Information Technology Infrastructure Flexibility
The Appulse of Advice Technology Basement Adaptability on Cardinal Alignment and Applications Accomplishing Beat H. Chung Department of Computer Advice Systems College of Business Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI 48197 sock. [email protected] emich. edu R. Kelly Rainer, Jr. ** Department of Administration College of Business Chestnut University Auburn, Alabama 36849 (334) 844-6527 [email protected] auburn. edu Bruce R. Lewis Calloway School of Business Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC 27109 (336) 758-7195 [email protected] edu ** Corresponding Author: Kelly Rainer
The Appulse of Advice Technology Basement Adaptability on Cardinal Alignment and Applications Accomplishing Abstract IT basement adaptability is now actuality beheld as an authoritative amount adequacy that is all-important for organizations to survive and advance in rapidly-changing, competitive, business environments. Utilizing abstracts from 200 U. S. and Canadian companies, this abstraction examines the appulse of the four apparatus of IT basement adaptability (compatibility, connectivity, modularity, and IT personnel) on cardinal IT-business alignment and the admeasurement of applications accomplishing aural an organization.
The allegation from assay of a structural archetypal board affirmation that connectivity, modularity, and IT cadre accept significant, absolute impacts on cardinal alignment and that all four apparatus accept significant, absolute impacts on the admeasurement of applications implementation. The abstraction reinforces the accent of IT basement adaptability to organizations as one antecedent for acceptable aggressive advantage. Key Words: IT basement flexibility, cardinal IT-business alignment I. INTRODUCTION
In the aboriginal 1990s, Johnson & Johnson faced new business pressures back ample customers, such as Wal-Mart and K-mart, fabricated new demands on the company, such as amount accumulation and just-in-time banal replenishment. Johnson & Johnson’s business and IT managers acted in affiliation to advance a new set of advice technology (IT) basement capabilities which enabled the aggregation to board the all-important casework for its ample barter while at the aforementioned time abbreviation costs at Johnson & Johnson [Weill & Broadbent, 1998]. In the backward 1990s, Charles Schwab focused on carrying customized advice to its investors in a appropriate manner.
Using the company's IT basement and applications accumbent with its business focus, Schwab became a abounding account allowance firm. The close was able to board advice and action affairs in affair its business objectives. Barter could retrieve banal quotes and abode orders via Schwab's Web site. As a result, the association continues to be an industry leader. These two examples authenticate that an organization’s IT basement can board absolute allowances and a chain of business practices [Kettinger, Grover, Subanish, & Segars, 1994].
A decidedly important appropriate of IT basement is adaptability [Byrd & Turner, 2000]. Advisers accept declared that IT basement adaptability should be beheld as an authoritative amount adequacy and that IT basement adaptability is all-important to handle added chump demands after added costs [Davenport & Linder, 1994; Weill, 1993]. As we altercate abutting in developing the abstract framework for our study, two important aspects of IT basement adaptability appear from antecedent research: the amount business applications of an alignment and the cardinal IT-business alignment.
That is, an organization’s IT basement adaptability should be reflected in its accomplishing of amount business applications and the admeasurement of its cardinal IT-business alignment. Therefore, the purpose of this abstraction is to empirically appraise the accord amid IT basement adaptability and the admeasurement of applications accomplishing in the alignment and the accord amid IT basement adaptability and cardinal IT-business alignment. II. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK We advance our abstract framework by aboriginal reviewing definitions of IT basement and its components.
We again ascertain the abstraction of IT basement adaptability and its accord to cardinal IT-business alignment and to applications accomplishing in the organization. Advice Technology Basement The affair of IT basement has been a key affair for both advisers and practicing managers for some time [see e. g. , Brancheau, Janz, & Wetherbe, 1996]. The organization’s IT basement basically integrates technology apparatus to abutment business needs but the IT basement abstraction is added complicated. The analogue of IT basement encompasses a array of components.
Based on antecedent studies, Duncan  declared that IT basement includes a accumulation of shared, absolute IT assets that board a foundation to accredit present and approaching business applications [Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Davenport & Linder, 1994; Earl, 1989; Keen, 1991; McKay & Brockway, 1989; Niederman, Brancheau, & Wetherbe, 1991; Weill, 1993]. These assets include: (1) computer accouterments and software (e. g. , operating systems); (2) arrangement and telecommunications technologies; (3) key data; (4) amount data-processing applications; 5) aggregate IT services. Duncan  additionally declared that IT basement includes the alignment of IT affairs to business objectives, the IT architecture, and the abilities of IT personnel. Broadbent and Weill  acclaimed that IT basement capabilities accredit the assorted types of IT applications appropriate to abutment accepted and approaching business objectives, and accredit the aggressive accession of business initiatives. McKay and Brockway  declared IT basement as the enabling foundation of aggregate IT capabilities aloft which the absolute business depends.
This foundation is connected and aggregate by business functions aural the organization, and about acclimated by altered authoritative applications. Byrd and Turner [2000, p. 172] provided a absolute analogue of IT basement as: “… the aggregate IT assets consisting of a abstruse concrete abject of hardware, software, communications technologies, data, and amount applications and a animal basic of skills, expertise, competencies, commitments, values, norms, and adeptness that amalgamate to actualize IT casework that are about different to an organization.
These IT casework board a foundation for communications altering beyond the absolute alignment and for the development and accomplishing of present and approaching business applications. ” As can be apparent from these definitions, the IT basement is composed of two components: a abstruse IT basement and a animal IT infrastructure. The abstruse basement consists of the applications, data, and technology [Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Broadbent, Weill, O'Brien & Neo, 1996; Henderson & Venkatraman, 1993].
The animal IT basement consists of the adeptness and capabilities appropriate to administer authoritative IT assets [Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Lee, Trauth & Farwell, 1995]. Davenport and Linder  appropriate that a able-bodied IT basement enables advisers to be able to accomplish their corresponding jobs, both from accepting the accessible technology and the all-important abstruse skills. Advice Technology Basement Adaptability Aboriginal assignment on IT basement adaptability declared the abstraction after absolutely defining it.
Weill  asserted that an IT basement should be adjustable to be able to handle added chump demands after added costs. Davenport and Linder  declared that IT basement adaptability should be beheld as a amount adequacy of the alignment and appropriate that an able IT basement is adjustable and robust. Duncan  empiric that one organization’s IT basement may accredit cardinal innovations in business processes, while another’s IT basement may absolute such innovations.
She referred to this appropriate as IT basement adaptability and appropriate that both business and IT appliance development capabilities reflect the adaptability of basement components. She appropriate that basement adaptability improves systems developers' adeptness to architecture and body systems to accommodated authoritative business objectives. She declared IT basement adaptability through the characteristics of connectivity, compatibility, and modularity. She maintained that an alignment with aerial modularity, compatibility, and connectivity would accept aerial abstruse IT basement flexibility.
Compatibility is the adeptness to allotment any blazon of advice beyond any technology basic throughout the alignment [Duncan, 1995; Keen, 1991]. Tapscott and Caston  acclaimed that IT affinity helps p authoritative boundaries, empower employees, and accomplish data, information, and adeptness readily accessible in the organization. Connectivity is the adeptness of any technology basic to acquaint with any of the alternative apparatus central and alfresco of the authoritative ambiance [Duncan, 1995].
Tapscott and Caston  emphasized that IT connectivity enables seamless and cellophane organizations that are absolute of time and space. Connectivity facilitates the sharability of IT assets at the belvedere level. Modularity is the adeptness to calmly reconfigure (add, modify, or remove) technology apparatus [Duncan, 1995]. She additionally declared that modularity is the acclimation of business processes for sharability and reusability (e. g. , structured programming and component-based software architectures).
Schilling  appropriate that modularity is a continuum anecdotic the amount to which a system's apparatus can be afar and recombined. Byrd and Turner [2000, p. 172] authentic IT basement adaptability as “…the adeptness to calmly and readily broadcast or abutment a advanced array of hardware, software, communications technologies, data, amount applications, abilities and competencies, commitments, and ethics aural the abstruse concrete abject and the animal basic of the absolute IT infrastructure. Historically, the adaptability of the IT basement has been beheld as all-important to board a rapidly alteration business ambiance [Byrd & Turner, 2001]. This adaptability enables businesses to finer use IT to advance in activating environments. The abstract analysis credibility out that cardinal IT-business alignment and amount business applications are anchored in the definitions of IT basement and IT basement flexibility.
However, the absolute relationships amid IT basement adaptability and cardinal IT-business alignment and amid IT basement adaptability and business applications accept not been empirically tested. We analysis these relationships through our conceptual model. III. CONCEPTUAL MODEL IT Basement Adaptability and Cardinal IT-Business Alignment Cardinal IT-business alignment refers to the admeasurement to which the IT mission, objectives, and affairs support, and are accurate by, the organization’s mission, objectives, and affairs [Hirscheim & Sabherwal, 2000].
This alignment creates an chip alignment in which every function, unit, and being are focused on the organization's competitiveness. Sambamurthy and Zmud  appropriate that IT administration is a botheration of adjustment the accord amid the business and the IT basement to booty advantage of IT opportunities and capabilities. Duncan  aboriginal included the alignment of IT affairs to business objectives in her description of IT infrastructure. She connected by acquainted that an organization’s IT basement could be advised adjustable if it enabled cardinal innovations in business processes.
Broadbent and Weill  declared that IT basement capabilities board the foundation for “…competitive accession of business initiatives. ” From this discussion, we adduce the afterward hypothesis: Hypothesis 1: Each basic of an organization's IT basement adaptability will absolutely affect the organization's cardinal IT-business alignment. IT Basement Adaptability and Applications Accomplishing Today, IT applications not alone action abstracts and board administration advice reports.
Corporations now use IT applications to accretion aggressive advantage [Earl, 1989; Porter & Millar, 1985; Powell, 1992; Saunders & Jones, 1992; Smith & McKeen, 1993]; to actualize new business opportunities [Earl, 1989; Rockart & Scott-Morton, 1984; Smith & McKeen ,1993]; to advance chump service; to enhance artefact and account quality; and to accommodate supplier and chump operations [Luftman, Lewis, & Oldach, 1993]. Several studies accept included business applications as allotment of IT basement [see e. . , Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Byrd & Turner, 2000; Duncan, 1995]. Duncan  addressed business applications back she asserted that IT basement adaptability enabled organizations to body applications that added carefully amuse business objectives. Broadbent and Weill  declared that IT basement capabilities are the “base for computer applications. ” Byrd and Turner  acclaimed that IT basement adaptability enabled organizations to “…easily broadcast and support…core applications. For this study, we use the admeasurement to which organizations accept implemented a array of business applications to appraise the abstraction of “applications implementation. ” These eleven business applications in our abstraction accommodate transaction processing systems, administration advice systems, controlling advice systems, accommodation abutment systems, able systems, abstracts warehousing, abstracts mining, interorganizational advice systems (e. g. , cyberbanking abstracts interchange), adeptness management, arrangement management, and adversity recovery.
From this discussion, we adduce the afterward hypothesis: Hypothesis 2: Each basic of an organization's IT basement adaptability will absolutely affect the organization's admeasurement of applications implementation. Conceptual Archetypal This abstraction utilizes four ahead articular measures of IT basement flexibility: the abstruse apparatus of modularity, compatibility, connectivity, and IT cadre abilities [see Duncan, 1995; Byrd & Turner, 2000]. The conceptual archetypal apery the relationships addressed in this abstraction is presented in Figure 1. [pic]* p
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