2007-8 Spring Course: Business Strategy and Information Systems (Bar Ilan)

I’m collaborating with Raz Heiferman (CIO of Direct Insurance) I will teach a management course at the Bar Ilan Executive MBA.

The course will discuss the linkage between the competitive strategy of the firm and the information technology (IT). During the last years this linkage has become more and more evident and many firms have learned to leverage the IT to improve their competitive position, to reengineer their processes, to improve customer loyalty and decrease churn, to develop new and innovative services, to improve their decision making processes and establish a collaborative work place for their knowledge workers. The topics covered will be:

  • IT – a commodity or a strategic asset – how IT has changed the environment we live and work and how companies and markets have changed due the shift from the industrial era to the information era. We will discuss Nicholas Carr’s “IT Doesn’t Matter” article and ask if IT has really become a commodity, as he claims, or are they a strategic asset.
  • IT Components – what are the major components of IT and what are the different categories of information systems (e.g. TPS, DSS, KM, ERP, CRM. OA etc.)
  • Competitive Analysis and IT – we will use Porter’s 5 forces model and the RBV (Resource Based View) as the framework to analyze how IT can change the competitive position of a firm and as a valuable competitive resource.
  • Value Chain and Business Processes – we will use Porter’s value chain model to discuss how IT supports almost every value creating activity
  • How IT supports Competitive Strategy – we will discuss Porter’s generic strategies and discuss how IT can be used to support them
  • Operational Innovation – we will use Hammer’s operational innovation concept presented in his “Deep Change” article to show how IT can be used as a major platform to innovate new business models and processes.
  • Competing on Analytics – we will use Davenport’s “Competing on Analytics” article to show how some of the leading companies are using business analytics to be more competitive and customer focused
  • New Trends in IT – The enterprise IT is changing. Mega trends like outsourcing, SAAS, SOA, Metaverse, no-software and web 2.0 are chancing the face of IT. We will review these trends and their potential impact on IT and the Business.
  • Google-ware – While most people see Google as a search service, in fact, Google has more then 60 services including email, picture sharing, blog, Wiki, office, desktop search, I-Google, social network, video, etc. Furthermore, all services are closely and seemingly integrated to create an inescapable web (e.g., you manage your blog pictures with the picture service; you can view word files from email docs & spreadsheets). We will review the company that is single handedly changing the way we work and have fun.
  • Collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 – we will use McAfee’s “Enterprise 2.0 – The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration” article to show how the usage of Web 2.0 technologies and social software can improve the internal and external collaboration between business partners.
  • IT Governance – we will explain why the company that wants to leverage IT has to introduce governance processes and demand management techniques that will ensure the alignment between the business strategy and IT investments and projects.

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