The initial gist of this paper is the ‘information revolution’, spanning a period of technological innovations, from the internet to Information Technology, coupled with globalization and the rise of the multinationals. A new paradigm shift has emerged from this kind of revolution, and the organization’s trend is to implement Office Information Systems solutions like groupware and enterprise applications.
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IT applications have entirely changed functions in organizations. The latest innovations allow individuals and groups to communicate wherever and whenever.
This paper aimed to study the various studies in the applications and implementations of Information Systems.
Advancement in technology is so fast and competition between organizations continues to be stiff. Organizations are struggling to integrate new systems, introduce different ways to survive, and acquire the latest strategy possible. Successful system integration efforts provide competitive edge.
In the literature review, we have included subjects in information systems planning, Geographic Information Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning, and other related critical issues. Information Systems Planning is a developing field.
Critical analysis is an important activity of the planning process. Along this line are plans, strategies, visions, which are a part of the organization’s culture.
Critical Systems Approach to Information Systems Planning provides emphasis on the different aspects and ideas about Information System. It allows stakeholders to be involved with their own concerns and the organization’s.
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The Information revolution has spawned numerous technologies geared towards automating the office. Information Systems has created new paradigm shifts in organizational processes. The trend in organizations is implementing Office Information Systems solutions such as groupware and enterprise applications, for example databases or shared repositories, intranets, workflow, imaging systems, and other customized applications.
Technological advancement and continuous innovations have motivated organizations and businesses to react to changes in the global competition. Organizations have to reorganize, reevaluate and reprogram outdated functional programs and activities, and realign them to the present trends for improvement and competition. Personnel and field people, ordinary employees, including middle-level and top management have to refocus along the line of technological innovations.
IT applications provide easy handling in the strategic operations and other supervisory and managerial functions of the organization. But this has to be studied and planned, and constantly monitored for its efficiency.
External and internal environments in organizations are becoming complex; thus they are handled with a globally-oriented brand of management, with the aid of Information Technology. Corporate management is now handling a global-scale brand of management, requiring a different kind of strategy, much distinct from traditional management.
Meanwhile, advancement in technology is so fast; innovations are applied every minute. There is what we call Web 2.0, or web-enabled infrastructure allowing business-customer and business-to-business interaction. This spawns databasing or shared repositories.
The many changes in the system demand new ways to integrate the functions in the organization. Successful system integration efforts provide competitive edge. Motivations to integrate revolve around technological issues and globalization. Organizations however have limited options, and have to migrate to newer technologies (Mische, 2000, p. 3).
This paper deals on the critical issues of Information Systems planning, design and implementation. Other related topics include definition and scope of Geographic Information Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP, and the underlying circumstances surrounding the systems’ usages.
The scope will include definitions of the different topics, theories and studies on those issues, and an analysis of these studies.
Wide research was conducted on the study and analysis of the extent of literature from the different sources such as books, journals, periodicals, and from the internet. The materials are studied and analyzed to arrive at a conclusion and recommendations.
The literature includes information systems planning, Geographic Information Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning, and other related critical issues.
Information Systems Planning is a developing field. It is used by organizations to transcend from the old ways of functioning to new technological means.
What precisely is Information Systems Planning? This is planning of the implementation of information systems and technologies by involving IS designers, developers and users. It is a process of defining the goals of using information systems and identifying the most appropriate areas and applications for the implementation of information technologies (Earl, 1993, Galliers et al., 1999; Lederer and Salmela, 1996; Piccoli and Ives, 2005; Robson, 1997; Córdoba, 2007, p. 910).
Much concern is on critical issues of the planning and designing. Technology is a tool and a total part of the workers’ lives in the workplace; thus this has to be properly and meticulously studied to enable the organization to function smoothly, and answer the needs and wants of the customers.
Information systems are planned to meet business objectives. IS planners are “more involved into developing skills and competencies in people, so they can make better use of their systems” (Piccoli and Ives, 2005, cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 910), and “continuously imagine, tinker and define new possibilities” (Ciborra, 1994).
IS planning concerns improvement and survival of the organization. Activities in the planning process include dialogue amongst employees who plan, conduct researches and strategies. Another activity is finding meaning of value opportunities for organizations.
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“IS planning refers to a notion of value which has a homogeneous and shared meaning for stakeholders (e.g. meeting business objectives) which will benefit those individuals committed to its achievement” (Willmott, 1993, as cited in Córdoba, p. 910).
An important activity of the planning process is critical analyses, and this include plans, strategies, visions, which are a part of organization culture “in which individual commitment and adherence to organizational goals are assumed rather than challenged” (Knights and Morgan, 1991; Willmott, 1993, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 912).
Critical scholars “find ways to uncover the ‘what is’ of situations (e.g. how individuals are being limited) in order to work towards ‘what it should be’ for them via securing a more rational and democratic workplace” (Alvesson and Willmott, 1996, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 910).
For Alvesson and Willmott (2003, p. 1), “Knowledge of management then becomes knowledge for management, in which alternative voices are absent or marginalized.” Critical scholars argue against distortions or disruptions in communications between individuals. They aim to uncover, challenge and transform these distortions and work to secure individuals’ emancipation. This can be done by offering alternative possibilities for action which then can be integrated in the production of goods and services (Alvesson and Willmott, 1992, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 911).
According to Lyytinen (1992), there are three main areas for critical research in information systems, namely:
- “Criticism of the underlying instrumental rationality bias;
- “Criticism of the dominant research canons and imperfections of the scientistic programme;
- “Classification and criticism of existing ‘technology-driven’ (e.g. techno centric) development models as well as the exploration of alternative approaches to the development and use of information systems” (Córdoba, 2007, p. 912).
The third approach needs attention. But critically, systemic thinking has seen a valuable means for its development (Brooke, 2002; Jackson, 1992).
Critical Systems Thinking
Critical Systems Thinking or CST is defined as a research perspective that encourages stakeholders’ understandings prior to the selection and implementation of systems methods. CST involves a continuous dialogue between researchers and practitioners who are concerned with releasing ideas and concepts for ‘improvement’ in social design with systems thinking (Midgley, 1996, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 913).
There are two main aspects of critical systems thinking perspectives:
- “One based on methodological pluralism and critically informed practice which has found criticisms of ‘rigour’ (Tsoukas, 1993; Willmott, 1997, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 913); and
- “One based on the theory of boundary critique (Córdoba, 2007, p. 913).
Córdoba (2007) expounds on the second one to provide an approach on IS planning. Córdoba explains the term ‘boundary critique’, citing Ulrich (1996) and Churchman (1968, 1970). It was Churchman who explained the system boundary which is a “social construct that defines the knowledge and people to be considered relevant in a social design” (p. 213).
When boundaries are shifted, even the understanding of who constitutes a genuine decision maker in a situation can change. Based on this idea, Churchman suggests that planners need to challenge their views about a situation, including their most cherished assumptions. This is sort of brainstorming, but is actually more than brainstorming. However, the situation maybe the same if the aim is to find a solution to a problem, or improvement of a given situation or scenario.
The planners may find themselves debating, but planners have to pursue for improvement. Churchman, who termed it as boundary critique, argued that the process requires that people ‘sweep in’ different views from different groups of stakeholders, to foster dialogue and mutual understanding. This way, viewpoints for the organization and future generations could be attained. (Córdoba, 2007)
Critical thinking can be used on system boundaries by encouraging those involved and affected by a situation to reflect on a diversity of views or knowledge sources, and to debate about sustainable improvements (Midgley, 2000, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 915).
The emphasis on processes of inclusion, exclusion and marginalization can help planners to consider the implications that plans and the process of generating them could have for a variety of stakeholders, including those which are not really a part of the original ideas and discussion.
Midgley (2000, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 915) provides the approach to boundary critique, with the following questions to be asked to support critical reflection in a process of IS planning:
- “What is the purpose or end of IS planning? Are there other purposes being marginalized?
- “Which level of analysis and intervention is/ought to be chosen?
- “What and whose values drive/ought to drive the definition of plans?
- “What about certain values being marginalized?
- “What and who is/ought to be included? What/ and who is/ought to be marginalized from the process? Why?
- “Which methods are/ought to be privileged during the process? Which methods are/ought to be marginalized during the process? Why?
- “What could be the consequences of any action for groups of stakeholders in the wider society?
- “What possibilities for action are/ought to be available?
- “From whose point of view are we/ought we to be answering the above questions?” (Córdoba, 2007, p. 913)
From the questions above, we can develop opportunities to reflect on wider concerns that need to be addressed in the planning process. This should lead us to ‘push out’ what is known as boundary judgements about IS planning and account for potential implications that judgements could have for the implementation of initiatives. With these ideas on boundaries, exclusions and marginalizations, critical questions can be developed in IS planning with a view of making it more inclusive and reflective.
A Critical Systems Approach to Information Systems Planning
This approach is called critical because it provides emphasis on the different aspects and ideas about Information System, on the different ideas and other conflicting notions that run counter to these ideas. This encourages debate and reflection on the issues at hand, and of opportunities for improvement.
The approach allows stakeholders to be involved with their own concerns and the organization’s. The approach can also include the use of a variety of systems methodologies like soft systems methodology (Checkland and Poulter, 2006, as cited in Córdoba, 2007, p. 913), or any other used for organizational inquiry. This includes examining boundaries that are adopted when using them. Some boundaries can be adopted by following a methodology as a ‘neutral’ set of guidelines; others define who is to be involved and affected and thus, critical reflection on the impacts on their adopting should be exerted.
A theory that involves this aspect is the theory of autopoiesis, which aims to foster mutual respect, openness and learning among different stakeholders (including researchers themselves) which can then help them in dealing with potential conflicts throughout the planning process. According to Córdoba (2007), the word ‘autopoietic’ is roughly defined as ‘self-producing’ (Mingers, 1995), and “an autopoietic system is one that seeks to maintain itself as a unity with a particular organization that gives the system its identity.” The environment can trigger changes in a system but it cannot cause them. (Córdoba, 2007, p. 916)
There are two main orientations in the approach: distinction and dialogue for improvement. Distinction means to identify a variety of issues of concern held by participants in the planning process. A possible way to start this enquiry is to ask people how they would like to live in society, and how organizations can contribute to support them in achieving this. (Córdoba, 2007, p. 913)
Geographic Information System
Information systems involve:
- People – the users of the system
- Applications – the processes and programs they use to do their work
- Data – the information needed to support those applications
- Software – the core GIS software
- Hardware – the physical components on which the system runs
Geographic Information System refers to “an organized accumulation of data and procedures that help people make decisions about what to do with things. Location is an important part of what they are.” (Harmon and Anderson, 2003, p. 1)
The figure shows a diagram of an enterprise GIS.
Information systems provide support to people or employees in an organization; in fact, this sprang out of the needs of the people. This innovative system allows people to interact with the world, inside and outside. The primary aim of information systems is to make life easier in the workplace, and to provide high levels of confidence in the output. People is the most important component of a GIS – it begins with people, including their needs and ends up with applications in the hands of people who do the work. Then comes next the application, which is to define and support the work of the people. In any information system we need to know what applications the system is expected to support.
Applications also required data necessary to create the type of output. The tables are stored in a database which will be run by a software to access manage, and manipulate the data. The data support the application.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The role of IT has become much more dominant from both strategic and operational perspectives (Jenson and Johnson, 2000, p. 29).
Enterprise Resource Planning systems are IT innovations or computer software that is becoming popular among business organizations. The emergence of ERP can be traced to the 1960s when there were technological advances and new systems used by industries in the conduct of inventory.
In the 1970s, more and more technological innovations were introduced with automation in the production and inventory, scheduling and planning. Then in the 1990s, the MRP was extended to cover areas other functional areas and departments including activities on financing and human resources management, and with many aspects of project management. Later, MRPII systems became less relevant for various reasons, thus was born the ERP which differs largely from MRP (Sammon and Adam, 2004, pp. 2-3).
Since the emergence of these materials management have evolved into new software packages, there has to be studies and analyses on materials management technique in order to view the merits of using combinations of the techniques (Grabski et al, 2003, p. 1991).
There was now the shift from the traditional to Information Systems. Oliver and Romm (2002, p. 44) stated that ‘the general question of how organizations shift from one technology to another is addressed by both economic theory and the theory of innovation.’ We can consider this shift as motivated by the company’s desire to lower cost and go forward.
O’Gorman (2004, p. 22) traced the development of materials management techniques from the industrial revolution to present day IT systems, by examining the role and function of the more significant materials and inventory control techniques.
Enterprise Resource Planning started with the integration of production systems and other functions in purchasing, financial, human resources, and many other functions (Shi & Halpin, 2003, p. 214).
ERP is a comprehensive application that provides organizational support. The system has a data base, and from this data base, various tasks requiring different inputs from all departments and functions of the organizations are systematically arranged and allowed to function well with the personnel, including managers from top to middle- and low-level personnel.
ERP as a technological tool using a software to help the management to efficiently and effectively use their resources for the integration and simplification of the different functions of the industry. In other words, this is an IT system for information processing and communication in the different functional areas of the organization.
ERP systems integrate the various transactions that carry voluminous data and information of business all throughout the organization (Markus et al., 2000, p. 245). We can understand that ERP is a comprehensive tool for the organizational functions. The systems involve almost all aspects, internal and external, including business-to-customer interactions.
The areas in the industry covered by the IT System encompasses such functions as planning, or while a product is still in the process of being manufactured, and then comes accounting and financing; human resource and the many aspects of management are also covered.
Industries now find it inevitable to apply Information Systems in their operations. The purchase and strategic use of IT Systems by organizations has been offered as the solution to surviving in the emerging e-based economy (Alvarez, 2002, p. 63).
Successes and failures in Information Systems are due to various reasons. During the early years, insurmountable problems were encountered by organizations. These problems were first met during the actual implementation.
Parr and Shanks (2000, p. 289) reveal that most IT projects encounter problems in the course of the operation, but in the case of the ERP systems, the problems really are abnormal. We can cite examples.
Fox Meyer Drug was a multi-billion dollar drug company when it announced its bankruptcy in 1996. The company complained in a suit that one of the causes of its bankruptcy was the failure of the ERP system to deliver the necessary benefits the company was supposed to attain. Out of this, the company sued the owner of the ERP software, SAP; thus began a multi-million lawsuit that lasted for years.
Another supposed ‘victim’ of possible wrong implementation of ERP was Mobil Europe who invested millions of dollars and had to abandon it afterwards. There were many other improved and successful companies that experienced problems as a result of their ERP implementation projects (Sammon and Adam, 2004, p. 2).
Some organizations report success and significant process gains. However, it is apparent that implementation of the software is really not an easy task, while others have found out that implementation of ERP can become a recipe for disaster (Grabski et al, 2003, p. 1991).
Implementing Information Systems applications is a rather laborious task involving processes that begins with planning, followed by the formation and installing of a project team who will enforce the project stipulations (Parr and Shanks, 2000, p. 290). Implementation is problematic for many organizations, despite the software’s potential and relevance for learning and company strategies (Holland and Light, 2003, p. 1986).
Furthermore, the implementing process involves several phases that have to be followed step by step and by a trained team of qualified staff. The team has to be meticulous and must deviate from the standard settings provided by the supplier. The main business options revolve around the issue of compromise over fitting the system to the organization or vice versa (Holland and Light, 2003, p. 1987). Industries can look to various models in the implementation process. Analyses of these implementations are provided by theorists and authors.
There are doubts and questions that have to be clarified in the implementation process, more so if the company is applying it for the first time. There has to be meticulous examination or investigation of the situation if is a transition from the traditional to the new ERP systems. The management approaches have to be distinct from the other processes as previously enforced by other MIS projects. Sumner (2003, p. 1995) raised issues that have to be answered by the supposed user:
- What problems did they encounter in using MIS? What should be avoided and what should come out in this new program?
- What are the major problems associated with implementing a huge industry using a computer software?
There are other questions of risk such as: What other factors that they are afraid will be encountered in the Information Systems project? What about the previous project, can this be avoided in this new system? (Sumner, 2003, p. 1995)
With the difficulties of ERP applications and the high cost of implementation, organizations still insist on using and applying Information Systems to their operations. Why this euphoria despite the many negative feedbacks? As mentioned, advantages surpass disadvantages.
We can enumerate these advantages of ERP applications (Oliver and Romm, 2002, p. 47):
- ERP allows flexibility to users because they possess superior data retrieval capabilities due to their integrated approach and being based on a common relational data model.
- ERP systems are primarily based on the client/server architecture which provides a modern desktop user interface.
- ERP systems are used for Business Process Reengineering, which incorporate an increased capacity for electronic processing of data in comparison with that available in legacy systems. Other users have found the application of ERP opportunities to create new procedures that may eradicate inefficiencies. Moreover, ERP systems, it is believed, are agents of changed processes.
- With the IT package and the Internet, customers can have easy access to the websites and air their suggestions and queries on company products and services.
- Maintenance is not so difficult.
- ERP systems have received favorable reviews from journals and publications. Larger organizations are implementing information systems that link the supply chain to other organizations’ data bases, or what we call data base sharing. More businesses are integrating processes.
Jenson and Johnson (2000, p. 30) state that there are enterprise systems integrator such as SAP AG (Waldorf Germany) with approximately 30 percent of the ERP market. Some of the major players with software products are from Oracle, PeopleSoft, Baan (now wholly owned by Invensys plc, London, England), and J.D. Edwards.
Over the past years, ERP system adoptions have become popular due to many reasons. Nah et al (2000) describe them as factors critical to successful ERP implementation.
- Organizations and businesses apply strategies such as reengineering best practice. This is because in the ongoing globalization, they encounter pressures from respective industries and so they hurry to make changes in their core practices to meet customer demands, but also find ways to lower costs in their operational activities.
- Globalization has really altered many of the businesses’ activities. Global or multinational operations have to be introduced and conducted. Companies have to find places or countries that offer lower costs in labor and capital. In other words, globalization has offered many challenges and even opportunities for firms. Jenson and Johnson (2000) says that ‘ERP software has been designed to multicurrency and value-added tax issues… and provides integrated, centralized database that can accommodate distributed transaction processing across multiple currencies’ (p. 30).
- According to Michael Hammer and James Champy (Jenson and Johnson, 2000, p. 31), one of the causes of broken systems is process fragmentation, which means many of the organizational processes are spread across functional boundaries. With this scenario, employees and departments interact to complete a transaction, or that coordination is not attained. No one knows the status of a transaction, and there is duplication in the data entry and databases. Because of such a situation, some individuals and departments attempt to impose control on their portion of the transaction. ERP corrects this situation by imposing order and discipline in the system. (Jenson and Johnson, 2000, p. 31)
ERP solutions are “best practice”. This claim is based on the long development period of a dynamic program by different organizations (Jenson and Johnson, 2000, p. 35).
Additionally, with ERP solutions, integration across departments are greatly improved; this includes core business processes, proven and reliable software support, and over-all enhanced competitiveness. And upgrading to industry standards may not be that difficult because usually ERP vendors would not hesitate to help their customers (Jenson and Johnson, 2000, p. 30).
Continuous improvement can deter negative effects. Because of their being complex, “Management Information Systems (MIS) applications and ERP software usability have to be improved with consistent design, affordance, integrated search functionality and friendly interfaces” (Bueno and Salmeron, 2008, p. 515).
Using Critical Success Factors on ERP
Bueno and Salmeron (2008), in their paper entitled “TAM-based success modeling in ERP”, voiced concern that ERP systems are complex tools thereby providing negative impacts to the users. They focused their paper on the various studies that identified the reasons why ERP was acceptable by different companies and organizations. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was a program to test ERP.
Bueno and Salmeron (2008) used the so-called CSF here identified as: (1) top management support, (2) communication, (3) cooperation, (4) training, and (5) technological complexity.
CSFs, according to Bueno and Salmeron (2008), are those areas which ensure competitive performance for the organization. Using CSFs in ERP implementation, we have the following explanation for the five categories:
- “Top management support – this includes ERP package tools selection, management and leadership, vision and planning, cultural and structural changes management and performance evaluation” (Bueno and Salmeron (2008, p. 516).
The authors hypothesized that this has a positive effect on the system. The support that comes from the top echelon of the company is a big help for CSF. But considering the management and leadership factors, we can prioritize this as the most important. Vision and planning, cultural and structural can never be given little attention, in a manner of speaking.
- Communication – increases good relationship between the different functional areas, thus conflicts are resolved. The authors likewise hypothesized that coordination among the different functions is beneficial on the success of the ERP systems. Different authors have agreed that communication can identify the problems among the different groups or departments, allows correcting some activities that are not in line with the planned projects (Bueno and Salmeron, 2008, p. 518).
- Training – As in any other application, training is very important. This has to be applied or available on the different phases of the implementation. Training reduces obstacles in the systems’ complexity. Aside from a well-qualified team to implement the project, they staff have to be trained in all aspects of the system.
- Cooperation – another important factor that enables links inside and outside; inside includes cooperation among the different departments or functional areas of the organization, while outside or external includes link with the ERP systems’ vendor.
- Technological complexity – The authors theorized that this may have a negative effect on some aspects of the systems. This is so because complexity sometimes give endemic problems, or something that really cannot be avoided.
The Technological Acceptance Model, as explained by Bueno and Salmeron (2008) tests the user’s behavior toward the applied IT system, “based on the ‘perceived usefulness’ (PU), ‘perceived ease of use’ (PEU), ‘attitude toward use’ (ATU) and ‘behavioral intention of use’ (BIU)” (Bueno and Salmeron, 2008, p. 516).
These factors are further explained by Bueno and Salmeron (2008), quoting Davis (1989):
PU can refer to the perceived belief of the user that he has improved his/her performance due the benefits brought about by the system, while PEU refers to the user’s belief that he/she has exerted less effort in using the system (Bueno and Salmeron, 2008, p. 516).
The results and findings of Bueno and Salmeron’s (2008) study revealed the applicability of TAM in relation to the user’s acceptance of ERP systems. The factors enumerated above all contribute to the success of ERP systems. The authors recommended that potential users should be actively involved in the introduction of the ERP systems. Training is another important factor for this reduces the ERP’s complexity, whilst top management support is a key factor in the ERP system’s successful implementation.
The Need for IS Systems in the Government Sector
Information Technology can contribute to the efficient databasing of records and information in the private and the government sectors. Government agencies have been developing mechanisms for capturing, sharing information, and feeding it to depositories. The innovative use of information technology is also seen as a best practice among state and local government managers. A paper analyzing the “State and Local Government Innovation Awards” found that, between 1990 and 1994, 29% of the best applications showed evidence of the use of new information technologies in local and state management that included enforcing child support obligations using employment records and electronic automobile registration (Borins, 2001, cited in Rottman et al., 2007, p. 437).
There is also a strong indication that portable equipment and wireless services are used to collect and transmit textual and graphical information between central repositories and scenes of crimes, accidents, and other incidents (Wexler, 1994, cited in Rottman et al., 2007, p. 347). Other technologies used include web-based systems, using Extensible Markup Language (XML), which are used to disseminate information to the public and to share information among independent justice agencies according to a common protocol (Miller, 2005, cited in Rottman et al., 2007, p. 347).
In some states, mobile cars of law enforcement agencies use moving cameras which are attached near the driver’s seat to monitor any eventuality or crime as it occurs. Police record crime incidents using the latest high technology equipment and apparatuses and input these into the database and Information Technology. Without these latest technology coupled with Information Systems, it would still be the traditional data encoding or recording.
Failures in large system development projects have occurred. The government agency FBI invested $170 million in the development of a “virtual case file” system but failed and abandoned it (Arnone, 2005, as cited in Rottman et al., 2007, p. 438). The faults were attributed to poor project management, poor quality control in programming, lack of structure in system design, overly ambitious schedules, and lack of coordination of hardware and software upgrades.
The Judicial Information Systems (JISs) have been described as disconnected from the network. This required repetitive input of information which also is a failure in the sharing of relevant information among interested parties. In 1985, the Missouri Supreme Court created an administrative structure with an information systems structure; a decade after the Missouri Supreme Court Web site allowed public access to docket entries. Then a nationwide study of the information systems infrastructure was conducted. The study recommended that the Court secure the continuing electronic exchange of information with law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice information repositories (or databases) as part of implementing any new system.
Critical Issues in the planning, design, and Implementation of Information systems have been tackled in this paper. Planning, design, and implementation of Information Systems depend on many factors.
Assessment of success in ERP systems can be measured in different dimensions, according to Markus et al (2003, p. 24):
- A new technology had been introduced and running successfully.
- Benefits were incurred economically, financially, and strategically.
- Operations had been running smoothly.
- Success was seen by the organization’s customers and stakeholders.
Moreover, we can relate success to user satisfaction. A system that meets the needs of its users naturally generates system satisfaction” (Holsapple et al., 2005, p. 325). Likewise, Holsapple et al quotes Guimaraes et al (1997) who said that a system that does not generate user satisfaction cannot provide positive results and may not be used at all (p. 325).
There are also high hopes for the software and this is attributed to the many testimonies of the users. Gabble et al (2003) argue that ‘by 2003 ERP software was highly configurable, and technically went a long way towards accommodating the various needs of users across the different sectors of the economy’ (p. 220).
Planning and implementation of Information Systems depend on many factors. Successes and failure can be attributed to poor systems planning. However, it is noteworthy that these factors are for real, as described in the details and discussion described in the early stages of this paper. More specifically, failures can be attributed to the implementation and the planning process.
Some of the failures in the IT applications that led to negative feedback from users were due to what is called process fragmentation, whereby many of the organizational processes were spread across functional boundaries. Members of the organization interact to complete a transaction, but there is no coordination. No one knows the status of a transaction, and there is duplication.
Measurement of success in IT systems is sometimes a thorny matter. The people whose job is to implement IT systems, like for example, the planners, designers, and researchers have to focus themselves into a group to conduct various activities which have to start from the initial phase of studying or debating the various issues.
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