IT Doesn’t Matter
IT Doesn’t Matter
In the article, IT Doesn’t Matter, Nicholas Carr argues that information technology is not an important matter with respect to corporate strategies. Undeniably, IT is significantly fundamental within organizations. However, it is evident that the technology has evolved into a global resource for firms. The basis for an unrelenting competitive edge comprises insufficiency, but not ubiquity. Therefore, IT is not strategic since it is a product resource. Accordingly, Carr’s argument mainly focuses on the common utilization of IT hardware and software constituents within firms. This consistent and increasing use has drastically reduced the use of technology as a strategic means towards ensuring a competitive advantage over other organizations. Nevertheless, it is still imperative to provide a critique of Carr’s claim with respect to the strategic use of IT in the contemporary organization.
For Carr, IT is no longer a strategic necessity. Contemporarily, most organizations, while performing environmental scanning assessments include this technology as a fundamental way of strategic positioning within their respective markets. Based on this, Carr (42) asserts that, “Chief executives now routinely talk about the strategic value of information technology, about how they can use it to gain a competitive edge…” Such evaluations have led to the significant and overwhelming acquisition and utilization of technology in the business field. Regardless of the opportunities that IT has offered to most organizations, it is also imperative to consider the issues that arise from its overwhelming use in corporations. Accordingly, such actions have limited the strategic benefits that computer hardware and software elements offer to organizations. This is because of the alleged view that increased potency and ubiquity lead to enhanced strategic value (Carr 42).
Accordingly, augmented ubiquity does not lead to increased strategic value. Simply, it is impossible for a firm to have an advantage over a competitor if both possess access to similar resources. Similarly, it is not probable for companies to think of IT as a strategic resource based on its commonness. This is because of its ubiquitous nature and the resulting ability to access it by most organizations. In contrast, scarcity enhances strategic value. Usually, entities struggle to obtain scarce resources in order to have an advantage over others. Such competitive edges range from abstract things such as power, satisfaction or gratification to material objects such as wealth and riches. In this context, organizations only gain strategically if IT is scarce rather than accessible and affordable to all. From this point, it is clear that IT has shifted from being a proprietary technology to an infrastructural technology based on its use by all organizations (Carr 44).
However, it is not impossible to increase IT’s strategic value. In order to ensure this, organizations can utilize IT in various ways. Generally, organizations should focus on the mitigation of costs and risks rather than seeking competitive advantages aggressively. Based on this, organizations can construct an Intranet as a means of strategy. Creating an Intranet will provide an effectual and economical method of ensuring access to the firm’s information. Additionally, Intranets will nurture a sense of belonging by providing a platform for interaction within the firm. Organizations can also work towards the customer by moving into an experience curve. This will involve the utilization of IT as the basis for a commodity or service. By investing in new technology for different organizational processes, firms can reduce the costs of not achieving the objectives of such procedures. Additionally, firms can also implement electronic tenders, which will facilitate business-customer interaction.
In conclusion, IT still functions as an integral part of any organization. This is because of the numerous benefits it provides to an organization with respect to costs. In addition, most organizational processes require the application of technology in order to ensure cost efficiency. However, it is impossible to ignore the implications arising from the ubiquitous adoption of IT in firms. The considerable affordability and accessibility of IT has deteriorated the strategic value of most firms. Nowadays, this technological resource does not provide organizations with a competitive edge over similar rivals. Nonetheless, organizations can employ this technology strategically by using it as a cost-effective way.
Carr, Nicholas. “IT Doesn’t Matter.” Harvard Business Review (2003): 41-49. Print.
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