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Challenges faced in the incorporation of strategic information system

Question:

Write a Literature review on best Strategic Information Systems Practices perceived to be applicable to the Case Organisation.

The major purpose for which an organization intends to incorporate information systems are three- appropriate alignment of the business strategy with the information system, effective planning for strategic information system to identify portfolio of the system and lastly, to attain competitive advantage through an information system or a combination of information system (Laudon & Laudon, 2016). Peppard and Ward (2016) highlight three major challenges that is faced during the incorporation of the strategic information system- alignment between the system capabilities and strategic intent of the organization, to strategically implement the designed process and lastly to shape the existing organizational resources with the implemented technology so that the technology can be utilized properly. Apple Inc. acquisitioned the information technology as their core business objective is to presenting high-tech mobile technology to their customers. Business intelligence is incorporated for analyzing, disseminating and protecting strategic information for making effective decision-making (Galliers & Leidner, 2014). There strategic information system practices are:

User Privacy and Customization

One of the best practices that Apple Inc follows is the user privacy and customization. Thus, they have developed several applications that fulfill the need of customers based on their needs. Taken for instance, the practice for customized automation process can be witnessed through their product range of Apple or Mac, where iCloud is installed through which basic tasks can be accomplished through digital creation, collection and storage of relevant information. In addition to that, Power Mac Store is useful application for the cashiers from where they can exchange the money and purchase any item.


Cassidy (2016) stated that in order to SISP methodology is an abstract system that transforms organizational inputs into an effective IS plan. It is compulsory to have standard set of techniques and supportive tools so that every project can be attained successfully.

Strategic awareness

Apple always emphasizes on innovating things. Marabelli and Galliers (2017) stated that sue to this innovation people prefer this brand over the others even through other gadgets provides many more features under less price. In this aspect, Apple Inc. also determines key planning issues like what is the present gap of their existing technology and the market demand. Moreover, defining planning objectives is their best strategic approach to understand the customer’s requirements and then develop products that closely matches with their requirements. They develop products only for high income group and maintain their gadgets to that level. In addition to that Lawn et al. (2015) highlight that organizing the planning team is another major tool for them. Unlike other technological companies, Apple does not have a single planning team for different project. However, they have different team for a single project. The best and optimized out of all the team is selected. This strategy is helpful for the employees and Apple can utilize the other planning to other business functionalities.

Strategic information system practices of Apple Inc.

Situation analysis

In this aspect, the organization emphasizes on the current business systems, current organizational system, external and internal business environment, external IT environment and current information systems. In this case they assess their competitive position in the market. Communication system is also values in this aspect, where automation and technological advances should be known to all the staffs and thus, effective communication system is incorporated so that all the staff members can get aware of the new technology and utilize it to attain the organizational functions effectively.

Strategy Conception

Sousa and Oz (2014) stated that an organization identify their major IT objectives, their identification and evaluation of opportunities for improvement of the existing business strategies. Apple Inc. in this case identify the high level IT strategies. The major types of information system incorporated in the organization are: office automation system, transaction processing system, management information system, decision support system, expert system, knowledge work system and expert support information system.

Strategy Formulation

Identification of the new business processes, IT architecture, specific new projects and requirements and priorities of these projects are the major concern in this phase (Reich & Benbasat, 2013). Apple Inc. develops their IT model by developing their policies, principle, services, standards and guidelines and products as effectual steps for IT architecture.

Image: IT architecture for the IT policies in an organization

(Source: Reich & Benbasat, 2013)

Strategy Implementation Planning

In this phase an organization define its change management approach that is to either change the technology so that employees can be conformable with the newly implemented system or to shape the employees so that they can learn new technology and to utilize it for obtaining the organizational procedures. Development of action plan is the important approach in this phase, Employees if need training are included in the plan. Monitoring each step of the training or the learning process is necessary in order to evaluate the progress of the implementation system.  

Apple Inc. the effective strategic information system can be witnessed through initiating, planning, execution, and closedown. The process is closely described as:

Phase No.

Aspect of the phase

Importance of the phase

1st Phase

Initiating

Apple. Initiate a development team in this initial phase. The team members formulate a relationship with the customer and learnt about the management procedures, project initiation plan, project charter and project management environment.

2nd Phase

Planning

The importance of this phase can be witnessed through the accomplishment of the task for attaining the organizational goals. Team members collaboratively divide the development of IS to learn about different module of the system so that effective and customized information system can be formulated. Budget planning is also a part of this phase.

3rd Phase

Execution

The plan developed in the 2nd phase is implemented in this phase. The importance of this phase is the ability to assess whether or not the organization is able to follow the plan.

4th Phase

Closedown

Conducting post-project reviews and developing opportunities for the next projects are two importance aspect of this phase. Obtaining these two factors allow Apple Plc. to evaluate the successful implementation of an effective information system.

Table 1: Phases to implement strategic information system

(Source: Created by Author)

Osman et al. (2015) stated that the Apple Inc. properly align the information system planning with corporate strategic planning so that their business proceedings can obtained effectually. Kavanagh and Johnson (2017) depicted that the corporate strategic planning for the concerned organization comprises of- current enterprise, future enterprise and strategic plan. The information system team members are liable to listings of manual and automated processes and maintaining human resources inventor along with the technology inventory. In addition to that the future situation comprises planning diagram (blueprint) of both manual as well as automated processes and human resource blueprints along with the technology blueprints.  

Phases to implement strategic information system

The key factors that are identified from the literature are- strategic awareness, situation analysis, strategy conception and strategy formulation.

Image 1: Conceptual Framework

(Source: Created by Author)

Apple implement the strategic information system by identify the stages of growth and critical success factors like- compatibility of the system, effective communication and knowledge skills in the staffs (Kitsios and Kamariotou, 2017). Analyzing competitive forces model through Michael Porter’s model, value chain analysis, internal and external business analysis, the market condition can be evaluated. SWOT can be utilized for addressing the organization’s internal strength and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities (Petter et al., 2013). This evaluation allows the organization to make effective plan for implementing the strategic information system.


This research will emphasize on the primary data collection from the Apple’s employee regarding the automation process. The managers of the Apple Inc. are also considered so that they can present their views on the current technologies and the development of the technology for the better product development. The IS strategy process is followed top down planning and focuses on business processes that are based on the organization’s objectives and mission. Thus, primary data are collected but both the qualitative and quantitative data analysis process is utilized. 

It can be concluded that a good planning in the IS strategy can obtain an effective competitive advantage. Thus, it is found that strategic awareness, situation analysis, strategy conception, strategy formulation and strategy implementation planning are the five key factors that are identified as the best practices to implement information system. It can also be said that proper business planning with the information technology allows an organization to achieve maximum profitability with effective organizational functionalities.

Reference List

Cassidy, A. (2016). A practical guide to information systems strategic planning. CRC press.

Galliers, R. D., & Leidner, D. E. (Eds.). (2014). Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Kavanagh, M. J., & Johnson, R. D. (Eds.). (2017). Human resource information systems: Basics, applications, and future directions. Sage Publications.

Kitsios, F., & Kamariotou, M. (2017). Decision Support Systems and Strategic Information Systems Planning for Strategy Implementation. In Strategic Innovative Marketing (pp. 327-332). Springer, Cham.

Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2016). Management information system. Pearson Education India.

Lawn, S., Delany, T., Sweet, L., Battersby, M., & Skinner, T. (2015). Barriers and enablers to good communication and information-sharing practices in care planning for chronic condition management. Australian journal of primary health, 21(1), 84-89.

Marabelli, M., & Galliers, R. D. (2017). A reflection on information systems strategizing: the role of power and everyday practices. Information Systems Journal, 27(3), 347-366.

Osman, E., El Beltagi, I. M., & Hardaker, G. (2015). The impact of leadership orientation on strategic information system planning processes, with an application to Libyan organizations. Information Technology for Development, 21(4), 601-627.

Peppard, J., & Ward, J. (2016). The strategic management of information systems: Building a digital strategy. John Wiley & Sons.

Petter, S., DeLone, W., & McLean, E. R. (2013). Information systems success: The quest for the independent variables. Journal of Management Information Systems, 29(4), 7-62.

Reich, B. H., & Benbasat, I. (2013). 10 Measuring the Information Systems–Business Strategy Relationship. Strategic Information Management, 265.

Sousa, K., & Oz, E. (2014). Management information systems. Nelson Education.

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