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Understanding IT for a Competitive Advantage

An organization must have a deep understanding of its underlying activities in order to successfully use its informational technologies to achieve a strategic advantage.

a) What is competitive advantage and how do you measure it?

b) What does "value chain" mean and how does it relate to competitive advantage? Identify strategies that can be used for cost advantage.

c) What is differentiation? Give examples of differentiation in the IT industry.

d) What are the characteristics of offensive and defensive competitive strategies?

e) How do countries achieve competitive advantage using technology? Identify the role technology can play in establishing competitive advantage.

f) What are the risks associated with using technology for competitive advantage?

g) Can competitive advantage be achieved primarily through innovation in technology?

Also, in regards to your presentation, consider the following:

If you had to present to a group of key stakeholders, how would you organize your presentation and what techniques for presenting would you employ? Think about a professional presentation that was particularly effective or that spurred several questions. What strategies would you implement to receive and address critical feedback? Share any lessons learned from prior work, life, or seminar presentations that would help you effectively present your redesign and gain buy-in.

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Q. What is competitive advantage and how do you measure it?

Competitive advantage refers to distinct advantages which an organization can have over its competitors. Competitive advantage can be achieved by providing greater value to customers which can be through offering better quality which justifies higher prices or providing lower prices. There are four generic strategies through which businesses can gain competitive advantage. These strategies relate to the extent of the business which can be broad or narrow. The four generic strategies are cost leadership, cost focus, differentiation leadership, and differentiation focuses. An example of competitive advantage is Walmart. Walmart is the retail chain that has created competitive advantage in the retail industry by adopting cost leadership strategy. Walmart is able to provide the lowest cost to customers through its objective of engaging in large scale production and exploiting economies of scale.

Q. What does "value chain" mean and how does it relate to competitive advantage? Identify strategies that can be used for cost advantage.

Value chain refers to activities within and outside an organization which adds to the organizations' products or services. The value chain of an organization has primary activities and secondary activities. Primary activities are those which are directly related to creation or delivery of product or service. These activities are inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing & sales, and service. Each of the primary activities is linked with support activities which help improve their effectiveness. Support activities are procurement, technology, human resources, and infrastructure. Support activities and primary activities are linked with each other in the form of information flow, and system and processes.

The ultimate aim of organizations is to make margin. It depends on the structure of value system how this margin is spread across ...

Solution Summary

The competitive advantage and how to measure it is determined. The characteristics of offensive and defensive competitive strategies are given.