875). Often success introduces complacency, rigidity, and over confidence that eventually erode a firm's capability and product relevance. Arie de Geus (1997) identified four main traits for a successful firm; the first is the ability to change with a changing environment (Lovas & Ghoshal, 2000, p.875). A successful firm is capable of creating community vision, purpose, and personality, and it is able to develop and maintain working relationships. Lastly, a successful firm has conservative financing strategies, and is able to learn to perpetuate it. Self-perpetuation is a strategy identified in this study as necessary for current business strategies to survive in today's market.
Role of Technology in Business Strategy
Business strategy is continually evolving as information technology and business process redesign assist in the innovative design of central business processes (Broadbent, Don & Weill, 1999, p.159). New it systems have contributed to the reduction of coordination, production and information costs (Broadbent, Don & Weill, 1999, p.160). This research finds that there is evidence from literature that there is a close relationship between the evolution of strategic context in businesses, investment in it, and the nature of business processes (Bradbent, Don & Weill, 1999, p.160). The evolution of business strategies has varied depending on the technology used. The purpose for focusing on technology-driven strategies is to reveal to organizations faced with the ethical dilemma of using Big Data, that technology drives growth and formulates organizational strategies successfully today. Analysis reveals that technology-driven strategies are also suitable for small-scale entrepreneurs, when technological insights intersect with market insights. Technology insights that support business strategies are, distance-learning tools, fly-by-wire technology, electronics, engineering software, satellite tracking technologies, wireless and hand-held devices, supply chain integration, e-commerce and call centers (Berman & Hagan, 2006, p.33). Technology-driven strategy approach follows a parallel development for the following steps, strategy, plan, prototype, design, build, launch, and operate, while traditional business strategies follow a sequential approach (Berman & Hagan, 2006, p.32). These approaches offer a business a competitive advantage, especially in today's markets. It is for these reasons that this research analyzes the impact Big Data and Technology have on business strategies today.
Technology-driven strategies have an advantage over traditional business strategies, since they allow businesses to participate in strategy prototyping, which allows for the testing of strategies prior to implementation (Berman & Hagan, 2006, p.34). In addition, technology-driven strategies focus on exploration of new unprecedented products and services, new markets segments, and new operational capabilities. These offers a business a competitive edge as compared to the traditional strategies that emphasis on known suppliers, competition and targeted markets (Berman & Hagan, 2006, p.34). Therefore, it is evident that there are various approaches to business strategy. This leads this study to map out the history and evolution of business strategy and the advent of Big Data and technology in today's contemporary world.
The use of technology in business strategy has evolved over the decades to follow a chronological order. Currently, the business world is using the client/server personal computer networks with technologies like the mainframe support being obsolete. The first technology to find wide application in businesses was the mainframe. Attempts to get rid of the mainframe and replace it with an all PC network have failed, with systems failed and information was lost or misplaced (Gatian and Krumwide, 1995, p.10). The mainframe of technology is to sustain various technologies for large and small corporations. This is because it is a reliable and efficient technology in processing information needs for a business and is as an anchor for other processors. Mainframe assists in the organization and processing of various behavioral, financial and technical challenges that organizational managers face when implementing business strategies. Back then, the mainframe assisted businesses to crunch numbers, especially for the big corporations and the government. This then led to the combination of the mainframe with the PC system into one system by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in the 1980s (Miller, 1988, p.1). The combination led to a major change in the technological and business world following the development of the prototype IBM PC in 1980. The combination of the mainframe with the PC increased the power and ability of the mainframes to draw data and compute. This integration increased the ability of corporations to process data as compared to the traditional method of connecting PCs to the mainframe (Miller, 19888, p.1).
The revolution of it and its use in businesses is due to the personal computer and local area network technology. According to Lane (1993), the first PCs appeared in the 1970s and found their use in business, where they offered tools like VISICALC and spreadsheets that support business and finance planning. The first personal computer to find its way to the business field was Intel's microprocessor, in 1971. The microprocessor is a mainframe system offered to businesses as Intel Pentium microprocessor seen today. The microprocessor in PCs has been a friend to both small and big businesses since it offers computational power and software use friendliness. The PC has allowed businesses to cater for consumers, compete effectively and increase their profits by expanding services and products. The PC hardware and software have assisted businesses to develop niche marketing strategies to compete with competitors, and business strategies to improve production and profitability. The PC has assisted businesses to evaluate their internal and external environments and come up with product and service planning, operational strategies and human resources requirements.
Business strategies began adopting PCs due to their integrative capability in any business process. For example, the PC found application as a desk tool due to its word processor tool that assists employees to type and correct business and financial reports (Lane, 1993, p.12). This technology has improved the appearance and presentation of financial and business reports, which require a few diagrams and charts to represent plans and data. The personal computers increased the computational speed and accuracy, allowing for the enhanced situational realism, increased interaction, and interest in business.
Personal computers exist in a network, with each other and to mainframe computers via a network of cables. Networking either by Ethernet or LAN technology assisted organizations to improve communication, transmission of reports and messages across the organizational structure (Lane, 1993, p.13). Networking has improved communication between corporations, their partners, competitors, clients, and potential investors with the aid of the internet.
Traditional networks transported data between PCs in an organization, while current networks transmit data, audio, video information across the globe via the internet and wireless modes of communication. This is improved the approach used by corporations, as improved integration between management, staff and business processes is increased and as departmental and central computing realizes harmonious communication (Lane, 1993, p.14). The internet has improved business markets creating electronic business, assists in industrial structure, product and service development, and improved competitive strategies (Rohm & Sultan, 2004, p.7). It supports strategic management by sustaining decisions made on channel strategy and structure, value chain efficiency, improves branding and communication initiatives and customer relations. These network capabilities assist organizations to connect with partners. The connections need sophisticated communications technology like the electronic data interchange (Zaffane, 1994, p.28). Through connections made by these networks, companies are able to move towards situations where consumers as a user of the network system, gets information, products and services. Networking through Ethernet, internet, or other communications networks has assisted businesses to target and focus marketing and business approaches that build a firm base (Zaffane, 1994, p.28). This has been seen with the one-on-one marketing strategies that use communication networks like telemarketing and direct mail. These technologies have assisted organizations in developing business strategies that are custom-tailored, while offering high-quality interaction (Zaffane, 1994, p.28).
The evolution of business strategy has seen a need for the improvement of service delivery. Web-based technology in the business process and is supporting the platform of leadership as a competitive strategy. This technology is like the web 1.0 and the web 2.0 versions, According to Lee et al. (2010), web 2.0 technologies include social media service like MySpace and Facebook (p.90). These offer platforms where rules and practices have clear definitions to assist in the support and organization of consumer services. In today's era business learn application building, innovative marketing, and interpersonal skills for effective management of virtual staff. These technologies are driving strategic leadership under critical success factors like complementarities, innovation ability, efficiency, connectivity, and positive network (Lee et al., 2010, p.20).
In the recent years, business are operating in an environment characterized by high-speed communication, which demands mutual interaction, radical approach to data storage, collection, processing techniques (Mraovic, 2008, p.439). Data mining techniques are providing this radical approach by allowing businesses to analyze data in accounting. To Mraovic (2008) financial reports are easy to manage with data mining as businesses achieve greater standardization, consistency and organization (440).
Organizations are making use of cloud computing technology, as an it management system to shape business strategy and stimulate development. According to Gartner, cloud computing is the art…