Increasingly, Arms recognize the strategic implications of front-end product design for improving total cost effectiveness. Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) is becoming firms' competitive weapon beyond its traditional function as a product design tool. Yet, it is unclear how the full potential of IT system, particularly the usage patterns of 3D CAD system, may be realized through organizational capabilities. This paper presents a model of IT system configurations and CAD usage patterns. Next, a typology of IT system configurations is presented based on (1) the degree of CAD Integration between assembly makers and suppliers (2) the structure of product design information, or product architecture. The product architectures of four electronic firms illustrate that organizational capabilities to utilize IT's potential is more important than IT investment itself.