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Free Competitive Advantage in Information Systems Essay Sample

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Information provides a link between producers, buyers and intermediaries in business. The revolutionary rate of information technology today is high and its significance on business development cannot be overemphasized. Information technology impact on business is all round and ranges from product processes to changing the competitive scope. At this point, the focus is not on whether information technology will have an impact on competitive position, but when and how the impact will strike.

In the article How Information Gives You Competitive Advantage, an attempt has been made to expound on how information technology can be exploited by organizations. Company managers need to evaluate current and potential information availability or intensity in their businesses. High information intensity on chain value (which means the large number of customers and suppliers the company deals with directly and its products) is  needed in establishing investments areas in information technology (Porter & Millar, 2001).

Managers also need to have predictive information on how information technology will impact on their products and services. This is especially on the competitive arms, that the buyers, suppliers and bargaining powers are considered to be.

Identification and ranking on how information technology might create competitive advantage is the next step of ensuring a company's survival. Not all information is favorable to the company's products and services. A working assumption is that information can affect each and every process and that new linkage can be made on the value chain. Through this assessment, the company will know which processes will significantly be affected, and thus need more inputs to place the company at a better position. Apart from that, companies also need to evaluate how information can alter the scope of competition. For instance, if through information, the company can serve new segments, or if due to flexibility on information technology, the company will allow competitors to invade its niches (Blais, 2011).   

To remain competitive, companies also need to utilize information technology in developing demand driven products. A good example is the Western Union's Easy Link service, which allows personal computers, word processors, and other electronic devices to send messages to each other through high speed data transfer. Companies that do not embrace such technology definitely remain disadvantaged.

Lastly, companies need to develop a feasible plan of taking advantage of information technology.  This will serve as an action plan on critical decisions to be taken, including new investments. Information technology, when applied correctly and timely, can significantly impact on competitive advantage of a given business.

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