As Robert (2005: 24) observed about strategic choices on environmental changes, organisations have to “develop strategies to address the new opportunities the environment offers“. Information and Communication Technologies made a revolution on the way how companies are organized and how they deal with customers. Internet changed the way people interact, and as stated by Child (2007: 33) “it can have a fundamental impact on any activity that relies heavily on communication and information flow”. As mentioned on lectures notes, “now all the partner companies in a global value chain can be integrated horizontally, and all relevant marketing, design, procurement, supply, production, delivery, and sales information can be made available at lightning speed to everyone who needs it to move the right products and services to customers as quickly as possible” (University of Liverpool, 2009).
Let’s analyze the publishing market. Due the vast content produced and available over internet, selling books became a hard task. To continue in the business, they need to innovate. O’Reilly, one of the biggest technology publishers, created a new business model to deal with this problem, and used internet on its advantage. All his books are now available on-demand over internet. They launched a product called Safari books online (Oreilly, 2009), where final consumers and corporations can buy a subscription and get online access to over 8.500 books. If a consumer likes, he can also order the printed version, a pdf or another electronic format.
Amazon also made another revolution with kindle (Amazon, 2009), an electronic book device reader, that could storage over 1.500 books, with also wirelessly delivery of magazines and newspapers and fully integrated with amazon’s online store. As Richardson (2010) analyzed, being supported by the entire Amazon ecosystem, this product are revolutionizing the way americans reads. And now Amazon is expanding it to international markets.
These companies changed the way they are organized and its internal and external relationships to keep on the market, but as observed by Bouwman (2005: 46), “improving the effectiveness of organizations with the use of ICT is a (very) long-term affair”. Even now they continue the process of adaptation to the environment.
As exemplified by Amazon and O’Reilly, the challenge is how to use problems caused by new technologies at our own favor, as a strategic advantage, and how to use ICT to improve organization knowledge sharing and decision making process.
Amazon (2009) Kindle Device [Online]. Available from http://www.amazon.com/kindle-store-ebooks-newspapers-blogs/b/ref=topnav_storetab_kinh?ie=UTF8&node=133141011 (Accessed: 19 December 2009)
Bouwman, Harry, et al (2005) Information & Communication Technology in Organizations . London: Sage Press
Child, John (2008) Organization: Contemporary principles and Practice. Malden: Blackwell Publishing
O’Reilly Media (2009) Safari Books Online [Online]. Available from http://my.safaribooksonline.com/ (Accessed: 19 December 2009)
Richardson, Adam (2010) Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantage. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Roberts, John (2007) The Modern Firm: organizational design for performance growth. New York: Oxford University Press
University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education (2009). Lecture notes from Strategic Organisation Module [Online]. Available from: University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education VLE (Accessed: 17 December 2009)