Introduction to Competitive Advantage in Information Systems

As you read, think about how using, protecting, and managing information and data could support an organization's competitive advantage. Conversely, failure to protect data, particularly personal information, could reduce or destroy any competitive advantage within a business. How does understanding customer information and data support current operations? How might it impact future operations?

Data Asset in Action: Caesars' Solid Gold CRM for the Service Sector


Caesars' efforts to gather data, extract information, and turn this into real profits is unparalleled, but it's not a cure-all. Broader events can often derail even the best strategy. Gaming is a discretionary spending item, and when the economy tanks, gambling is one of the first things consumers will cut. Caesars has not been immune to the world financial crisis and experienced a loss in 2008.

Also note that if you look up Caesars' stock symbol you won't find it. The firm was taken private in January 2008, when buyout firms Apollo Management and TPG Capital paid $30.7 billion for all of the firm's shares. At that time Loveman signed a five-year deal to remain on as CEO, and he's spoken positively about the benefits of being private - primarily that with the distraction of quarterly earnings off the table, he's been able to focus on the long-term viability and health of the business. Plans for a late 2010 IPO were put on hold as the economy continued to sour.

But the firm also holds $24 billion in debt from expansion projects and the buyout, all at a time when economic conditions have not been favorable to leveraged firms. A brilliantly successful firm that developed best-in-class customer relationship management is now in a position many consider risky due to debt assumed as part of an overly optimistic buyout occurring at precisely the time when the economy went into a terrible funk. Caesars' awesome risk-reducing, profit-pushing analytics failed to offer any insight on the wisdom (or risk) in the debt and private equity deals.