Strategic Approaches in Information Technology Management

Introduction to the Topic
The effective application of Information Technology (IT) within organisations requires the use of a range of Strategic Planning and Strategic Management approaches. These cover IT organisation and performance, requirements specification, and the selection and development of IT systems, products and services.
In this Topic a number of these approaches are identified and discussed. Significant organisational features impacting on IT systems are also discussed.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this topic you will be able to:

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Identify and list relevant strategic planning techniques suitable for use in the effective application and management of IT systems in an organisation
Identify the integrative mechanisms that are likely to apply in the use of strategic management approaches to the development of strategic information systems
Identify, list and discuss the discrete stages involved in developing and undertaking a detailed IT needs assessment and specification statement.

Activity 7A Strategic Approaches in Information technology Management

First, read and reflect on Ward and Peppard (2002) chapter1 – 10.Then work through this Independent learning guide and the power point presentation materials at the end of the topic.Also work through the recommended readings listed at the end of the topic.

Session 7.1 Strategic Information Systems

Activity 7B Strategic Information Systems

Read Ward and Peppard (2002) chapters 3 – 6.Consider: Where would you start in the process of identifying relevant strategic planning techniques for use in developing specifications for IT systems in an organisation?Who would you involve in the discussion/investigation?

A typical indicator for the effective strategic use of IT systems is the use of information technology and the whole array of consequential applications that become possible, as a catalyst for change in the nature of the way an organisation operates and engages in business.
In turn this invokes the development of new processes, procedures, work practices and facilitating technologies that focus on the development and conversion of ‘opportunity’ into Sustainable Competitive Advantage. IT products and services, in an Strategic Information System (SIS) context, are now to be seen as integral components in business strategy, a means of achieving business goals rather than as an ‘end’ in themselves.
In effect, taking a strategic planning approach focussed on the positioning of IT systems and technologies as being potentially ‘Strategic Technology’ can in turn position the organisation for enhanced competitive advantage.
Figure 7.1 Information Technology as Catalyst
“Strategic technologies are the rapidly changing core technical competencies that provide competitive edges to the businesses of the corporation.” (Betz, 1993)
Overall it can be seen that the purpose and key roles for IT within the organisation must match and support the achievement of the core business objectives. However, it is also clear that IT systems and approaches may themselves also offer new opportunities and strategies for management in the pursuit of sustainable competitive advantage.
Determining and establishing effective connections between the role of IT systems, associated technologies and related engineering practices and the core business plan of the organisation, may well involve identifying and addressing many core problems and key characteristics of the organisation.
Figure 7.2(a) Typical Key Organisational Issues Impacting on Information Technology Decisions
Figure 7.2 (b) More Organisational Issues Impacting on Information Technology Decisions
Figure 7.2 (c) Yet More Organisational Issues Impacting on Information Technology Decisions
Similarly, it will be necessary to identify Key areas impacting on the organisation.
Fig. 7.3. Typical External Influences
Fig. 7.4. Typical Internal Influences
Given the complexity of bringing together so many influences and issues, it is clear that effective IT and SIS implementations require close association between management, strategists and technologists. Overall, an effective IT strategy in turn forms an important part of the strategic management integration process, bringing together users and stakeholders from throughout the organisation.
Ward & Peppard (2002) provide a wide ranging and useful discussion of the many issues and approaches that impact on the conceptualisation and development of an SIS. In particular they discuss the array of techniques available, including for example the use of Critical Success Factor Analysis as a particularly useful approach to establishing the necessary conditions for introduction of an effective SIS.
Figure 7.5 Information Technology as Integrator
Figure 7.6 Information Technology as Challenge

Activity 7C Strategic Information Systems

Read Ward and Peppard (2002) chapters 8 – 12Discuss how best to undertake the initial specification of an Strategic Information System (SIS).

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Strategic Approaches in Information Technology Management was first posted on August 31, 2020 at 1:34 pm.
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