ZARA has a lot of advantage of its competitors but it is not so much a result of IT leverage, the competitive advantage might be at risk due to lack of IT investment.
ZARA is running now an IT system that is very stable, easy to use, cheap. There are some immediate issues, though: POS run on DOS which obsolete and Microsoft does not support anymore, maybe new POS will not support DOS anymore this will cause incapacity to open new stores (big money loss), PDA might come soon in new upgraded models which cannot support DOS anymore, we cannot see the stocks real-time, there is no connectivity between stores and HQ-there is no network, no internet or wireless.
Another main risk is that ZARA has to keep up to date its information flow to foresee as much as possible the future trends. With an effective information system ZARA will be able to stay ahead the curve and keep their leadership.
There are three alternatives to address these issues: maintaining the current IT operating system (DOS), gradually integrate new IT systems, changing the whole IT immediately. The chosen alternative is the last one. This alternative will be implemented by March 2004.
The change is inevitable. To keep the current IS system is a draw back to the future development and it is very risky. The company cannot run obsolete systems and unconnected technology. The company will get new hardware and software. Implementation of hard and soft will be