By Fiona Czerniawska

Details definitely represents one of many key aggressive guns of the following decade, no matter if it takes the shape of monitoring the purchasing conduct of person buyers or altering the cost of airline tickets minute by way of minute to use adjustments prominent. the consequences for administration are large but such a lot businesses are nonetheless on the early phases of attempting to know the way they could extract greatest worth for his or her info resources. This booklet appears to be like on the effect of this knowledge revolution and exhibits how businesses can make the most details for aggressive virtue.

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Additional info for Business in a Virtual World: Exploiting Information for Competitive Advantage (Macmillan Business)

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As we show in subsequent chapters, the information revolution is changing radically the way in which businesses are managed and the markets in which they compete. However much you have done to exploit technology and information so far, one thing we can guarantee is that it is nothing compared to what you will need to do in the future. Summary In this chapter, we have looked at how changes in technology have prepared the ground for both the virtual economy and the virtual company. There have been three main components to this: ❏ the continuous and continuing reduction in the cost of computing power, which now means that it is possible for companies to analyse easily volumes of data that only a handful of years ago would have required massive supercomputers; ❏ alongside this, a growth in the amount of data that are available to be analysed, a trend that started with the advent of PCs, has continued as information 24 BUSINESS IN A VIRTUAL WORLD resources have been transferred to CDs, and is now making ever-increasing volumes of information available across networks such as the Internet; ❏ paradigm shifts in technology and the information that can be gathered by and stored on it not being confined to high-end technologies: even basic technology is becoming cheaper and smarter, changing some of the most mundane everyday goods.

And we would argue that one of the major factors that has brought about the existence of these massive organisations is information. If we look back to the 17th and 18th centuries, world trade could only be carried out at the speed at which a ship could travel from country to country. Of necessity, therefore, the individual operations in each country had to operate autonomously – you simply could not afford to wait for a management decision that could take several weeks or months to arrive. The advent of the telegraph in the 19th century changed this.

IKEA promotes the fact that you can call an automated telephone service to check whether an item is available in a particular store. In this instance, the company is building on its ‘self-help’ image, in which customers load furniture on to their trolleys to take home themselves, by providing extra information that further empowers its customers. In addition, unlike a conventional brand, it is easier to lock in one’s customers with this type of ‘virtual’ brand. Boots the Chemists, the UK’s leading pharmacy, has launched a customer smart card; rather than using this card simply to keep track of an individual’s purchases, the company eventually intends the card to carry medical information and details of previous or repeat prescriptions.

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