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Some industry observers have suggested that information technology (IT) has lost its ability to be a strategic resource for modern organizations. However, such examples as Harrah’s and Ritz-Carlton present evidence to the contrary. Harrah’s has used IT to gather substantial business intelligence and identify its best customers, while Ritz-Carlton uses IT to personalize every guest room and every stay for its returning customers. Many other firms outside the industry, such as Dell, eBay, and Lands’ End, provide further evidence of how sustained competitive advantage can be built around IT. While the task is not easy, when firms are successful in doing so the rewards can be tremendous.


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