The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

Seven Ways to get Your Favoured IT Project Accepted — Politics in IT Evaluation  pp31-40

Egon Berghout, Menno Nijland, Kevin Grant

© Jan 2005 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 80

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Abstract

IS managers are being put under increasing pressure to justify the value of corporate ITIS expenditure. Their constant quest for the 'holy grail' continues, as existing methods and approaches of justifying ITIS expenditure are still failing to deliver. The decision making process is not as objective and transparent as it is claimed or intended to be. This paper discusses seven commonly used tactics used by business managers to influence IT appraisals. The paper takes a 'devil's advocate' position and adopts some irony when looking at the area of power and politics in IT evaluation. Rather than promoting the use of these techniques, this article aims to raise awareness that IT evaluation is not as rational as most IT evaluation researcherspractitioners would want it to be or indeed claim it to be. It is argued that rationalisation or counter tactics may counteract influence techniques in an attempt to get behind the cloak and dagger side of organisational power and politics, but politics and power in decision‑making cannot and should not be filtered out. Due to dissimilarities of objectives, limitations of time and information, influence techniques will always be used. However, rather than being counterproductive, these techniques are essential in the process of decision making of IT projects. They help organisations reach better decisions, which receive more commitment than decisions that were forced to comply with strictly rational approaches. Awareness of the influence and manipulation techniques used in practice will help to deal with power and politics in IT evaluation and thereby come to better IT investment decisions.

 

Keywords: IT Evaluation, IT Decision Making, IT Assessment, Information Economics, Decision Making, Organisational Power & Politics Information Management

 

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Journal Article

IT Evaluation Frameworks — Do They Make a Valuable Contribution? A Critique of Some of the Classic Models for use by SMEs  pp57-64

Pat Costello, Andy Sloane, Rob Moreton

© Jan 2007 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 122

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Abstract

Given the plethora of frameworks and models available in this area, not all could be evaluated here. This paper takes seven popular frameworks and examines aspects of IT evaluation with particular emphasis on Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The frameworks were selected from the most well known of IT evaluation research including Delone and McLean, 1992, Seddon et.al. 1999, Farbey et.al, 1999, Levy et.al., 1998. Most of the frameworks were developed for large organisations and therefore those chosen were evaluated for their applicability to the world of SMEs. These are categorised into four areas: people issues, technology focus, evolutionary position and management aspects. The conclusion is reached that the use of a multi‑framework is needed for all organisations. This presents severe difficulties in larger organisations, as the problems of communications can be a stumbling block to completing the evaluation. However, this paper proposes that SMEs may find it easier to take parts of 'tested' frameworks used by larger companies and apply them. The communication links within SMEs are neither as complex nor as highly developed as in large organisations that may make this an appropriate approach.

 

Keywords: IT evaluation, IT Value, SMEs, frameworks, models

 

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Journal Article

Proposal of a Compact IT Value Assessment Method  pp73-82

Przemyslaw Lech

© Jan 2007 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 122

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Abstract

This paper contains a proposal of a compact IT value assessment method. It follows the assumption that most methods available for the public are either described in a very general manner or concentrate on one of the evaluation aspects only. The proposed method relates the evaluation approach to the main IT initiative characteristics, such as the investment purpose and IT element to be implemented. Based on these criteria, the evaluation process is shaped by putting emphasis on the relevant evaluation aspects and choosing the relevant evaluation methods. The method design is focused on the ease of use and practical relevance so it can be used by IT practitioners to assess IT initiatives in their organisations. The paper finishes with the case study of the method usage in a mid‑sized production enterprise.

 

Keywords: IT value assessment, IT evaluation, practical method, case study

 

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Journal Article

Searching for e‑Business Performance Measurement Systems  pp1-8

David Barnes, Matthew Hinton

© Jan 2007 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 122

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Abstract

Organisations of all kinds continue to expand their involvement in e‑business. This requires considerable financial investment in IT, in processes and in people. It might be expected that there would be a concern to ensure that performance measurement systems are capable of justifying these investments, and of evaluating their worth once implemented. The paper describes research aimed at determining the exact nature of such e‑business performance measurement systems and the benefits that accrue from their use. The research uses a case study methodology to report the performance measurement practices of twelve potentially exemplar organisations that have made efforts to develop distinctive performance metrics for e‑business. Qualitative data was collected from interviews with key informants from each organisation. Additional data came from company documents. The cases reveal a variety of approaches to e‑business performance measurement, with no common framework apparent. Whilst there is considerable disparity in the level of success achieved in developing suitable measures, there is evidence of a common concern to link e‑business performance to organisational objectives. However, there is a general reluctance to embark on major overhauls of existing performance measurement systems. The paper discusses the possible reasons for this and the implications for future developments in e‑business performance measurement practices.

 

Keywords: e-business, performance measurement systems, IT evaluation

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special / Jan 2007  pp1‑122

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Editorial

Another edition of EJISE brings to the attention of the information systems community 10 more pieces of research into how information systems may be evaluated. The contributions in this issue are from 9 different countries and from a diverse range of universities and business schools.

When I first became actively interested in information systems’ evaluation in 1990 I had no idea of how wide and how deep an issue information systems evaluation was. I had thought that it was worth a few papers and maybe a book or two. Today my view is entirely different and I wonder if the community of information systems academics and practitioners will ever reach a point where by there will be a general agreement as to how to evaluate or assess information systems. My best guess would be that they probably will not.

However as it was put to me at the start of my university studies academics tend to have far more questions than answers and this may not necessarily be a ‘bad’ thing. If we continue to ask the right questions, even if we can’t find definitive answers we are effectively moving the frontier of knowledge forward. And that I suggest is, in the end, the most important objective of academe.

I hope that you will find a number of interesting topics among these 10 papers.

 

Keywords: IS integration, auditing, balanced score card, business process facilitation, case study, confidentiality, domain specific languages, e-Government project evaluation, enterprise information system, CEO framework, ex post evaluation, functional-operational match, ICT benefits, ICT evaluation, ICT project, information economics, Information System Architecture , IS outsourcing , IT evaluation, IT value assessment, knowledge management, meta-modelling tools, motivational factors, user satisfaction surveys, web content management, WLAN

 

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