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Information technology optimizes both the integration and management of global networks in four essential ways: it enables the tracking of routine activities; it helps to create information networks that share important data; it promotes better decision-making through the use of expert systems; and it provides decision support for planning and problem-solving. Companies that have entered the global marketplace have learned that designing an effective information system is essential to achieving competitive advantage. Du Pont is one of these companies.
          The company was founded in Delaware in 1802 to manufacture gunpowder; E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company gradually branched into chemicals, which became its principal focus by the early twentieth century. In 1981, Du Pont acquired Conoco, which it operates as a subsidiary, in an effort to improve its competitive position in the oil market. Creators of such synthetics as neoprene, nylon, Orlon and Dacron. Du Pont has recently undergone a radical restructuring in order to meet the demands of foreign competition. Critical to that restructuring was an analysis of the company's information system management policies and practices. Several problem areas were identified. When Du Pont entered the global marketplace it was a traditional multinational corporation, with a corporate structure and strategy that supported that approach. In the early days of globalization, such an approach was reasonable given the wide diversity of local needs and national interests, and, because of available IT, the inability of the company's information system to integrate and manage them closely.
      However, as the global market itself became more tightly integrated and information technology advanced, restructuring Du Pont's global strategy became apparent. In the 1980s, Du Pont began to understand that information was seriously restricting the company's capacity to compete in a marketplace that had shifted from being...

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