Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Case study analysis

Prepare an in-depth analysis of three case studies during the semester. Here are some guidelines:

  • Answer all the questions for each case.
  • The ‘answers’ to the questions are best formulated by reviewing the case and the reading materials up and including the current week in the course.
  • The questions are worded to help you apply the readings to the case, so don’t limit yourself to the case’s terminology and perspective. The best analysis will abstract the case content by applying the reading materials to draw broader lessons about the material.


Summarize your analysis in a set of no more than five PowerPoint slides. Use the main slides to communicate the key points in a concise and direct manner. You may use the “notes” section on PowerPoint to add more detail and justification. Do not fill the main slides with text. The slides should (a) apply class materials, and (b) include a balanced perspective which explains both the rationale for a recommendation (the why), and any potential risks (the downsides).

The process for submitting your case study analysis is as follows:

  • Upload the case study analysis to the personal OWLbox folder you shared with me – no later than the start of class on the day the case study is to be discussed in class.
  • The file should be in Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt or pptx) format.
  • Bring the case to class on a flash drive. You may be asked to lead a discussion about the case using your slides.
  • Late submissions will receive no credit. So make sure you submit everything on time.

Grading Criteria

  • Ability to answer all the stated questions in an integrated and comprehensive manner.
  • Ability to creatively and successfully apply class materials.
  • Providing a balanced perspective that includes both pros and cons in the analysis.
  • Good use of the slide deck as a means of communicating ideas (slides and comment section).

Case Questions

Information Technology at Cirque du Soleil

  • Describe how CdS’s information technology supports the touring show life cycle. Using Figure 2 in the case, describe the life cycle using terms and concepts from your prior courses.
  • What is/are the “system(s)” at Cirque du Soleil? Identify and explain the specific type of system(s) using terms and concepts from your prior courses.
  • What are the key business processes in the touring show life cycle? Identify the specific processes and map them to more generic, universal processes found across businesses (again, refer to your prior courses).
  • Is IT at Cirque du Soleil “successful”? Why or why not? Justify your answer by identifying the appropriate criteria for defining success and evaluate CdS using that criteria.

The Globalization of Wyeth

  • What is the final enterprise architecture at Wyeth (i.e., at the end of the case)? Use the systems architecture framework from the reading materials to formulate your answer.
  • What was the most critical IT-related factor in achieving globalization? Explain and justify your answer by focusing on business processes.
  • Describe the evolution of Wyeth using the concept of organizational structure. What “type” did Wyeth’s IT start with? What did it end with? Did they end up with the best organizational structure for the company, or would you suggest a better “type”? Make sure you justify your answer with a clear rationale.
  • Describe the Wyeth IT organization using the Gartner “Built-to-Purpose IT Organization” framework. Identify the type of line management, delivery role, and governance model. With which of the four “ideal” types does Wyeth’s IT fit best (Engine Room, Global Service Providers, IT the Business, Everyone’s IT)? Why? Would a different organizational IT structure work better moving forward (past the end of the case)? How?

Cognitive Computing and Artificial Intelligence

  • The goal of this case is to apply disruptive innovation theory to the technologies associated with Cognitive Computing and/or Artificial Intelligence.
  • There is no formal case reading, so you must do some research:
    • As a guide, start with Gartner’s reports: Predicts 2018: Artificial Intelligence (G00343423) and A Framework for Applying AI in the Enterprise (G00336031). Use the Gartner report to narrow your focus to a specific aspect of this technology, industry, or other reasonable subset.
    • Also, do some research using the Temple Library site (the Summon search tool on the library’s main page is a good place to start).
    • To get credit for your research, you must list the sources in a bibliography in a separate slide at the end (this slide does not count toward the slide limit).
  • Focus on:
    • Defining the scope of analysis – try to focus on a particular type of cognitive computing/artificial intelligence technology.
    • Describe the evolution of the “market” based on the disruptive innovation cycle. Make sure you appropriately define, scope, and describe the market(s) – this is a key challenge of this analysis.
    • Name the specific disruptions using Christensen’s’ terminology and describe how they will impact the market(s) you identify.
    • What recommendations about Cognitive Computing/Artificial Intelligence would you make to QVC, Pfizer, and Comcast?
    • How would you cost-justify / evaluate the use of this technology in the context of the above recommendations? Be specific with regard to both tangible and intangible costs and benefits.


Where and when do we meet?
Alter Hall 603
12:30-1:50 Tuesdays and Thursdays
Office Hours
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 PM