Automate Existing Paper‐based Processes
Automate Existing Paper‐based Processes
Thus, in the value‐creation era (Era V), companies seek those appli- cations that again provide them an advantage over their competition and keep them from being outgunned by start‐ups with innovative business models or traditional companies entering new markets. For example, companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook have created and maintained a competitive advantage by building technical platforms and organizational competencies that allow them to bring in partners as necessary to create new products and services for their customers. Their business ecosystems give them agility as well as access to talent and knowledge, extending the capabilities of their internal staff. Other firms simply try to solve all customer requests themselves.
Era VI has brought another paradigm shift in the use of information with an era of hyperplenitude: seem- ingly unlimited availability of information resources such as the Internet and processing and storage through
FIGURE 2.1 Eras of information usage in organizations.
Era I 1960s Era II 1970s Era III 1980s Era IV 1990s Era V 2000s Era VI 2010+
Primary Role of IT
Efficiency Effectiveness Strategy Strategy Value creation
Automate existing paper‐based processes
Solve problems and create opportunities
Increase individual and group effectiveness
Transform industry/ organization
Create collaborative partnerships
Information Resources as Strategic Tools Crafting a strategic advantage requires the general manager to cleverly combine all the firm’s resources, includ- ing financial, production, human, and information, and to consider external resources such as the Internet and opportunities in the global arena. Information resources are more than just the infrastructure. This generic term, information resources, is defined as the available data, technology, people, and processes within an organization to be used by the manager to perform business processes and tasks. Information resources can either be assets or capabilities. An IT asset is any thing, tangible or intangible, that can be used by a firm to create, produce, and/or offer its products (goods or services). Examples of IT assets include a firm’s Web site, data files, or computer equip- ment. An IT capability is something that is learned or developed over time for the firm to create, produce, or offer its products. An IT capability makes it possible for a firm to use its IT assets effectively.5 The ability and knowledge to create a Web site, work with data files, and take advantage of IT equipment are examples of capabilities.Create community and social business
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