WestJet Airlines: Information Technology Governance and Corporate Strategy
(10 pages of text)
2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015
WestJet Airlines grew from a startup regional carrier in 1996 serving five Western Canadian cities to an international airline with more than 80 destinations and 9,000 employees by 2011. In a strategic move to implement code sharing and several other strategic IT applications to enhance WestJet's competitiveness, the CEO and his executive team hired an experienced and highly successful CIO to bring WestJet up to par with other airlines. The new CIO was asked by WestJet to assess its IT competence as part of a corporate drive to gain competitive advantage by delivering innovative guest services. The executive saw IT as the key to WestJet achieving its ambitions and corporate growth so formulated an ambitious plan to restructure the IT organization. But certain senior IT staff members, some of whom had been with the company since the beginning and had played a major role in developing the existing systems, believed the plan was ill advised and unworkable. The executive had to convince both senior management and the IT group that implementing the new IT governance model was essential if WestJet hoped to achieve its strategic goals.
This case can be used in any undergraduate or graduate (MBA) core, advanced information systems course, strategy/general management or executive development course, in which the topic of IT governance and/or the relationship between information technology and corporate strategy is explored.
- Discuss IT governance models that enable an IT function to best serve the needs of an organization.
- Discuss the role of IT in corporate strategy and the strategic impact grid.
Transportation and Warehousing
Canada, Large, 2011 and 2012
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