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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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    Solution Preview

    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.