchmarked based on one criteria alone. There are at least four criteria outlined which are:
1) Portability – What platforms they run on.
2) Flexibility -Whether the vendor has customising and implementing facilities
3) Geographical application -addressing organisational globalisation and supporting global customer with world-wide operations
4) Facility of Integration – Whether business functions and processes are fully integrated
5) Facility of Implementation- Reduction of planned downtime, hardware reconfiguration, systems software upgrade and database reorganisation. (See Tutorial Sheet 3)
PeopleSoft run clientserverOne of CSF of the SAP company is their need to achieve an internationally uniform quality standard in all service activities.
Saratoga systems employ an ERP in the services they offer. In terms of portability, their services are only limited to the Windows environment. However they offer flexibility by extending existing Microsoft software to extend functionality and suit customers specific needs. They can also integrate these products into other software products.
Activity 4:Executive EQ test
EQ deals with the concept of applying emotional intelligence in the workplace. At its essence, Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the primary source of human energy, aspiration, and drive, activating our innermost feelings and purpose in life, and transforming them from things we think about, to values we live. A person who is in tune with their emotions can be listed as someone with a high EQ. We are emotional beings and we are governed by our emotions more than intellect and so monitoring an individual’s EQ will give an understanding to how the individual would work in a specific environment. One would want an emotionally stable person to function, as a leader in a strategic team as this person would not let his/her emotions run away with him. With this knowledge at hand, one can then structure a strategic team based on the results of the EQ test.
Activity 5:Modelling an IT/IS Strategic plan
Strategic planning is important for business, in government and education. Regardless of size, a strategic plan can help your organisation know where it needs to go, and what it needs to do to get there (http://www.ask.com/main/metaanswer.asp?metaEngine=directhit&origin=0&MetaURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eescape%2Eca%2F%7Erbacal%2Ffiles%2Fstrategicplan%2Ehtm&qCategory=home&metaTopic=Strategic+Planning+For+Business+%26+Management&ItemOrdinal=2&logQID=B6B79042F127D4118A9600A0C9ACFE70).
For example, HiMAC is a gardening magazine the George Washington University implemented an advanced environmental information system incorporating advances in geographical information systems, on-site environmental and remote sensing data processing, environmental pollution modelling, and environmental management software. This gives a general idea of a strategic plan and these vary according to a company’s critical success factors and their goals.
Avison & Fitzgerald, (1988), Information System Development- Methodologies, Techniques & Tools, Blackwell Scientific Publications.
Checkland, P. (1990), Soft Systems Methodology in Action, Chichester: Wiley.