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Investigating Business

The chairman and president of our bank have uncovered there is a lack of a systematic information system to support strategic management although the bank is almost fully-computerised. Thus, task group Alpha is formed to look into the development of an Information System to support higher-level decision-making and strategic management. This report that will look into 3 aspects needed for setting up the system. Business is full of uncertainty and risk, and a manager has to make decisions under these conditions.

Strategic decisions are likely to be concerned with the scope of an organisation’s activities, the achievement of some advantage over competitors, long-term direction as well as geographical scope. For making a strategic decision, the management would firstly have to do strategic analysis which involves the analysis of the corporate’s objectives and the organization relationship with its environment. Available resources as well as corporate’s mission and objectives are to be reviewed also.

Accordingly strategy can be seen as the matching of the activities of an organisation to the environment in which it operates. This is sometimes known as the search for ‘strategic fit’. Thereafter, a strategy option has to be developed and then selected. The strategy developed must provide advantages over the

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competitors which must be sustainable over time. Lastly, the strategy must be able to be implemented as a strategy that cannot be implemented is not worth the paper it’s written on (Lynch, 2000)

Some of the strategic decisions made include environment-based strategic options which included acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures and alliances. Marketing-based decisions are to be made from observing consumer lifestyle trends and consumer spending patterns are to be analysis so that the best possible marketing plan or new product or services can be launched. Other strategic decision includes capital investments and financial structuring. Location of teller machines and branches are also to be located properly as placing these costs money.

These decisions made possible if only information about economic conditions, technological developments and the actions of competitors etc. are present. Long time horizons, large-scale resources, much creativity and judgment, usually unstructured, problems difficult to define, infrequent, much uncertainty Largely external, informal sources important, forward-looking, qualitative information, precision unimportant, instant access not vital, wide ranging, incomplete

Mergers and acquisitions, new product planning, capital investments, financial structuring Market and economic forecasts, political and social trends, legislative, environmental and technological constraints and opportunities Fig 1. is a useful way of considering the issue but it should be remembered that decision-making is an iterative process and few decisions are taken in this neat, logical sequence. There is feedback, inter-relationships between decisions, flair, judgement and creativity – all affecting the decision to be made.

From the type of strategic decision to be made, the adoption of technology to help in analyzing and making decisions will reduce the risk and uncertainty during decision-making. This will move towards our goals of improving operational efficiency and functional effectiveness. With a sophisticated system set-up, we can also improve customers’ services and identifying new opportunities which can be exploited quickly as part of the many benefits that we can obtain.

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