Risk Management in Technology Implementation Research

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Critical Success Factors in IT Implementation

IT implementation within a complex business organization has many operational benefits but only when the organization meets various success factors for implementation. IT can streamline business processes, increase efficiency and contribute to improved organizational performance. In addition, with the availability of robust data-gathering mechanisms through the internet and big data analysis, IT infrastructure can provide an organization with knowledge management and analysis capabilities that help predict market and competitiveness trends for better performance. This is especially the case when implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, banking software and e-commerce based IT software and hardware. Although the implementation process is similar across the board, Holland and Light (1999a) point out that there are core success factors that apply for most ERP and similar IT applications. The type of study for the Holland and Light (1999a) research was a case study. The aim of their research adopted a case study analysis of two companies to determine the critical success in ERP implementation. Generally, the researchers found that an appropriate ERP strategy and legacy systems were the most important core critical success factors to ERP implementation. These core critical success factors apply to most industries such as finance since they are the basic consideration for any business organization willing to deploy IT for improve performance and competitiveness.

According to Davenport (1998), IT software and particularly ERP has the capacity to automate finance, supply chains, human resource management and other pertinent corporate operational activities depending on the success of the implementation. Although the critical success factors manage the risks associated with an IT deployment, further measures could help sensitive organizations such as those operating in the financial sector to manage effectively risk exposure peculiar to their particular business segment. Orlikowski & Baroudi (1991) have conducted an empirical study of 155 information systems in order to find out whether there are core assumptions that philosophically underpin the success of IT implementation. Their research provides an empirical basis for understanding the critical success factors provided in Holland and Light’s (1999a) research.

Core Assumptions in Critical Success Factors

There is some suggestion in the research literature that a business organization should fulfill some core assumptions about IT implementation to ensure that they have the necessary foundation. Many business organizations fail to observe these core assumptions, leading to high rates of implementation failure. Holland and Light (1999b) state that of all ERP implementations, about 90 percent either overshoot the budget or do not deploy in time because of underestimation of project scope, poor costing and scheduling (cited by Holland & Light, 1999a, p. 30). The researchers propose that project management is usually not the issue but it appears that the underlying assumptions are usually at fault. Based on case studies of Statco and Threads, Holland and Light (1999a) found that the underlying factors are primarily software configurations, changes in business processes, and legacy systems.

A more precise indication of the underlying success factors comes from Orlikowski & Baroudi (1991) whose analysis of 155 researches on information systems provides a broader and more inclusive analysis of IT implementation, especially regarding the finance sectors, which are highly sensitive to IT systems failures. The main aim of the researchers was to criticize the status quo and provide workable core philosophical assumptions that could guide the installation of information systems in organizations. The key finding is that the researchers propose the critical and interpretive philosophies, the two major foundations of IT implementation in organizations, for research in information systems. They also contend that a philosophical assumption should underlie all aspects of information systems deployment. Other researchers such as Webster and Starbuck (1988), point out the discipline-specific nature of philosophical assumptions that underlie research on a particular field such as information systems (cited by Orlikowski & Baroudi, 1991, p. 2). Researchers such as Banville and Landry’s (1989) had posited the need for a scientific-like philosophical grounding in information systems to provide a set of core assumptions to guide information systems deployment. While there are a multiplicity of implementation frameworks and assumptions, there are yet no universally agreed core assumptions for IT implementation in the finance and banking industries. Holland and Light (1999a) provide the simplified model in Figure 1 that narrows down the major assumptions during IT implementation into strategic and tactical core assumptions. These can act as a starting point for most business organizations in diverse sectors, in their IT implementation process.

Conclusion

The research provided by CustomWritings – paper writing service has shown that there is no single framework for IT implementation that can fit all organizational or operational contexts. However, there are core assumptions that all organizations should consider in their IT implementation process to reduce the high rate of failure reported in the research. This is especially the case in the sensitive finance and banking industries, or industries dealing with a massive amount of consumer data. The strategic and tactical factors should provide a foundational basis for IT implementation with minimal risk exposure to the organization, bearing in mind the contextual and business process differences that could influence implementation outcomes independent of the suggested core elements of an IT implementation process.

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