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Prada’s High Tech Mis-Step

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Prada’s High Tech Mis-Step



a) What is IT-business alignment? Discuss whether the RFID Closet Project was in alignment with Prada’s business goals?

We live in digital age and no doubt that IT has profoundly impacted the way the world does business. IT's primary focus has shifted from traditional technology to the business processes. Nowadays, companies are emphasizing in strategies that focus to align IT goals with business goals. In other words this is joint effort to improve the relationship between IT and the business to achieve the overall organizational goals.

Although, the project was supposed to be in alignment with Prada’s business goals, we learned that the project was poorly managed and resulted in a complete failure. Thus, the project not only that didn’t contribute to Prada’s business goal, but the investment of $10 million poured into IT didn’t pay off and Prada’s brand image took a toll too.

b) You have decided to form a committee to conduct the IS strategic planning process and to oversee and prioritize the application and project portfolio at Prada. What is the name of the committee? Who should be included on this committee?

The steering committee is a governance body that reviews, monitors, and prioritizes major IT projects from a cross-functional perspective. The two key concerns of a technology steering committee are alignment and ownership.

In my opinion, CTO should be part and perhaps lead the steering committee. CTO establishes the company's technical vision and leads all aspects of technology development. Some of the duties and responsibilities of the CTO are:

• Recommends technology solutions to support the policies formulated by CIO

• Recommends standards needed to ensure flexibility, integration and efficiency in IT

• Assess emerging technologies to determine application to business services

• Recommends technology solutions to support business models

• Formulates strategic technology vision including business process improvements and investments

c) Recommend an IS planning process for Prada.

Prada should have a three to five year strategic plan that focuses on IT architecture that facilitates the business-process targets. Planning the IT initiatives to achieve company goals promotes alignment. Furthermore, an operational plan should be in place with a focus on the initiated projects, including detailed project plans and concrete deliverables. This way the IT takes the ownership of the projects and manages them according to tactical and strategic plan.


a) Discuss whether the RFID Closet Project was a compete or qualifier at the time of the project’s launch?

Prada launched RFID Closet Project to gain competitive advantage. The project was supposed to enhance shopping experience and collect customer information. Enhancing shopping experience would lead customers to re-visit the store more often and this would ultimately impact revenue growth. Furthermore by collecting customer data, Prada would be in better position to understand customers and based on the data make informative decision in offering better products/services to its customers.

b) Using the resource-based view of competitive advantage, discuss whether Prada could have gained sustainable competitive advantage from the RFID Closet Project if the system had worked at the time of the launch?

If the Prada’s RFID Closet Project system had worked as planned, then Prada would gain significant competitive advantage by providing luxury shopping experience and also the technology in place would allow Prada to understand the market demand better and reduce inventory, all while serving the customers better. Furthermore, using handheld devices the sales process would be improve and lastly this innovation would lead to better branding.


a) Discuss which project management methodology would have been better for development of the RFID Closet Project at Prada. Justify your answer by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of your chosen approach.

My recommendation for the RFID Closed Project would be to use joint applications design/development (JAD) methodology. One of the main advantages of the JAD methodology is the integrated process that brings together business area people (users) and IT (Information

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