Basser Seminar Series

Identifying the Key Strategies in the Realization of Value from Information Technology

An ARC EII (Enterprise Information Infrastructure) Research Network Seminar

Professor Shirley Gregor
ANU

Wednesday 7 February 2007, 4-5 pm

School of IT Building, Lecture Theatre 123, Level 1

Abstract

The generation of business value from the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is an issue of perennial interest and econometric research indicates that some firms consistently achieve higher returns from the use of IT than others. It is not clear, however, why some firms are able to gain more advantage from the use of ICT than others. This talk addresses two questions:

(1) Are there key factors, strategies or mechanisms that are consistently linked to the realization of business value from ICT across organizations?

(2) If so, what is the nature of these factors, strategies and mechanisms?

The talk relies on an underlying theoretical model that links ICT value realization to influences in the macro environment, the competitive environment and the focal firm through processes of mutual causality. Our research methodology employed the statistical technique of regression tree analyses to discover patterns (/data mining/) in data from a survey of 1050 organizations. These analyses extracted from a large data set the explanatory factors that were most influential in explaining the outcome variable of value realization. An in-depth study of qualitative interview data and further literature exploration following the data mining aimed at more clearly defining the nature of the key factors affecting value realization that were identified in the quantitative analysis phase. The four prime explanatory constructs identified for ICT value realization across all organizations and all industries were as follows:

(i) ICT investment strategies (Prospector, Analyser and Defender);

(ii) Strategic management practices;

(iii) Transformational management practices; and

(iv) Use of electronic banking and bill-paying (an indication of level of e-commerce engagement).

A construct identified as underlying these factors was labelled “ICT aware management”, an indication of the degree to which management understood and gave direction to ICT initiatives. The study adds further evidence to the debate about the relative importance of management and organizational factors in driving ICT productivity gains. Practically, it shows that ICT related benefits originate from factors largely within an organization’s control.

Speaker's biography

Shirley Gregor is Professor of Information Systems at the Australian National University, Canberra, where she heads the National Centre for Information Systems Research and is Head of the School of Accounting and Business Information Systems.

Professor Gregor’s current research interests include the adoption and strategic use of information and communications technologies, intelligent systems and human-computer interface issues, and the theoretical foundations of information systems. Dr Gregor has led several large projects in the e-commerce area funded by the Meat Research Corporation, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and the Australian Research Council. Professor Gregor obtained her Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Queensland. Dr Gregor’s publications include 4 edited books, 15 book chapters and over 80 papers in conferences and journals such as Management Information Systems Quarterly, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, International Journal of Human Computer Studies, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, European Journal of Information Systems and Information Technology & People.