After the several decades after the first Informational Technologies invention, they have spread around the globe and became an essential part of the infrastructure in every organization. According to Nicholas Carr (2003), through time IT has evolved from a competitive advantage in business into a commodity (p. 44). It means that Informational Technologies are no longer regarded as an innovation that helps companies to outstand among their competitors in the market and rather have become a necessary means of business maintenance and conduction. In the present-day situation, the organizational leaders cannot simply rely on technological advancement but need to elaborate and design a strategic and innovative approach towards IT usage that would provoke beneficial outcomes.
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In the article “IT doesn’t matter,” Carr (2003) claims that every technologic innovation sooner or later becomes ubiquitous and conventional (p. 42). It is mentioned that technological evolvement is cyclic and is constituted of several phases. When a commercial potential of a technology is recognized, it provokes the increase of investments in it that consequently leads to commercial expansion (Carr, 2003). At the first phase, the technology remains expensive and inaccessible for the vast majority of entrepreneurs and common people.
It happened in the case of IT as well. In the 70s and 80s, only large and prominent enterprises could afford informational innovations. At that time, IT technologies increased competitiveness drastically and provided the growth of business effectiveness and efficiency. However, in the ending phase of the technological evolvement cycle, the advantageous characteristics diminish – the technology becomes affordable and accessible for everyone.
Nowadays, IT has become an intrinsic part of everyday life. Each individual face technologies in the multiple aspects of social performance: personal, academic, and professional. IT is used to maintain the infrastructural organization in every company no matter how big or small it is. Although infrastructural technologies are essential to the information and knowledge management, and it helps to solve various managers’ and employees’ tasks, the organizational leaders cannot expect that they will obtain the opportunities for advantage once they have purchased an advanced IT equipment. Nowadays, the competitive advantages are developed and maintained by those who have a “superior insight into the use of new technology” (Carr, 2003, p. 43).
By the nature of things, one deals with technologies at the workplace on an everyday basis. According to personal observation, it is possible to say that IT facilitates working processes dramatically. For example, it helps to communicate with colleagues on distances – it is possible to conduct business conferences even with partners from different countries. In this way, technologies save time and decrease expenses. Overall, it has a positive effect on business in terms of productivity and profitability.
Nevertheless, IT has become a common and regular phenomenon. It has rather become a necessary thing to maintain business, but it cannot be regarded as something that may create differences and uniqueness. It is possible to say that IT is now a standard and normative thing in every industry. And it is impossible to disagree with Nicholas Carr when he claims that IT experiences the phase of commoditization.
As soon as new technology emerges in the market, it is replicated (Carr, 2003, p. 46). The industries are abundant with similar devices and software programs. The increase of the similarity in products increases competitiveness in the market, and many companies fail to meet the excess requirements provoked by the ever-changing environment and rapid development. According to the author of the article, the innovative approach towards technology usage and smart IT management strategies are the things that make a difference and create advantages for businesses in the modern situation (Carr, 2003, p. 48).
When talking about IT management rules, it is important to mention that the purchase of the most expensive and up-to-date technology doesn’t necessarily mean the organizational indexes improvement. There is an example from the personal experience when the manager had been misled by the excessive promotional information and bought very expensive analytical software that failed to adjust to the hardware the organization had at that time. It provoked unnecessary difficulties and expenses. The situations like this can be easily managed by the effective IT management applied in practice by the competent and experienced specialists.
According to Carr (2003), an effective IT management strategy is the one that is aimed at cost reduction and focuses on the technological vulnerabilities, i.e. decrease the negative outcomes provoked by the technological flaws (p. 48). The appropriate and intelligent management doesn’t create competitive advantages, but it helps to avoid many challenges a company may face both in internal and external environments. But if the organizational management took a decision to outstand and take an advantageous position in the market, then they need to change approach and commence implementing technologies in a creative and distinctive way. For example, it is possible to adopt the proprietary technologies that would provoke the diversification of products and services. Such patented technologies may help a company to emphasize its uniqueness, increase customer attraction, and achieve financial improvement.
Carr, N. (2003). IT doesn’t matter. Harvard Business Review, 5, 41-49. Web.