ISM 158 Business Information Strategy. Instructor: Kevin Ross Teaching Assistant: David Xu. ISM 158: Overview.
Instructor: Kevin Ross
Teaching Assistant: David Xu
This class considers the role of information in business strategy. In particular, we focus on decisions regarding information technology and information systems to give a business competitive advantage over other companies. We will focus on case studies to see why some businesses are more successful than others in building information systems that lead to organizational and individual efficiencies.
We look at how information impacts industries, markets and countries, and leads to technology development. We develop an understanding of design and maintenance of networked organizations, including issues of leadership and management.
We will generally look at decisions from the perspective of the chief information officer.
The chief information officer (CIO), or information technology (IT) director, is a job title commonly given to the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals. The title of Chief Information Officer in Higher Education may be the highest ranking technology executive although depending on the institution, alternative titles are used to represent this position. Generally, the CIO typically reports to the chief executive officer, chief operations officer or chief financial officer.
This class is designed for seniors and some juniors. There are few formal prerequisites, but you are expected to…
All schedules and assignments will be posted on the class website:
Lecture notes will be posted after each lecture.
Assistant Professor, Technology and Information Management
From New Zealand
PhD, Management Science & Engineering
At UCSC Since 2004
Research areas: Scheduling, optimization, networks, pricing
Worked with: Eli Lilly & Company, NASA, Thomson Reuters, London Councils, Fitness First
Office hours: Tuesday 3 – 5pm
(or by appointment)
E2 room 559
*Optional: Early draft 2 weeks in advance will be reviewed
Assignments are due at the start of class on the due date. Late assignments, missed presentations and quizzes will result in zero grade unless specific permission is given by instructor at least one week in advance.
(a) bringing the slides on a laptop,
(b) bringing slides on a USB drive that will work on instructor’s laptop, or
(c) emailing slides to the instructor the night before the presentation.
You are seniors and my expectations are high
We will discuss cases approximately once per week. Active participation in the discussions of the cases and the course material is expected and examined.
Read the cases with interest
Corporate Information Strategy and Management,
by Applegate, Austin and Soule
We will use the text and cases from this version, and you will be expected to have read the appropriate section before each class.
- About 1/3 of the text has changed from the 7th edition
All the cases are originally published by Harvard Business Review – and can be purchased separately from their website.
IT is a source of opportunity and advantage but also uncertainty and risk
Key Learning Objectives
Understand the concept of a business model
Learn how to analyze the three components of a business model – strategy, capabilities, and value – through a business model audit
Understand the different ways that business models can evolve and recognize potential drivers of business model evolution
Companies do not exist in a vacuum:
It is necessary to understand the competitive environment to assess the current competitive position of a company.
It has become increasingly necessary to posture a company for challenges in its future.
Strategic Business Unit
Power of Buyers
Intra-industry Rivals: Strategic Business Unit (SBU) and major rivals.
Buyers: Categories of major customers.
Suppliers: Categories of major suppliers that play a significant role in enabling the SBU to conduct its business.
New Entrants: Companies that are new as competitors in a geographic market or existing companies that through a major shift in business strategy will now directly compete with the SBU.
Substitutes: An alternative to doing business with the SBU.
Rivals: UC campuses, CSU,
Power of Buyers
1. Build barriers to prevent a company from entering an industry?
2. Build in costs that would make it difficult for a
customer to switch to another supplier?
3. Change the basis for competition within the
4. Change the balance of power in the relationship
that a company has with customers or suppliers?
5. Provide the basis for new products and services,
new markets or other new business opportunities
Cost Leadership Strategies
Differentiation—customer values the differences that you
provide in products, services or capabilities.
Cost—is least cost. If this is the primary strategy, over time there will only one ultimate winner.
Innovation—either with business strategies or use of
information systems or both.
Growth—deals with growth in revenue and other business volumes. Can be a key factor in establishing a market position. Can also be a major requirement to offset high fixed operating costs.
Alliances—importance of establishing a strong relationship with suppliers and other business partners often on a contractual basis.