Today’s retail world is increasingly moving online in an effort to woo customers. Research and identify a retailer from each of these three types: (1) brick & mortar: on-ground presence only, (2) brick & click: on-ground and online presence, (3) click & buy: online presence only. Describe the structures of each of these three firms in terms of the six key elements given in the chapter. If possible, draw a generalized organizational chart for each type of retail organization based on your research.
Tips – Think out of the box… do different organizations that we are not used to hearing about. Examples we all know about are Apple, Amazon, Google, etc.
Six key elements
1 This chapter is based on the authors’ previously published article, Smith, H. A., and J. D. McKeen. “Developing and Delivering on the IT Value Proposition.” Communications of the Association for Information Systems 11 (April 2003): 438–50. Reproduced by permission of the Association for Information Systems.
It’s déjà vu all over again. For at least twenty years, business leaders have been trying to figure out exactly how and where IT can be of value in their organizations. And IT managers have been trying to learn how to deliver this value. When IT was used mainly as a productivity improvement tool in small areas of a business, this was a relatively straightforward process. Value was measured by reduced head counts— usually in clerical areas—and/or the ability to process more transactions per person. However, as systems grew in scope and complexity, unfortunately so did the risks. Very few companies escaped this period without making at least a few disastrous invest- ments in systems that didn’t work or didn’t deliver the bottom-line benefits executives thought they would. Naturally, fingers were pointed at IT.
With the advent of the strategic use of IT in business, it became even more difficult to isolate and deliver on the IT value proposition. It was often hard to tell if an invest- ment had paid off. Who could say how many competitors had been deterred or how many customers had been attracted by a particular IT initiative? Many companies can tell horror stories of how they have been left with a substantial investment in new forms of technology with little to show for it. Although over the years there have been many improvements in where and how IT investments are made and good controls have been established to limit time and cost overruns, we are still not able to accurately articulate and deliver on a value proposition for IT when it comes to anything other than simple productivity improvements or cost savings.
Problems in delivering IT value can lie with how a value proposition is conceived or in what is done to actually implement an idea—that is, selecting the right project and doing the project right (Cooper et al. 2000; McKeen and Smith 2003; Peslak 2012). In addition, although most firms attempt to calculate the expected payback of an IT invest- ment before making it, few actually follow up to ensure that value has been achieved or to question what needs to be done to make sure that value will be delivered.