Shaping corporate strategy with information technology
The proliferation of information technology (IT) systems and software that experts predict will occur during the 1990s will significantly influence the ways United States (U.S.) companies compete internationally. To respond to such a challenge, these firms, both the large and the small, will need to devise and implement bold and imaginative programs that will enable them operate as global leaders. This article examines how companies can use IT to realize strategies that can position them at the top of their industry. It identifies the challenges involved in competing globally and the five stages through which U.S. firms have evolved since the 1950s, stages that can help companies prepare to meet expected future market conditions and organizational requirements. It also explains the common perceptions, scope, and myths of strategy and strategic planning. It then details the ten components of corporations and describes the function of each; it identifies the skills that will help companies compete in the 1990s and discusses the ways that IT can help companies manage their operations and structure their organization in relation to the ways that IT strengthens the value chain. It overviews the processes that companies can use to analyze the value chain--value linking, value acceleration, value restructuring, and innovation and investment value; it explains how Fluor Daniel and IBM use IT to improve their value chain.