In the business plus 10 teams of technical workers

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in the business, plus 10 teams of technical workers who support IT frameworks such as infrastructure, application support, and desktop services. The vast majority of those technical workers are "home-roomed" in cross-business teams that work on projects that the customer relationship managers bring to them, he notes. "It took two years for this model to really jell. At first, there was a little bit of tension while the clarity of roles and responsibilities was a little confusing," Olive acknowledges. "But once we defined roles and r responsibilities, it improved morale and worked to create a highly motivated workforce because we were making higher-level contributions to the business." Source: Adapted from Julia King, "How IT Is Reinventing Itself as a Strategic Business Partner," Computerworld , February 19,2007. Case Study Questions l. What are the business and political challenges that are likely to occur as a result of the transformation of IT from a support activity to a partner role? Use examples from the case to illustrate your answer. (15 marks) 2. What implications does this shift in the strategic outlook of IT have for traditional IT workers and for the educational institutions that train them? How does this change the emphasis on what knowledge and skills the IT person of the future should have? (15 Marks) 3. To what extent do you agree with the idea that technology is embedded in just about everything a company does? Provide examples, other than those included in the case, of recent product introductions that could not have been possible without heavy reliance on IT. (15 Marks) Page 4 0/5
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Question 2 20 marks a.) Explain the use of Porter's Generic strategies. Discuss by means of examples. (10 marks) b.) When is a low cost strategy attractive and when is it risky? (5 marks) c.) When is a focus strategy attractive and when is it risky? (5 marks) Question 3 30 marks a.) Giving examples explain how investing on IT could build strategic capabilities that serve as a barrier to entry by new entrants into its markets? (5 marks) b.) How could a business use information technology to increase switching costs and lock in its customers and suppliers? Use examples to support your answer. r (5 marks) c.) How can Internet technologies help a business form strategic alliances with its customers, suppliers and others? (5 marks) d.) "Information Technology can't really give a company a strategic advantage, because most competitive advantage don't last more than a few years and soon become strategic necessities that just raise the stakes of the game." Discuss this statement. (5 marks) e.) "It is not the technology that creates competitive edge, but the management process that exploits technology." Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? (5 marks) f.) What is the importance of product and process R&D to competitive strategy? (5 marks) **************** End of Question Paper***************** PageS 015
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