Business Strategy

This section presents a high‐level overview of the strategic planning

process for business. All companies want to formulate technology

solutions that effectively support the business and its objectives. To do

so, the company must first understand its business model, the

fundamentals of its business type (manufacturing, finance, service, etc.),

and its strategy. Only once the company has understood these, should it

begin to focus on its systems. Information systems are only tools that are

used to support a business; therefore, if the tools are not aligned with

business requirements, then its resources (time, money, and people) may

be wasted, triggering an undesirable outcome.

Many businesses establish an overall mission or vision statement—Why

are we in business? Following is a list of companies with their mission


Amazon—"to be earth's most customer‐centric company, to build a place

where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to

buy online." (Amazon Jobs, 2018)

Marriott—"to be the world's favorite travel company" (Marriott Investor


Google—“to organize the world’s information and make it universally

accessible and useful” (, 2018).

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As you can see, these mission and vision statements are very broad and

overarching; however, to achieve these, organizations need more specifics

with actionable areas to accomplish to help support the mission/vision. In

order to define the goals and objectives, first organizations scan the

environment looking at several factors, such as competition, business

environment, customers, employees, and location. This analysis helps

identify threats and opportunities. A frequent tool used in business is

SWOT Analysis: identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and

Threats. The section Does IT Matter? also looks at further methods to

analyze the competitive environment.

This analysis can result in organizations defining business goals and

objectives and the specific actions needed to be successful. When these

objectives are defined, opportunities can be identified to use information

technology to help reach those objectives.

It’s important that technology support the business objectives rather than

drive the objectives. For example, looking back at Amazon’s mission

statement, specific goals and objectives would need to be defined (e.g.,

How can customer‐centric be increased?). One approach is customizing

the user experience so customers feel valued and that Amazon really

“knows” them. A strategic goal might be to maximize the customer’s

experience through personalization of the online shopping experience.

With technology, information regarding customers’ browsing and

shopping habits can be stored and retrieved when a customer returns to

the Amazon site, prompting with messages such as “Hello John—

Recommended Links for You” or “John—Buy it Again,” followed by a list of

recent purchases John has made. The benefits of the information

technology can be increased sales and increased customer loyalty, which

give Amazon a competitive advantage in the online retail arena.

This information would then be documented for everyone in the company

to understand and be able to do their part to support the business

strategy. For example, Amazon might document as follows:

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Mission/Vision: Our vision is to be earth's most customer‐centric

company, to build a place where people can come to find and discover

anything they might want to buy online.

Business Strategy (derived from the Mission/Vision): to be earth's most

customer‐centric company, to build a place where people can come to

find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

• Technology Support: A robust online shopping system would

accommodate millions of customers and products and focus on the

individual customer's searches and buying habits.

• Competitive Advantage: Availability of millions of products would

increase sales, and a focus on the customer would increase customer


Strategic Goal 1: Increase customer‐centricity by maximizing the

customer's experience through personalization of the online shopping


Objective: Provide customer with at least five other items they might be

interested in based on previous purchases by the end of the first quarter.

Technology Support: The system would store each customer's purchases

and retrieve that information when the customer returns to the Amazon

site, and present a message such as "Hello, John – Recommended for

you" with icons of several items related to his recent purchases.

Strategic Goal 2: Increase the number of items available.

Objective: Add 10% more items to the inventory.

Technology Support: The system would provide the ability to store and

retrieve items for display to customers.

To achieve success, an organization should translate its high‐level mission

into specific objectives so it can align its technology support to those

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objectives. The alignment can provide clear direction and enable all levels

of the organization to work towards maximizing their investments in

information technology.


Amazon Jobs (2018). Retrieved from

/en/working/working‐amazon (n.d.). Retrieved from


Marriott. (2018). Marriott investor relations: Frequently asked questions.

Retrieved from https://marriott.gcs‐‐faqs

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