Term Paper: Information Technology Strategic Plan
Imagine that a company has recently hired you as a senior business consultant. The company is seeking to gain better traction with regard to customer satisfaction and loyalty. The company hired you because of your expertise with mobile apps, social media, and cloud technology. The management of the company feels that yearly revenues could top $20 million per year with the infusion of current technology. Currently the company has revenue of $5 million per year.
Note: You may create and / or make all necessary assumptions needed for the completion of this assignment.
Write an eight to ten (8-10) page paper in which you:
Write an introductory statement of the company including but not limited to the type of the company, the location, the industry in which it competes, and the organizational vision and mission that encompasses the nature of the company.
Specify the current situation of the company with regard to its technology and security aspects.
Determine at least five (5) information technology personnel / roles that would be in place in order to start the business venture of gaining better traction of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Justify your response.
Conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis for the business venture in question for the company. Justify your response.
Develop at least five (5) major goals for the information technology strategic plan. Justify your response.
Speculate on three (3) positive organizational impacts of implementing the strategic plan. Justify your response.
Use at least three (3) quality references. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.
Information Technology Strategic Plan
In an era where technological advances are sweeping over the business world, the significant role that is played by technology in the advancement of a company’s objectives cannot be wished away or ignored. In manufacturing, media, politics and insurance industry, modern technological advancements in social media like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter remain to be major influencers of how consumers of service and products offered by these businesses relate and engage with them. Data storage is no longer a tedious affair and filing has been replaced with hard disks. With the inevitable evolution of modern trends in technology, cloud storage has caught up and replaced hard drive storage. A qualitative study conducted by Capgemini Financial Services finds that there is a significant drop in the number of policyholders around the globe. The reduction in numbers is attributable to the customer’s dissatisfaction with digital channels like channels adopted by their insurers (Harman, 2015). Large volumes of data can be stored in a cloud and virtually be accessed from any part of the world remotely. This paper is a critical analysis of how modern trends in technology have continued to affect consumer behavior and its impact on customer satisfaction. Further, the paper conducts a SWOT analysis regarding the selected company.
Company X is a sporting goods company with recognized brands. The company is located in Finland and has branches in various countries. The company deals with technically advanced sports footwear, accessories, apparel, and equipment which include snowboarding, soccer, basketball, tennis, cycling, running, badminton, among others. Its products are sold to mass merchants, sporting goods chains, distributors, brand stores, and factory outlets thaat deal directly with consumers.
The company’s mission is to provide every sporting individual, both first timers as well as professional athletes with the best of sports equipment, apparel and accessories they have to offer. Its vision is to be one of the leading sports company that produces authentic and appealing brands that are an inspiration to athletic achievement and enjoyment. The company’s core values include team spirit, determination to win, innovation and fair play. Determination encourages high-level performance, creates a strong working force, fosters an ethical environment, and develops a strong team with common goals.
Over the recent period, the company experienced significant growth in its production capacity, consumer use of products as well as overall increase in its net growth. However, with the current technological trends and stiff competition with other sports companies, the company’s current technology and security aspects is no match. The company is trying to come to terms with embracing new technology and new security strategies that will position it to benefit now and in the future. The company aims at putting up new security measures that will reduce production of counterfeit sports equipment, apparel, and accessories that are dragging their reputation through the mud. The company relies on marketing strategies that involve billboards and TV advertisements in an effort to target its consumers, which have witnessed it experience some setbacks. The current security aspect is wanting due to increased production of counterfeit sports products that is dragging their reputation through the mud.
Any business that wants to gain better interactions with its consumers, as well as increase customer loyalty and satisfaction must embrace information technology (IT) in its daily operations due to its integral and vital function. After much consultation, the company resorted to a strategic plan that will make use of social media sites, mobile apps and cloud technology as part of informatics advancement for the successful implementation of the business plan. A social media executive is in charge of monitoring, creating, maintaining and leading popular social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and among others. He/she will be in charge of managing communities of followers on the multiple social media sites ensuring followers can interact, react and share their feelings regarding the brand. They are also mandated with ensuring every customer’s comments or questions get a response.
A web developer is in charge of web development. The person responsible will create attractive websites with friendly user interfaces that clients can understand and use. The website will allow access to the cloud storage site that has all the information about the company. The web developer will also develop social media sites that are appealing to consumers with accompanying business missions, visions, values, and goals. A business analyst will be in charge of identifying opportunities that would increase improvement in processes and business operations. The business analyst will document customers’ requirements and needs gathered from the mobile apps, social media sites, and use the information in the creation of better service production. The information collected and documented must then be communicated back to the customers in a meaningful manner.
Development of the mobile application and social sites’ layout, aimed at meeting users’ demands and needs requires a User Experience Marketer in charge of conducting survey. It also requires statistical analysis of consumers’ feedback from the social sites. The resulting data would act as a reference in meeting customers’ constant demand for production of better services and experiences. He/she will ensure customers’ satisfaction as well as improvement of the users’ path regarding navigation and ease of a product.
The overall overseer of all the activities taking place in the company will be the digital marketing manager in charge of development of plans that contain a little of everything such as mobile apps/marketing, social media, and among others. He/she will have the power to manage every personnel in the business venture, take responsibility and accountability in service and product delivery as well as develop strategies that will enhance strong, stable emotional relationships with customers, capture attention and strengthen brand personality. Successful implementation of the business venture will require distinct roles of the personnel while encouraging teamwork to achieve the company’s target. Through teamwork, the company will be able to venture into mobile apps, social media and cloud technology to meet clients’ demands and improve company’s performance as well as staying up to date with emerging digital trends.
The SWOT analysis as a tool is used in organizations to audit its environment (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Large market penetration is one of the key strengths because almost everyone in the world has access to the internet and mobile devices and can download apps, access social media sites and cloud storage sites where all the information related to the company available to them. The strategic plan will allow direct contact with the audience and enhance conversation building close and long-term networking bonds at a faster rate than in traditional face-to-face networking. The business venture will be cost-effective because most of the mobile apps, social media platforms and cloud sites can be accessed free of charge. It is also simple, more powerful and introduces a human aspect to the brand such that people can emotionally relate to it.
The weaknesses of the business venture include inadequate resources to track and monitor mobile apps, social media, and cloud campaigns, with low retention rate from consumers and require more consistency to engage with the audience at a direct level. The period required for correcting errors is less because of massive exposure as well as vulnerability to leakage of information, information liability, and security.
The business venture will provide opportunities such as quick penetration into a new geographical market that will enable more marketing of the brands and attract untapped new targets who are joining the sites daily. Through the establishment of an online presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest, the company is better placed to reach out to new and existing consumers. The company is able to reach out to consumers that the traditional media had little or no access to reaching. With regard to threats analysis, too much publicity in a shorter time may cause the business venture to have a burnout with stiff competition from competitors going after the same space or audience with similar campaign strategy. The sites are getting dangerously spammy raising the question about the sustainability of the business venture due to the emerging trends.
Conducting a SWOT analysis is necessary for any business venture because it is the first stage of planning and helps in focusing on the main issues that would ensure the growth of the business. The SWOT analysis will allow the business venture to have a clear view of its set objectives and abilities that are deemed a priority to enable the company’s success. It will also assist in the identification of barriers and resources needed to achieve the goals and objectives.
Goals and objectives are important for any business strategy in enhancing efficient product and service delivery and increasing company performance. The set of goals acts as guidelines that steer the company forward and assist the company in staying on a clear path that enables it to achieve its missions and visions. One of the primary goals of the information technology strategic plan includes focus on the clients and improvement of customer service because clients are the backbone of any business. The goals of the strategic plan will ensure customer interaction and service is made a priority, for example, through establishment of brand ambassadors at some point. To achieve this goal, every customers’ comment, whether good or bad shall be answered and fixed within the day to improve customer service. The company will also avail a library containing quick fixes that will quickly solve problems.
The next objective is to increase user traffic to the company’s sites to make sales and attract new customers. The objective does not mean that in a bid to generate more traffic there should be no target audience. Instead, the generated traffic should consist of people who are interested in the product or service. Generation of more traffic will depend on content creation where the sites will act as hubs of information to the targeted audience. Increase company’s sales through social media selling and marketing is a goal that aims at making use of consumers interests in conversations, transparency and the aspect of giving and taking. The overall result is that the more interest the company has towards its consumers, the more interested the customers will be towards company’s brand. As such, this may lead to an increase in sales and meeting targets by referring friends to the social platforms who would wish to know more about the company’s brands.
Another goal is to increase the company’s profit or revenue through stepping back from revenue ramp through evaluation and concentrating more on operational and productivity efficiency. This goal can be achieved through a reduction in delivery days of products for customers using the company’s sites. Supporting the community is also a critical goal for the company. The social initiatives will help focus the business on service provision and support of the local, national, global as well as the digital community. For example, a consumer may want to purchase some of the sports equipment to be used in a sporting event that entails almost all types of games; the company may even decide to sponsor the event by sending representatives who will award winners. Acts of charity will create a good rapport with the consumers who will want to associate more the brand through the reminder that the digital platform such as mobile apps and social media are venues in which goodness and generosity can be evoked.
The implementation of the strategic plan will have several positive impacts on the company that will enhance its performance as well increase its reputation in the digital corporate world. One of the positive effects id reduced marketing expenses. Because all the mobile apps and social media platforms are free of charge, the company will no longer need to set aside finances that will be used to market the sports products (Bhatti, 2015). Although it is time-consuming, the strategic plan is cost effective in the end because the finances that would have been set aside will be used for other things within the company such as buying of more production machines that will ensure customers’ demands are met.
The strategic plan will impact positively on the company through increased exposure of the company and its brands among its consumers and the digital marketing world. The continuous and relentless use of the sites as well as generating traffic creates more awareness among the consumers, and focuses on consumers as well as developing user-friendly interfaces. This leads to improvement of the company exposure and reputation. This contributes towards positive development of the company.
Improved sales are also a positive impact of the strategic plan implemented in the company due to investment in consumer relationships, which involve the target audience. With everyone having access to mobile apps and is a member of popular social media sites, the strategic plan will oversee campaigns on the popular media sites to target the audience. In turn, an increase in sales can be obtained, which is thus beneficial to the company due to increased customer demand that leads to more sports equipment, accessories, and apparel production to meet customers’ demands.
Every company must embrace digital marketing that involves mobile apps, cloud storage, and social media platforms if they desire to stay afloat in the corporate digital world. The information technology world is under rapid growth with more budgetary allocations by governments to enhance smoother operations that generate more revenue for the company and the government as well. Therefore, it is important to embrace information technology strategic plans, adapt to the latest trends capable of steering companies forward, and improve performance.
Bhatti, T. (2015). Exploring factors influencing the adoption of mobile commerce. The Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 2007.
Harman, P. (2015). Technology is the new determiner of customer satisfaction. Retrieved from: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2015/02/27/technology-is-the-new-determiner-of- customer-satisfaction
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.