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Evaluate changes to information technology infrastructures.

This week you will continue to work on your Final Project, which is due in Week 7. By Day 7, you will submit a business memo, written to your Instructor that explains how you plan to incorporate your learning from the week into your Final Project. This will not be a “perfect” synopsis at this point, but it should capture the main themes and important ideas from the week. Your memo should include the following:
Your preliminary summary of how you are planning to incorporate this weeks learning into your Final Project
Your ideas and recommendations for how your organization can drive value from business information systems
Other relevant recommendations or issues that you identified, with a brief analysis of why they are important
Note: If you are unable to find relevant information, you may want to look for similar information at/for other similar publically traded companies. You may find relevant information that will enable you to make appropriate inferences about your organization and make reasonable assumptions so you can proceed with your project.
If you have questions about how to apply what you are learning, or how to find the most relevant information for your organizations needs, please discuss your choice with your Instructor using the Contact the Instructor link in the classroom.
General Guidance on Assignment Length: Your Week 4 Assignment will typically be 1.53 pages (0.751 pages if single spaced), excluding a title page (not required for this Assignment) and references.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Evaluate changes to information technology infrastructures
Analyze information technology governance models
Evaluate factors that impact the implementation of information technologies and systems
Analyze value of business information systems
Analyze the role of information system in gaining strategic advantages and overcoming competitive challenges

Additional Learning Objectives:Business information systems (BIS) are widely used in todays businesses, in at least some capacity, across most industries. In fact, many companies invest over 50% of their capital expenditure in business information systems, making BIS the largest capital investment in business.
If you have not already come across Michael Porters Five Forces for Industry Analysis, you will in your marketing course. These five competitive forces point out the complexity of todays business environment, as well as the challenges that business managers face on a daily basis:
Threat of New Entrants: Many threats to long-term survival come from companies that do not yet exist or that already have a presence in a given industry or market. The threat of new entrants forces business managers to monitor the trends, especially in technology, that might give rise to new competitors. This is especially true as the effects of globalization increase the likelihood that companies that previously experienced primarily domestic competition will now encounter new global competitors on all sides.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers: Suppliers with access to key or limited resources, or suppliers who otherwise dominate their industries, may exert undue influence on the firms for whom they supply resources. Many firms seek to reduce their dependence on a single supplier in order to limit the suppliers bargaining power.
Rivalry Among Existing Firms: In mature industries, existing competitors are not much of a threat; typically each firm has found its “niche.” However, changes in management, ownership, or “the rules of the game” can give rise to serious threats to long-term survival from existing firms. For example, the airline industry faces serious threats from some airlines that, operating in bankruptcy, do not pay on their debts and then slash their airfares to effectively squash the solvent airlines ability to stay profitable.
Bargaining Power of Customers: Customers can grow large and powerful as a result of their market share. For example, Wal-Mart is the largest customer for consumer package goods and often dictates terms to the makers of those goodseven to a giant like Procter & Gamble.
Threat of Substitutes: To the extent that customers can use different products to fulfill the same need, the threat of substitutes exists. The good news is that business information systems can help business managers overcome these challenges by using business information systems strategically.
Improving Business Processes: Business information systems can help make a firms operational processes substantially more efficient and its managerial processes much more effective. Besides reducing costs, improvements to business processes can help improve quality and customer service, and promote development of innovative products.
Promote Business Innovation: Business information systems can be used to develop unique products, services, and processes. This in turn can create new business opportunities and enable business to expand into new markets or into new segments of existing markets.
Locking in Customers and Suppliers: Business information systems can also enable a business to lock in customers and suppliers by using technology to build valuable new relationships with them. This can deter both customers and suppliers from abandoning a business for one of its competitors or it might convince a firm to simply accept less-profitable relationships.
Creating Switching Costs: Business information systems can be used to build switching costs into relationships between a business and its customers or between a business and its suppliers by providing mutually beneficial services that make it too costly for a customer or business to switch to a competitor.
Raising Barrier to Entry: By increasing the amount of investment or complexity of the technology required to compete in an industry, a business can erect barriers that would otherwise discourage or delay other companies from entering a market.
Leveraging a Strategic Information System Platform: Investing in business information systems enables a business to build a strategic information system platform that allows it to take advantage of strategic opportunities and develop new products and services that would not be possible without strong business information systems capability.
Developing a Strategic Information Base: Business information systems can allow businesses to develop a strategic information base that can be used to support the businesss competitive strategies.
This week you will gain further understanding of how business information systems are an important leverage tool for companies who want to achieve their business goals, extend customer services, increase customer satisfaction, and enable new products in vibrant new markets while drastically reducing business costs

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