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Recapping what we have learned

What underlies a business’s ability to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors?
Well, congratulations. You’ve almost completed the second week of the course. We’ve covered a lot of fascinating ground. Let’s recap the key ideas. In Week 2, we started our journey by looking at the IT portfolio. This is a theory that describes various IT asset classes that businesses can make investments in. We house the concept of automate within the transactional asset class and the notion of informate within the informational asset class. IT portfolio theory also brought two additional asset classes, called infrastructural and strategic classes. We discussed business value returns in each of these asset classes.
We then looked at the restaurant example as a microcosm of a typical business and extrapolated those business value returns into a broader context to apply to other kinds of businesses as well. Finally, we explored the idea of business value in the context of business models. We learned about aligning investments in IT assets with business strategy to realise business value. Now we have a clear idea about business value, investing in IT assets, and how business models fit into the bigger picture. The stage is set for us to discuss competitive advantage generation. That’s coming up. Stay with us. And I encourage you to take a look at Deakin University’s education program through FutureLearn. We hope to see you in the next course.
Thank you for joining us. It’s bye for now.

Well done on working through Week 2 of the course. This week we explored the IT portfolio framework.

What underlies a business’ ability to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors?

In our case study about the Pic Nic Pak cafe we saw how automating their menu system was also informating their whole business. This shows the many different kinds of business value returns that an organisation might generate as a result of ICT investments.

A key question remains: how can an organisation compete on information that is generated as a result of its investment in ICT in the long run?

IT innovation and the information it generates creates value across the four domains of an IT Portfolio:

  • Transactional assets
  • Informational assets
  • Strategic assets
  • Infrastructure assets

Analysing the differing and interacting benefits across these domains helps any business answer that key business question. It helps businesses see how IT investment can fit with their business model.

Your task

Think about why we covered the content we did in this course. Share your most important reason in the comments. Think about and then share what you would like to investigate further.

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Competitive Advantage: Using Information to Build Business Success

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