Business and Information Technology IT Review

Global Business Environment

Today’s gives organizations the opportunity to develop new lines of business. As businesses seek increases efficiencies, IT departments will be well placed to recommend innovative solutions based on the latest advances in technology (Guthrie and Kovac, 2002). In turn, globalization is fueled and will inevitably expand.

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Successful businesses understand their customers and their markets, and create business strategies to establish their competitive positions (Hwang and Liu, 2003). Consistent with their business goals, these organizations use commodities, make goods, deliver services, and meet their customer’s demands to stay competitive. In today’s global business environment, they must also constantly reevaluate their business vision, increase business values, and change to gain advantage over their competitors. IT not only has been crucial to business management and operation, but has also provided significant strategic leverage to businesses.

According to Hwang and Liu (2003): “For example, Dell’s early innovations — applying IT to streamline its manufacturing and delivery of computer equipment, and then offering its business online — have provided it with a competitive edge. FedEx with its package tracking system has added significant value to its business. Wal-Mart’s success depends greatly on applying IT innovations to its supply chain. Amazon depends totally on IT for its e-business.”

As globalization wreaks havoc on the business community, today’s organizations are increasingly aware that they must maintain and improve their ability to change direction as needed, for a variety of reasons (Guthrie and Kovac, 2002). Globalization and increased competition are primary factors. However, technological advancements seem to be the key drivers of the global business environment. According to Guthrie and Kovac (2002): “A phenomenon called the Net Effect — the explosion of users, devices, services, and information brought about by increases in network bandwidth, improved wireless technology, and faster microprocessors — is forcing firms to revolutionize their business strategies.”

For today’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT departments, there are both opportunities and challenges in this environment (Guthrie and Kovac, 2002). Because technology is the driver of globalization, these individuals and groups are in the driver’s seat of organizational success. Gone are the days when the mission of IT was perceived merely as carrying out the plans of other teams. IT is valued as more than just a cost center.

Today’s global business environment provides companies the opportunity to develop new lines of business, and those lines will mostly be technology-based (Guthrie and Kovac, 2002). Therefore, successful organizations understand that globalization presents countless opportunities to enter new markets. Many of these new markets will be in places around the world suddenly made accessible for the first time through the Internet. These organizations understand that IT leaders and professionals have the expertise to recommend cutting-edge solutions based on the latest technical advances. Thus, companies recognize their value.

While today’s global business environment presents many opportunities for CIOs and IT departments, they also face increased pressure to deliver. According to Guthrie and Kovac (2002): “Driving new lines of business, new market penetration, and new efficiencies means around-the-clock availability and consistent computing performance. Although these requirements have long been in place, this service level must be achieved in the face of ever more unpredictable demand. And, in the new slower economy, these goals must be met with shrinking IT budgets.”

In conclusion, today’s fast-paced global business environment presents both a variety of opportunities and challenges to organizations, IT departments and CIOs. However, there is little doubt that globalization holds a promising future for all stakeholders.


Guthrie, Cathy. Kovac, Michelle. (January, 2002). IT Leaders Drive the Net Effect. Sun Journal, Volume 5 No. 1.

Hwang, John. Liu, Simon. (May, 2003). Successful CIOs: Pushing the IT . IT Professional.

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