IT : commodity or asset?

The Information system is a corporate asset, providing a competitive advantage, seen as a critical commodity.

What matters with Information system? Is it an asset or a commodity?

IT as an asset

A cross-business lines customer database gives a competitive advantage in cross-selling operations. A exotic trading tools brings to the bank new hedging opportunities.

Many examples illustrate the business advantages of the information systems.
IT as a commodity

For many business, information management and processing become vital, like electricity, capital, etc. The Information system has to be robust and cheap.

For example, back office banking system have to be cheapest as possible to allow low operating costs. Many examples illustrate the advantages of a low cost information system.

Actually, The IT is both an asset AND a commodity; each application of the Information System may be either a commodity or an asset.

The principle of the pyramid

IS pyramid

How to use the pyramid?

While you are defining your IS strategy or benchmarking your IT, remind of the pyramid of applications to be sure to have the right vision and the right key drivers.

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