Information Technology

Information Technology
1. Do you agree or disagree with the arguments espoused in Carr’s article? Has IT become more or less important strategically since the article first appeared?
Sixteen years ago, Nicholas Carr made a jolting move by writing his provocative Harvard Business Review (HBR) article which read: “IT Doesn’t Matter”. In the article, he claimed that the opportunities for gaining IT-based advantages are already dwindling and no more transformation could occur. However, I do not agree with the arguments elevated by the article. This is majorly because Carr was speaking from a fallacy point of view. Thirteen years down the line, the IT industry has thrived and still has a long way to go. Carr appears to select certain historical facts out of context to fit his argument instead of describing the real history that lead to the cases he explicates about in his article. Therefore, the central idea of his whole argument is simply a fallacy. Since the article first appeared, IT has become more important in different fields across the globe, therefore, the paper actually generated less effective rebuttals that it should have.
2. What are the biggest problems in the Danish case? What should have been done to anticipate and mitigate these problems in advance? What do you believe should be done now?
When the Danish government spent over $1B to implement Epic System’s electronic health record application in their hospitals, the early results were nothing far from disappointment. One of the biggest problems that faced the system is that Epic’s medical terms were not tagged for easy translation – making hospitals rely on google translate. This caused major errors in the Danish healthcare system as translations were usually wrongly put. What is more, being that the healthcare systems for Denmark and the USA were different, the system was doomed to fail in Denmark. Furthermore, the cultural difference from the original country to the secondary country also influenced the negative outcome. For instance, in the US, the nurse could never prescribe medicine – which was allowed in Denmark. The application, nonetheless, froze some of the roles that were outside any one’s jurisdictions – causing crisis. To anticipate and avoid the problems that were brought about by the same, the health ministry of the country ought to have considered the difference in the health systems of the two countries. What is more, the software should have been put to the test first before investing so much in it. This could have led to certain improvements that would have worked for the Danish healthcare system. Doctors and other medical practitioners could also have been trained with the same system in order to ensure efficiency. What can be done now is very little. First, the use of the same software can be provoked from all the hospitals it is used until the necessary changes are made. IT experts could also be involved in improving the system and ensuring the cultural differences between the two countries are taken into account. This will ensure better performance of the same.

3. How can IT be used to bring about operational efficiencies and strategic advantages, particularly in retail? How is this applicable in the Wooqer case?
It has ensured automation of inventory control that ensures the operations of the retail business are well undertaken. What is more, IT can be used to reduce inventory costs as the retail database is well stored and regulated. Therefore, having full information about stock in the business always ensures customer satisfaction, thus ensuring operational efficiency in the business. What is more, IT in retail business also improves accuracy in forecasting of the business ensuring better decision-making. Lastly, IT ensures consistent information access at every business level, which is operationally efficient. This is applicable in the Wooqer case as IT has been used to improve the company’s operational efficiency and strategic positioning by advocating for users to function independently. This has ensured a socially engaging ecosystem for the shareholders, customers, suppliers, and employees – making the business effective.
4. If you were Madura’s Head of Strategy, why would you choose to invest in Wooqer? Why would you not choose to invest in Wooqer? What concerns should you have?
If I were Madura’s Head of Strategy, I would choose to invest in Wooqer. This is majorly since the platform ensures easy communication and engagement across a large group – such as the Madura F&L which is continuously expanding. This is specifically effective as efficiently engaging and managing workforce is eminent as success within the retail industry is directly correlated to providing superior customer experience – which is realized through the same. However, I would not choose to invest in Wooqer due to the cost involved – having have had alternatives of the same. Without Wooqer, the company still used to engage with its employees and ensure customer satisfaction. Wooqer, therefore, has competition in customary and cheap software like email, SMS’s and IM’s. One of my major concerns would be the initial cost of acquiring the software. Furthermore, I would worry about training the employees on how to efficiently use the software in order to ensure maximum use of the same.