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CASE STUDIE 2 Joana Reis

How IT is Reinventing Itself as a Strategic Business Partner


1. Changing the IT role from support activity to a partner role brings challenges. A partnership means commitment to the same goals and vision and shared responsibilities. Since people are affected by the change it must be well manage and perceived as positive. Concerning the IT role in business challenges we have: To produce goods more efficiently and at a lower cost, to sell and service more products at the highest possible profitable margins these actions add value to the products therefore improve the value chain of business. The whole idea is running IT as a business, but not necessarily using [traditional return-on-investment] financial measures to quantify ITs value. To create new products and services and whole new business models, enables the redesign of the business process and creates strategic advantage. This is also achieved when IT staff spends a minimum of three days in the field every year helping them to know what the business really needs and how to help. Concerning the IT role in political challenges we have: Dramatic structural change and/or changing what people do. The IT work isnt viewed and done the old traditional way. Its reshaped, renamed and refocused. This improves morale and creates a highly motivated workforce because people start making higher-level contributions to the business. Technology and operations, and ideas, designs, technology and projects are shared among all three operations creating the need for new role boundaries. Since IT is now in on () discussions making processes more person-toperson, the new inputs/ideas most be analyze critically. 2. The shift in the strategic outlook of IT was from the traditionally very specific role as a support or network service to a broad spectrum role that is imbedded in the all aspects of the business processes. So an IT worker must learn about all features involving their organization to contribute and add value to the business and support decision making. Responsibilities will be bigger since the role isnt just a technical one but also one of management. They also must be prepared for changes since structural changes and changes in peoples activities are a reality in the work environment. The educational institutions who train IT future workers should continue to insure that technical skills are well taught, but should also assure that business and project management are provided. These are fundamental for IT workers to have a broad spectrum of the business processes and needs, also to enable them to contribute with creative ideas, to achieve the business goals and better deal with the demands and responsibilities ahead.

CASE STUDIE 2 Joana Reis 3. I agree with the idea that technology is embedded in just about everything a company does. Nowadays communication inside and to the outside of a company is done using technologies like e-mail, video-conference, instant messaging, etc., using not only the computer but more and more using softphones or smartphones. Operations support uses several technologies, for example, credit-card payment service in sales or a fleet tracking system in logistics. Some products who were introduced with heavy reliance on IT are: SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic, iPhone 5 from Apple, Android from Google.

CASE STUDIE 2 Joana Reis

Wall Street s Quest / Split-Second Securities Trading at Wachovia


1. The companies described in the two cases can derive competitive advantages from the use of faster technology and co-location of servers with the exchanges because this enables a faster trading exchange allowing a growth in their profit (they profit from minute, fleeting price anomalies and to mask their intentions via time-slicing). The use of faster technology (faster connections and algorithms) is more sustainable since the co-location is more limited, not every company can locate its servers very near the multiple stocks servers. This co-location has costs and physical space (location) is necessary. But in the limit, the speed of the transactions is also confined to physics speed of light limit. The high speed algorithms are also temporarily advantages since the rivalry of competitors impels then to create their own algorithms or defense strategies. 2. Competitive advantage comes from your math, your workflow and your processes through your systems. IT facilitates the workflow processes making then faster and more efficient. Wachovia Corporate and Investment Bank change their strategy by altering their silos framework to a cross functional framework. This change of technology impacted also in terms of revenue and this is why knowing your math (figures) gives competitive advantage because it allowed a provisioning strategy and a service strategy making ROI positive. However competitive advantages arent achieve only by cost differentiation, there are other strategies such as: innovation strategy, operational effectiveness strategy, customer-orientation strategy and IT can be used to promote them.

3. Every organization that deals with very a big number of transactions would benefit from technologies that focus on reducing transaction processing times. This technology allows that the clients from these organizations should be satisfied quicker. Some examples are: Hotels reservation systems Airlines reservations systems Baggage Handling System of Airports Electronic toll services Country Medical Organizations like U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Case Study 1) On-line gaming services - Massively multiplayer online games (MMOG)