Strategic Analysis and Critical Success Factors (CSF) of an Information System (IS) Initiative

• Strategic analysis and CSF of an IS initiative
• You will propose a company and an implemented IS
• You will build an empirically based case study
• It will require research and critical analysis
• 4,000 words +/-10%

The Task

Choose a company and an IS initiative it undertook in the past. The company can be of any sector, size or country, and the IS initiative (i.e. the applications) can embrace either Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), eCustomer Relationship Management (e-CRM), e-Supply Chain Management (e-SCM), e-Commerce or any combination. Although you can briefly explain some technologies and services received by the company, the initiatives must be about transactional systems (e-CRM, e-SCM, e-CRM and/or e-Commerce). Similarly, although you can briefly comment about business intelligence systems[1], the initiatives must be transactional. We will explain what a transactional system is in the first sessions of the module. You are required to explain the strategy of the company and/or the strategic imperatives in its industry, and how the IS initiative addressed some or all the key strategic aspects to remain competitive and be successful in the market. Then, you will explain 3 relevant CSF and what companies can do to successfully address them. 

[1] Do not choose an initiative based on Oracle Exadata, Oracle Exalitics, SAP Hana, IBM Cognos, or similar ones.

The student will have to research the company, its strategies/strategic priorities in the industry, the application(s) that the company adopted (including the brand, if the IS was acquired or rented), IS suppliers, and from there to link business strategies and IS applications in terms of detailed business processes (what the systems automate/do) and their specific benefits. Regarding CSF, the student must define relevant ones based on the general characteristics of the case such as type of system, industrial sector, scope of operation of the company, size, interaction or not with external parties, country(ies), idiosyncratic characteristics or situation of the company, etc. We also expect students to explain how the CSF could affect the life cycle of the IS and what companies can do to deal with them.  

It is expected that the student will reference relevant sources of information, such as web links of customer success stories and customer testimonials (in the websites of the IS suppliers and service providers), website information of the company adopter, its annual reports, industry/government reports, reports of analysts, brochures and videos of the applications, website information of the suppliers of IS, news and blogs. It is also core in the assignment the systemic use of diverse theoretical frameworks for the strategic analysis of the company/industry including the PESTEL framework, the 5-forces of competitive position, the value chain framework, the generic strategies, the resource-based view of business strategy, etc., according to the year of the decision and implementation. The students will also have to use theories related to the type of application(s) they are writing about, i.e. ERP, e-SCM, e-CRM and/or e-Commerce. Finally, students must heavily rely on academic bibliography specifically related to CSF. As IS cut across different functional areas, relevant theories from other modules are also welcome but just as minor complements to the ones previously mentioned. The references in the assignment must be from English language sources.

Students are expected not only to link theory and the information of the company, IS initiative and industry but also to be critical, for example lessons learned, recommended e-business roadmap for the company, sustainability of the strategic advantages created by the IS, etc. Although the assignment requires the use of very numerous theoretical references in the main body of the text and in the list of references, the student does not have to occupy much space explaining them. The crucial point is to include them at relevant places of the text, reference them, explain them very briefly (if necessary) and apply them correctly to make sense and interpret the information of the cases. An exception to that is the part related to CSFs in which we expect a balance between theoretical and empirically based explanations.

The Case Studies

It is suggested that the students start to search for information as soon as possible, about both the companies and their IS initiatives. The students must send by email to the module leader 4 options of companies (just companies, not the IS initiatives) by 15th March as a maximum. Please, state in your email the number of each option. The order of the options is symbolic since the student must feel confident to do a good work with any of the 4 in terms of information and theories. The module leader will make the final allocation of one company per student at some point between the 16th and 17th March and will post it on Canvas. The idea is to avoid students choosing the same company.

The module leader will accept the e-mails with the students’ choices from the 14th March, not before. The allocations will be done randomly, so it will not be the first-come, first-served modality.

If you sent less than 4 options, the most probable is that the student will not get any allocation. The module leader will notify this to the student after doing the allocation to the rest of the students. The student would have to send the 4 options anyway but not any that had been previously allocated to the classmates.  

Companies that Cannot Be Chosen

There is a group of companies that cannot be chosen because there is too much information about them on the Internet and therefore, my experience says, the students that choose them tend to be overconfident and start their work quite late in the process. There could also be a temptation to take just two or three similar works from the Internet and paraphrase them for the assignment, which is not acceptable. For other companies in the list, some few students think that their knowledge of the user interfaces of B2C websites would be enough, but then they realise that the case studies are very remotely connected to that.   

The list of companies includes (including any of their business units and subsidiaries) Apple, Amazon, Alibaba, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, E-Bay, Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, Youku, WhatsApp, Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Groupon, Jingdong, Guomei, Tencent, Huawei, Walmart, Netflix, PayPal, ASOS, TikTok and any game company. If a student chooses any of them, the module leader would allocate to the person another of her/his three options. However, it is responsibility of the student to ensure his/her options are not part of this group. The module leader could realise this when he is marking, which would be too late for the student. If the student writes the assignment with a company of this group, the mark would be zero. 

In general, the module leader will not suggest, question, approve or give feedback either on companies or IS initiatives in any case. The module leader will just accept the options of the students. 

Do you need help with this assignment or any other? We got you! Place your order and leave the rest to our experts.

Quality Guaranteed

Any Deadline

No Plagiarism