Operational Excellence as the Main Customer Value: Information Technology Vendors' Perspective

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Abstract

Background: Information technology (IT) requires substantial investments from enterprises to build competitive capabilities. IT products are supposed to provide value to customers and to increase the competitiveness of enterprises. Vendors of IT products should take the competitive strategy and value creation for enterprise buyers into account. Objectives: This article takes the perspective of IT vendors (ITVs) and attempts to answer the research questions “What types of customer value do ITVs consider?” and “Do ITVs consider the competitiveness of enterprises?” Methods/Approach: This research investigates descriptions from ITVs and analyzes patterns and correlations of coded content. The annual reports of 32 global market-leading ITVs were examined through direct content analysis. Results: Half of the annual reports mention the competitiveness of enterprise buyers; 84% of the samples relate to customer-value disciplines. Moderate positive and monotonic relationships were detected between customer value disciplines. Conclusions: ITVs consider the competitiveness of buyers and noticeably regard customer value disciplines, mainly operational excellence, that in turn refers to process efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

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