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Strategic Planning as a Critical Management Activity

Information systems (IS) are vital to improving organizational efficiencies at all levels. The logistics and management corporation, the business organization relies and depends upon Information systems as a source of competitive advantage and a driver of change (Laudon and Laudon 38). While IS initiatives offer strategic competitive advantage, the successful implementation however depends on the organizational responsiveness to change. Organizational success of the implementation of IS initiatives is highly correlated with the organizational flexible strategy. Strategic planning, a critical management activity, cannot logically be separated from assessment of opportunity. It plays a crucial role in retail sector used as a coordinated effort in order to adjust and balance its resources, and produce programs of logical action. Since marketing executives are faced with the necessity of utilizing scarce capabilities and resources in limited periods of time, allocation is a major problem.

On the strategic level, IS initiatives constitute major change in organizations at all levels of operations. While flexibility in organizational response to change is measured by the speed of adapting to the change, some organizations fail to realize the core objectives behind IS implementations due to weak internal organizational processes. To fully utilize the competitive advantage of implementing successful IT strategy, an organization must align internal and external process with the change. Aligning organizational structure, culture, and human resource initiatives with IT is essential to derive full benefits of IS implementations (Laudon and Laudon 98). For all departments, IS strategy is essential to sustaining organizational strategic competitive advantage. Building a responsive IS strategy ensures organizational longevity and alignment with the rapid changes in both the business environment and the nature of competition in the 21st century. business organization improves efficiency and performance through IS applications reflecting effective restructuring of the decision making process to be aligned with organizational goals and objectives, lower operational costs through efficient allocation of resources, enable better utilization of information across all organizational levels, improve customers’ satisfaction, and encourage innovation. IS initiatives lead to stronger market presence, higher profitability, and allow flexible strategies (Carr 82).

On the tactical level, business organizations align structure, culture, mission, goals, and objectives based on the market’s specific needs with their IS initiatives. The process constitutes change that can be very challenging to classical model organization. The culture of organization is based on the power of authority reflected by the tall hierarchy characterized by ineffective and slow decision making process, and emphasized a top-bottom control power of authority. Tall hierarchies reflect slow and ineffective decision-making process because they lack empowerment and job design flexibility. IS implementations in classical organizations are problematic and fail to achieve target goals and objectives (Snyder 38). The structure of these organizations is a very challenging constraint to IS implementation success. Power of authority is dominant on top of the hierarchy, no empowerment for operational decision making, resources are inefficiently allocated, under allocation of resources, and ineffective utility of organizational information. IS initiatives will improve organizational competencies and enable achieving a competitive advantage if the change process is aligned with all internal organizational processes (Carr 82).

On the operations level, Information systems capabilities, including automated and improved supply chains and delivery systems, create competitive advantage. In order to ensure organizational longevity, Information systems strategy is based on flexible and flatter organizational structure. It is important for leadership and lower level management to use this study as a model to initiate such a change to improve organizational efficiency, performance, productivity, and core competencies (Wheelen and Hunger 48). Business organizations offers a model to initiate an Information systems strategy reflecting aligned change organizational wide. In addition, aligning IS implementation and internal organizational processes with the external market changes ensure core competencies reflect industry’s key success factors to sustain competitiveness. Information systems are essential to achieve strategic competitive advantage for organizations. Information systems offer organizations greater flexibility ability to communicate strategies and efficient knowledge management. The reliance technology has influenced organizations to align their strategies with information systems platforms (Carr 37).

Competitive advantage becomes possible because ttechnology offers the opportunity to better manage and efficiently use information across all organizational levels. Another important strategic advantage businesses realize from IS implementations is extending the Knowledge Management (KM) from the stationary work place to flexible and responsive process. The utilization of IS enhances both employees’ performance especially in the decision making and customer satisfaction through means of quality and superior services (Wheelen and Hunger 63). IS solutions applied to all departments and processes within the organization are primary strategic uses of Information systems. Information systems are the gateway for log-term business success as it links the customers and suppliers to the overall strategy of the organization. On way organizations optimize their structure is by applying IS initiatives to improve and strengthen competencies allowing organizational learning, improving quality, and managing customers’ relationship. The most realizable gain from It implementation is that it enables organizational strategy flexibility. Organizations are able to apply reengineering processes to their structure to reflect a shift in the overall strategy responding to market and industry changes.

Works Cited

Carr, N. G. Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage. Harvard Business School Press; 2004.

Laudon, K. C. & Laudon, J. P. Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 9th Edition, 2005.

Snyder, L. Fluency with Information Technology: Skills, Concepts, and Capabilities (3rd Edition). Addison Wesley; 3 edition, 2007.

Wheelen, Th L., Hunger, J. D. Strategic Management and Business Policy. Prentice Hall 19th Edition, 2005

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