پیاده سازی و فرموله کردن استراتژی سیستم های اطلاعاتی پویا و ضروری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|11987||2002||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 22, Issue 6, December 2002, Pages 441–460
Early attempts to formulate information systems (IS) strategies concentrated on the analytical task of deriving IS strategies from business plans. The limitations of the static plans that often resulted from these formal studies were, however, soon discovered. The critics suggested informal and incremental planning to ensure flexibility, creativity and strategic thinking to comprise emergent strategies as well as planned strategies. In previous IS planning research, there appears to be a contradiction between the published planning methods and the generally held views about effective implementation of IS planning process. The explicit methods described in IS literature predominantly assume a comprehensive IS planning process. Despite the fact that many researchers consider incremental approaches to be more effective, methods that can be used to facilitate incremental IS planning are few, not detailed enough and not comprehensive. The four cycles method introduced in this paper attempts to combine the strengths of both the comprehensive and incremental planning to be able to recognise emerging trends and to make an e-business strategy. The method provides a basic schedule for organising planning activities. IS planning is seen as a continuous process that is periodically adjusted to the expectations of the participating managers. Practising managers can use the method to facilitate implementation of an incremental and continuous IS planning process. For e-business strategy research, the paper provides a theoretically based method that can be tested in future action research projects. The first results of conducted action research show that the method should not be used as a checklist but as a choice list. Each period had a constant focus on external developments and the fit with internal possibilities. The method provided a flexible and dynamic basis for actions. The emergent nature of the changes and the difficulty of formalising creativity and innovation placed restrictions on the planning process. We learned that a thematic approach where each cycle is given a creative subject helped to “open up” the users in the organisation. Future research should focus on the inter-organisational nature of e-business strategy. If it is difficult to get top management participation, it will be even more difficult with more organisations involved.
The challenge of aligning information systems (IS) decisions with business needs was discovered already in the early 1980s. For almost a decade, strategic IS planning was ranked on the top of the listings of critical issues in IS management (Niederman, Brancheau, & Wetherbe, 1991). Chan, Huff, Barclay, and Copeland (1997) and Segars and Grover (1998) show that it has not been out of the agenda since. Teo and Ang (2001) studied 138 firms and concluded that there are still many problems to be solved. The problems in launching and developing the IS strategy can be partly solved by using a comprehensive method, the problems in using the strategic plan have to be solved incrementally and that is why we propose a combined strategy. Most of the formal methods for formulating strategic IS plans were published in late 1980s and early 1990s. While these methods provide clear steps for planning a new IS strategy, the risks associated with large special studies were also soon discovered. Thus, researchers started investigating more dynamic and incremental approaches to IS strategy formulation (Earl, 1993; Ciborra, 1994). In these approaches, explicit planning methods are seen as having only a minor role. The process is informal and rests very much on the ability of key managers to include the right people and conduct the right analyses. With the advent of new technologies, such as Internet, the challenge of aligning IS with business is perhaps more significant and more difficult than ever. Even if the new strategies are now named e-business strategies (Hooft & Stegwee, 2001; Hackbarth & Kettinger, 2000), the basic tasks in planning are still the same: developing strategic vision, governing the projects, allocating resources, planning the infrastructure and ensuring management commitment (Earl, 2000; Venkatraman, 2000). This paper is based on a view that the early strategic IS planning methods are too static for formulating IS strategies in the new age. On the other hand, given the complexity of issues in the planning agenda and the broad (inter) organisational implications that the new web-based systems often have, relying on a totally informal and incremental planning process involves risks as well. The objective of the four cycles method is to promote continuous planning that involves sufficient degree of formalism to ensure that all critical areas of IS planning are addressed periodically. The paper begins with an introduction to IS strategy planning and its objectives and describes both formal and informal ways of carrying it out. It then continues to describe the four cycles method to IS strategy planning. For each cycle, relevant prescriptions, tools and outcomes are drawn from e-business planning, strategic IS planning and strategic management literature. At the end of the paper, the contributions for research and practice are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6. Contributions and conclusion for practice and research Much of the strategic IS planning methods popularised in the late 1980s and early 1990s have gone out of favour. Managers still remember the problems in implementing the detailed plans that resulted from the IS strategy studies. They are also painfully aware that the real business challenge is not to achieve strategic alignment when planning is carried out, but the ability to continuously refresh and adapt the strategic vision that aligns IS with business. The objective of the four cycles method is to facilitate managers in implementing a continuous planning process. It provides a periodic planning schedule and identifies issues (Each period had a constant focus on external developments and the fit with internal possibilities) that should be addressed periodically. Hence, the method should be useful in organisations that prefer to have some degree of formalism in their IS planning process. It is important to note, however, that the process allows considerable flexibility in choosing an appropriate planning process. Hence, planning can be adapted to the significance of the issues (or themes) in the planning agenda. It can also reflect the expectations of “good management practice” in the organisation as a whole. If managers consider informal IS planning as most appropriate and natural, the process can be designed to meet only the minimal requirements. The managers can decide to have periodically only two meetings: analysis of planning results and monitoring of current and planned implementations. Every second period they can make an IT developments inventory and discuss future IT infrastructure. Once in every three periods, a special session for the alignment of information domain and the business domain can take place. For those organisations that prefer to have a more comprehensive process, more extensive analyses can be conducted in different planning cycles. For this purpose, the method provides a selection of relevant prescriptions and tools from previous IS planning literature. These can be used to ensure that the time used in planning meetings is effective. By making clear priority decisions, scarce time and resources can be spared and used elsewhere. In general, the objective is to establish a continuous e-business planning process and to ensure that all critical aspects of IS planning are addressed periodically. Thus, managers can use the method to reduce the gap that often exists between the planning prescriptions and the way planning is practised. If the four cycles method is compared with previous comprehensive methods, the key difference is that the planning process is continuous and repetitive. The continuous and repetitive nature of the process permits periodic evaluation of the selected planning approach. It should also promote innovation and creativity, as the idea generation does not have to be closely associated with the making of decisions over IS projects. Also, the complex analyses and decisions about ICT infrastructure can be made incrementally, over several years. In essence, it should avoid many of the problems typically associated with the comprehensive approaches. The four cycles method adopts many features from the incremental IS planning literature. Most importantly, the process is seen as continuous and it allows reformulation of plans throughout the period. The key difference comes from the role of formal methods. While acknowledging that formal methods can only be one building block, it is assumed that even incremental IS planning could benefit from a formal planning structure and schedule. The use of a formal method is presented as one means for an organisation to avoid some of the alleged problems of the incremental approaches, such as poor definition of infrastructures, high proportion of incomplete projects or discontinuity in planning due to changes in the management team. The four cycles method is well grounded to existing literature and to a series of action research projects conducted in several organisations. Nevertheless, it has not been tested in practice. The rationale for describing the four cycles method prior to testing it is that the description provides a basis for future action research projects. The objective is to explicate the reasoning behind the four cycles method and to make it publicly testable. Future research is needed, however, to demonstrate the methods strengths and weaknesses, to establish under what circumstances it is more applicable and also under what circumstances it is less applicable. Thus, perhaps most importantly, this paper argues that the use of appropriate IS planning methods is still relevant for recognising and making of e-business strategy, both for research and for practice. Future research should focus on the inter-organisational nature of e-business strategy. If it is difficult to get top management participation, it will be more difficult with more organisations involved.