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Business Intelligence Applied: Implementing an Effective Information and Communications Technology Infrastructure by Michael S. Gendron

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Chapter 4

Understanding Your Organization and Its Competitive Environment

In order to implement ICT to create value, it is necessary that the organization and its environment are analyzed. ICT is more than the hardware and software that does business-rule processing; rather, it must support business strategy. Understanding the competition, knowing the internal business processes of your enterprise, and turning that knowledge into ICT recommendations are tantamount to creating competitive advantage.

In this chapter, conceptual frameworks and concepts for understanding the organization, its value propositions, and its competitive environment are addressed. At the core of the ICT value search is the thorough examination of the organization using value search models. External value search models focus primarily outside the organization and yield competitive information about other organizations, while internal value search models largely focus inside the enterprise. The value search models—including corporate unbundling; value chain deconstruction; comparative strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats (SWOT) analysis; and competitive forces analysis—all provide tools for the business analyst to discover ways to implement ICT for competitive advantage and to explain those advantages to management. Analysis using these models will provide information to aid in the understanding of where ICT can be leveraged to enhance organizational performance and competitive positioning.

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