CS782 Assignment No. 6 ~ Technology Innovationfor competitive advantage
For this assignment, use the business that you selected for Homework 1 — unless you clear a new selection with your facilitator in advance. Over the next two years,your organization needs to shift its business model and widen its technology exploitation in order to expand in its existing market, expand into new markets, facilitate new products and services, and reduce costs. Your mission is to provide the CEO or CFOwith technical recommendationson how to accomplish these goals.
Your assignment is to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the CEO, CFO and the Board of Directors, describing a technology you believe should be adopted, describing the benefits, costs and risks of adoption, and recommending how to proceed. However, all work and ideas not your own should be clearly acknowledged in the PowerPoint notes in accordance with academic standards. Use your own words and do research to back up your assertions!
Use the PowerPoint “Notes” section for comments that you would supply verbally at the presentation.Also use it for explanations to your facilitator.
Address (in order) the sections described below in approximately 15 PowerPoint slides with Notes sections. Typically, an average submission is about 12-13 slides with notes. You may follow this with appendices if you wish. Appendices will be read only asneeded. You need not address every point mentioned within each section – just those most significant for your organization and the technology, and which result in a clear, coherent overall presentation. Give approximately equal space to the sections.
- This presentation is designed to convince your CEO, the CFO and the Board of Directors.The slides should steer a course between the extremes of wordiness (remember that you can talk to add content) and bare-bones meaninglessness (viewers need words with meaning). Vary bullet slides, figures, and tables to maintain attention.
- You have limited space, so conciseness is important.
- Organizational Background
This section of the presentation demonstrates to the CTO/CIO that you clearly understand your organization’s background enough toadvocate the technology you propose. Emphasize the basis on which it competes with similar organizations (or for organizations where there is no relevant basis for competition, describe the organization’s mission). Include mention of technology that your organization uses, but only to the extent that it is relevant or needed to understand this presentation. This will probably differ somewhat from assignment 1 in that it describes the background for the proposals you are making in this presentation: However, you are free to cut and paste from assignment 1 if you wish. The section in this week’s notes on SWOT may help too.
- Technology Description
Identify and describe a technology (e.g., virtualization)that your organization should adopt, along with its key capabilities and characteristics. The specifics of “how” the technology would be implemented are not required in this section. If it is to replace technology your organization currently uses, considersummarizing key technology differences. Focus on thehere on the essential technology description,as well as on the problems you expect that adoption would solve. Do not focus on these details about the technology (especially ones extracted from marketing materials). Where possible, focus on the technology, rather than one particular product or supplier’s version. The section in this week’s notes on IT portfolio management may help for this and subsequent sections. In thinking about this, note the section in this week’s notes on “The Technology Hype Curve.”
- Use and Benefits
In considering a technology, it is possible or even likely that you have a specific use in mind (e.g., for a specific project, or to solve a specific problem). However, keep in mind that a technology may be used for a variety of purposes, and that after its first use, others applications may present themselves.
Your task in this section is to be somewhat visionary, and imagine, where possible, a range of potential uses (in part, so that you can justify amortizing any one-time costs of adoption over multiple uses) and benefits, while still remaining pragmatic. Be clear about exactly how features of the technology support the benefits described. Recall the following.
- Operational Uses and Benefits. What are the most significant ways in which adoption of the technology could allow your organization to operate more effectively? Consider both new opportunities, as well as ways in which existing problems and compliance requirements can be addressed.
- Competitive Uses and Benefits. What are the most significant ways in which adoption of the technology could benefit the company’s competitive strategy (or for organizations where there is no relevant basis for competition, consider how adoption would support the organization’s mission)? Consider new opportunities (e.g. ways of expanding or extending the company’s business model), as well as ways of addressing existing environmental (e.g. regulatory, economic) and competitive forces.
- For technologies whose benefits are primarily operational, there may be no competitive use or benefit that you can clearly articulate. Don’t stretch to find competitive uses and benefits that are not clear.
- Internal cost reductions, by themselves, are primarily an operational benefit rather than a competitive benefit, unless the cost reduction is intended to directly affect product or market positioning (e.g. by lowering prices in a market where cost is a primary basis of competition) or to provide the crucial additional revenues needed for specific competitive strategies.
- Technologies that will be adopted for incorporation into products or services that your organization offers may primarily have competitive uses or benefits and may not have significant operational benefits for your organization. Note that operational benefits refer to your organization, not to your customers.
- Technology Analysis
Summarize the preliminary analysis you have done which convinced you that the technology is viable and appropriate for its intended uses in the intended timeframe, and to identify any additional analysis that will be needed as part of the adoption consideration process.
Consider and address the specific points below to the extent that they serve this purpose. The goal is not to necessarily address every point, but to include material and organize this section in a way that provides a clear, cohesive, and diligent analysis of the technology, and how it would fit into your organization’s technology infrastructure. Focus here on “what” the technology is, not necessarily “how” it will be implemented in the organization. You may find the section “IT Architecture Planning” – and, of course the section on “Technology Analysis” – in this week’s notes helpful for this part of the assignment.
- Technology Maturity.
Think about where the technology currently falls on the reality curve, where you think it will fall at the time you believe it should be adopted, and what that says about whether your organization should adopt it. What successes and difficulties have been reported in both experimental and actual deployments, especially in situations similar to the uses you imagine? How stable and mature are the companies developing and supplying the technology?
- Technology Displacement and Disruption. In what ways, to what degree, and how rapidly might this technology displace other existing technologies, especially ones your organization is currently using? How might this affect whether and when your organization should adopt it?
- Technology Impacts. Think about ways in which the technology would need to be integrated with your organization’s existing IT systems, and the associated costs and risks. How might it result in new reliability, privacy, security and compliance challenges? How might adoption drive or limit other technology choices you expect to make in the future? What other IT-based solutions or initiatives are needed to address these issues and ameliorate these risks? (Note that initiatives or processes that would involve your organization more broadly are probably better discussed below under Addressing Operational and Competitive Impacts).
- Technology Evolution. Think about how the technology might evolve over the next five years and how this might affect its value for your organization, or your organization’s need to adopt it. Might there be added costs or risks if your organization doesn’t have control over how it evolves?
- Technology Alternatives. Are there alternative technologies (other than the ones you are already using) that could be adopted for the uses you envision? If so, how would they compare with respect to technology evolution and lifetime benefits, as well as costs, risks and benefits. Why do you believe the technology you’ve chosen is the best alternative? Note that if it’s not clear, there might be some additional evaluation needed during the adoption consideration process.
- Operational and Competitive Risks
The purpose of this section is to describe the impact of adoption and the approaches needed to ensure that any related issues and risks are addressed successfully.
Consider including the following.
- The major issues and risks that will need to be addressed during integration and deployment of the technology (other than ones fully addressed in the Technology Analysis section above)
- What it is about your organization or the technology that makes each of these issues or risks significant and critical (this ensures that you focus on real issues specific to your organization or the technology, not just general principles)
- The operational processes, structures or approaches that will be needed to address these issues and risks successfully. (These should be very specific to your organization and to the technology. Note that purely IT-specific solutions and initiatives are probably better discussed above under Technology Analysis.)
In regard to issues and risks, consider the following.
- The structure, management, business processes, staff and culture of your organization, and whether its capabilities are adequate for successful adoption, as well as any negative impacts that adoption might have.
- The external relationships of the organization, and how they might be impacted by adoption.
- Whether adoption might have any negative impact on the basis of competition in your segment (e.g. might adoption lead to commoditization) or on the success of your organization’s competitive strategy.
In regard to processes, structures and approaches needed for successful integration and deployment, consider the following.
- relationships with technology suppliers
- stakeholder involvement
- change management
- resource and capability management (including outsourcing)
- pace and extent of deployment
- management and governance structure and activities
- Adoption Analysis Summary
The purpose of this section is to summarize the key reasons why you believe, on balance (considering costs, risks etc.), that the technology is seriously worth considering for adoption, and the reasons for the specific timeframe you are recommending.
Consider and address the specific points below only to the extent that they serve this purpose. The goal is not to necessarily address each and every point, but to include material and organize this section in a way that provides a clear, cohesive and compelling overall analysis that supports your recommendation.
- Adoption Cost and Value. What are the main sources of cost due to adoption, including some rough $ estimates? What are the overall costs, and how would they be spread out? What’s the ROI (or other basis for evaluating return), or more generally, how can the costs be justified relative to the perceived value of adoption? You might think about quantifying the perceived value in terms of $’s, although this can be hard to estimate, especially when the benefits involve opportunities such as preparing for potential business model evolution or are part of a larger initiative.
- Risks of Adoption. What are the most significant risks of adopting the technology? What’s the likelihood of the various risks? What kinds of effort should be put into ameliorating (vs. accepting) the various risks, and what are the associated costs? (Note that these may actually dominate other costs!) What are the costs and other impacts if the risk scenarios actually occur?
- Other Approaches. For the uses you intend, are there other approaches that need to be considered that do NOT involve adoption of new technology, and if so, why? How do they compare with respect to costs, risks and benefits? Why do you believe that adopting new technology makes most sense? Note that if it’s not clear, there might be some additional evaluation processes needed during the adoption consideration process.
- Relative Value. How important and urgent is adoption of this technology relative to other IT activities your organization could undertake instead? How well does adoption of this technology fit into your organization’s overall IT portfolio?
- Adoption of this Technology. It is almost certainly worth noting what kind of adopter your organization should be for this technology, with respect to (a) all potential adopters, (b) all organizations in your industry/segment and (c) just those of comparable size. You will probably want to provide some justification if the answers are different than the one for organizational adoption, in general.
End with a list of references following the standard reference format, as described in References and Citations document.
Use the Ask Your Facilitator Discussion Board if you have any questions regarding the objectives of the assignment or how to approach the assignment.
Save your assignment as LastnameFirstname_assign6.doc and submit it in the Assignments section of the course.