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Strategic Business Partner

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Case study for Reinventing IT as a Strategic Business Partner

This paper will assess a case study for reinventing Information Technology (IT), as a strategic business partner. In particular, the paper will focus on three case study questions including: the political and business challenges, which are possible to take place due to the transformation of IT from a support activity to a partner role; implications of this shift for traditional IT staffs and educational institutions; and the extent to which IT is embedded in all activities of a firm.

Certainly, information technology is meant to offer innovative solutions for solving business challenges. This implies that businesses should creatively make use of technology to generate products more effectively at low costs, increase sales, and profit margins. Besides, it implies making use of Information Technology to produce novel services and products, and novel business models. According to McNulty Kathleen, CIO at the Schwan Food Company, business should innovate and improve technology, transforming it from a support activity to a partner role (King, 2007).

However, there are various political and business challenges, which are probable to take place due to this transformation. Various companies like Trans World Entertainment Corporation, E! Entertainment Television Inc, and Procter and Gamble Co. are entirely modifying their Information Technology organizations, and all activities are up for drastic transformation, including IT job title and where and how IT is housed in their firms (King, 2007). Apparently, this may face resistance from the workers. This is referred to as change resistance. As stated in the case study, any considerable amount of change in a company calls for dramatic structural change or entirely modifying what the staffs do. For instance, when Hinkle became the CIO of Trans World, he abolished the analyst title and individuals in that role were shifted into the project management office (King, 2007). Obviously, the personnel cannot embrace this as most of them are used to their working culture, and thus may resist such a change. This as a result may affect the company negatively in terms of production, sales and profitability. Political challenges may encompass modification of traditional pattern of work, and matters regarding taxes and costs.  

This shift in the strategic outlook of IT has various implications for traditional IT workers and for the educational institutions that train them. Certainly, most organizations are highly adopting the new technology meaning that they are not making use of traditional technology. This means that such companies will only employ personnel with new technologies required to change the ways in which the organization works. Traditional IT workers will have to develop capability of learning all aspects of the company including where IT subsists. The organization institutions which train them may suffer negatively as most people will prefer joining educational institutions training new technologies. However, they may make training practical and elaborate and center on amplifying managerial and technological skill of a person to ensure training becomes efficient in real work environments. Besides, such institutions should teach skills and organizational knowledge to be used in analyzing information technology. Future IT individuals should have the capability of finding out creative strategies and ideas with an aim of growing and operating by making the effective employment of information technology.

As stated in the case study, technology is employed in almost all activities performed by companies King, 2007). For instance, IT is employed in the production and sale of goods and in the creation of novel services and products. According to studies, most organizations have adopted IT in their activities as the same is linked to various benefits one of them being ensuring sustained competition and success of the companies. Therefore, it is true that is employed in almost everything performed by companies. One of the recent products generated through IT is Mobile cash by Kumari bank. The availability and idea of this service offered by the bank is entirely founded on Information Technology and clients may only make use of the service through mobile phones. 

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