Conference Objects

Software as a strategic tool of competitive advantage: Japanese and U.S. industry case studies

Successful companies in main-line industries are integrating information technology (IT) into almost every aspect of their business. This includes using IT to develop, implement, and support business strategies. Because of the way IT is being used, these firms typically develop most of their IT in-house (or, in Japan, in cooperation with closely related providers), although (at least in the US) there is recognition of a role for "off-the-shelf" components and outsourcing. On November 10, 2000, the Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia University, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation held a one-day conference to discuss how three leading firms-Merck, Citibank, and Toyota-are using IT, and how it relates to their overall business strategies. Each panel included a representative of the company and a scholar from the Sloan center that studies the firm's industry. A panel of distinguished academics then explored the broader issues of IT's effect on competitiveness and industrial structure. Excerpts of the presentations are presented below, along with high-lights of the intra-panel and audience discussions.



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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School
Published Here
April 28, 2011