Page 1: Introduction
In recent times, the structure and operation of many major industries has changed greatly through their use of information technologies.
- online data systems have transformed the potential cost profiles of airlines, opening up the way for operators such as EasyJet
- databases allow distant customers to discover new products and order them over the Internet, thereby changing the nature of retailing
- in financial services, customers can access and manage much of their financial business from their own homes.
Two developments are particularly exciting.
- New technologies are increasingly able to interact with each other e.g. cameras with computers, telephones with televised images.
- Advances in telecommunications mean that output of combined new technologies can be transmitted worldwide almost instantaneously in usable form e.g. interactive transmission from/to an Afghan cave to/from a New York or London office.
Although the convergence of technologies has helped to make organisations more efficient and has reduced their costs, it has also raised customer expectations and created a new scenario for competitive activity. In recent years, the new technologies have become the central driver of many large organisations as they seek to develop competitive advantages in global markets.
The challenge to these organisations has been to use the new technologies to:
- create new ways of working better suited to a global market
- capture new customers.
The most successful ventures have been the outcome of creative imagination; clear, correct thinking. and careful planning. They have relied heavily on 'knowledge' workers: people given the opportunity to connect their ideas with an organisation's resources in order to make them work.
This case study examines:
- the work undertaken by Morgan Stanley to ensure that it is making the best possible use of the opportunities offered by new technology
- the benefits to itself and its customers resulting from its conspicuous success.