Evaluation of strategic investments in information technology : a managerial perspective on investments in FMS and OIS

Detta är en avhandling från Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press


This report tackles the implications of the strategic role of information (IT) for evaluation of investments in new technologies. The purpose is to develop a strategic management perspective on IT-investments and suggest appropriate methods for evaluation of flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) and office information systems (OIS). Since information systems are interdisciplinary in nature, our efforts have been concentrated on integrating different perspectives on the proliferation of new technology in organizations and theories about planning, evaluation and development of strategic investments. Case studies, surveys, statistics and empirical evidence from the literature are used to support our findings and to expose some ideas for further research.

The strategic and managerial perspective on IT-investments is developed in the context of the role of ledarship in a changing business, technological and organizational environment. The strategic perspective is derived from integration of different theories and perspectives on development of technology and strategies in organizations, as well as planning and evaluation in strategic investment decisions. In order to enhance our understanding of the strategic roles of ITs, the rationale behind introduction of IT-investments, their impact on firm’s profitability and role as management support are discussed and the pattern of technical change in organizations is described. Particular attention is paid to the integrative role of the FMS in the firms’s value chain and the OIS in supporting administrators at different organization levels. Then we analyze the crucial role of FMS- and OIS in the firm’s manufacturing strategy and information system strategy and the implications for measurement and evaluation of the effects of FMS- and OIS-projects.

In order to extend the role of evaluation and enable managers to handle strategic investment decisions, a model for strategic investment planning has been developed. The model integrates different development processes in the organization (such as strategic management, organization and system development and project control) and requires involvement of other members as well. Furthermore, we suggest a mix of qualitative and quantitative techniques and appraisal approaches for the analysis of the strategic, tactical and operational implications of FMS- and OIS-investments. Since the introduction of FMS and OIS is generally a long-term and continuous process, our approach is regarded as an attempt to create a flexible evaluation structure which can follow changes in technologies and the organization’s development strategies in a natural manner.

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