当前位置:首页 >> >>

White Paper- A “Comprehensive ” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK


White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

A “COMPREHENSIVE” APPROACH TO STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS PLANNING IN UK ORGANIZATIONS
Dr Alan Warr London Business School contact@alanwarr.net

Abstract
Research by Earl (1993) and Segars &, Grover (1999) has demonstrated that organizations use five broad approaches for strategic IS planning. A survey of 70 UK organizations combined with case studies has examined whether this is still the case. It found that whilst organizations still use a small number of approaches, usage is evolving. A new “comprehensive approach” appears to have emerged. This approach combines and balances the other approaches for strategic IS planning. The comprehensive approach provides higher levels of planning success, something predicted by Earl. This research also derives the dimensions of strategic IS planning approach and these are used to describe the characteristics of the “comprehensive” approach. The construct measure for strategic IS planning success from Raghunathan & Raghunathan (1994) was further validated. A series of case studies is exploring this new approach in more detail and seeking to understand what causes the higher level of planning success. The first case study is reported here. It confirms the findings of the survey and provides more details into the dimensions of strategic IS planning approach and why superior levels of success are associated with the “organisational” and “comprehensive” approaches. The findings are important for researchers providing a more contemporary view of what organizations are doing in the field of strategic IS planning. For practitioners the results offer the prospect if being able to increase the success of strategic IS planning through designing and implementing an increasingly comprehensive approach. The research is ongoing through multiple case studies. Keywords: Strategic IS Planning; planning approach; planning success; survey method; case method

Introduction
For over a decade a major concern for the senior management of organizations has been creating strategies for IS and IT (Watson, Kelly, Galliers & Brancheau 1997). Early research demonstrated that such strategies led to better alignment of business and IT, improved ROIs from IT and higher satisfaction from business users (McKinsey 1968; McFarlan 1971). Formal strategies for IS became widespread in most countries and were adopted by the public sector (Bacon 1991) and in some sectors became mandatory. Recent surveys confirm the continuing and important role for IS strategies (Prewitt & Overby 2003) and that strategic thinking is viewed as one of the most critical skills for a CIO (CIO Magazine 2006). Within academic research this practice has generally been labeled “strategic IS planning” or SISP although this term is not generally used by practitioners who loosely use several terms such as IS strategy, IT strategy, IS planning, enterprise architecture, etc. (Ward & Peppard 2002). Strategic IS planning is today viewed as an essential part of the overall regime for effective IT governance (Weill & Ross 2004). Strategic IS planning is therefore the process of deciding objectives, policies, strategies and plans for an organization’s use and management of information and networking technologies. SISP includes identifying IS

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 1

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

applications, developments to IT infrastructures, improvements to the management of the IS/IT functions and the sourcing of IT resources (Lederer & Sethi 1988; Mirchandani & Lederer 2005). Although long acknowledged by researchers and practitioners as important, how best to approach creating strategic IS plans remains a focus for research and a major area for consultancy advice to CIOs. A number of broad approaches have been identified within the research literature with different levels of associated success (Segars, Grover & Teng 1998).

SISP Approach
Types of SISP Approach Used by Organizations
Several researchers have demonstrated that the approaches used to create strategic IS plans group into a small number of broad types. Earl (1993) and Segars et al. (1998) came to very similar conclusions despite researching organizations in different countries (UK versus USA); employing different research methods (multiple case studies versus a survey) and having different constructs for approach and success. However, they used different names to describe them with Earl using names that described the nature of the approach and Grovers et al. adopting the name of the school of management philosophy that was best associated with the approach. Both found that organizations employ five broad approaches with quite different levels of success. Table 1 below summarises the findings from Earl and includes the name used by Segars et al.

Table 1. The Five Approaches to Strategic IS Planning Approach (Earl) Administrative Description Relative Success 2 Approach (Segars et al.) Political Relative Success 1

Formal administrative mechanisms such as steering committees or IS investment meetings are employed. Decision-making on IS strategy is often superficially rational. Organizational power and politics play an important role. The legitimacy for strategic IS planning is from the power of the sponsors or the committee that sponsors it. The business strategy and operational performance of the organization are used to determine the issues and priorities within strategic IS planning. Decision-making is dominated by the senior business managers. The legitimacy for strategic IS planning is from the business objectives being pursued through the business strategy. The intention of the organization is to use the best methodology for strategic IS planning. Proprietary methods from external advisors are typically used. These use technology and planning tools and models. They are used to find tangible, strategic positions for IS for the organization to pursue. The legitimacy is from the claim that best practice methods have been selected.

Business-Led

1

Design

2

MethodsDriven

3

Positioning

3

2

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Approach (Earl) Technological

Description

Relative Success 5

Approach (Segars et al.) Planning

Relative Success 4

Technical mapping and modeling techniques are used to explore the current position of IS and develop improved architectures and implementation plans. Technologists dominate the analysis and decision-making being more able to work with modeling techniques. The legitimacy for the strategic IS plan comes from the detailed analyses and the technology expertise of the participants. Involvement and participation across the organization are emphasised and techniques that enable social interaction and creativity are used such as workshops and interviews. The result is organisational learning about the nature of the problems and the opportunities faced by the organization along with a fuller appreciation of the contribution being played by IT in business operations. The strategic IS plans emerges from dialogues and often takes the form of a set of strategic themes for IS. The legitimacy for the strategic IS plan arises from the support generated from across the organization.

Organisational

4

Learning

5

Note: For relative success 1 is the approach with the lowest success and 5 the highest.

The Evolution of SISP Approaches
It is now possible to look back across nearly 50 years of research and refereed journal papers on strategic IS planning (reference to be added later to preserve anonymity of author). It is interesting that practices have evolved over time. Osborne (1956) provided the earliest description of strategic IS planning in the mid 1950s at a large manufacturing company in the USA. Predating the IT management professional, Osborne and his team used general management methods to create a detailed, long range plan for how their company would employ computer technologies. The approach used multi-disciplinary teams with decision-making being ultimately with the senior managers. As the IT profession emerged in the 1960s and 1970s (Dean 1968) techniques emerged specifically developed for strategic IS planning and proprietary methodologies had emerged by the end of the 1970s that linked IS planning into business objectives using a variety of techniques (Sullivan 1985; Galliers 1987; Lederer & Sethi 1988). Technological techniques based on modeling and architectures gained adoption from the 1980s onwards within a minority of organizations (Finklestein 1981). But tailored, in-house approaches continued to be used by organizations throughout (Martino 1983; Premkumar & King 1991; Finegan & Fahey 1993). By the mid to late 1980s some organizations were involving people more widely across their business functions (Earl 1993) as IT became a more pervasive business tool and this practice gained ground during the 1990s (Segars, et al. 1998). Strategic IS planning appears to have been evolving along a set of dimensions: ? ? ? From generic business techniques towards tools and methods tailored to the specific context and content of IS. Towards an increasing number of techniques and tools with which to address strategic IS issues. Towards wider involvement of organization functions and staff as IT becomes more pervasive.

This evolution is more than a classical experience curve (Boston Consulting Group 1972; Ghemawat 1985)– although learning has been accumulating both within organizations and from their consultancy and vendor advisors. The pace of change in IT and the rapidly expanding role of computers and software applications into all aspects of business operations has also been a factor.

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

3

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Earl’s Prediction That Approaches Could Be Combined to Improve Success
Earl (1993) implicitly projected forward the evolution of strategic IS planning approaches when he suggested that in relation to the distinct five approaches his research had identified that, “It may be possible to design a more effective hybrid (approach).” This suggests that combinations of two or more of the approaches may lead to higher levels of success than any single approach. The work of Segars et al. did not specifically examine this nor has any other study. This leaves a number of intriguing questions around strategic IS planning approaches. Has this evolution or change continued and, if so, what direction is it taking? Have Earl’s suggestions been adopted either in response to his advice or just as part of the continuing experience curve, and if so then has the performance improvement resulted?

SISP Success
Evidence has been accumulating that different strategic IS planning approaches achieve different levels of success. But strategic IS planning success is a challenging concept and has itself been a focus of research (Pyburn 1983). This concept suffers from the same problems experienced in articulating what business success is generally in that simple measures like financial outcomes are too narrow to be meaningful alone (King 1983). Success can be seen as intended goals achieved, or in relating the level of success to that of others (Earl 1993) or some ideal performance level or not goal orientated at all but being the learning that results (Venkatraman & Ramanujam 1987). More complex, multi-dimensional measures of strategic IS planning success have been developed (Raghunathan & Raghunathan 1994) that examine both fulfillment of planning objectives such as identifying key IS problem areas, and the improvement that the organisational achieves in its capabilities to conduct strategic IS planning.

Research Hypotheses
This paper examines a set of related hypotheses in the domain of the development of strategic IS planning as a managerial tool in contemporary organizations. Table 2 details the research hypotheses.

Table 2. Research Hypotheses H1 H2 Organizations continue to employ a small set of broad approaches to strategic IS planning. This hypothesis is aimed to confirm and build on previous research studies. Strategic IS planning approaches are continuing to be evolved by organizations. It would be useful to add further to the view on the evolution of approaches that is accumulating from the research studies. H3 H4 Different approaches lead to different levels of perceived success. Again this is interesting as confirmation of prior research. Combining classical strategic IS planning approaches into more comprehensive combinations of approaches leads to improvements in success. This hypothesis is originating from prior research and is motivated by practitioners’ needs to understand the performance of different management processes. The data used is from UK organizations across a wide range of organizations in both the private, public and voluntary sectors (Grapevine 2002).

4

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Research Methodology
Multiple Methodology
The work is employing a multiple methodology (Galliers & Land 1987). A field survey of IT Directors and CIOs was carried out across UK organizations. IT Directors were chosen as key informants because of their privileged position for commenting upon strategic IS planning practices in their organizations. A set of 10 exploratory case studies was conducted ahead of the survey to prepare the researcher for the study. A further survey with general managers using a simpler survey instrument was used in parallel with the survey of IT Directors with to explore whether IT Directors had been biased in their responses. Finally a set of case studies is ongoing to explore the findings in greater depth and to explore causalities. Three case studies have been completed and a further two are underway.

Survey of IT Directors
The main survey achieved valid responses from 70 organizations and a response rate of 22%. Table 3 provides the characteristics of the respondents and their organizations. Table 3. Characteristics of Respondents Sector Government Health Education Not for Profit Manufacturing Transport & Distribution Technology & Media Financial Services Other Services 23% 11% 10% 3% 10% 6% 10% 16% 11% Organisational Size (Revenue or Expenditure) Greater than $1bn 34% $100m – 1bn 39% Less than $100m 27% Role Titles of Respondents Group IT Director IT Director IT Strategist IT Manager 4% 70% 16% 10%

The survey questionnaire was large and so a sophisticated survey protocol was employed based on Chan (1992). The survey instrument is published in (reference to be added later to preserve anonymity)

Construct Measurement
The construct for strategic IS planning approach employed two dimensions: 1. Behaviors being the “means” by which strategic IS planning is pursued. This includes what is emphasised during planning, the basis for planning, methods used, influencers, relationship to business strategy and the role of IS professionals. This construct was a development from Earl (1993). Agendas being the “ends” that an organization intended from strategic IS planning. This was an update from the construct used by Boynton & Zmud (1987).

2.

The construct for strategic IS planning success was that developed by Raghunathan & Raghunathan (1994). Again this construct has two dimensions broadly equivalent in covering both the “means” and “ends” of strategic IS planning: 1. 2. Improvement in strategic IS planning capabilities. Fulfillment of SISP objectives.

Other constructs were also measured in the study to explore additional research questions. These were dimensions of the organisational context for strategic IS planning. The questions these relate to and the findings are not addressed in this paper but are discussed in (reference to be added later to keep this paper anonymous)

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

5

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Content Validation
Content validation is a challenge for MIS research because of the emergent nature of IS (Venkatraman & Grant 1986) and the constant developments in IT. As well as deriving content from prior research the constructs and construct measures were peer reviewed initially by two researchers and then by doctoral consortia at both the European and International Conferences on Information Systems (ECIS & ICIS). Finally, both the construct measures and research design were reviewed by a panel of 10 professors with specialist research in the field of strategic IS planning. Feedback as incorporated at each stage.

Instrument Validation
Instrument validation involved initial peer review followed by a trial by four IT directors. Difficulties being experienced in answering questions were addressed and a final trial with three further IT directors revealed no further substantial improvements.

Common Methods Bias
A common methods bias is a risk where the research design uses a single informant for both the independent and dependent variables (Yin 1996; Sekaran 1992). This is a common risk in survey research in strategic IS planning like this one. Several tactics were employed to minimise the risk: 1. 2. The use of senior management respondents who were more likely to provide valid and reliable responses (Ang et al. 1999) Ensuring that within the instrument the questions are clear and objective, and that the instrument design does not reveal the dependent and independent variables in the study. This encourages reliable responses and reduces the opportunity for the informant to align their responses to different questions. Guaranteeing confidentiality and offering an anonymous response option so that informants can be confident that their responses will not be linked back to them personally.

3.

Additionally two further small surveys were conducted to explore the potential for common methods bias. The first surveyed the senior managers of two firms to explore whether the views of IT Directors on strategic IS planning approaches and successes were different from other senior managers. This revealed that whilst views do differ across a population of managers within a firm the IT director did not stand out as having a significantly different position to other executives. This supports the use of IT Directors as an informant who represents wider managerial perceptions on strategic IS planning. The second survey involved 66 senior business managers from a variety of sectors. These were not matched pairs from the same firms as the IT directors. This revealed the same high level results for the relationship of approach and success as for IT directors. Adding further support to the likely absence of this bias. These two surveys used simpler construct measures from prior research for approach and success from (Segars et al. 1998). These simpler measures were better suited to general manager respondents. Whilst common methods bias remains a risk, these measures lend weight to it being a minor consideration in this study.

Non Response Bias
The extrapolation method was used to measure non-response bias (Armstrong & Overton 1977). Samples of early and later respondents were compared on the assumption that the latter are more like non-respondents. No significant differences were found (p<.05) suggesting non-response bias may not be significant in this study.

6

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Case Studies
Strategic IS planning activities typically take many months for an organization to complete and in some cases are ongoing rather than project based (Ward & Peppard 2002) . Therefore case studies are being used to explore the details of the comprehensive approach (discussed later). Three in-depth case studies have been completed so far. The researcher was a participant observer in these. This has the advantage of being able to observe the strategic IS planning activities throughout and at close proximity. The disadvantage is the potential for the observer to be biased by their participation (Yin 1988). It was judged that the risks are acceptable especially given the fact that strategic IS planning is often a confidential organisational activity by senior executives. This makes it difficult to gain access making other methods for longitudinal observation like periodic interviews difficult to achieve. To counter the bias, additional sources of information have been collected included the observations of other participants and the analysis of documentation.

Data Analysis
Factor Analysis on Construct Measures
Exploratory factor analysis was used to reveal the dimensions for the two major construct: ? Strategic IS Planning Approach. The analysis revealed five dimensions to the strategic IS planning behaviors largely confirming the broad findings of Earl (1993). Interestingly two dimensions were revealed for the involvement of people around an organization with one relating to involvement on business needs and the other relating to technology-based opportunities. For strategic IS planning agendas, which were used as a single dimension measure by Boynton & Zmud (1987), four broad dimensions were revealed. Strategic IS Planning Success. Raghunathan & Raghunathan (1994) had found two dimensions and these were confirmed.

?

Strategic IS Planning Behaviors
Five dimensions of behaviors were found. Though similar to Earl’s findings this study found that the methods-led behaviors which involved using proprietary methodologies were no longer significant. In contrast the consultative behaviors typically involving workshops and interviews across business functions had taken on two forms. One being business-led aimed at identifying the information systems needed to meet business objectives. The other technology-led, exploring the opportunities for technologies to create new business process or product opportunities (Downes & Mui 1998). The five dimensions of behavior are: 1. 2. 3. 4. Administrative behaviors (α = 0.63), which relates to the use of administrative techniques such as meetings and committees to identify short-term priorities and resolve issues. . Technological behaviors (α = 0.85), where tools such as development pipelines, information and technical architectures and infrastructure plans are employed and rational decision-making is emphasised. IS function-led behaviors (α = 0.75) focusing strategic IS planning within the IS/IT department and involving IS managers in addressing strategic IS planning issues. Business orientated organisational behaviors (α = 0.89) where the focus is on getting the business professionals and IS professionals to work together in identifying the requirements for IS/IT through workshops and consultation. Technology-orientated organisational behaviors (α = 0.88) where business professionals are involved in decision making on technologies, in particular how to exploit new IT. The behavior is consultative and multidisciplined and innovation is emphasised.

5.

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

7

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Strategic IS Planning Agendas
Agendas describe the issues that are given attention during strategic IS planning (Das et al. 1991). Four distinct dimensions were found: 1. 2. 3. 4. Providing IS services to business users (α = 0.66). This broad area of content covers the servicing of demand for IS/IT within an organization. This dimension is emphasising operational demand for IS/IT. Managing IS resources and risks (α = 0.79). SISP must also cover the stewardship of IS resources – technical and people. This dimension emphasises the challenges of supplying IS/IT and increasing dependence on IS/IT. Exploiting IT opportunities (α = 0.73). IS/IT is a source of both productivity increases and competitive advantages for organizations. This dimension is addressing the strategic nature of IS/IT. Preparing for the future (α = 0.85). There is typically an extended lead-time for major IS/IT developments particularly those parts of IS/IT, like infrastructure, that are built over time. SISP therefore becomes a means by which organizations can look into the future and identify what IS/IT the organization will need.

Strategic IS Planning Success
The two-dimension measure developed by Raghunathan & Raghunathan (1994) was further validated in this study. The two dimensions of success for strategic IS planning were: 1. 2. Fulfilment of SISP objectives (α = 0.92). This refers to a wide set of objectives that organizations have for IS/IT. These are fulfilled through SISP. Improvements in SISP capabilities (α = 0.91). This dimension recognises the motivation of organizations to improve SISP.

Cluster Analysis to Explore Types of Approach Used by UK Organizations
From cluster analysis five, broad strategic IS planning approaches were found but the findings provide only qualified support for hypothesis H1. They are similar but not identical to those found by Earl (1993) and by Segars et al. (1998). The five found in this study were: ? Administrative Approach (n= 4). Companies in this cluster were high on the administrative behaviors dimension. Used by a relatively small number of the organizations in this study, this approach involves creating strategic IS plans through formal processes and committees or groups with the power to make decisions on the allocation of IS resources. Some involvement of the IS function was found as were the use of technological tools and models. However the involvement of the wider organization and business managers and users was minimal. Power and politics are emphasised in IS decision-making, over planning for the future or managing IT risks. Strategic opportunities from IT do get some attention but need the sponsorship of powerful individuals or groups. ? Technological Approach (n=7). Companies in this cluster were high on the technological behaviors dimension. This approach involves technical perspectives particularly models and architectures and emphasises the inputs of senior technical architects and technology professionals in strategic IS planning. Involvement from the business managers is often absent and agendas tend to emphasise developing IS resources, particularly infrastructure. Linking strategic IS plans into specific business strategies is difficult. Instead the intention is to develop a technically coherent IT platform for the business. ? IS Function Led Approach (n=18). Companies in this cluster were high on the IS department led dimension. This may to be an evolution of the business led approach of Earl (1993) but with the IS function itself being more able now to interpret the business plans and align strategic IS plans to them. This approach emphasises the managing of IT resources and preparing for IT futures and pays less attention to organization power issues and strategic IT. Typically it gives the IS function the central role in strategic IS planning. ? Organisational Approach (n=19). Companies in this cluster were high on both of the organisational dimensions of strategic IS planning behaviors – technology orientated and business orientated. In the 1990s this approach emphasised involvement in identifying opportunities for using IS/IT. The underlying philosophy was to be “business-led” and avoid being “technology-led”. Today the organisational approach additionally involves

8

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

business users and managers in the evaluation of new technologies to seek out opportunities that are explicitly technology-led. The explanation for this change may be increased awareness of the potential for technology to drive business strategy through applications like e-business, CRM, supply chain management, etc. ? Comprehensive approach (n=22). Companies in this cluster have approaches that emphasise all the dimensions of behaviors equally instead of emphasising one or two dimensions. Each dimension is less fully addressed than for companies that focus on a single dimension, but the outcome is a more “comprehensive” set of behaviors pursuing a more “comprehensive” set of agendas. This approach that was not found by Earl (1993) but was predicted. This approach is able to achieve both a balance across all the SISP behaviors and the highest outcomes on them, suggesting that the behaviors act in combination to achieve more. This approach was the most successful. However, around a quarter of those organizations that employed the comprehensive approach achieved below average levels of success. This emphasises that other factors also influence success, for example the IS maturity of the organization (see Warr, 2005).

This finding provides support to H1 that organizations are continuing to employ a small set of broad approaches and to H2 that these are continuing to evolve with significant differences between the findings and prior research.

Relating Type of Approach to Level of Success
A comparison of the five types of approach to strategic IS planning with above or below average levels of planning success provides support to H3. It shows that different approaches have different levels of success and is broadly a progression from that of Earl (1993) and Segars et al. (1998). Table 3 details the differences, which are significant (p<0.01).

Table 4. Crosstab Relating Strategic IS Planning Approach to Success Percentage Below Average Success Administrative Approach Technological IS Function Led Organisational Comprehensive 100% 71% 50% 58% 24% Above Average Success 0% 29% 50% 42% 76%

This is suggesting that organizations employing the administrative, technological or IS function led approaches are more likely to experience lower levels of success with their strategic IS planning. The organisational approach remains more successful than these three, which confirms the findings of previous studies. However there is support for H4 that combining the previously identified approaches into a more “comprehensive” approach will lead to higher levels of success. This confirms Earl’s (1993) suggestion. Using regression analysis the linear combination of the dimensions of both strategic IS planning behaviors and agendas were significantly related to planning success (p<.001 and p<.001). Therefore combining the behaviors and agendas into more comprehensive approaches to strategic IS planning will lead to higher levels of success. The dimensions identified in this study can therefore be used as a guide to designing comprehensive approaches.

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

9

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Discussion
The direction of development in strategic IS planning appears is to be towards more comprehensive approaches. Organizations appear to have applied the advice from research into their strategic IS planning. They have combined approaches and experienced the predicted increase in success. The more comprehensive the approach used the higher the level of success. Closer examination of the data reveals that those organizations that are using the comprehensive approach achieve less on each dimension of strategic IS planning behavior than organizations that employ the approaches that focus on that behavior. However the balancing of the dimension of behaviors appears to more than compensate for the losses on any single dimension. This could be because strategic IS planning is resource constrained in most organizations so organizations must typically do a smaller amount on every dimension of strategic IS planning to achieve a balanced and comprehensive profile. This suggests that organizations using the comprehensive approach could expand their efforts on each of the behavior dimensions if more resources could be made available and success from strategic IS planning could increase further. The reasons why higher success results from the comprehensive approach are less readily understood from a survey method where causality is less easily revealed particularly in a complex activity like strategic IS planning. One interpretation is that different professional groups and planning methods are associated with the different dimensions of SISP behavior. However, each group brings valuable inputs into the different phases of strategic IS planning. Table 5 proposes how the people, inputs and value creation differ across the dimensions of behaviors. The comprehensive approach brings all these equally into strategic IS planning and by addressing a wider set of planning issues results in plans that are more successful. Another consideration is that involving these professional groups during strategic IS planning increases their commitment and may positively influences their perceptions of the process used and the outcomes from strategic IS planning. able 5. Proposed Value Being Created By Combining Behaviors within the Comprehensive Approach Dimensions of Strategic IS Planning Behaviors Technology Orientated Organisational Innovators Opportunities for technology to generate business opportunities Identifying potential innovations from IT

Professional Groups Knowledge Input

Controllers Resource and organisational constraints and relative priorities Resource conflicts identified and resolved

Technologists Details of the applications and infrastructure technology platform Coherent technology strategies and architectures

IS Managers How to effectively provide IS services Strategies for effective IS services and sourcing

Business Users Issues for business operations from information systems Clarity on IS needed for business strategy

Value Creation

This explanation for the success is a theoretical proposition at this stage in the research. However, the exploration of both this and the general findings is being progressed through case studies.

10 ? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

Business Orientated Organisational

IS-Function Led

Administrative

Technological

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Field Validation of Findings Through Case Studies
Case Methodology
The research is being continued through case studies. Around ten in-depth case studies over a five-year period are intended with organizations undertaking strategic IS planning. The comprehensive approach will be used and observations will cover the full life cycle of the strategic planning activities and continue into implementation for up to two years to monitor measures of success. Attempts are being made to ensure the organizations are of similar size, sector and experience of strategic IS planning to reduce the external variables. However, the difficulties of gaining access to suitable sites will inevitably limit the operationalisation of this goal. The researcher is a participant observer in these case studies acting as a project resource. To guard against bias, multiple sources of evidence are being collected including the observations of others both internal and external to the strategic IS planning projects along with the documentation created by the teams involved. The case studies are measuring strategic IS planning behaviors, agendas and success Three case studies have been completed with one having been tracked for two years to observe outcomes and the initial findings for this case are reported here. Others are in various later stages of progress.

Case Study - Dimensions
The case study is a large public sector organization. A strategic IS plan had been created four years previously and with the arrival of a new IT Director a refresh was initiated. A project was designed that employed the comprehensive approach within the constraints of time available and resources. Commitment from the executive team was achieved without too much difficulty, in part because the comprehensive approach ensured that all the major stakeholder groups were included. The planning activities took eight months, about two months longer than planned. The project followed the classical five phases of a strategic planning project: strategic awareness, situational analysis, strategy conception, strategy selection and implementation planning (Mentzas 1997). The implementation has progressed for two years and the strategy has survived the departure of the IT Director and been adopted without substantial change by her replacement.

Strategic IS Planning Behaviors
The project was designed to adopt the comprehensive approach and the project team employed all five dimensions of behaviors. A finding was that the five dimensions of the comprehensive approach led to different planning activities at different phases of strategic IS planning. Table 6 illustrates this. Although the professional groups were all involved substantially, their involvement varied according to the phase. The comprehensive approach led to much higher levels of involvement than in the previous project four years earlier. The involvement extended outside the organization to business and technology partners. Internally involvement came from the IT function and across the organization. The networking and collaboration involved had benefits beyond strategic IS planning to general interactions between the organization and external organizations. An early concern about wide involvement was that people would not have the time. However, the wide involvement meant that the workload was spread across more people and with the exception of one or two staff who dedicated a substantial proportion of their time to the project, the majority of participants were able to give the time needed alongside their other duties. Involvement gave legitimacy and authority to the strategies and plans that were developed. Figure 1 illustrates the extent of involvement. A complication not addressed in the research literature was the presence of a national IT programme covering the whole sector and run by central government. This superordinate, national IT strategy was introducing major new applications and the organization was required to adopt them. This meant that the strategy planning activities were used to help the organization to learn about the impacts that would result, and to proactively work through how these externally imposed and technology-led innovations should be exploited. This suggests that whilst the organisational dimension of strategic IS planning behaviors has split into business-led and technology-led dimensions they are both associated with organisational learning.

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 11

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Table 6. Examples of Contributions from Each Behavior at Each of the Primary Stages of Strategic IS Planning Phase 1 Strategy Awareness Dimensions of Strategic IS Planning Behaviors (Associated Professional Groups) Administrative (Controllers) Ensuring sponsorship includes executives with sufficient organisational power Information on technology trends in the sector Providing trends in organising IS services across the sector Phase 2 Situational Analysis Steering Committee or similar established Phase 3 Strategy Conception Providing direction on acceptable strategies from resource and political perspectives Creating improved target applications portfolios and architectures Designing improvements to IT governance, IS department organization and IS services Frame the themes that should guide the development of the organization’s IS resources and capabilities Framing innovations that the organization can benefit from Phase 4 Strategy Selection Articulating the acceptability of different options for stakeholders groups Phase 5 Strategy Implementation Planning Providing constraints and budgets within which implementation plans would be acceptable to the senior stakeholders

Technological (Technologists)

Providing assessments of current technology platforms Assessments of the IS services and IT function

Identifying the pros and cons of different technology paths Representing the interests of the IS department and articulating implications for IT staff Apply priorities and consider the organization’s capacity to handle changes to IS Choosing the best innovations

Planning the technology aspects of the chosen strategies with resource and technical implications Planning reorganizations of IS services and staff necessary to deliver new strategies High level functional requirements for applications along with benefits case and ideal implementation milestones Identify the best organisational vehicles to take forward the strategic innovations that will be pursued

IS Function-Led (IS Managers)

Business Orientated Organisational (Business Users & Managers)

Business strategy and operational imperatives requiring new IS

Workshops to provide issues and to suggest applications and developments needed to resolve Analysing discontinuous technologies and how they will affect business models

Technology Orientated Organisational (Innovators)

Research future technologies that will affect the sector.

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 12

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Figure 1. Extent of Involvement in the Case Study of the Comprehensive Approach

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 13

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

1.

2

3

4

Introduction 1.1 Purpose of the IS Strategy 1.2 Scope 1.3 Relationship to Other Documents 1.4 Structure of the Document <Organisation> Services and Priorities 2.1 Purpose and Objectives 2.2 Strategy and Priorities 2.3 The Evolving Role of Information & IS National Programme (NP) 3.1 A Brief History of National Programme 3.2 The Opportunities & Challenges for <Organisation> from National Programme The IS Vision for <Organisation> 4.1 Strategic Vision for IS

9

10

11

Where Are We Now? 5 The Current Position 5.1 A Small But Significant IT Directorate 5.2 Significant Challenges Typical of NHS IT 5.3 Ahead is a Period of Major Developments for the <Organisation’s> IS 12 13 14 15

How Will We Get There? 6 Major Community Applications 6.1 Continuum 6.2 Access to PCs 6.3 Chronic Disease Register 6.4 e-Referrals 6.5 Child Health 6.6 IT Support for Pharmacists & Dentists 6.7 Access Databases 6.8 Strategy Map for IS Improvements & Investments for Community Health Services GP’s Applications 7.1 GP Patient Systems 7.2 GP e-Mail 7.3 GP Websites 7.4 GP Broadband Homeworking 7.5 PDAs 7.6 Nursing Home Access to Surgery Systems 7.7 Discharge Summaries System 7.8 GP Access to Hospital PAS 7.9 Strategy Map for IS Improvements & Investments for GP Practices <Organisation’s> Applications 8.1 Electronic Staff Records 8.2 Staff Directories 8.3 Websites, Extranets & Intranets 8.4 Homeworking 8.5 e-Mail 8.6 Finance Applications

7

National Solutions 9.1 National Programme 9.2 Management of the National Programme Implementation 9.3 Resourcing Strategies for National Programme Implementation 9.4 Strategies for Individual National Programme Solutions (or Bundles) 20042006 Innovation – Preparing for the Future 10.1 Mobility & Wireless 10.2 e-Learning ICT Infrastructure 11.1 Data Networking 11.2 Network Services to Community Sites 11.3 Network Security 11.4 Server Configuration and Consolidation IT Training 12.1 IT Training Strategy ICT Service Management ICT Standards and Policies ICT Organisation & Governance 15.1 Principles and Direction 15.1.1 A Period of Change 15.1.2 From Behind to the Forefront of Technology 15.1.3 From Operating Technology to Deploying Solutions 15.1.4 From Delivering Support to Directing Support 15.1.5 From Automating Information Processing to Enabling Best Practice Service Delivery 15.1.6 Principles for IT Re-Organisation 15.2 IT Organisation 15.3 IT Governance 15.4 The Re-Organisation of IT Staff 15.5 Strategy Map for IS Improvements

How and When Do We Get There? 16 Implementation 16.1 Implementation Governance & Principles 16.2 Consultation & Ownership 16.3 High Level Implementation Plans 16.4 Analysis of Major Risks to IS Strategy 16.5 Funding & Resources 16.6 Refreshing the IS Strategy

8

Glossary of Terms References to Other Documents & Sources Useful Web Sites Appendices

Figure 2. Anonymized Contents of Strategic IS Plan for the Case Study Organization (i.e. Agendas)

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 14

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Strategic IS Planning Agendas
All four of the dimensions of agendas were being addressed in this case study. The comprehensiveness of the activities undertaken and people involved helped to facilitate the wide agendas being addressed. A few areas were addressed that have not featured extensively in the research literature on strategic IS planning because they have recently become more prevalent. These included IT governance, sourcing and the implementation of national IT strategies. Figure 2 lists the contents of the IS strategy document evidencing the breadth of agendas delivered by this case.

Strategic IS Planning Success
A number of measures triangulate to evidence that this case delivered a high level of success. This included comparisons with the strategic IS plans of other organizations in the sector by an informed executive. ? ? ? ? ? The evaluation of the IT director. Feedback after approval by the executive team and main board. Comments made by the main board chairman (who had extensive contacts and experience across the sector) that the IS strategy was amongst the best in the sector. Nomination for a national government sector prize for excellence in general management processes. That after two years the IS strategy remained the primary vehicle for prioritizing IS projects and other IS activities.

Case Study Conclusions
The case study illustrates the relationship between the behaviors and agendas and how they contribute to the higher levels of success. It confirms the characteristics of the comprehensive approach derived from the survey. It also reveals that there are context specific aspects to its implementation. The superior level of planning success is evidenced not just by the IT director but other observers from within and outside the case study organization.

Implications for Researchers
This study has proposed a multi-item, multi-dimension measure for strategic IS planning approach that operationalised Earl (1993) while remaining congruent with other studies of approach. The two dimensions used of behaviors and agenda capture both the “means” and “ends” of strategic IS planning. The use of the agenda construct updates and validates work by Bynton & Zmud (1987). The success construct for strategic IS planning from Raghunathan and Raghunathan (1994) was further validated and for UK organizations. Whilst the study validated prior research that reveals organizations pursuing a small number of types of approach, it also provides evidence that the evolution of strategic IS planning approaches is continuing and that the direction is towards increasingly comprehensive approaches. It has revealed a cluster of organizations that had combined approaches into a new approach labeled the “comprehensive approach” along with evidence that not only was this delivering higher levels of success but that more success might be available to organizations. The implications from this are not just confirming that strategic IS planning warrants ongoing research. It reinforces the need for longitudinal research if strategic IS planning is to be fully understood.

Implications for Practitioners
Organizations are broadly pursuing five different types of strategic IS planning approach with the most success being associated with the most comprehensive approach. All organizations - even those adopting the comprehensive approach - have the potential for significant improvements in SISP Success through employing more comprehensive SISP approaches. This is achieved through involving all the major professional groups from around an organization throughout the phases of strategic IS planning. These include not only senior business and IS managers but also

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 15

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

technologists and business users from within the organization and business partners and IT vendors. It seems that each group has something important to bring to strategic IS planning which if missed will inhibit its success. Involvement also helps to create commitment for strategic IS plans and make implementation more likely to fully succeed. For CIOs, this study confirms the important role of strategic IS planning and emphasises that there is still a great deal for organizations to learn about this management process and still higher levels of performance available. Linking back into other research, higher performance from strategic IS planning will lead onto improved information systems and higher satisfaction with IS from the business users and managers.

Limitations to this study
A number of limitations apply to this study: ? ? The study used data from UK organizations. Care must therefore be taken when applying to other geographies. The survey used responses from only 70 companies in the main study. Whilst this is within the normal range for studies of this nature with long and complex survey instruments, care is needed when making inferences for the population of all organizations. Strategic IS planning research may have been ongoing for a number of decades but the stage reached is still immature relative to the complexity of the domain. This applies in particular to the constructs used. Efforts have been made to mitigate this by grounding this study in prior research but caution is required.

?

Conclusion
This research has contributed towards a better understanding of the approaches being used for strategic IS planning by organizations. It has proposed that a new comprehensive approach is being adopted that combines in a balanced manner the approaches that have been developed to date. The comprehensive approach offers the prospect of improved strategic IS planning outcomes. The multiple case study phase of this research project continues with the aim of increasing further the understanding of strategic IS planning approaches and the specifics of how improvements in planning success can be achieved.

References
Armstrong, J. S. & Overton, T.S. “Estimating non-response bias in mail surveys”, Journal of Marketing Research, (16)pp 396-402. Boston Consulting Group, “Perspectives on Experience”, Boston, Mass.,1972. Chan, Y. E. "Business Strategy, Information Systems Strategy and Strategic Fit: Measurement and Performance Impacts", PhD Thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1992. CIO Magazine. “Research Report: State of the CIO 2006: Variations by Company Size” CIO Magazine, March, 2006. http://www2.cio.com/research/surveyreport.cfm?ID=105 Bacon, N. "Information Systems Strategies in Government: Recent Survey Evidence", Journal of Information Technology (6), 1991, pp 94-107. Boynton, A. C. and Zmud, R. W. "Information Technology Planning in the 1990's: Direction for Practice and Research", MIS Quarterly, March 1987, pp 59-71. Das, S., Zahra, S., and Warkentin, M., "Integrating the Content and Process of Strategic MIS Planning with Competitive Strategy," Decision Sciences, (22) 1991, pp. 953--984. Dean, N. J. "The Computer Comes of Age", Harvard Business Review, January - February, 1968, pp 83-91. Downes, L. and Mui, C. “Unleashing the Killer App:Digital Strategies for Market Dominance”, Harvard Business School Press, MA, 1998. Earl, M. J. "Experiences in Strategic Information Systems Planning", MIS Quarterly, March, 1993, pp 1-24. Finnegan, P. and Fahey, M. J. "Planning for Information Systems Resources?", Journal of Information Technology, (6) 1993, pp 127-138. Finkelstein, C. "Information Engineering I", Computerworld, (15:19), 1981, pp 1-22.

16 ? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net

White Paper - A “Comprehensive” Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning in UK Organizations

Galliers, R. D. "Information Systems Planning in the UK and Australia - A Comparison of Current Practice", Oxford Surveys in IT, (4) 1987, pp 223-255. Galliers, R. D. and Land, F. F. "Choosing an Appropriate Information Systems Research Methodology", Communications of the ACM, (30:8) 1987. Ghemawat, P. “Building Strategy on the Experience Curve”, Harvard Business Review, (42) March-April 1985. Grapevine. “The Grapevine Index of Technology & Telecoms Executive, 2000-2001”, 5th Edition, 2002.. King, W. R. "How Effective is Your Information Systems Planning", Strategic Management Journal, (4) 1983, pp 263-277. Lederer, A. L. and Sethi, V. "The Implementation of Strategic Information Systems Planning Methodologies", MIS Quarterly (12:3), September 1988, pp 445-461. Martino, C. L. "Information Systems Planning to Meet Business Objectives: A Survey of Practices", Cresap, McCormick and Paget, New York, 1983. McFarlan, F. W. "Problems in Planning the Information Systems", Harvard Business Review, March-April,1971, pp 75-89. McKinsey & Co. "Unlocking the Computer's Profit Potential", McKinsey & Co., New York, 1968. Mirchandani, D. A. and Lederer, A. L. “Procedural Justice and the Planning of Information Systems in Multinational Firms”, Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on Information Systems, 2005. Osborn, R. F. "GE and UNIVAC: Harnessing the High Speed Computers", Harvard Business Review, JulyAugust, 1956, pp 99-107. Premkumar, G. and King, W. R. "Assessing Strategic Information Systems Planning", Long Range Planning, (24;50) 1991, pp 41-58. Prewitt, E. and Overby, S. “The Importance of Being Strategi”, CIO Magazine, April 1, 2003. Pyburn, P. J. "Linking the MIS Plan with Corporate Strategy: An Exploratory Study", MIS Quarterly, June, 1983, pp 1-14. Raghunathan, B. and Raghunathan, T. S. "Adaptations of a Planning Success Model to IS Planning", Information Systems Research, (5: 3), September, 1994, pp 326-430. Segars, A. H., Grover, V. and Teng, J. T. C. “Strategic Information Systems Planning: Planning System Dimensions, Internal Coalignment, and Implications for Planning Effectiveness”, Decision Sciences (29:2), Spring 1998, pp 303-345. Segars, A. H. and Grover, V. “Strategic Information Systems Planning Success: An Investigation of the Construct and its Measurement”, MIS Quarterly, (2) June 1998, pp 139-163. Segars, A. H. and Grover, V. “Profiles of Strategic Information Systems Planning”, IS Research, (10:3) 1999, pp 199-232. Sekaran, N "Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach", John Wiley: New York,, 1992. Sullivan, C. "Systems Planning in the Information Age", Sloan Management Review, Winter, 1985, pp 3-11. Venkatraman, N. and Grant, J. H. "Construct Measurement in Organisational Strategy Research: A Critique and Proposal", Academy of Management Review, (11:1) 1986, pp 71-87. Venkatraman, N. and Ramanujan, V. "Planning Systems Success: A Conceptualisation and an Operational Model", Management Science, (8:6), June 1987, pp 687-705. Ward, J. and Peppard, J. “Strategic Planning for Information Systems”, Wiley, 2002. Watson, R. T., Kelly, G. G., Galliers, R. D. and Brancheau, J. C. “Key Issues in Information Systems Management: An International Perspective”, Journal of Management Information Systems (13:4), 1997, pp 91-115. Weill, P. and Ross, J. “IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Performance”, Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, 2004. Yin, K. Y. "Case Study Research: Design and Methods", Sage, Newbury Park, California, 1988.

? Alan Warr, All Rights Reserved - White Paper – alanwarr.net 17


相关文章:
ExonHunter a comprehensive approach to gene finding.pdf
ExonHunter a comprehensive approach to gene finding...nder system that outperforms existing systems, ...White Paper- A “Compr... 17页 免费 ...
R2_Strategic Information Systems Alignment.pdf
R2_Strategic Information Systems Alignment_理学_高等...approach to identify key aspects of the study in...White Paper- A “Compr... 17页 免费 Systems...
A Stakeholder Approach to Strategic Management.pdf
A Stakeholder Approach to Strategic Management_经管...Systems theory emphasizes the development of ...there is no comprehensive measure of CSP and that...
Strategic Information Systems Planning in U.S. Stat....pdf
Private-sector SISP is comprehensive and coordinated...to strategic information systems planning: An ...White Paper- A “Compr... 17页 免费 ...
...using a comprehensive approach to modeling the f....pdf
arXiv:0807.4525v1 [physics.chem-ph] 28 Jul 2008 Simulation of spherulite growth using a comprehensive approach to modeling the ?rst-order isotropic/smect...
A Practical Guide to Information Systems Process Im....pdf
A Practical Guide to Information Systems Process ...does not directly support the strategic direction....When considering the metrics approach to select ...
COMP5132 - Information Systems Acquisition and Inte....pdf
students will be able to: a) better understand the information requirements ...Journal paper: (1) Merali and McKiernan, 1993, The strategic positioning ...
...inventory and marketing management systems- A mo....pdf
In this paper, a conceptual framework for the ...inventory}marketing information systems is studied. ...to the strategic business plan to its installation...
COCOS A Case-Based Information System for Techni....pdf
other information systems are queried and more important...a more strategic and abstract level hierarchically ...check list, form, white paper, presentation ...
...Transportation IMPACTS OF INTELLIGENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS ....pdf
IMPACTS OF INTELLIGENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS ON_专业...This paper gives an overview of the project OVID...For mapping actor-reactions at a strategic level,...
chap1-MIS defined_图文.ppt
WHITE COLLAR % BLUE COLLAR % FARMING YEAR ...13 A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE ON INFORMATION SYSTEMS ?...The Strategic Business Challenge: How can ...
Management Co-ordinator Information Systems Team.pdf
This paper will describe the history of Information Systems research at the ...to implement the strategic plan, as well as, a Research Co-ordinator and...
information_management_sov.pdf
systems and from five to 15 separate business ...We combine a strategic approach with practical ...a comprehensive information management strategy in ...
Can Legacy Systems Beget Product Lines.pdf
to evolve these legacy systems to a state in which they exhibit many of ...approach addresses the needs of the customer, the organization’s strategic ...
...Business Planning and Information Systems Planni....pdf
on the extent of information systems contribution to organizational performance....This paper presents results from a content analysis of strategic IS/IT plan...
管理信息系统 INFORMATION SYSTEMS, ORGANIZATIONS, AN....ppt
strategic information systems and management solutions...A RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIP FIGURE 3-5 Environments ...environments and decide to change environments ...
Point-of-Purchase Nutrition Information Influences Food-Pur....doc
Point-of-Purchase Nutrition Information Influences ...A Strategic Approach to Maximize Business Profitability...Systems with Applications, Volume 36, Issue 6, ...
MGTP 207 Management Information Systems MGTP 207 Te....pdf
MGTP 207 Management Information Systems MGTP 207 ...a new approach for enforcing privacy throughout an...Strategic intent for it outsourcing. Sloan ...
INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR MANAGERS TEXTS & CASES.pdf
117 A Note About Disruptive Technology 117 Sustaining Technology 118 Disruptive...Information Systems SWOT 170 From Planning to Action: Proposed Strategic Initiat...
...of Operational Information Systems to Business.doc
Tactical and strategic information systems are difficult to build for an organization that does not already have a well-developed set of operational-level ...