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IT and Company Business Processes and Decision Making

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1. How can Information technology support a company's business processes and decision making and give it a competitive advantage? Give examples to illustrate your answer.
2. Refer to the Real Word Case (attached) on eCourier, Cablecom, and Bryan Cave in the chapter. Jay Bregman, CTO and cofounder of eCourier, notes that the company hopes their innovative use of technology will become a differentiator in their competitive market. More generally, to what extent do specific technologies help companies gain an edge over their competitors? How easy or difficult would it be to imitate such advantages?
3. How could a business leverage its investment in information technology to build strategic IT capabilities that serve as a barrier to new entrants into its markets?
4. What strategic role can information play in business process reengineering?

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The attached solution is by no means intended as assignment completion. It provides references and solutions to the questions posed above.
Information technology brings about many opportunities for organizations that use the
technology wisely. IT can help support the organization's business processes by making them more
efficient, when it is used to speed up processes or provide more detailed information about a process.
For example, when a company like Fedex tracks a package, it allows customers (both shippers and
recipients) to track packages online as well. This increases efficiency, as shippers and those waiting
on packages are less likely to call customer service to inquire about the location or estimated delivery
time of packages. IT used in such an example can support business processes by making them more
profitable. Customers are able to track packages online, so there is less need to hire customer service
personnel to answer questions related to package delivery.
Information Technology can allow a company to maintain a competitive advantage by service
customers better and faster. If, for example, a customer is able to order and schedule a package pickup
for delivery, the company may continue to use the shipping company that allows the customer's
employees more time for other work. By ordering a pickup online the customer receives what is
perceived as immediate service, as a confirmation number is issued. The online scheduling service can
determine which delivery driver is closest to the pickup location and notify that driver, thus speeding up
the time for handling and delivery of the package. If a customer service agent would be needed to
schedule the pickup, time would be spent locating the driver and entering data into the system. Faster
service of package delivery will give the ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines IT and company business processes and decision making. The strategic roles information can play in business process reengineering is determined.