What are the several ways that IT could provide a competitive advantage to a business?

 

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One way that Information Technology (IT) gives businesses a competitive advantage is by streamlining processes. For example, hotels can allow visitors to make inquiries and bookings online. This procedure enables the hotel to have more bookings without hiring extra staff to handle a large number of interested parties. Another way that IT gives businesses a competitive advantage is by allowing easy access to information. Firms can search the internet for the latest trends in the industry and then incorporate them into product design to attract more clients and have an edge over their competitors. IT also gives employees the flexibility to work from anywhere. This can be a competitive advantage if most of the firm's operations are done online. The firm can save on office space, charge lower prices than the competition, and still make a profit.

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This is a good question. IT can help any corporation in many ways, but the key is to hire some very competent people. There are horror stories of IT personnel who really do not know what they are doing and in the end cost the company more money. With that said, I will offer a few suggestion of how IT can benefit a business.

First, something as simple as a website can drive a lot of traffic to a company. The benefit of an internet presence is that  you are always "open," and thousands of people can browse your merchandise or services at the same time.

Second, IT can create databases to help with customer relations and customer history. This will not only help customers in many ways, because the data can be analyzed to gain valuable information - spending habits, popular good, and the like.

Third, IT can provide a great network of communications internally to all the parts of a company. And if the company is large, it can provide many cost saving platforms like video conferencing.

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How could IT provide a competitive advantage to a business?

The simple fact that a company has IT cannot provide it with a competitive advantage because essentially every firm of any size has IT.  What can provide a competitive advantage is IT that is better than that of competitors.

The link below tells us that there are many advantages to having IT. It says that

Examples of IT's benefits to different areas of an enterprise include:

  • timely and efficient delivery of products and services
  • higher sales through better understanding of customer behaviors
  • cost savings from fewer staff hours and reduced human or machine error
  • better resource planning through detailed, accurate, and timely financial information.

Looking at this list, you can see where having better IT than your competitors would be useful.

If your IT system is better, you might have a superior database telling you what your customers like to buy, at what price, at what time of year, and other information like that.  This could help you to better plan what sort of inventory to have available.  If you have a better IT system, less time will be wasted on mistakes.  This will mean that you will have lower labor costs per unit of output.

Since IT is, as the link says, the "lifeblood" of any major firm, having better IT clearly is a competitive advantage.

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What are several ways Information Technology could provide a competitive advantage to a business?

In today's society full of technology, a good Information Technology department is indispensable to most businesses. Information Technology is such a broad area of service, it may be helpful to look at a specific example. Many IT departments are now responsible for cell phones and other such resources. Consider that many businesses provide their employees with cell phones; these phones help employees manage important emails, carry information (like meeting materials), manage client contact lists, and keep in touch with clients. A company with a linked contact list and other such resources would be able to provide a more personal and efficient experience with their business.

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