1. Why are competitive advantages gained through Information technology typically short lived? How would you try to protect your investment in such a system to get the most return and how might this differ depending on the current operational infrastructure you have – e.g. in house, outsourced specific to a vendor or in the cloud. (HINT: to some degree Strategic planning)

2. Porter defined three generic strategies when he first developed his five forces model. Name and describe each of them, giving examples in retail of organizations that display that strategy. Also explain how you would decrease the Customer’s (or Buyer in the model) Power in each scenario through the use of IT. (low cost provider, niche market, innovative).

3. Looking at Supply Chain Management Systems generically, what are the effects of well implemented systems that address the various forces (Porter) as it relates to the company undertaking the implementation? In other words if you implement SCM well what effect do you have on the five forces and why?

4. Summarize why CRM is more than just technology and must be embraced on an enterprise wide basis, along with the types of things an organization can determine when using a CRM system.

5. Week 4 discusses the subject of E-Business. There is a section that talks about the critical success factors of e-business. What are the top three in your opinion and defend your choices. Don’t forget to document any assumptions you make – e.g. type of business, startup versus mega corp.

6. In week 2 we reviewed the Strategic planning process. How would you answer the question “What role should the CEO of an organization take on during the Strategic Planning Process (a one line answer won’t quite do it here, but no PhD thesis defense either  ). Identify other key players and their roles.

7. Summarize the best practices for implementing a successful Supply Chain Management system and indicate if there would be any difference in the emphasis on which is more important between small localized companies and large distributed corporations.

8. Technology has enabled organizations to re-engineer their work processes. Give an example of an organization which has done this and briefly describe how they achieved benefit from doing so.

9. The Federalism model of IT organization allows an organization to benefit with both central and decentralized IT resources. Explain the benefits of this model, discussing the pros and cons and suggest what type of organization is likely to benefit most from this model. Check this out.

10. How would you measure the success of IT Applications in business: Pick two different types of applications and then describe what are the metrics in those two situations (e.g. e-commerce, SCM, call center operations) and how do these metrics benefit both the IT support personnel and the end user? When you think about this, pick a subject area (such as e-commerce, or SCM) and imagine how it should be measured.

11. Discuss the critical aspects of outsourcing your entire IT department and only keeping a small handful of business analysts in house. What are the pros and cons of this approach and would the decision be any different depending on what kind of industry your company is in. .

12. While “Information has no ethics” the behavior of a company with respect to information has to be clearly ethical. In this regard, briefly describe the top five stipulations – in your opinion - for a company to be considered to be operating ethically towards all of its stakeholders. CIBC case

13. In the discussion of Knowledge Management, we reviewed the two major types of knowledge, how you might go about acquiring the subjective kind of knowledge. You are looking at this from the perspective of a senior manager in a service based industry. Explain.

14. Business Analytics are currently considered to be the number one tool for forging a successful organization. Explain what an organization can achieve with Business Analytics and why this is more successful than concentrating on achieving the same ends through modification to the product development process. Assume you are in an industry where you manufacture and both retail directly online as well as selling to retailers.

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1. Competitive advantages brought about by improvements in IT infrastructure are only short lived due to the nature of today’s technological innovations. At a time when computers are obsolete in a span of 3-5 years and smartphones are released annually, major players in the technological industry must push boundaries in order to outperform their rivals.
It would be best that companies avoid investing huge amounts of capital into such a volatile kind of asset. Instead, they should opt to lease these infrastructure so that there would be ease in keeping their systems up to date, without spending too much resources....
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