The idea that information can be used to give an organisation an advantage over its competitors is according to the Porter's generic strategy: differentiation, cost leadership and focus, the utilisation of information technology can give the organisation on the terms of: reducing the cost, such as the new process with lower cost, improving quality relative to costs, reducing distribution costs and after-sales cost, and the linkages in the value chain; differentiating from the other competitors make the organisation improve product quality, packaging, distribution and after-sales service; more focusing on the low cost and quality (David Wainwright, 2003). Information within an organisation may be seen the 'superset' which information system and technology are used to support. To some degree, gaining the competitive advantage depends on the use of information system, herein the researcher refers to E business and ICT.
In the case study, the researcher will analysis the E business and ICT of Proctor & Gamble corporation.
E-Business and ICT are the transformation of key business processes through the use of information technologies, which support internet as E business, or in other word, they help the organisation do what it do better, faster, easier and with greater benefits for its customers (http://home.ust.hk/~westland/p&g_note.htm), covering a range of technologies---computers, communications, audio, and video (Mike Powell, 1999), they also are the fundamental to business strategy and process execution; any more, they help to fully change the core competence of an organisation and exploit its weakness (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000) .
E business and ICT merge the long reach and rich information delivery of the Internet and information with the organisation's selected core business processes to give it real business value. Streamlining the processes to gain efficiencies what the organisation can then pass back to its external and internal customers as a value that gives it serious competitive advantage.
They are not about reinventing the business, it's about identifying which of the organisation's core processes would give the most benefit from the huge potential of information technology. The focus here is on business process. The impact of E business and ICT are about managing customer relationships, integrating supply chain more effectively, enabling customers to buy online, etc, these solution will let the organisation pilot and prove E business and ICT as the basis for future growth.
With the Internet and information as an enabling technology, they change the way conducting business and allowing new working structure to develop among customers, suppliers and employers. It is important to the process change, especially on the channel enhancement and value chain integration (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000). It is of importance to the value chain with the technology, e.g. EDI, EPOS, networking and open systems, CAD/CAM, accounting/personnel/stock control, telecommunications and mobile devices (David Wainwright, 2003). It enables company to take advantage of a host of new opportunities by allowing access to broader markets, increasing the speed of transactions and improve the relationship with the customer.
On the other hand, the IT strategy of using E business and ICT support and drive the corporate strategy, from the strategic to operational activity. There is a strategic model in which all the elements of corporate and information system strategy are aligned: (Steve Clarke, 2001)
To be more in detail, E-business and ICT can link the organisation to customers and suppliers, this utilisation creates effective integration of the use of information in value-adding process. It enables the organisation to develop, produce, market and deliver new products or service based upon information. Internally, this technology gives senior management information to help develop and implement strategy (Wendy Robson, 1997).
For an organisation, it is e-nabled through E business and ICT, which improve the relationship management, revenue enhancement and cost reduction (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000), also as the activities to add value. Integrating the value chain fully is the most important function of E business and ICT, the organisation can provide internal and external customer a higher level of service, which confers a true competitive advantage. On the other hand, enabling the supply chain with E business and ICT has helped organisation achieve 20 percent or better reduction in supply chain cost (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000).
Problem and issue
To an organisation, undertaking that strategic initiatives, the first important is planning, budgeting and measurement, one organisation must concentrate on the effective use of the IT and IS, refer to the E-business and ICT, in line with the objectives and goals of the organisation as a whole. Then the analysis of competitive advantage, includes industry analysis, positioning the organisation within the industry, regard the information as a strategic resource. (Steve Clarke, 2001)
For the implementation of management on the information system and the utilisation of E-business and ICT, the organisation should be facing some problem and issues which determine the IT system, structure and culture are fundamental factors, also cause the management change.
No matter what exiting structure the organisation is, bureaucratic, flexible or matrix, it should support the IS system, system thinking must be instilled into. The organisation needs to reengineer the existing process, such as marketing, customer service, procurement and finance etc. At the same time, the role of human resource management in the e-nabled organisation is to manage expectation relating to changes in role and jobs responsibilities (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000). ICT and E business change the industry structure and in so doing alters the rules of competition, the organisation must tailor its structure to be suitable for this change (Dr David Wainwright 2003).
Implementing E-business and ICT in one organisation, culture therefore needs to be understood so that it is in a better position to incorporate information strategies in line with existing culture and any cultural change seen to be in process (Steve Clarke, 2001).
They bring cultural change of the highest magnitude, The members across the organisation will share the value, belief and attitude and change the behaviour to be in accordance with the requirements of E-business and ICT. It is necessary for the organisation to change its culture to be suitable to the implementation and formulation of IS strategy,
The implementation of IT strategy results from the key business drivers, which include technology drivers, business drivers and internal customer drivers (David Wainwright 2003), all these will effect on the management, before this, the organisation should analysis the importance of IS using, IS strategy option and manage the evolving portfolio in direct proportion to business value, there is a growing awareness that an organisation's IS strategy can be used to focus on action and hence lower cost, so management attention has moved from the debate about competitive advantage, a super-set of competitive advantage (Wendy Robson, 1997).
On the other hand, the implementation of E business and ICT will make the organisation undertake the risk, such as the implementation of and support of new products, service and markets, security concerns around the internet; tax and legal issues surrounding the internet (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000), the effectiveness of the communication, the controls and governance over the core process in an organisation, and so on.
The impact of E business and ICT
Moreover, as a subset strategy, E business and ICT will give the impact on the strategic, technical and organisational level of an organisation.
The management of IS strategy should be a holistic view of an entire range in one organisation, it is a strategic and system thinking. It may influence every sector of an organisation and should be in line with the vision, mission and strategic direction, the success of E business and ICT is directly affected by the organisation's ability to develop a strategic plan, which must identify their growth initiatives for all areas of the organisation (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000). It is redesign of process and restructure of the organisation, these must cause a influence on strategic level, from the leadership, it is a up-bottom process, on the culture, knowledge, system, market position etc.
Identifying a business' goal and objectives should lead to articulating an overall business strategy and process more deeply. E business and ICT lay the systemic relationship to the organisation, IS can be regarded a divisional strategy permeating across all divisions (Wendy Robson, 1997).
IT strategy, which is a sub-strategy, will influence the overall strategy. Developing the IS strategy that support business strategies is a difficult task, from the strategy formulation to implementation, defining the mission, planing the strategy, and tactical planing, the organisation should make the PEST and SWOT analysis, this is a continuous improvement process.
Information system is a technical process, it reduces the complexity of the system study and attempts to define it in terms of rules and procedures by which given inputs can be turned into predictable outputs. The process can be addressed through scientific method (Steve Clarke, 2001). Especially, E-business and ICT can change the past human-based activities, such as TQM and BPR, affecting the job satisfaction, security (E Turban, E Mclean, J Wetherbe, 2001), quality, employment, continuous improvement, human resource and so on. Moving to the E business and ICT environment impacts an organisation's technology in different ways. Hardware and software advances have made them reality, the combination of affordable computing power, simple and standard telecommunications protocols, and enhanced security allow E business and ICT to flourish (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000).
The E-business and ICT demand that thought and activity are structured, they can impose their own structure of thought and action on an organisation (Mike Powell, 1999), support the collaboration in one organisation. Like team working, communicating with the stakeholder, learning, complementary subtask and participation in decision making (E Turban, E Mclean, J Wetherbe, 2001). The implementation of E-business and ICT will bring many changes to business, which are being felt in areas of structure, authority, power, job content, employee career ladders, supervision, and the manager's job (E Turban, E Mclean, J Wetherbe, 2001). Also function in management and supporting the decision making, it is helpful to form the learning organisation (Wendy Robson, 1997). In this regard, leadership is especially important, it must identify and communicate behaviors consistent with targeted culture and process models. Moreover, leadership must ensure that message is disseminated throughout the organisation accurately, in a timely fashion and with sufficient details (Martin V. Deise, Conrad Nowikow, Patrick King, Amy Wright, 2000).