Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsRunning a business or looking at the management level of an organisation requires you to make decisions, decisions about making investments. When the word 'investment' is mentioned, we have a natural tendency to think about financial investments. But investments come in many shapes and forms, from purchasing an enterprise system, developing a mobile app, to expanding the business into new markets. Some work out, while others may not. Take Australian supermarket giant Woolworths, for example. The expansion into home hardware market through Masters hardware chain ended up being a colossal write-down, to the tune of $1.9 billion Australian. When these decisions don't quite go according to plan, it's not spare change that the organisation loses out on. How do we make the right investment decisions?

Skip to 1 minute and 1 secondWhat is it that we need to recognise when making business decisions? I'm Jay Zeal, lecturer and industry practitioner at the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics. With over a decade of experience in teaching at post-graduate level, conducting research, and running a small business myself, there's a lot we could talk about when it comes to making business decisions. Let's take a look at business investment decisions that worked out. At the core of these decisions, what did they recognise and prioritise? Their answer is 'business value'. In the first week of this course, we're going to have a look at making business investments of various forms, and business value is going to be the recurrent underlying theme.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsThroughout the course, you'll be asked to reflect on your own situation, participate in discussions, and review and analyse relevant material. We wish you all the best, and encourage you to actively participate. At the end of every step, you'll be asked to reflect on a question or investigate a topic, and share with others in the comments. To get started, let's have a look at something

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 secondsthat you're all familiar with: running a restaurant.

The value of information

There is no magic formula for using information to gain a competitive advantage in business.

In this course, you will discover ways of seeing through the complexities of business to make informed decisions about information. This includes making choices about Information and Communication Technology (ICT). You will learn about the concept of business value as a stepping stone to competitive advantage.

Over the next two weeks you’ll: 

  • explore the value of information and information technology
  • examine how technology can support a business to generate business value
  • identify the different components of a business that benefit from technology investment
  • analyse the role of information and communication technology to automate and informate business processes.
  • identify how information can be used to create a competitive advantage.

View the course map for a full overview of all course activities and steps.

Meet the team

Your lead educator in this course is Professor Rens Scheepers who has 25  years experience: working in industry, teaching and researching competitive advantage generation through information and information technologies. The team also includes educator Mr Jay Zeal.

Select their names to find out more about each team member and be sure to follow them for course updates, feedback and discussions.  You can also meet and follow fellow learners by reading through their introductions on the course welcome page. 

Professional development

If you’re completing this course to help develop your career, the Statement of Participation and Certificate of Achievement provide evidence of your interest and understanding in this area. Available in both printed and digital formats, they can be easily shared online. To be eligible for this certificate, you must mark at least 90% of the steps in this course as complete and achieve an average 70% or above in the tests throughout the course. You can view your progress on the Progress page.

This course is also part of a unique set of postgraduate degrees offered on FutureLearn by Deakin University in Australia. It is the first course of five that together make up one of the introductory units for the Masters of Cyber Security. Open learners from all over the world and enrolled Deakin degree students will be learning together in this course over the next two weeks.

Your task

Tell us a little about yourself in the comments. Share with other learners what are you hoping to achieve through this course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Competitive Advantage: Using Information to Gain a Competitive Edge

Deakin University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: