Competitive IS/IT strategy : A qualitative study about IS/IT strategy and its influence on business strategy in small service enterprises
Information system (IS), in other words computerised programs and application that a company uses is a central part in its organisation. Information technology (IT) is the hardware and infrastructure that an IS uses. IS and IT is then related to each other and several use the term IS/IT to describe the two words. Several small enterprises (10-49 employees) use IS/IT to a higher extent in order to work efficiently and many firms should not work without IS/IT. Because small enterprises are a major part in the economy for western world countries’ they find it important that these enterprises are efficient. A business plan is essential in order to make an enterprise work efficient. A business plan is important if the company should borrow money from bank or administer money from financiers. A business plan normally contains the company’s vision statement, mission statement, goals, business strategy and action items. In this thesis we only focus on strategies because we want to limit our research and because we have an interest of strategies in general. The business strategy is a roadmap which includes information about how the enterprise could fulfil its business plan’s goals. It is therefore impor-tant that the business plan and the business strategy are linked to each other, for example will the strategy suffer if the goals are poorly stated. To have this relation it is impor-tant to have a strategy that is explicit, this type of strategy is made through a planning process which is documented. The other type is called implicit and is made through activities for the different divisions of the enterprise, which is not documented.
To make the right decisions and investments for IS/IT it is essential to have an IS/IT strategy, which could be used for the company to reach IS/IT-goals and objectives.
The main question for this thesis is: How does IS/IT strategy influence business strategy within small service enterprises in Sweden and what factors can improve IT strategy’s impact on business strategy in small Swedish service enterprises? The purpose is to investigate how IS/IT strategy influences and improves business strategy in small Swed-ish service enterprises. We also aim to study how IS/IT strategy is applied in small Swedish service enterprises.
We did our empirical research on six small service enterprises in Jönköping. Three of the respondents had a documented explicit business strategy and none of them had an explicit IS/IT strategy. All the respondents said that they did not prioritise to keep the strategy updated and that the day-to-day issues were more important. The result is that we did not find any factors in IS/IT strategy that improved the business strategy in small Swedish service enterprises. The characteristics that the enterprises do not work with these issues and is seldom applied. The enterprises are more interested in day-today issues, our result differs therefore from the literature in this subject.
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