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Report on the most appropriate use of IT within a selected organisation. You will discuss your selected business with your tutor before proceeding further on this report. CEOs concern themselves with how their organisation exploits information technology's full potential to reduce costs or exploit new markets.

Without an IT strategy a well-established SME can lose its competitive position to newer enterprises that recognise the potential of emerging technologies. 


Your report will use the Boo.com story as a 'thread' and will cover the following: 


Evaluate how IT can be advantageous for businesses to establish themselves as market leaders.How IT can help businesses gather and develop intelligence and enter a new market or change direction.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of adapting new technologies? Give an appraisal of how Boo.com reacted to emerging technologies and tried to apply these to help them become a leading online retailer. In addition; cover how more recent businesses may have learned from Boo.com to become successful retailers using similar online technologies.

Propose possible applications of various IT tools (Find out about specialist software and hardware for your selected business) and discuss how they will enable your business to meet its organisational objectives.

Evaluate how moral hazard became an issue within Boo.com and how modern companies can reduce these risks.

Critically evaluate the importance of aligning IT strategy with business strategy using examples from the industry.

Discuss the progress on digital media accounts you created, how your database system generates information of strategic importance for the selected business Add links and samples in annexure. 

Uber's Business Model

Uber is a technological platform, which is meant for simplifying the system of riding for the people. This is driven with the increasing use of smartphones at the hands of the people. The rise in the technical based innovations could prove to be an extremely important tool for the increasing growth of the economy for Uber (Cannon and Summers 2014). They can introduce newer form of technologies within the Uber application, such as improving the interface and the friendliness with the user. Uber makes use of high level of technology in order to change the way of the travelling of the people, eliminate the unnecessary expenditures and costs and thus to make an efficient experience of the travel (Laurell and Sandstorm 2016). 

On applying the model of the Porter’s Five Forces, it would be beneficial to view the way in which the external forces would be affecting the business of Uber and the ways in which the company would maintain their position and compete within the market (Kumar, Dass and Kumar 2015).

  1. Rivalry within the Industry – There could be different competitors for Uber in different countries. Uber faces a stiff competition within the U. S markets with services such as Lyft (Meins and Seiner 2015). The business model of this company is very much similar with Uber and thus gives a strong competition to Uber in terms of the share of the market (Wirtz and Tang 2016).
  2. Threat with New Entrants – Uber faces a heavy threat from the new entrants within the market. In the recent times, people search for different kinds of convenient ways of travelling (Jenk 2015).
  3. Threat from Substitutes – The substitutes for Uber are not only confined to those who would be in direct competition with Uber but also them who implement the same model of business. There are many other kinds of taxi companies who provide convenient mode of transport.
  4. Bargaining Power of Suppliers – Uber is entirely dependent on the suppliers of the cars as the company does not own any of its vehicle. Uber takes care of their suppliers as they do not desire to incur a bad image on their brand name (Herrera Anchustegui and Nowag 2017).
  5. Bargaining Power of Buyers – The purchaser of Uber do not become permanent unless they become loyal to the company. The cost of shifting within the market is very low. Many of the customers of Uber depend on the price as they want to compete based on the price.

The use of BI within Uber plays a vital role as the technology helps in enabling tons of financial and real-time transactions. They help in the collection of several payments with the help of monetary based instruments. They also provide instant mechanisms for the payout in order to provide a trusted and a safe experience at the marketplace within Uber (Laursen and Thorlund 2016). The company also has the capability to empower the business functions with the help of real-time analytics and thus make strategic based decisions based on the opportunities present in the market. 

Uber makes use some business tools. The company manages millions of GPS locations. They have to handle several mobile based events. Uber makes use of BI tools such as Visual Analytics for the purpose of mapping and development of framework in order to public-facing visualizations of data (Tian, Chin and Karg 2016).

Visual Analytics – This tool makes use of visualizations based on abstract data. This consists of work based on visualization in which the data does not consist of integral spatial structure. Much of the work based on visual analytics have a relation with reporting, dashboarding and analytics based on real-time networks and charts. Uber has recently open-sourced react-vis, which is a React and a D3-powered library based on visualization. It is able to provide a JSX-based and a domain-specific language in order to compose several charts from visual axes.

Porter's Five Forces

Mapping - The Map-based information is the biggest assets of Uber. There are a million of GPS points that are primarily handled by Uber on an everyday basis based on real-time visualizations.

Predictive Financial Analytics - The Company builds a functionality in order to predict the amount of supply and demand for the purpose of maximizing the efficiency and thus incur financial gains in various cities based on the products of Uber.

The SWOT analysis of Uber is as follows (Stalmasekova et al. 2017):

Strengths

  • Uber has a low price when compared to the traditional taxi drivers.
  • They also provide cashless payments.
  • Uber also provides high standard of service.

Weakness

  • Uber has an unpredictable model of business.
  • They have some issues based on privacy.

Opportunities

  • They could impress their customers with great new offers.
  • They can manufacture electric cars.

Threats

  • Uber faces a stiff growing competition with its rival partners.
  • They face some conflicts with the local authorities.

Uber has its operation in four different segments such as UberPool, UberGO, Uber X and Uber XL. Among these, the UberPool and the services of UberGO are considered to be the most vital within the BCG Matrix as they have a huge share within the market. There is a high rate of growth and thus faces a huge level of competition. The Uber X and Uber XL are the question marks within the BCG Matrix as they have a lower level of demand and thus they face a huge level of competition from the regional companies (Rogers 2015).

This is a form of a model of marketing planning, which helps the company in order to determine their product and hence develop the strategy of the market. The Ansoff Matrix of Uber demonstrates four different kind of options for strategy that is available for the business. These are Penetration within the Market, Development of Product, Development of the Market and Diversification (Teiner 2014).

The Pestle Analysis of Uber comprises of certain factors:

Political Factor

  • Uber has to follow the minimum rules of wage.
  • They have to deal with bans within many countries.

Economic Factor

  • The facilities are easily accessible.
  • The fares are affordable.
  • Although jobs are being offered, the pay might not be convincible.

Social Factor

  • Uber has a user-friendly interface.
  • They have quick pick-up facility.
  • They provide better form of ride experience than the traditional taxis.

Technological Factor

  • They have an excellent mobile based application for their users.
  • They make use of social media and other forms of electronic media for their promotion.

Legal Factor

  • Uber needs to follow employee and labor related laws of safety.
  • The copyright laws needs to revised.

Environmental Factor

  • The usage of fuel might increase.
  • The congestion of traffic might be a matter of concern, which would be needed to be considered.

B

Boo.com was one of the short-lived British based internet company. The primary vision of the company was to establish themselves as one of the first online e-retailer of clothing products all over the world. It had also planned to set up their stores in America and Europe simultaneously. The major problems that were being faced due to the emerging technologies were:

  1. Timing – Boo.com had severe issues prior to the launch of their products. One of the vital issue was that the company had an enormously aggressive growth plan. The main reason behind this was that the costs of global marketing and advertising were too high.
  2. User Experience based Problems – The website was poorly designed and it was violating the usability conventions. The design of the website, which was complicated required the website to be showcased in a window of fixed-size.
  3. Management Problems – There was a complete mismanagement within the system. The goal of the company was not set properly.
  4. Supply Chain Problems – Boo.com was facing a severe problem to establish themselves as a distribution channel for promoting their brand products with other brands. This was because of the fact that the other brands had their own network of distribution. Those brands were concerned for their individual values and hence were not allowing new brand to enter into their area.

Hence, it could be seen that Boo.com could not benefit itself as a leading brand with the help of emerging technologies. In order to emerge as the leading online retailer, it would be highly recommended for any retailer to learn from the previous mistakes and thus make the full use of emerging technologies. The retailers should create a very good user experience so that the consumer would choose the brand as the best option.

BI Tools used by Uber

The failure of Boo.com should be a lesson for the future growth of other kinds of online retailers in order to make a stand within the market and thus become successful retailers. There are a lot of emerging technologies and thus the online brands should make the full use of such technologies.

Base on the following case study, it could be said that Uber should decide the future course of actions based on the proper analysis of data derived from emerging technologies (Cramer and Krueger 2016). 

Political and Legal

  • The government of different countries should require commercial based licenses.
  • The profit margin should be decreased due to the higher costs.

Economic

  • The price sensitivity should be decreased.
  • The increasing rate of profit within the corporate sector is able to increase the demand for the public transportation (Ng 2016).

Social

Since the density of the population within the cities is increasing at a rapid pace and the people have started to follow a fast lifestyle, hence the increasing demand for transport has also increased. 

Technological

In the recent times, automobile manufacturers work on several technologies in order to develop sustainable vehicles. The use of mobile based applications in on the rise, hence Uber has a wide market that is open for technological based enhancements and innovation.

Environmental

The latest trend within the automobile market is moving towards the development of environmental-friendly vehicles. Thus, there is a growing demand for the development of electric and hybrid cars.

Strengths

Uber can make use of the cashless system of payment. They can track the activity of the drivers and thus choose the highly rated drivers. They should lower the rates of their cabs in order to attract the customers.

Weakness

Other competitors could implement the same strategy but with a different approach. The privacy concerns within the application should be addressed in order to provide a better experience to the users.

Opportunities

Uber can provide services within the suburban areas where the taxi services are still not available. The big and new markets within some countries could be exploited, where the taxi services are expensive and inconvenient. They should also provide services to elder people.

Threats

There are some legal operations within some countries, which could ban Uber from operating there. The threats from fraud drivers and new markets are also on the rise, which pose a serious threat for the brand image of the company.

The topmost services of Uber such as UberPool and UberGO, which are the most favorable options for customers should have lower service cost so that the customers would prefer those services. The other services, which are provided by Uber and are mostly ignored by customers due to their high rates such as Uber X and Uber XL should be provided attention.

SWOT Analysis of Uber

Specialist Software Used by Uber – The software used by Uber is constantly evolving. The brand has a high and complex globally distributed system (Chen, Mislove and Wilson 2015). Hence, it needs to be consistent and reliable in its performance. In the early times, the software within Uber was mainly written in PHP. In the recent times, Uber makes use of two technologies such as Node and Python (Al-Rfou et al. 2016). The different sections within Uber makes use of some of the software tools such as:

  • IT and Development: Twilio, Cisco Jasper, Redis, Atlassian JIRA
  • Analytics: Heap, Mixpanel
  • Finance: Paypal, Square, Braintree Payments, Expensify (Sanders and Pattison 2016)
  • Marketing: Sprinklr, Rafflecopter, NUVI, TweetDeck
  • Sales and Support: Sparkcentral, Zendesk, Delighted, Streak
  • Productivity: HipChat, Assistant, Asana

Specialist Hardware Used by Uber – The hardware mainly used by Uber consists of cameras, which are installed within cars for the purpose of keeping a track of the activities of both the driver as well as the rider. Recently, Uber has also launched a new form of a small circular device, which is meant for the passengers in order to spot the car on the street. This device is named as Beacon. It could light up and thus display a variety of colors, which could be easily spotted by the passenger (Hayes, Snow and Altuwayjiri 2017).

The moral hazard became a major issue with Boo.com because the company had started to intake more risks as because its partners were bearing the costs of risks of saving the company from getting shut down entirely. The target market of Boo.com was viewed to be too large. The company started to maintain its position within the global market because of the fact that it had started to build a state of-the-art logistics based business across many countries with the help of an online shop. This was beyond the capabilities of most of the users of the internet. There was only a small percentage of users who had access to the services of the internet at the time when the company was launched. They also faced other major issues such as the speed of internet dial up connections at that time was extremely slow and hence most of the users could not gain access to the website (Borgia 2014). This was a huge loss for the company as they had no target audience who would be visiting their website and thus purchase any kind of profits. Thus the investment, which was made by Boo.com was put at a great stake.  

Uber is one such type of application, which has the goal of establishing connection with the passengers and the drivers. The business ethics, which should be followed by Uber are that the company should supervise their drivers such that they adhere to the rules and regulations of the company (MacDonald 2016). They should put the concern of the passengers at its topmost priority.

Ansoff Matrix of Uber

In relation to the mistakes made by Boo.com, it could be highly recommended that Uber should analyze their business scenario. Since technology was a major concern with Boo.com, hence it would be highly essential for Uber to take care of the part on their technology so as to provide a hassle free ride experience for its passengers (Bashir, Yousaf and Verma 2016).

The dual business model followed by Uber has the capacity to deliver both passengers and drivers with a better experience. Uber has made a huge investment within their development model and iteration within their mobile based application, which is being reflected with their continuous growth and the increased performance in the competitive market. The technology of connecting the drivers with the passengers with the help of their mobile based application has merely eliminated the need to establish a presence of brick and mortar within each city. This has also helped to extend their operations in various countries and thus making the business to develop as a scalable strategy, which has extremely limited barriers for its future growth. Optimization for the easy use, efficiency within the interface design of the application and learnability has helped in winning the loyalty of the customers and has also mitigated the pressure of competitiveness as customers would not switch in between other providers. Hence, it can be said that the use of IT has played a major role for the growth of the business (Isaac 2014).

Uber makes use of its application in order to gather hundreds of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data points. These data points could be helpful in identifying a certain individual. Lots of other forms of information is also being collected by Uber in order to understand the choices of their customers and thus decide the course of expanding their business. This would help in establishing a good relation with their customers and thus would help in expanding the model of their business. Thus, in this way Uber would expand their reach to a wide range of customers.

References

Al-Rfou, R., Alain, G., Almahairi, A., Angermueller, C., Bahdanau, D., Ballas, N., Bastien, F., Bayer, J., Belikov, A., Belopolsky, A. and Bengio, Y., 2016. Theano: A Python framework for fast computation of mathematical expressions. arXiv preprint arXiv:1605.02688, 472, p.473.

Bashir, M., Yousaf, A. and Verma, R., 2016. Disruptive business model innovation: How a tech firm is changing the traditional taxi service industry. Indian Journal of Marketing, 46(4), pp.49-59.

PESTLE Analysis of Uber

Borgia, E., 2014. The Internet of Things vision: Key features, applications and open issues. Computer Communications, 54, pp.1-31.

Cannon, S. and Summers, L.H., 2014. How Uber and the sharing economy can win over regulators. Harvard business review, 13(10), pp.24-28.

Chen, L., Mislove, A. and Wilson, C., 2015, October. Peeking beneath the hood of uber. In Proceedings of the 2015 Internet Measurement Conference (pp. 495-508). ACM.

Cramer, J. and Krueger, A.B., 2016. Disruptive change in the taxi business: The case of Uber. American Economic Review, 106(5), pp.177-82.

Hayes, D.R., Snow, C. and Altuwayjiri, S., 2017. Geolocation Tracking and Privacy Issues Associated with the Uber Mobile Application. In Proceedings of the Conference on Information Systems Applied Research ISSN (Vol. 2167, p. 1508).

Herrera Anchustegui, I. and Nowag, J., 2017. How the Uber & Lyft Case Provides an Impetus to Re-Examine Buyer Power in the World of Big Data and Algorithms.

Isaac, E., 2014. Disruptive innovation: Risk-shifting and precarity in the age of Uber. Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy,[University of California, Berkeley].

Jenk, J., 2015. Theory meets practice in the taxi industry: Coase and Uber.

Kumar, P., Dass, M. and Kumar, S., 2015. From competitive advantage to nodal advantage: Ecosystem structure and the new five forces that affect prosperity. Business Horizons, 58(4), pp.469-481.

Laurell, C. and Sandström, C., 2016. Analysing Uber in social media—disruptive technology or institutional disruption?. International Journal of Innovation Management, 20(05), p.1640013.

Laursen, G.H. and Thorlund, J., 2016. Business analytics for managers: Taking business intelligence beyond reporting. John Wiley & Sons.

MacDonald, C., 2016. Uber Is Built on Trust [Ethics Opinion]. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 35(2), pp.38-39.

Means, B. and Seiner, J.A., 2015. Navigating the Uber Economy. UCDL Rev., 49, p.1511.

Ng, S., 2016. Uber Technologies Inc. as a Disruptive Innovation.

Rogers, B., 2015. The social costs of Uber. U. Chi. L. Rev. Dialogue, 82, p.85.

Sanders, D.E. and Pattison, P., 2016. Worker characterization in a gig economy viewed through an Uber centric lens. Southern Law Journal, 26(2), p.297.

Stalmašeková, N., Genzorová, T., ?orejová, T. and Gašperová, L., 2017. The impact of using the digital environment in transport. Procedia engineering, 192, pp.231-236.

Teiner, R., 2014. The application of the Ansoff matrix for growth strategies: Design possibilities for the application of the Ansoff matrix for the formulation of growth strategies using the example of a hypothetical model . Bachelor + Master Publication.

Tian, J., Chin, A. and Karg, M., 2016. Digital services in the automotive industry. IT Professional, 18(5), pp.4-6.

Wirtz, J. and Tang, C., 2016. Uber: Competing as market leader in the US versus being a distant second in China. SERVICES MARKETING: People Technology Strategy, pp.626-632.

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