At any given point, we should be able to say whether the implemented decision has had positive consequences or if things need to be changed.
This means that the monitoring phase also has an important control and feedback component. Monitoring is not enough unless you are able to change some of the factors that have produced unwanted consequences for the company. Again, as previously mentioned, being able to react quickly and correct any of the problems that have appeared is essential, because otherwise the consequences that the company will face are incalculable.
This presentation of the relationship between information technology and the strategic decision making process, as presented previously, can gives us the necessary elements in order to be able to evaluate the advantages of using information technology in the process.
First of all, the basis of competition is determined by the way a company needs how to use information. Information is, indeed, everything. Information technology, on the other hand, helps with everything involved, from gathering information, to storing and later using it in order to achieve the best decisions (as presented in phase 1 of the decision making process).
The impact of information technology on strategic decision making is reflected, as such, on everything from choosing the best supplier to decreasing switching costs. For example, the use of information technology will allow a company to better monitor and manage its supply chain. An excellent example in this sense is Boeing. The company relies greatly on information systems in order to be able to exchange information with its supplier and buyers and to have the necessary parts on due time.
In terms of switching costs, information technology may discover suppliers which bring about a cost benefit that is higher than the switching cost implied. This is possible because the quantity and quality of information that can be handled by using information technology is virtually limitless.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of information technology and its impact on the strategic decision making process is the added value to products and services in the company’s portfolio that can be created with the use of it. This is strictly related to the monitoring phase I have previously described and analyzed. Indeed, the monitoring phase permits not only the best evaluation of a given product or service, in terms of its availability or its quality, but also allows for these mistakes to be corrected. The result is an improved and better performing product.
As we can see from the discussion here above, the main thing we may notice when referring to information technology is the fact that it is hard to imagine business and business processes nowadays operating without. In every office, its presence is overwhelming. The reasons for this are quite simple and we can easily speculate them by referring to the general characteristics of information technology, among them speed and performance.
This is why information technology is essential in the strategic decision making process. In each of the phases we have described, gathering information, making the decision or implementing and monitoring it, information technology plays an essential role and helps the management team make the best decision in the fastest period of time, while monitoring its effects in the long run.
These advantages are also equivalent with a decrease in overall costs, including switching costs and procurement costs, because information technology permits a better performing supply chain management. Decreasing overall supply and procurement costs, combined with excellent gathering and use of information, means that the company becomes more cost competitive on the market.
1. Introduction to business and management. University of London External Programme. Chapter 3. Page 62. On the Internet at http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/studentarea/lse/lse_pdf/foundation_units/intro_bus_man/intbusman_ch3.pdf
2. Mayor, Tracy. August 2004. The Supple Supply Chain. CIO. On the Internet at http://www.cio.com/archive/081504/supply.html
3. Poirier, Charles and Quinn, Francis. September 2003. A Survey of Supply Chain Progress. Supply Chain Management. Review. On the Internet at http://www.manufacturing.net/scm/article/CA323602.html?text=boeing
Introduction to business and management. University of London External Programme. Chapter 3. Page 62. On the Internet at http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/studentarea/lse/lse_pdf/foundation_units/intro_bus_man/intbusman_ch3.pdf