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Sector-specific information systems strategies
Assignment Select ONE (1) company from each of the following commercial sectors:
Agriculture Once you have identified all THREE (3) companies, carry out the following tasks.
Task 1 – 25 Marks For each of the THREE (3) companies:
briefly introduce the company and its place within the sector
apply appropriate theoretical frameworks, concepts and diagrams to describe and critically evaluate the strategic business challenges and opportunities they face – both within their sector and within the wider economy
What is the business strategy of each company? In your opinion, do they have one? Is it a sound one? How does their management structure support this strategy? Justify your comments and support them with external research.
Task 2 – 25 Marks For each of the THREE (3) companies:
briefly describe their current investment in IT/IS infrastructure and the products, processes and functions employed within that infrastructure
comment upon the nature and relative mix/ratio of ‘transactional’ and ‘analytical’ types of processes and products used by each company. Where and how are these different categories of technology used?
Go beyond your chosen three companies to research the wider IT/IS trends and how such technology is used globally at the strategic level. Use appropriate theoretical frameworks, concepts and diagrams. You may find it useful to research ‘OLTP (on-line transaction processing)’, ‘OLAP (on-line analytical processing)’, ’data warehousing’, ‘data mining’ and ‘big data’ technologies.
Strategic Information Systems
Task 3 – 25 Marks For each of the THREE (3) companies:
critically evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of the IT/IS investment from Task 2 in supporting the business strategy highlighted in Task 1
In your opinion, is there a ‘good fit’ – in terms of resource-allocation and management functions – between the company’s strategic business vision and how they spend their time, money and energy on IT/IS infrastructure? Justify your comments and support them with external research. Use appropriate theoretical frameworks, concepts and diagrams.
Task 4 – 20 Marks Using all your work from the three previous tasks, conclude your paper by ranking your three chosen companies in order of success with respect to how well you feel that they have aligned their business strategy with their IT/IS strategy. Justify your rankings, supported by suitable theoretical work as appropriate. Who do you feel is getting it right? Is anybody getting it wrong? What are your recommendations? Why? Task 5 – 5 Marks You will be awarded marks for:
the overall standard of layout and presentation
good use of tables, diagrams, charts, images and other non-textual items
adopting a suitable academic writing style and a good standard of English
the quantity and quality of sources cited, and
the quality of Harvard citations and references.