Systemic capabilities: the source of IT business value

Guangming Cao, Yangding Duan, Trevor Cadden, sonal minocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
97 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop, and explicate the significance of the need for a systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value.Design/methodology/approach – Embracing a systems perspective, this paper examines the interrelationship between IT and other organisational factors at the organisational level and its impact on the business value of IT. As a result, a systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value is developed. An example of enhancing IT business value through developing systemic capabilities is then used to test and demonstrate the value of this framework.Findings – The findings suggest that IT business value would be significantly enhanced when systemic capabilities are generated from the synergistic interrelations among IT and other organisational factors at the systems level, while the system’s human agents play a critical role in developing systemic capabilities by purposely configuring and reconfiguring organisational factors.Practical implications – The conceptual framework advanced provides the means to recognise the significance of the need for understanding IT business value systemically and dynamically.It encourages an organisation to focus on developing systemic capabilities by ensuring that IT and other organisational factors work together as a synergistic whole, better managing the role its human agents play in shaping the systems interrelations, and developing and redeveloping systemic capabilities by configuring its subsystems purposely with the changing business environment.Originality/value – This paper reveals the nature of systemic capabilities underpinned by a systems perspective. The resultant systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value can help us move away from pairwise resource complementarity to focusing on the whole system and its interrelations while responding to the changing business environment. It is hoped that the framework can help organisations delineate important IT investment considerations and the priorities that they must adopt to create superior IT business value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-579
JournalInformation Technology and People
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • IT capability
  • IT business alignment/value
  • Information system effectiveness
  • Dynamic capabilities/relationships/perspective

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