Strategic Analysis and Selection of Information Systems

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An exercise to analyze the relationship between Strategy in Business and in Information Technology in an organization rests on the premise that a strategic initiative is intrinsically different from an operating plan. Strategic initiatives are heavy on clearly articulated corporate vision, their "purpose (being) to enable (an) organization/s to achieve its/ (their) desired results in an unpredictable environment".


Dichotomies begin to occur when environmental changes do not occur as foreseen or at the rate expected by the strategy makers, as also when the outcomes of IT initiatives are measured independently of the fundamentals in strategy that led to their formulation in the first place. This essay takes up two cases from the May and October 2001 issues of CIO Magazine. It studies the dilemmas, even predicaments faced by pioneers who took far-reaching initiatives in their business and IT strategy and analyzes their success or lack thereof vis--vis their formulation, execution, and goal achievement.
In the first instance, (Worthen) Jack Lowry, a much experienced and competent IT professional joined the Goldman Industrial Group of Vermont, a consortium of machine tool manufacturers as VP for IT. It was for him an opportunity to give shape to his dream, "a truly collaborative computing environment", (Worthen) which would integrate all group companies, as also link up with existing and potential buyers and sellers. With the support of Mark Swift, the Group President, Jack and his team burnt two years and four million dollars to put up a well-
grounded, state of the art, comprehensively integrated system on an AS/400 platform. ...
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