Information systems can be defined as the components which are organized in a manner that facilitates the execution of the vital functions within an organization. These systems are constituted of hardware, processes, people, as well as information. Since the information traffic within organizations is increasing at a rapid rate, it has become necessary to enhance the management as well as sharing of information within an organization. Therefore, organizations have to adopt new technology in a timely manner as this would enable them to retain their competitiveness in an evolving business environment (Davenport 1998, p. 121-125). It is for this reason that organizations value investing huge amount of resources during the implementation of information systems as they consider these systems to be an enhancement of the business operations as well as information sharing. In this regard, this paper evaluates the utility of information and information systems within an organization as well as how the two facilitates the enhancement of business undertakings (McFarlan & Fred 2002, p. 15).
Concepts of IS Strategic Fit Within an organisation
For quite sometimes, there have been discourses regarding organizational transformations. Transformations have been necessary so as to take advantage of the fast-evolving and dynamic market environment. It is for this reason that Tesco considered introducing a loyalty card scheme referred to as club card. Club card has been of mutual benefit to both the organization and its customers. With such a facility, Tesco and its customers have managed to understand each other’s expectations and preferences, thereby enhancing the formulation of marketing strategies. Of late, dynamism has been heightened by the introduction of information technology. By anticipating dynamism in the market, Tesco has implemented an online strategy that has enabled it to manage orders, complete payment processes, and manage assets. Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) considered this transformation as an evolution aiming at integrating Information Technology with a variety of business models. By introducing an online strategy, Tesco has presented the customers with an avenue that has increased speed and accuracy in the manner of transacting business activities. After conducting a proper feasibility study, Tesco has been able to define the organization’s strategic goals in a precise manner, and by so doing, the organization has been able to enhance teamwork and cohesiveness amongst its departments.
Tesco has been categorized into two domains: the business domain and the support infrastructure. Currently, the main support infrastructure has been the Loyalty Card that was launched in 1995. Since Tesco’s information system has been designed around a product-based cost approach, it has been able to support the organization’s business strategies as it has been able to collect, store and analyze data regarding card owners’ preferences (Mcafee 2003, p. 10). Research works have indicated that divisions hinder progress of an enterprise. This is because the management is made to optimize in organizations, a scenario that lowers the performance of an enterprise. This issue prompted Henderson and Venkatraman to study and analyze the rewards of bridging the gap between Information Technology and business operations. They aimed at developing a strategy that could deliver quality results (Davenport 1998, p. 121-125). With such a strategy, Tesco has been able to incorporate an information strategy that assures the retention of a competitive advantage in their operations.
As portrayed in the above model, the authors highlighted unique features that they hoped would align an enterprises strategy with the Information Technology infrastructure. Nonetheless, they highlighted two main features with regard to this alignment: the Information Technology strategy and the idea of strategic alignment. The Tesco’s IT strategy has been implemented in a manner that emphasizes on the need for basing an enterprise’s transformation on cross-domain alliance. This necessitates the collection of customers’ data through multiple methods, and in this case, the organization is empowered to modify its strategies in a manner that aligns the company with the future.
The Business Strategic Fit
By taking a voluntarisctic approach to organizational transformation, Tesco has been able to implement a reward scheme in its business strategy. This is a unique scenario which differ the instances when deterministic approaches are assumed. As such, Tesco’s strategic fit encompasses the business scope and governance as well as the distinctive competencies (Dutta & Kevin 2002, p. 85). For Tesco, business scopes have been the choices that pertain to the market offerings, and this proves to be beneficial as it has facilitated the implementation of a reward scheme. These choices are established on structural mechanisms that help organize business operations. These mechanisms are referred to as the business governance. They have, for instance, helped Tesco to recognize the continuum that exists between hierarchy and markets. The stakeholders have appreciated the fact that the infrastructure that Information Technology provides falls under the category of distinctive competencies. They have, therefore, been able to align these competencies with the attributes that makes it gain a competitive advantage over its competitors (Austin 2001, p. 8). The competitiveness of the IT infrastructure has prompted other firms to consider implementing various IT solutions.
Information Technology is among the components that have enabled Tesco to remain viable as it is able to adapt to the changing market conditions. It has enabled Tesco to execute some of the key activities, and this has facilitated the support for the business strategy. The implementation of Information Technology in business strategies is a new development, and as such, it has a variety of definitions. In this regard, the model presented by Henderson and Venkatraman has facilitated the conceptualization of the strategy presented by Information Technology in a manner that is multidimensional (Nolan 2001, p. 20). In this regard, the strategic fit model that Henderson and Venkatraman presented facilitates the incorporation of Information Technology capabilities into the business strategy. Utilizing this idea has enabled Tesco to bridge the gap between its external alignments and its design of processes and structures, a situation which has promoted its position in the business environment.
As explicated in the paper, we require information systems within an organization as they facilitate the organization and dispersion of data. Unlike with other types of systems, the objective of implementing an information system within an organization is to help in monitoring and documenting the operations of target systems. These target systems includes the supply chain and the warehousing intelligence systems as well as those others that facilitate the management of orders, payment procedures, and management of data as well as other types of assets. With the advent and the improvement of the internet and web technology, it has become possible for organizations to engage in electronic business activities (Dutta & Kevin 2002, p. 85). The enhanced access to information has enabled organizations to overcome time, geographical, and strategic barriers, a situation which has enabled them to retain their competitiveness within a changing business environment. In this regard, organizations that implement information systems in an effective manner find their operations to be cost effective and timely in the long term. This is due to the manner in which they provide anywhere and anytime access to the information of interest (Porter 2001, p. 75).