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Bus206 4.1.1

  • Summarize Carr’s argument that IT does not bring competitive advantage.
    • Carr views IT as a commodity that should be managed to reduce cost and risk as much as possible. He argues that IT is no longer a differentiator because it is so commonplace. Since the two components of competitive advantage are cost advantage and differentiation advantage, and IT is not unique enough to confer a differentiation advantage, its cost should be kept as low as possible to gain or maintain cost advantage.
  • Do some independent research and explain the current thinking on the ability of IT to provide competitive advantage.
    • IT can be leveraged to provide competitive advantage, but it must be used in conjunction with thoughtful business processes. Advances in IT allow customer service representatives to aggregate data on customers, and artificial intelligence can provide automated customer service, meaning that customer questions and concerns can be responded to faster than ever before. Additionally, the availability to virtual conferencing software allows teams to collaborate worldwide, sharing resources and knowledge throughout the organization. However, if these technologies are implemented without organized processes for maximizing their benefit, they may add little more than infrastructure cost.
  • What is your position on IT and competitive advantage?
    • My position is that IT provides many useful tools for businesses to succeed, but it is ultimately the business’ responsibility to learn how to most effectively use those tools. An unskilled person can have the best power tools on the market and still not be able to build a house with the speed and quality of an experienced carpenter with hand saws. Similarly, businesses will never be able to take advantage of the utility of IT unless they create and actively maintain processes that enable success.
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Carr’s views on IT turning into an easily available commodity thus making it less of a threat between organizations in terms of technological and business related advancements focus on the results of cost and acquisition of technology by an organization to its income and profit margins as compared to other organizations in the industry. He concludes that any organization should invest a minimal fraction of their available funds on IT in order to maintain a cost advantage.
The speed with which IT advancements are discovered and made available to the general public is not proportional to the speed with which organizations are implementing the current IT trends into their day to day operations. Organizations should focus on their consumer groups and staff and the level of familiarity they have with the ever-changing IT trends then compile all this data and project the possible outcomes of incorporating certain IT features into their operations.
My position on IT and competitive advantage is that IT does have a variety of new products that could change the way businesses and organizations are run instantly but these useful tools can only be implemented after thorough decision making has been done and the pros and cons examined to prevent unnecessary losses.

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  • Summarize Carr’s argument that IT does not bring competitive advantage.
    Carr argues that because of the high availability of information technology and the ease of duplicating information technology information technology has become a commodity much like a utility and would best be managed by keeping costs and risks low.
  • Do some independent research and explain the current thinking on the ability of IT to provide competitive advantage.
    Based on shallow research, the current thinking on the ability of IT to provide competitive advantage mostly involves the people involved with decision-making and implementation. A company can gain competitive advantage if good management fosters the right innovations and widely promotes them. Information technology also has the ability to amplify differentiation between competitors, which could be an advantage. Finally, information technology is continually evolving, so the potential for IT providing competitive advantage is unlimited.
  • What is your position on IT and competitive advantage?
    I tend to fall neutral on this argument, perhaps because this is a new subject for me. However, I do agree with Carr’s statement that IT has become/is becoming a commodity, as we see with the development and adoption of fiber and cloud technologies with cable companies. I have to agree to an extent because the United Nations declared the Internet as a right for all humankind, which means the Internet and tools used to access/use the Internet (information technology) must be highly available and accessible. This high availability is what pushes IT towards commodification. I also agree with Brynjolfsson’s more recent publications as well though because I agree that the people, the management, of how information technology is used is what ultimately will provide a competitive advantage. It’s difficult to look at companies like Amazon and Tesla, especially in today’s global pandemic market, and not see how IT has proven to be a competitive advantage.