BUS303 Study Guide

Unit 1: Information Technology and Competitive Advantage

1a. Explain the effective use of information technology in business organizations

1. Organizations invest billions in information technology for daily business operations. In Unit 1, you learned the difference between information technology and information systems and how businesses use technology to compete. Information systems help organizations create a strategic competitive advantage.

  • Briefly list the four components of information systems and the role technology plays in business.
  • Define Moore's Law and what it means to business information system managers.

2. Not all information systems are computerized. Many information systems are IT-enabled due to modern operations and effective management in organizations.

  • What is an information system?
  • How are information technology and information systems separate?
  • How are people, processes, and structures of an information system dependent on each other?

3. Managers can predict the future using Moore's Law through slight calculations of cost.

  • Explain what price elasticity is and what it means for consumers and organizations.
  • How did the "fifth wave" affect Apple's iPod six years after its original release.

Read Achieving Efficiency and Effectiveness through Systems and Moore's Law and More: Fast, Cheap Computing and What It Means for the Manager.


1b. Summarize key concepts of an information systems strategy

The history of an organization is essential to its future. What leaders can achieve in the future depends on what they currently have to work with. Improving an organization's performance is not just something for top management to work with; it is everyone's job to influence the way any part of an enterprise function can make a difference.

  • Understand how organization-wide challenges with long-term implications but short-term imperatives for action benefited companies like Alibaba.com.
  • List some advantages and disadvantages of using the SWOT method to evaluate organizational strategy.
  • Explain how the five forces (buyers, suppliers, rivals, new entrants, and substitutes) help companies sustain profitability over time.