In this paper we present results of an empirical study based on the opinions of 220 senior IT managers in the USA on critical success factors in the strategic use of IT. Our results show that competitive business strategies together with the competence of senior IT executives play the most important role in creating the strategic value of IT in organizations. The other critical factors were human IT assets, innovativeness and knowledge management, IT-business partnerships, IT-business alignment and IT support for business. These factors contribute to the strategic value of IT and hence to the sustained competitive advantage. In the midst of the heated discussion on the strategic value of IT, our study show that IT can contribute to the competitive advantage of an organization, if a comprehensive approach to using IT is adopted.