Competitors come from both expected and unexpected places. General managers are in the best position to see the emerging threats and utilize IS effectively to combat ever- changing competitive challenges. Further, general managers are often called on to demonstrate a clear understanding of how their own technology programs and products compare with those of their competitors. A deep understanding of the capabilities of the organization coupled with existing IS can create a competitive advantage and change the competitive landscape for the entire industry.
With the emergence of social networks such as Facebook and Renren, social microblogs such as Sina Weibo and Twitter, social media and the Web, businesses have had to redesign their existing business models to account for the change in power now yielded by customers and others in their communities. Social media have given powerful voices to customers and communities and businesses must listen. Redesigning the customer experience when interacting with a company is top of mind for many managers and the key driver is IS. Social IT enable new and often deeper relationships with a large number customers and companies are learning how to integrate and leverage this capability into existing and new business models.
c WHAT IF A MANAGER DOESN’T PARTICIPATE?
Decisions about IS directly affect the profits of a business. The basic formula Profit ¼ Revenue � Expenses can be used to evaluate the impact of these decisions. Adopting the wrong technologies can cause a company to miss business opportunities and any revenues those opportunities would generate. Inadequate IS can cause a breakdown in servicing customers, which hurts sales. Poorly deployed social IT resources can badly damage the reputation of a strong brand. On the expense side, a miscalculated investment in