Theory of Strategic Thrusts is an approach which can be used to link strategy
and IT. The theory was pioneered by Wiseman, Rackoff and Ulrich in 1985.
While the pace of competition intensified in the 80s and 90s, simultaneously
computers and software applications became more powerful and affordable. No
wonder that the use of information systems as competitive weapon has
been accelerating ever since. But how can an organization discover opportunities
for Strategic Information Systems (SIS)? Rackoff, Wiseman and Ulrich
developed and implemented a six-phase planning process to identify and evaluate
SIS and to win the support of the top management. Article: "Information Systems
For Competitive Advantage: Implementation of a Planning Process" (MIS Quarterly;
Dec85, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p285, 10p, 2).
Their 1985 approach is based on a conceptual framework that views an enterprise's
suppliers, customers, and competitors as the strategic targets of the 5 Strategic
What are the 5 Strategic Thrusts? Description
Strategic "Thrusts" are: major competitive moves (defensive or offensive)
made by a firm, aimed at one or more strategic targets.
Furthermore, they recommended a staged strategic IT planning process, consisting
of the following steps:
Six Steps in the strategic IT planning process
- Step 1: Present a tutorial regarding competitive strategy and strategic
- Step 2: Apply SIS concept to actual cases.
- Step 3: Consider the competitive position of the company.
- Step 4: Brainstorm for strategic information systems opportunities (in
- Step 5: Discuss SIS opportunities (clarification).
- Step 6: Evaluate SIS opportunities (rating and ranking the proposals).
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Compare with the 5 Strategic Thrusts:
| TDC Matrix |
Impact/Value framework |
of the Network Economy |
Bricks and Clicks |
Competitive Advantage framework
| Delta Model
| 4S Web
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