Wal-Mart has a competitive advantage over their competition because of their unique philosophy in addition to how they utilize their information system personnel: “The first philosophy is to run a centralized information system for our operations all over the world, and we run that from Arkansas. The second is to have common systems and common platforms. The third is to be merchants first and technologists second. Also, in any development effort, our information system personnel are expected to get out and do the function before they do the system specification, design or change analysis. The key there is to do the function, not just observe it. So we actually insert them into the business roles”
1. Is Wal-Mart’s use of their information system the reason why they are the number one retailer?
2. Without their information system and knowledgeable IS personnel could Wal-Mart be a competitor in the retail industry?
3. Has the manner in which Wal-Mart has implanted there IS improved their value chain?
Which side of the divide will you end up on? What are you willing to do to insure that? Just because you will have a college degree doesn’t mean that you’ll end up on the side you expect! If you do not make a conscious decision about this, make plans and take action, you will be very disappointed in the not too distant future.
Please check out this short article that was in The New York Times recently http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/how-technology-wrecks-the-middle-class/?_r=0. We will spend a lot of time talking about the kinds of opportunities technology creates but only for business professionals who can truly see how technology can be leveraged strategically. If you are one of these people then you have nothing but opportunity in front of you; if you are not, you better brush up on the skills you’ll need to cook burgers and fries!
1. Which side of the divide will you end up on and what are you going to do to make it happen?
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