Changes in information availability have affected nearly all aspects of business strategy. Customers know more than ever before about the marketplace, about goods and services on offer, and about pricing. This places enormous pressure on suppliers of commodity products to compete with the lowest possible prices; it simultaneously creates business opportunities for those firms that are available to exploit new market niches with accurate and rapid targeting. Buyers and suppliers can coordinate more closely than they have at any time in the past, which creates new opportunities for strategic sourcing while placing new pressures on the vertically integrated firm. The performance of business units can be monitored more closely than was possible before, allowing for more accurate rewarding of performance and enabling more decentralization; alternatively, information can be sent up the organizational hierarchy, allowing for more central planning, coordination, and control. Taken together, these suggest that the organization's strategies for pricing, product design, and sourcing, and that businesses will need to be redesigned and the locus of control for strategic decisions will need to rethought, around the changes in information endowment to support these changes in strategy.
Significantly, while technology may provide the firm with nearly perfect information on the market, the firm itself is at best an imperfect instrument for the execution of strategy. Thus, while it will be essential to change the strategy of the firm and change its structure to support new strategies, this will not be sufficient. We will also need to understand how to execute strategies and lead businesses through the critical transformations that lie ahead.
This course is a natural continuation of OPIM 666. It is intended to enable students to build on their preparation in information-based strategy, and to extend it into the domain of strategy-driven business transformation. this is essential preparation for a career in strategy, either as an external consultant or as a senior officer of the firm.