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Information Systems for Competitive Advantage: Implementation of a Planning Process

Nick Rackoff, Charles Wiseman and Walter A. Ullrich
MIS Quarterly
Vol. 9, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 285-294
DOI: 10.2307/249229
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/249229
Page Count: 10
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Information Systems for Competitive Advantage: Implementation of a Planning Process
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Abstract

As the pace of competition intensifies in the 80's, the use of information systems as competitive weapons is accelerating. Among the now classic cases are the computerized reservation system of American Airlines, the Cash Management Account of Merrill Lynch, and the order entry system of American Hospital Supply. These are examples of strategic information systems (SIS). The work that gave rise to this paper addresses the question, "How can an organization discover such SIS opportunities systematically?" The authors developed and implemented a five-phase planning process to identify and evaluate SIS and to win top management support. Underlying their approach is a conceptual framework that views an enterprise's suppliers, customers, and competitors as the strategic targets of five strategic thrusts: differentiation, cost, innovation, growth, and alliance. Strategic thrusts represent the fundamental link between the firm's strategy and its use of information technology. Strategic information systems support and shape the organization's strategic thrusts.

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