Implementing of information technology strategy initiative

Intr?ducti?n

This purp?se ?f this dissert?ti?n will be t? discuss the implement?ti?n ?f information system technology str?tegic initi?tivesin public sect?r. There h?s been widespre?d ?c?demic discussi?n in recent ye?rs ?n the p?tenti?l ?f inf?rm?ti?n systems t? pr?vide public ?rg?nis?ti?ns with ? str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge. T? this deb?te h?s recently been ?dded ? further c?ntr?versy, i.e. the extent t? which inf?rm?ti?n systems (EDI in p?rticul?r) ?nd the c?ncept ?f business netw?rk redesign ?re c?mp?tible. The ?im ?f this p?per is t? c?ntribute t? these deb?tes, by ?rguing th?t the implement?ti?n ?f EDI m?y still pr?vide str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge t? ? public ?rg?nis?ti?n, but is dependent up?n the industry sect?r in which the public ?rg?nis?ti?n is ?per?ting, its p?siti?n within th?t sect?r, the dyn?mics ?f the m?rket pl?ce, its ?bility t? build ?n its existing strengths ?nd its ?bility t? expl?it the ?v?il?ble techn?l?gy inn?v?tively. Supp?rt f?r these ?rguments is pr?vided by d?cumenting the c?se ?f Her M?jesty' s St?ti?nery ?ffice (HMS?), where the implement?ti?n ?f EDI h?s resulted in fin?nci?l g?ins estim?ted ?t between £5 milli?n ?nd £10 milli?n per ?nnum since 1993. This h?s been ?chieved thr?ugh the integr?ti?n ?f EDI with the c?rp?r?te str?tegy ?nd results fr?m ? pr?cess re-design pr?gr?mme reflecting the ch?nging envir?nment ?f the British public sect?r. The p?per ?ls? expl?res h?w the tr?diti?n?l r?le ?f EDI ?s ? d?cument exch?nge system h?s been extended t? th?t ?f systems' integr?t?r ?nd c?rp?r?te ch?nge ?gent, thus f?cilit?ting future business ?nd technic?l ch?nge requirements.

Liter?ture review

Much ?f the ?c?demic discussi?n ?n the t?pic ?f Electr?nic D?t? Interch?nge (EDI) h?s f?cused ?n the str?tegic p?tenti?l ?f EDI ?nd its r?le ?s ?n en?bler in business pr?cess re-engineering. Yet, despite the devel?pment ?f ? number ?f EDI implement?ti?n fr?mew?rks, there rem?ins ? p?ucity ?f c?se studies ?nd empiric?l rese?rch t? supp?rt the v?lidity ?f these fr?mew?rks. Det?iled ?cc?unts ?f h?w successful implement?ti?n ?f EDI is ?chieved, in p?rticul?r in ?rg?nis?ti?ns g?ining l?rge-sc?le fin?nci?l ?dv?nt?ges fr?m its intr?ducti?n, ?re n?t widely d?cumented, ?nd there is even less evidence ?f this ?ccurring in the public sect?r. This l?ck ?f evidence c?ntributes t? the pr?l?ng?ti?n ?f the ?c?demic deb?te ?n the p?tenti?l ?f inf?rm?ti?n systems t? g?in ?r sust?in ? str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge with well-rehe?rsed ?rguments being r?ised b?th f?r ?nd ?g?inst (B?k?s ?nd Tre?cy, 2006, p.12)

The term 'str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge' is used differently by ? number ?f ?uth?rs in the ?c?demic liter?ture. In p?rticul?r, there is s?me ?mbiguity between the terms 'c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge' ?nd 'str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge'. In this p?per, 'c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge' is c?nsidered t? be ? sh?rt-run ?dv?nt?ge b?sed ?n such f?ct?rs ?s first-m?ver influence. 'Str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge' refers t? ? l?nger-term ?dv?nt?ge which en?bles the ?rg?nis?ti?n t? impr?ve business perf?rm?nce perm?nently.

It is ?ur c?ntenti?n th?t ?pp?rtunities f?r ?rg?nis?ti?ns, ?per?ting in devel?ped n?ti?ns, t? g?in ? c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge fr?m the intr?ducti?n ?f EDI ?re limited, s?ve in ? few m?rket sect?rs. In the UK, e.g. within the ret?il ?nd m?t?r m?nuf?cturing sect?rs, EDI us?ge is widespre?d ?nd is n? l?nger ? s?urce ?f differenti?ti?n but simply ? c?st ?f st?ying in business. H?wever, in th?se sect?rs, e.g. the ph?rm?ceutic?l industry ?nd public sect?r, where EDI is less widespre?d, the p?tenti?l t? g?in ? c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge fr?m its implement?ti?n rem?ins (C?x ?nd Gh?neim, 2005, p.78). Further, the ?bility ?f EDI t? integr?te disp?r?te extern?l ?nd intern?l inf?rm?ti?n systems pr?vides ?pp?rtunities f?r b?th c?mpetitive ?nd str?tegic ?dv?nt?ges, thr?ugh its p?tenti?l t? ch?nge the entire structure ?f the ?rg?nis?ti?n ?nd the business netw?rk in which it ?per?tes.

In s? f?r ?s str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge is c?ncerned, there ?re ? number ?f f?ct?rs which will influence the degree ?f success ?chieved. F?r ex?mple, the p?siti?n ?f ?n ?rg?nis?ti?n within the supply ch?in will determine its m?rket p?wer ?nd hence the p?tenti?l t? g?in ? str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge thr?ugh EDI. Cle?rly, f?c?l ?rg?nis?ti?ns h?ve the p?wer t? 'str?ngly enc?ur?ge' EDI tr?ding with their suppliers ?nd, where suppliers themselves ?re n?t ?per?ting in highly differenti?ted m?rkets, they h?ve the p?wer ?f persu?si?n ?ver their cust?mers.

The str?tegic p?tenti?l ?f ?n EDI implement?ti?n will ?ls? be influenced by the prev?iling m?rket c?nditi?ns. F?r ex?mple, the v?l?tile m?rket c?nditi?ns resulting fr?m p?licy ch?nges in the British public sect?r during the e?rly ?nd mid 2000's, cre?ted new ?pp?rtunities f?r intr?ducing techn?l?gies previ?usly used pred?min?ntly in the priv?te sect?r ?nd thus ? wind?w ?f ?pp?rtunity.

Fin?lly, the p?tenti?l t? g?in ? str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge fr?m ? techn?l?gic?l implement?ti?n is influenced by the extent t? which the techn?l?gy enh?nces ?n existing ?dv?nt?ge ?lre?dy enj?yed by the ?rg?nis?ti?n. The widely qu?ted successful intr?ducti?n by Merrill Lynch ?f their C?sh M?n?gement ?cc?unt is ?n illustr?ti?n ?f this (C?sh et ?l., 2003, p.74). Merrill Lynch ?lre?dy h?d ? unique r?nge ?f b?nking pr?ducts which it ?ffered t? its clients, but w?s ?ble t? use Inf?rm?ti?n Systems t? integr?te these pr?ducts t? pr?vide even m?re s?phistic?ted services which c?uld n?t be replic?ted by c?mpetit?rs ?s they c?uld n?t supply the s?me r?nge ?f b?se pr?ducts.

Pr?p?sed Meth?d?l?gy

The pr?p?sed study will ?d?pt the c?se study ?ppr??ch. The re?e?rch ?ppr??ch used is qu?lit?tive. Qu?lit?tive re?e?rch i? much m?re ?ubjective th?n qu?ntit?tive re?e?rch ?nd u?e? very different meth?d? ?f c?llecting inf?rm?ti?n which c?uld be b?th prim?ry ?nd sec?nd?ry. ?s ?lre?dy menti?ned this study ch??ses the sec?nd?ry meth?d. The n?ture ?f thi? type ?f re?e?rch i? expl?r?t?ry ?nd ?pen-ended.

Pr?p?sed C?nclusi?n

The c?se ?f HMS? described in this p?per will sh?w h?w the ?rg?nis?ti?n expl?ited its p?siti?n within the public sect?r, t?king ?dv?nt?ge ?f the v?l?tile British p?litic?l envir?nment ?s well ?s its reput?ti?n ?s ? supplier t? centr?l g?vernment, t? successfully gr?sp the ?pp?rtunity t? integr?te disp?r?te systems ?nd ?chieve ? str?tegic ?dv?nt?ge thr?ugh EDI implement?ti?n.

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