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Strategy, Information Systems (IS) and Knowledge Management - Essay Example

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Strategy, Information Systems (IS) and Knowledge Management

However, it is crucial to understand why competitive advantage is of significant value. The paramount reason is that it allows a business to hold a superior status in the market. Having a dominant position implies that a business can have cost leadership, where it dictates the prices of products by partnering with suppliers in a monopoly-like manner. This is not sustainable over the long run; subsequently, business must create unique value around their products to draw out the largest market share. Hence there arises two ways of gaining competitive advantage, through cost or through differentiation. Either way, a business should seek this as it allows creation of profits that exceed their competitors. These excess profits in turn, can be used to further market the business by promoting its products and services, and boosting its image. In addition, the business can set aside money for continual assessment of its strategies, which involves research that ensures it is always up-to-date with trends within the industry (Worth, 2009). One of the core competencies that all businesses have or can easily acquire is information. Businesses need to create an environment that allows for dynamic use of information, to maintain high levels of performance, continuous growth and facilitate approaching of beneficial risks. To achieve these results from information effectively, there needs to be a shift in thinking from the traditional perspective to a dynamic one. Organizations need to think about information in three different ways, in order to leverage information systems to gain competitive advantage. These are recognizing the various sources of information within a business, acknowledging the purposefulness of a well-informed business solution and going over the overall IT situation to ensure it supports the business needs as and when they occur (Hurwitz and Kaufman, 2007). Recognizing the various sources of information involves looking at non-traditional sources of information, in the sense of original point. That is, managers should seek information from emails, custom applications and reports as opposed to conventional sources such as content management systems e.g. ERM and customer databases. Of significance with this aspect is that quality of information will be high, and decision-makers can make timely decisions as they will recognize this information and act on it prudently. Managers should not ignore these sources as gaining competitive advantage necessitates leveraging all kinds of relevant information, as this will enable establishment of sustainable strategies (Hurwitz and Kaufman, 2007). Acknowledging purposefulness of a well-informed business solution is reliant on the infrastructure currently adopted by business. This means that a business solution will have a certain modularity and level of flexibility depending on the structures and systems in place. Modularity and flexibility implies that linkages between rigid information systems and structures, and applications can be adjusted to meet the changing needs of a business as dictated by the environment. An effective business solution should unify the metadata such that for instance; characteristics that describe how to locate, access and utilize data will be maintained. Essentially, all relevant informat ...Show more
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Summary

In order to realize a more favorable position than their competitors, companies must establish effective business strategies that ensure they earn high profits consistently without interfering with the routine processes. This is done by either lowering prices while still maintaining the same value or increasing prices and providing greater value through differentiation, when offering customers their products…
Strategy, Information Systems (IS) and Knowledge Management
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