"IT Doesn’t Matter" Revisited: Comparing the Perspectives of Executives in Organizations Who Regard Information Technology to Be an Important Differentiator versus Those Who Do Not

By James Sena and Mark Sena.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study reveals insights from 655 interviews to compare the perspectives of executives in organizations who regard information technology [IT] to be an important differentiator versus those who do not. The key findings reveal that organizations recognize the strategic importance of IT and the ability of IT to differentiate from competitors. Those organizations that did not regard IT to be a means to differentiate themselves from their competitors recognized the strategic importance of IT and in most cases acknowledged they needed to take steps to improve their competitive position. They further viewed the common practice of buying software from vendors as evidence that that IT is declining in strategic importance due to the equal availability of IT resources among competing firms. The findings do reveal that organizations in the study perceived their organization to be efficient in the collection and storage of data to support business operations. In this paper we address the pros and cons of IT as a business differentiator. We begin with a consideration of IT as a part of corporate strategy and competitive positioning. The investment and management of IT is recognized together with IT resource management. Examining relationships related to the importance of IT, the focus of this research paper, is one of many relationships that could be studied within this framework. The remainder of this research paper is organized as follows: a background and brief discussion on the debate about Carr’s "IT doesn’t matter", methodology and research questions, results of the analysis and related discussion.

Keywords: IT as a Differentiation, Outsourcing and Offshoring, Strategic Use of IT, Buying Software, Efficient Use of Information

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 332.768KB).

Dr. James Sena

Professor of Management and Information Systems, Orfalea College of Business, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

Professor of Management & Information Systems with a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems, University of Kentucky. M.S. Information Science, University of Dayton, MBA Operations Research, Xavier University of Ohio, Graduate work, Actuarial Science, University of Iowa, B.S. Mathematics, Xavier University of Ohio. Teaching Specializations: Organization Systems and Technology, Project Management, Computer Security. Network Systems, Java, Data Structures, Management Information Systems, Decision Support and Expert Systems, Operations research, Data Warehouse & Data Mining. Additional College/University Experience: Visiting Research Scholar, Norwegian Institute of Technology, Fulbright Award, Trondheim, Norway; Assistant Professor, Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas; Assistant Professor, University of Houston, Clear Lake City, Texas; Assistant Professor, University of Louisville. Research Interests and Experience: Knowledge Management, CISCO Network Management; Agent-based components; Platform Architectures; Sustainable Work Systems; Process Analysis and Reengineering, Research and Development of group decision making and organizational analysis computer software. Use of Windows software development tools to create management support systems - Visual Studio, Java, MS Excel & Access, and impact of computer-based information technologies. Areas Published: Computer Security, Learning Mechanisms, Sustainable Work Systems, knowledge Management, Intellectual Capital, Accounting Information Systems, Deployment of Software Tools in Organizations, Impact and Assessment of Local Area Networks in Organizations, Expert Systems, Decision Support Systems, Impact and Assessment of Information Technologies on Organizations. Business and Industrial Experience:Computer Software Developer, National Cash Register Company, Dayton, Ohio;, Senior Research Scientist, Spindletop Research Institute, Lexington, Kentucky;, Senior Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute, Houston, TX. Consulting Experience: Software Developer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of KY,; Thomas Industries, Louisville, KY; Deltak Inc, Chicago; LSW Investment Mgmt, Cincinnati, Ohio; Redken Labs, Erlanger, KY; First City Bank, Louisville, KY; Jefferson County Clerks Office; Vinoxen Inc, Houston, TX; Petrophyscal Inc, Houston, TX; Pyramid Manufacturing, Houston; San Luis Obispo County Probation Office; Body, Inc., San Luis Obispo; Executive Systems (XTree), Inc, San Luis Obispo; CAD Research Center; CDM, San Luis Obispo., Northrop Aerospace, El Segundo, CA.

Dr. Mark Sena

DepartmentChair, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, Williams College of Business, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


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