In recent decades, organizations all over the world are increasingly adopting information systems not only to create and capture value to earn a profit, but also to sustain their competitive advantage and spur strategic decision making processes in the pursuit of superior performance. While there is clear evidence of a quantifiable correlational association between the adoption of information systems and the achievement of competitive advantage, some organizations have been unable to leverage on these systems due to misalignment of the readiness factors and conditions. This paper evaluates the readiness factors deemed necessary for an organization to use available information systems to achieve and sustain competitive advantage.
We will write a custom Essay on Information Systems’ Necessary Factors: Strategic Advantages specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The most important readiness factor for using information systems to achieve competitiveness, in my view, is training of employees. Indeed, training and education are of critical importance to users for better understanding of the proposed information system, and also to facilitate their acceptance and readiness to use the new systems in the pursuit of competitive advantage. More importantly, training and re-skilling of employees is critical not only in helping the users resolve likely future problems associated with the information systems, but also in continuing improvement of the employees’ knowledge regarding the use of available information systems for competitive advantage.
Another important readiness factor entails reviewing the managers’ and employees’ readiness to change; that is, preparing users of the information systems to ensure minimal resistance to change. Many organizations fail to realize the many value offerings associated with information systems due to resistance from employees and managers, who may feel that their jobs or positions in the organization are threatened by the adoption of specific information systems. To realize competitive advantage through the adoption of information systems, senior management must involve all employees in discussing and evaluating the possible benefits arising from the information systems, hence preparing them for change.
Moving on, it is evident that the need for the organization to set out a robust strategy for the adoption of information systems is an important factor in obtaining and sustaining competitive advantage. Consequently, the organization should identify the major drivers for the adoption of the information systems to enable the setting up of an appropriate action plan and objectives that are to be achieved through the adoption of the information systems. Such a strategy must then be aligned with the organization’s business strategy to achieve strategic alignment, with the view to impacting the business performance and competitive advantage of the organization.
Additionally, the capacity to execute the needed changes is yet another readiness factor that many organizations overlook during the adoption of information systems, leading to failure and non achievement of competitive advantage. Organizations must always ensure they have the needed skills, tools, processes and management capability to execute the proposed changes, especially when they concern the adoption of newer and more efficient IT-enabled work processes aimed at spurring competitiveness and performance.
Lastly, organizations must have a budget and source of funding for the proposed information systems if they are to translate the adoption of these systems into value addition, including the achievement of competitive advantage. Many organizations have been unable to leverage on their information systems for failing to set a budget that covers for the successful implementation of the systems.
To conclude, it is important to note that there are numerous other readiness factors that are necessary for contemporary organizations to achieve and sustain competitive advantage through the adoption of information systems. However, the most important readiness factors, in my view, include training of users, reviewing managers’ and employees’ readiness to change, developing a robust strategy, having the capacity to execute the needed changes, and allocating a sufficient budget to the project.