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Research Paper Rohit

Research Paper Rohit

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Published by Rohit Patel

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Published by: Rohit Patel on Aug 06, 2011
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Strategic information system planning is an important topic for managersand researchers alike. However, there is evidence of a gap between SISP researchand practice. Taking this situation as a motivation, we conducted an in depth casestudy on SISP to investigate this gap.The study was carried out in a German financial services company over a period of five months in summer 2003. During this time, the enterprise situationand the information system practices situation of FSC were studied with respect tothe SISP approach in place. Our findings confirm the hypothesis that practitionerslargely ignore academic literature and do not use it in support of their SISPendeavors. This is all the more striking since FSC extensively used guidance fromIS research in other fields such as systems analysis and software development. Our case study examines in detail two possible explanations for the gap: firstly alacking transfer of academic knowledge to practice, and secondly deficiencies inthe academic knowledge base itself. In fact, our observations highlight disconnect between academic discussion and practical conduct.However, we found that the ignorance of academic literature on SISP is not primarily caused by a constrained knowledge transfer. In order to excludecommunication barriers, we filtered the academic discussion according to thespecific situation and the needs of FSC and translated it into practicalrecommendations. Nevertheless, the academic arguments we put forward hardlyhad any impact, either on IT managers¶ thinking or on SISP practice at FSC.Though academic literature was partly perceived as inspiring, it was not regardedas a touchstone for SISP practice. Academia, in the eyes of FSC¶s practitioners,ignores the µµreal problems¶¶ and thus is not accredited as a relevant source of advice. Moreover, in a final discussion with FSC¶s senior IT executives we got theimpression that the professional identity of prevalent in academia. The academicdiscussion assumes the CIO to be an initiator of organizational innovations anddriver of business strategy on the board. In contrast, we found that FSC¶s CIO basically perceives her role as that of a service provider to business.While the different perceptions might be due to idiosyncrasies of FSC,related research provided additional empirical support for the conjecture of misleading academic assumptions about the role of IT management in practice.
Within information systems literature, a considerable amount of researcheffort has been devoted to the development of frameworks and methodology for the conducting strategic planning. A number of this methodologies aid IS plannersin aligning their strategies with those of the organizations, other help plannersdiscover opportunities to utilize IT for competitive advantage; still others assist planners in the analysis of internal processes and patterns of data dispersionthroughout the organization.Largely due to this emphasis on technique development and description, astrong tendency exists within IS research to conceptualize process of planning bychoice of known methodology. Though this approach can provide valuable insightinto the types of organizations and environments in which planning tools andtechniques are used effectively, it ignores many aspects of the strategy planning process that governs how planning occurs and how a technique may actually beimplemented. For example, a firm¶s process for SISP can easily be characterized ascritical success factors.Although such a description certainly provide some insight into planningapproach, many important dimensions of SISP are ignored. How many people participate in planning process? Do rules and policies govern the process? Whoinitiates the planning process? Is planning a sporadic and continuous activity?Broader dimensions such as these are a function of managerial values, beliefs andexperiences regarding strategic planning and therefore represent a planninginfrastructure upon which tools, techniques and methodologies are adopted,modified and scuttled. This dimensions also offers unique insight into how planning occurs across varying organizational and environmental contexts.Therefore it seems that additional insight into the nature and effectiveness of SISPcan be gained through theoretical development and operationalization of processdimensions that may capture institutionalized attitudes and beliefs about strategic planning.
Aim of the study
Strategic Information Systems Planning is a concern of maximum relevancein practice. It is among the highest ranked issues on management agendas for manyyears. Bigger enterprises which largely build their business on informationtechnology usually have dedicated management positions for SISP with job titlessuch as µµHead of IT strategy¶¶ or µµDirector Strategic IT Management¶¶. The practical challenges of SISP also find their way into practitioner conferences andmagazines, where they take even more room than in academic journals. But thetopics discussed in the strategy tracks of those magazines do hardly correspondwith those discussed in academic journals. These magazines label as µµstrategic¶¶new and very popular topics such as µµsecurity management¶¶ or recenttechnologies such as µµRFID¶¶, µµService-Oriented Architecture¶¶, and µµIPtelephony¶¶. One possible reason for regarding these topics as strategic is that theyreceive attention from IT management due to their popularity. Other topics such asµµIT infrastructure flexibility¶¶, µµcost savings through IT¶¶ and µµvalue from IT¶¶are presumably labeled strategic because they are perceived as having enterprise-wide relevance and business impact.
Research and Design
Previous empirical research on SISP can be classified into standardizedsurveys, case studies, action research, experiments and interviews. Althoughquestionnaire-based research has dominated so far, it is often criticized as beinginappropriate in the current stage of SISP research where neither the problem nor the concepts of ISS and SISP have been elaborated satisfactorily. For this reason anumber of authors argue that an analysis of SISP should not be based on the use of standardized, quantitative- based research alone. Recommends that µµgiven the lack of theory, it may be appropriate for more theory-generating research to beconducted, Employing qualitative techniques such as action research¶¶.These recommendations are all the more valid with respect to the specificobjectives of our research which is concerned with substantiating and possiblyexplaining the hypothesized gap between SISP research and practice. SISP practiceis a multi-faceted, subjective and often implicit phenomenon that requiresimmersion in a real world situation in order to capture it adequately. More particularly with respect to our research objectives, communication barriers toknowledge transfer (H0) can hardly be identified through standardized

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