Chapter7 review.docx

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Simon Fraser University
Business Administration
BUS 237
Kamal Masri

Chapter 7 Information systems for competitive advantage Q1 What are the fundamental types of IS within organizations Recall in Chapter 3 we looked at the ways in which organizations achieve a competitive advantage using IS There are two basic ways to develop competitive advantage through systems 1 One was by changing the product by introducing new products or services or enhancing current products or services Example Zipcar uses the web and electronic cardreading technology to provide customers with access to shortterm car rentals at a reasonable price These services would not be reasonably priced without the information systems that support them Zipcar therefore is a good example of a company that uses information systems that enable the introduction of a new or enhanced service 2 The second way of competing is through business processes Organizations look to technology to help lock in customers reduce costs and create entry barriers for competitors in the market Information systems can affect competitive advantage by making the primary and support activities in an organization more productive than those of competitors Chapter7 IS within organizations will be easier to understand if we begin with a short history page 211 Calculation systems The very first information systems calculation systems seem antiquatedtoday but were in use not very long agoThe Purpose of those early stems was to relieve workers of tedious repetitive calculations Functional systemsThe functional systems of the second era facilitated the work of a single department or business functionThe changes were more than just in name however In each functional area companies added features and capabilities to information systems to support more functionalarea activity Integrated crossfunctional systemsThe problem with functional applications is their isolation In fact these systems are sometimes called functional silos because they are designed to work independently of one another The reality is that functional systems are interrelatedThe isolation problems of functional systems let to the third era of information systems In this era systems were designed not only to facilitate the work of a single department or function but also to integrate the activities across business processes Because business process activities cross departmental boundaries such systems are sometimes called crossdepartmental or crossfunctional systemUnfortunately the transition from functional systems to integrated cross functional systems is difficult departmentnew crossfunctional system As crossfunctional systems have become more sophisticated some information systems have begun to cross not only functional boundaries but also organizational boundaries These systems that are used by two or more related companies are referred to as interorganizational systems For example ecommerce and supply chain management systemsMost organizations today have a mixture of functional and integrated systems To successfully compete internationally however organizations must eventually achieve the efficiencies of integrated crossdepartmental processbased systems Q2 What are functional systems and why are they changingFunction Example information systems Marketing and sales Product management Lead tracking Sales forecasting Customer management Operations Order entry Order management Inventory management Customer service Manufacturing Inventory Planning
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