Discussion: IT Project Barriers

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Discussion: IT Project Barriers

Discussion: IT Project Barriers

Barrier Definition Examples

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IT project barrier It would be a large undertaking for a competitor to build the system to copy the capability.

• Requires a large investment • Requires a long time to build • Complicated to build

IT assets and capabilities barrier Competitors might lack the IT resources to copy the capability.

• Database of customers that cannot be copied

• Expert developers or project managers

Complementary resources barrier The firm has other resources that create a synergy with the IT that provides competitive advantage.

• Respected brand • Partnership agreements • Exclusivity arrangements • Good location

Preemption barrier The firm “got there first.” • Loyal customer base built at the beginning

• Firm known as “the” source

8 Piccoli and Ives, “IT‐Dependent Strategic Initiatives and Sustained Competitive Advantage,” 755. 9 Greg Sandoval, “Netflix CEO, DVD Subscribers to Decline Now and Forever,” CNET, http://www.cnet.com/news/netflix‐ceo‐dvd‐subscribers‐to‐ decline‐now‐and‐forever (accessed August 19, 2015).

c02.indd 44 11/26/2015 6:20:50 PM

45Sustaining Competitive Advantage


the Resource‐Based View (RBV) A fourth framework, the resource‐based view (RBV),10 is useful for determining whether a firm’s strategy has created value by using IT. Like the value chain model, the RBV concentrates on areas that add value to the firm. Whereas the value chain model focuses on a firm’s activities, the resource‐based view focuses on the resources that it can manage strategically in a rapidly changing competitive environment. Like the Piccoli and Ives framework, the RBV focuses on sustaining competitive advantage but through use of resources rather than by raising compet- itive barriers.

The RBV has been applied in the area of IS to help identify two types of information resources: those that enable a firm to attain competitive advantage and those that enable a firm to sustain the advantage over the long term. From the IS perspective,11 some types of resources are better than others for creating attributes that enable a firm to attain competitive advantage (i.e., value, rarity) whereas other resources are better for creating attributes to sustain competitive value (e.g., low substitutability, low mobility, low imitability).


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