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Jackson Gonzalez
Jackson Gonzalez

The Ultimate Guide to Business Driven Technology, 3rd Edition by Baltzan, Haag, and Phillips: Concepts, Principles, Frameworks, Tools, and Techniques



Business Driven Technology: A Comprehensive Guide for Business Students and Professionals




Are you a business student or a professional who wants to learn how to leverage technology to achieve business success? If so, you are in the right place. In this article, I will introduce you to a book that covers everything you need to know about business driven technology. The book is called Business Driven Technology, and it is written by three experts in the field: Paige Baltzan, Amy Phillips, and Stephen Haag. This book is the third edition, which has been updated with the latest trends and developments in the field. In this article, I will give you an overview of the book's content, structure, and features. I will also explain why this book is valuable for anyone who wants to understand and apply business driven technology in their career.




Business Driven Technology 3rd - Baltzan, Haag, Phillips.pdf


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Introduction




Before we dive into the details of the book, let's first define what business driven technology is. According to Baltzan et al. (2010), business driven technology is "the use of information systems to support an organization's strategic goals" (p. 5). In other words, business driven technology is not about technology itself, but about how technology can help a business achieve its objectives. For example, a business may use technology to improve its customer service, reduce its costs, increase its efficiency, or create new products or services.


Why is business driven technology important? Because in today's competitive and dynamic environment, technology is a key factor that can make or break a business. Technology can create opportunities for innovation, differentiation, collaboration, and growth. Technology can also pose threats from competitors, hackers, regulations, or ethical issues. Therefore, it is essential for business students and professionals to understand how technology affects their industry, their organization, their customers, and their stakeholders.


How to use this book effectively? This book is designed to help you learn the concepts, principles, frameworks, tools, and techniques of business driven technology. It is divided into six parts, each consisting of three chapters. Each part covers a major theme or topic related to business driven technology. Each chapter provides clear explanations, examples, cases, exercises, and references. You can use this book as a textbook for your course, as a reference for your projects or assignments, or as a guide for your self-study. The book is also accompanied by a website that offers additional resources, such as quizzes, videos, podcasts, and links.


Part 1: Business Strategy and Technology Alignment




The first part of the book focuses on the relationship between business strategy and technology. It explains how to align technology with business goals, how to use technology to create competitive advantages, and how to measure the success of technology initiatives.


Chapter 1: Achieving Business Success




The first chapter introduces the concept of business strategy and its importance for business success. It explains that a business strategy is "a leadership plan that achieves a specific set of goals or objectives" (Baltzan et al., 2010, p. 28). It also explains that a business strategy should be based on an analysis of the external and internal environment of the business, such as the industry, the market, the customers, the competitors, the suppliers, the resources, and the capabilities.


The chapter then discusses the role of technology in business strategy. It argues that technology can support or enable a business strategy by providing information, communication, automation, integration, or innovation. It also argues that technology can influence or shape a business strategy by creating opportunities or threats, changing customer expectations or behaviors, or altering industry structures or dynamics.


The chapter then introduces two analytical tools that can help a business evaluate its external and internal environment and identify its strategic position: the five forces model and the value chain analysis. The five forces model, developed by Michael Porter, is a framework that analyzes the competitive forces in an industry: the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products or services, and the intensity of rivalry among existing competitors. The value chain analysis, also developed by Michael Porter, is a framework that identifies the primary and support activities that add value to a product or service: inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, service, firm infrastructure, human resource management, technology development, and procurement.


The importance of business strategy




A business strategy is important for several reasons. First, it helps a business define its vision, mission, values, and objectives. Second, it helps a business identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Third, it helps a business choose its target market, value proposition, and competitive advantage. Fourth, it helps a business allocate its resources and capabilities effectively and efficiently. Fifth, it helps a business monitor and evaluate its performance and progress.


The role of technology in business strategy




Technology plays a vital role in business strategy in several ways. First, it supports or enables a business strategy by providing information that can help a business make better decisions, communicate with its stakeholders more effectively, automate its processes more efficiently, integrate its functions more seamlessly, or innovate its products or services more creatively. Second, it influences or shapes a business strategy by creating opportunities or threats that can affect a business's competitive position or profitability. For example, technology can create new markets or segments for a business to enter or serve; it can also create new competitors or substitutes for a business to face or avoid. Technology can change customer expectations or behaviors that can affect a business's value proposition or customer loyalty; it can also change industry structures or dynamics that can affect a business's bargaining power or rivalry.


The five forces model and the value chain analysis




The five forces model and the value chain analysis are two analytical tools that can help a business evaluate its external and internal environment and identify its strategic position. The five forces model analyzes the competitive forces in an industry that determine its attractiveness and profitability. The five forces are: the threat of new entrants (how easy or difficult it is for new competitors to enter an industry); the bargaining power of buyers (how much influence customers have on prices or quality); the bargaining power of suppliers (how much influence suppliers have on costs or availability); the threat of substitute products or services (how easy or difficult it is for customers to switch to alternative solutions); and the intensity of rivalry among existing competitors (how fierce or friendly the competition is in an industry). The value chain analysis identifies the primary and support activities that add value to a product or service along its production process. The primary activities are: inbound logistics (how a business receives and stores raw materials); operations (how a business transforms raw materials into finished goods); outbound logistics (how a business delivers finished goods to customers); marketing and sales (how a business promotes and sells its products or services); and service (how a business provides after-sales support to customers). The support activities are: firm infrastructure (how a business organizes its structure, management systems, and policies); human resource management (how a business recruits, trains, and motivates its employees); technology development (how a business develops, acquires, Chapter 2: Strategic Initiatives for Implementing Competitive Advantages




The second chapter discusses the concept of competitive advantage and its importance for business success. It explains that a competitive advantage is "a feature of a product or service on which customers place a greater value than they do on similar offerings from competitors" (Baltzan et al., 2010, p. 58). It also explains that a competitive advantage can be based on cost, quality, innovation, or customer service.


The chapter then introduces four generic strategies for achieving competitive advantage: cost leadership, differentiation, focused cost leadership, and focused differentiation. Cost leadership is a strategy that aims to offer the lowest prices in the industry by reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Differentiation is a strategy that aims to offer unique or superior products or services in the industry by enhancing quality, innovation, or customer service. Focused cost leadership and focused differentiation are strategies that aim to target a specific segment or niche in the industry by offering low prices or unique products or services.


The chapter then discusses the types of strategic initiatives that can help a business implement its competitive advantage using technology. It identifies four types of strategic initiatives: business process reengineering, supply chain management, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning. Business process reengineering is a strategic initiative that involves redesigning and streamlining business processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Supply chain management is a strategic initiative that involves managing the flow of materials, information, and money among suppliers, producers, and customers. Customer relationship management is a strategic initiative that involves managing the interactions and relationships with current and potential customers. Enterprise resource planning is a strategic initiative that involves integrating and automating the core business functions of an organization.


The four generic strategies for competitive advantage




The four generic strategies for competitive advantage are based on the work of Michael Porter, who proposed that a business can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by pursuing one of these strategies: cost leadership, differentiation, focused cost leadership, or focused differentiation. Cost leadership is a strategy that aims to offer the lowest prices in the industry by reducing costs and increasing efficiency. A business can achieve cost leadership by using technology to automate processes, optimize resources, eliminate waste, or negotiate better deals with suppliers. For example, Walmart uses technology to manage its inventory, distribution, and pricing more efficiently than its competitors. Differentiation is a strategy that aims to offer unique or superior products or services in the industry by enhancing quality, innovation, or customer service. A business can achieve differentiation by using technology to create new features, functions, designs, or experiences for its products or services. For example, Apple uses technology to create innovative and user-friendly products that stand out from its competitors. Focused cost leadership and focused differentiation are strategies that aim to target a specific segment or niche in the industry by offering low prices or unique products or services. A business can achieve focused cost leadership or focused differentiation by using technology to identify, understand, For example, Netflix uses technology to offer low-cost and personalized streaming services to its niche market of online video viewers.


The types of strategic initiatives and their benefits




For example, SAP uses ERP to integrate and automate its financial, accounting, human resources, and manufacturing functions.


The challenges and risks of strategic initiatives




While strategic initiatives can offer many benefits for a business, they also pose many challenges and risks that need to be addressed and managed. Some of the common challenges and risks of strategic initiatives are: high costs, complexity, and time; resistance to change, culture clash, or loss of control; security, privacy, or ethical issues; compatibility, reliability, or scalability issues; or alignment, coordination, or evaluation issues. For example, a business may face high costs, complexity, and time to implement a new technology system; it may also face resistance to change, culture clash, or loss of control from its employees, partners, or customers; it may also face security, privacy, or ethical issues from hackers, regulators, or stakeholders; it may also face compatibility, reliability, or scalability issues from different devices, platforms, or networks; it may also face alignment, coordination, or evaluation issues from different goals, expectations, or metrics. Therefore, a business needs to plan carefully, communicate effectively, and monitor constantly its strategic initiatives to ensure their success and sustainability.


Chapter 3: Measuring the Success of Strategic Initiatives




The third chapter discusses the concept of measuring the success of strategic initiatives and its importance for business success. It explains that measuring the success of strategic initiatives is "the process of quantifying the value and effectiveness of actions that organizations take" (Baltzan et al., 2010, p. 88). It also explains that measuring the success of strategic initiatives can help a business evaluate its performance, identify its strengths and weaknesses, improve its processes and outcomes, and justify its investments and actions.


The chapter then introduces the balanced scorecard approach as a tool for measuring the success of strategic initiatives. The balanced scorecard approach, developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton, is a framework that measures the performance of an organization from four perspectives: financial, customer, internal business process, and learning and growth. The financial perspective measures the profitability and growth of an organization. The customer perspective measures the satisfaction and loyalty of customers. The internal business process perspective measures the efficiency and effectiveness of processes. The learning and growth perspective measures the innovation and improvement of capabilities.


The chapter then discusses the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that can be used to measure the success of strategic initiatives from each perspective. KPIs are "the quantifiable metrics a company uses to evaluate progress toward critical success factors" (Baltzan et al., 2010, p. 90). Metrics are "the detailed measures that feed into a KPI" (Baltzan et al., 2010, For example, a KPI for the financial perspective could be return on investment (ROI), which measures the profitability of an investment relative to its cost. A metric for ROI could be net income divided by total assets. A KPI for the customer perspective could be customer satisfaction, which measures the degree to which customers are satisfied with a product or service. A metric for customer satisfaction could be the percentage of customers who rate their experience as positive. A KPI for the internal business process perspective could be cycle time, which measures the time it takes to complete a process. A metric for cycle time could be the number of hours or days from order to delivery. A KPI for the learning and growth perspective could be employee turnover, which measures the rate at which employees leave an organization. A metric for employee turnover could be the number of employees who quit or are fired divided by the total number of employees.


The chapter then discusses the business intelligence and analytics tools that can help a business collect, analyze, and present data related to the success of strategic initiatives. Business intelligence (BI) is "the applications, technologies, and processes for gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing data to help business users make better decisions" (Baltzan et al., 2010, p. 94). Analytics is "the science of fact-based decision making" (Baltzan et al., 2010, p. 94). Some of the common BI and analytics tools are: databases and data warehouses, which store and organize data; data mining and data visualization, which discover and display patterns and trends in data; dashboards and scorecards, which summarize and communicate key performance indicators and metrics; and decision support systems and expert systems, which provide guidance and advice based on data and rules.


The balanced scorecard approach




The balanced scorecard approach is a tool for measuring the success of strategic initiatives from four perspectives: financial, customer, internal business process, and learning and growth. The balanced scorecard approach was developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in the 1990s as a way to overcome the limitations of traditional financial measures that focused only on short-term results and ignored other aspects of performance. The balanced scorecard approach aims to provide a comprehensive and balanced view of an organization's performance by linking its vision, mission, goals, and strategies to its measures, targets, and initiatives. The balanced scorecard approach also aims to align the activities and behaviors of all levels and functions of an organization to its strategic objectives.


The key performance indicators and metrics




For example, a KPI for the financial perspective could be return on investment (ROI), which measures the profitability of an investment relative to its cost. A metric for ROI could be net income divided by total assets. A KPI for the customer perspective could be customer satisfaction, which measures the degree to which customers are satisfied with a product or service. A metric for customer satisfaction could be the percentage of customers who rate their experience as positive. A KPI for the internal business process perspective could be cycle time, which measures the time it takes to complete a process. A metric for cycle time could be the number of hours or days from order to delivery. A KPI for the learning and growth perspective could be employee turnover, which measures the rate at which employees leave an organization. A metric for employee turnover could be the number of employees who quit or are fired divided by the total number of employees.


The business intelligence and analytics tools




The business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools are the applications, technologies, and processes that can help a business collect, analyze, and present data related to the success of strategic initiatives. BI and analytics tools can help a business improve its decision making, planning, and control by providing relevant, timely, and accurate information. Some of the common BI and analytics tools are: databases and data warehouses, which store and organize data; data mining and data visualization, which discover and display patterns and trends in data; dashboards and scorecards, which summarize and communicate key performance indicators and metrics; and decision support systems and expert systems, which provide guidance and advice based on data and rules.


Part 2: Technology Infrastructure and Architecture




The second part of the book focuses on the technology infrastructure and architecture that support business driven technology. It explains how to design, build, and manage the hardware, software, networking, and database systems that enable business processes and functions.



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