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Stretegic It

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tejas258dhar
Words 1042
Pages 5
Strategic IT Alignment
Shubham Gupta,
Venkateshwar Reddy Byreddy,
Tejas Dharankar,
Meseret Zeleke

Businesses are constantly looking to harness competitive advantage and increase revenue using IT. If IT strategies are not implemented with foresight and planning, they tend to be a financial liability to the company. However, if IT is aligned to streamline, accelerate and boost a company’s business processes, the company reaps maximum benefit from its IT architecture.
Companies have a sea of information which can be used to increase productivity, manage risks and make business processes consistent and precise. Cirque du Soleil is an excellent example of this. Cirque du Soleil being a large touring performing arts company, had huge information about its creative, technical and logistic activities. This information was scattered and not interlinked so as to use it across the company’s process value chain. Danielle Savoie, vice president of IT and knowledge management, intended to put knowledge into context through IT rather than automating the existing processes.
This led to various applications supporting each stage of a touring show lifecycle. For example, ’open eyes’ application is used in the creation phase and there are makeup and costume applications to assist the design phase. Moreover, applications are used across stages to link relevant information like the KirCirque application (used basically for physical training at the preparation stage) updates the physical measurements of the artists to the costume application and applications used by the production team so that all equipment matches an artist’s measurements and needs.
IT is used at almost all business processes that are very critical for Cirque. The logistics team uses technical documents to set up the massive sets and supporting equipment in mere 30 hrs[1], virtual talent scout enables the auditioning and new hiring process and the website is responsible for 80% of the ticket sales[1].This illustrates that IT is alignment to tighten and optimize business processes at Cirque effectively.

Though the induction of IT in Cirque is a success story, the tension between business needs and IT capabilities is evident. IT needs to support an environment that is highly creative and thus unstructured. Furthermore, the technical maturity of users at Cirque needs to be increased so that they can integrate IT into their work for their benefit.

The knowledge based applications at Cirque need to be updated with respect to its content for it to be meaningful and its capacity so that it can handle increasing amounts of data. The applications need to have a strong and fast network so that all Cirque employees interact across the globe. They need to have room for smoothly integrating new advancements in IT that are beneficial to the company. This will ensure value added continual support by IT for Cirque.

Businesses repetitively have to decide whether or not use to venture into new technological advancements and how they can be made profitable. Major league baseball can be used to illustrate this. Major League Baseball (MLB) represents the highest level of professional play of baseball. Baseball Advanced Media was established in 1999 for handling MLB’s digital activities with a vision of leveling the playing field .i.e. “optimizing the value of digital media to each franchise”. It had a design that shows the business model on how to use digital media in order to improve the league’s competitive level. For revenues, they used a paid content model which at time was not prevalent. It was criticized at the time but due to BAM’s continuous stint to be a technology leader, its initiative for growth and the ability to take risks for predicting the future needs of the customers and providing it have been some of the reasons for BAM’s success.

The baseball industry in general has variety of customers from different sectors of the society. BAM provides customers with various options to watch the games which includes unique features like “Condensed Game” to save time and the “Mosaic Feature” which allowed four games to be viewed simultaneously. Additionally the website has online ticketing systems with relevancy searches and an attractive loyalty program [2]. BAM has several products like MLB.com and MLB.TV that elevate the user experience and marginally increase revenues.

Despite BAM following a paid content model [2] and having a relative slow start, it has achieved exponential growth. The initial investment for the clubs was fully earned back in a span of seven years.

In the first week of January 2010, Apple showed interest to develop a MLB application for iPad like the ‘At Bat’ for iPhone. The challenge for his application was to fit it in the wider screen of the iPad which required a whole new application. It was worthwhile to spend time and resources to develop it gave BAM a new platform and have additional features. If one of us were Bowman, we would keep the name of the application as “At Bat for iPad” and price it at $14.99. The name is in coherence with the MLB’s “At Bat” application and clearly states that it is for iPad. This should clarify the doubts among users that this application is different than “At Bat” and must contain some additional features. The price is kept the same as previous because we want to attract the users to download the app as it is in its initial stages. When the app becomes a success as “At Bat”, then we can increase the price for “At Bat for iPad” by adding add-ons. Along with the existing features of At Bat some additional features which we could include are: -

1. Ability to choose your favorite team. This gives BAM to provide users with additional promotions and offers according to their team.

2. Free promotion video for non MLB.TV users showing them the seamless streaming provided. A link for the subscription will also be given.

Conclusively, we can say that IT is not just a way to drive business decisions.When aligned with the business processes, IT can enhance user experience, benefit and better employee performance, provide for growth and means to tap new possibilities.

References:

1. ^Information Technology at Cirque du Soleil: Looking Back, Moving Forward 2. ^http://www.fastcompany.com/1822802/mlb-advanced-medias-bob-bowman-playing-digital-hardballand-hes-winning…...

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