This was written in 1985, before the on slot of mass media and information overload. It is designed to help managers deal with the up in coming “information revolution”. It discusses three reasons why information technology is so important to competition; Strategic significance, how it changes the nature of competition, and outlines how managers can decide how important information technology is to their company.
Companies can gain strategic advantage over their competition by doing one of two things. They can create their product for a lower cost than their competitor, or they can offer a service that is better, creating more value added. Information technology has tremendous strategic significance in this area. It allows the company to create linkages to optimize the activities that go in to making a product. This will make their product more profitable and far more desirable.
Information technology is changing the ways that companies operate. The information used for competitive advantage is becoming increasingly more important to the daily operation of the company. It is so important that it has even spawned a new type of business… Collecting and interpreting information is becoming itself a commodity, one that is quite profitable I might add. Information is becoming so important to the companies that they are willing to do almost anything to get it.
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How much information does your company need? That is the million dollar question. There is no such thing as having too much information, but not having the technology to transform that information into something that is useful and can give you that advantage over the competitor is the hard part. Developing a plan to extract the important data from the endless amounts of information sometimes feels like a daunting task, but the ones who can, will not be at a disadvantage.
After reading this article, I realized that we are in the 21st century, nearly 20 years since this article was written. There is not a company out there that doesn’t use information technology to gain competitive advantage. It is every where, from cookies on the Web to using your social security number at school, you can’t avoid it. The bottom line is that if you don’t have it, your company will die. The information is out there, and it is up the elite to control it.
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