This paper has the objective of ascertaining current technical limitations and capabilities, demand requirements for integrated and individual technologies as well as an exploration of major implementation impediments to smart card exploitation.
Competition in organizations centers on two main paradigms, research on competitor relationships, domination theory, and customer behavior. The competitive paradigm affirms an organization's competitive advantage strategy which depends on the structure of the industry environment in terms of unfolding core competencies or operational structure. While a cooperative paradigm places emphasis on collaborative advantage strategy by focusing on inter-organizational cooperative agreements between industry players in order to build global networks with the aim of achieving mutual benefits (M’Chirgui, 2004).
In contrast, there is little evidence on how enterprises benefit through cooperation and competition simultaneously, a situation referred to as ‘coopetition’ (see Appendix 1). This scenario prevails in today’s business environment, a good example is the knowledge-based industries within Information Technology domain like the banking sector and the emergence of e-banking by mobile phone operators. Smart card revolution is the best means that combine both paradigms. In this paper smart card actors, market conditions and industry structure interactions point out a clear picture of cooperation and competition mix. Smart card providers cooperate in designing, implementation, and deployment of smart card technology, while simultaneously engaging in competitive strategies to capture a large market segment resulting from consumption of the technology (M’Chirgui, 2004).
The emergence of smart card technology is characterized by both vertical and horizontal interactions, the former being relationships of buyer-seller while the later is competition among smart card providers. Alternatively, this interaction assumes two forms, network relationships and dyadic or a simple tow-enterprise interaction. This paper examines competitive strategies among smart card participants by looking at how organizations competitive advantage is derived from specific assets in the firm, market know-how and product positioning as well as interaction through complementary assets through the formation of alliances and collaborations with suppliers, partners, competitors, and customers (M’Chirgui, 2004). According to Chen (1997), these features define a virtual firm as a company composed of several Business Partners that Uses Information Technology to Link/Share Assets, People, Costs, Ideas, and Resources for the purpose of producing a service or product. Thus virtual firms are opportunity-Exploiting and adaptable organizations that provide world-class excellence in their jurisdiction fields by applying technologies and competencies (Chen, 1997).
The smart card industry, therefore, adopts a hybrid behavior drawn from cooperation and competition attitudes. This paper is organized as follows, Section 2.0 will discuss theoretical background of Information technology, section 2.1 offers a dissection of smart card industry environment, section 2.2 reflects on current status in the smart card industry, section 2.3 gives an insight on how smart cards are affecting organization management practices and business in general, section 2.4, tackles industry findings and issues related to smart card implementation (Chen, 1997).