How Strategic are Strategic Information Systems?

Alan Eardley, Philip Powell


There are many examples of information systems which are claimed to have created and sustained competitive advantage, allowed beneficial collaboration or simply ensured the continued survival of the organisations which used them These systems are often referred to as being 'strategic'. This paper argues that many of the examples of strategic information systems as reported in the literature are not sufficiently critical in determining whether the systems meet the generally accepted definition of the term 'strategic' - that of achieving sustainable competitive advantage.
Eight of the information systems considered to be strategic are examined here from the standpoint of one widely-accepted 'competition' framework- Porter's model of industry competition . The framework is then used to question the linkage between the information systems and the mechanisms which are required for the enactment of strategic business objectives based on competition. Conclusions indicate that the systems are compatible with Porter's framework. Finally, some limitations of the framework are discussed and aspects of the systems which extend beyond the framework are highlighted


strategic information system; competition; Porter

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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