Abdelkebir Sahid (University Hassan 1st, Morocco)
Yassine Maleh (University Sultan Moulay Slimane, Morocco)
Mustapha Belaissaoui (University Hassan 1st, Morocco)

Strategic Information System Agility: From Theory to Practices

ISBN: 978-1-80043-811-8, eISBN: 978-1-80043-810-1

Publication date: 4 December 2020


Sahid, A., Maleh, Y. and Belaissaoui, M. (2020), "Prelims", Strategic Information System Agility: From Theory to Practices, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xviii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited

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Strategic Information System Agility

Title Page

Strategic Information System Agility: From Theory to Practices


Abdelkebir Sahid

University Hassan 1st, Morocco

Yassine Maleh

University Sultan Moulay Slimane, Morocco

Mustapha Belaissaoui

University Hassan 1st, Morocco

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2021

Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-80043-811-8 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-810-1 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-812-5 (Epub)


In loving memory of my aunt Essadia Sahid

Abdelkebir Sahid

In loving memory of my mother

Yassine Maleh

To my family

Mustapha Belaissaoui


List of Figures xi
List of Tables xiii
List of Acronyms xv
Preface xvii
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
1.1 Context 1
1.2 Why Agility Now? 2
1.3 The Agility Role 3
1.4 IT as a Business Agility Obstacle 4
1.5 IT at the Service of Business Agility 5
1.6 Research Objective 5
1.7 Research Design 6
1.8 Contributions and Relevance 6
1.9 Book Organization 7
Chapter 2 Understanding Agility Concept 9
2.1 Introduction 9
2.2 Background of Significant Changes Underlying Agility 10
2.3 Production Method Trends 13
  2.3.1 Lean Manufacturing 14
  2.3.2 Total Quality Management 17
2.4 Agile Management Paradigm Evolution 18
  2.4.1 Change Management 18
  2.4.2 Change and Uncertainty Mastering in the Entrepreneurial Organization 21
  2.4.3 Work on Agility 21
  2.4.4 Agile Continuous Delivery Methods 25 Scrum 25 Agile Manifesto 26 DevOps 26 Toyota Kata 26
Summary 27
Chapter 3 Information System Evolution 29
3.1 Introduction 29
3.2 Information System Definition and Objective 32
3.3 Information System Concept 33
3.4 Concepts of Enterprise Application 35
3.5 Features of Enterprise Applications 35
3.6 Autonomy 36
3.7 Distribution 37
3.8 Heterogeneity 37
3.9 Dynamism 38
3.10 EIS and Company Strategy 38
3.11 Enterprise Information Systems’ Complexity 40
3.12 Complexity Factors 40
3.13 Evolution of EISs 41
3.14 EIS Governance 42
  3.14.1 COBIT 47
  3.14.2 LIBRARY (ITIL) 51
  3.14.3 Structure of ITIL v4 52
  3.14.4 CMMI 54
  3.14.5 Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) 55
3.15 Urbanization 57
  3.15.1 The Metaphor of the City 57
  3.15.2 The Urbanization of Information System 59
3.16 Flexibility 60
3.17 Agility 61
  3.17.1 IS organizational Design 64
  3.17.2 Competencies and Skills of IS professionals 65
  3.17.3 IS Development 65
  3.17.4 Design of IT Infrastructure 66
Summary 66
Chapter 4 The Conceptual Model for IS Agility 67
4.1 Introduction 67
4.2 Literature Review 68
4.3 Literature Methodology 71
4.4 IS Agility Frameworks 72
  4.4.1 Zhang and Sharifi (2000) 72
  4.4.2 Gunasekaran and Yusuf (2002) 72
  4.4.3 Crocitto and Youssef (2003) 73
  4.4.4 Lin, Chiu, and Tseng (2006) 74
  4.4.5 Swafford, Ghosh, and Murthy (2008) 75
  4.4.6 Ramesh, Mohan, and Cao (2012) 75
  4.4.7 Atapattu and Sedera (2014) 76
  4.4.8 Park, El Sawy, and Fiss (2017) 78
  4.4.9 Morton, Stacey, and Mohn (2018) 78
  4.4.10 Wu (2019) 78
4.5 Discussion and Critic’s 79
  4.5.1 Discussion 79
  4.5.2 Critic’s 80
4.6 Agility Components 81
4.7 Agility Drivers 81
4.8 Capability 81
4.9 The Proposed Conceptual Model to Achieve Strategic Agility 84
  4.9.1 Sensing 85
  4.9.2 DBPA 87
  4.9.3 The Level of Agility Need 88
  4.9.4 Security Policy 89
  4.9.5 The Proposed Model Contribution 89
Summary 90
Chapter 5 Strategic Agility for IT Service Management: A Case Study 93
5.1 Introduction 93
5.2 IT Service Management ITSM 95
  5.2.1 Agility in ITSM 96
5.3 The Proposed ITSM Framework 99
  5.3.1 Framework Overview 99
  5.3.2 Framework Maturity profile 99
  5.3.3 The Attainment Model 102
  5.3.4 Agility Management 103
5.4 Use Case 106
Summary 115
Chapter 6 Cloud Computing as a Drive for Strategic Agility in Organizations 117
6.1 Introduction 117
6.2 Goals and Objectives of the Research Study 119
6.3 Literature Review 120
6.4 The Theoretical Foundation 121
  6.4.1 Combining DOI and TOE 125
6.5 Research Model and Hypotheses 128
  6.5.1 The Innovation Characteristics 129
  6.5.2 Technological Readiness 131
  6.5.3 The Organization Context 132
  6.5.4 The Environmental Context 133
6.6 Research Methods 133
6.7 Quantitative Methodology 135
  6.7.1 Measurement Model 135
  6.7.2 Data Collect 135
  6.7.3 Results 135
  6.7.4 Finding 136
  6.7.5 Technology Readiness 141
  6.7.6 Organizational Context 141
  6.7.7 Environmental Context 142
  6.7.8 Discussion and Interpretations 142
  6.7.9 Qualitative Study 142
  6.7.10 Hypobook 145
  6.7.11 Results 148
  6.7.12 Result Discussion 149
Summary 150
Appendix 153
Reference 159
Index 185

List of Figures

Fig. 1. The Overall Structure of the Book. 7
Fig. 2. The Production Modes Development and Agility Paradigm. 12
Fig. 3. The Evolution of Production Modes. 15
Fig. 4. The Manufacturing Trilogy of JIT, TQ, and TI. 16
Fig. 5. A Model of a TQM System Source. 17
Fig. 6. The First Strategic Change Process. 18
Fig. 7. The Second Strategic Change Process. 19
Fig. 8. Agile Entreprise. 22
Fig. 9. AM Structure. 23
Fig. 10. The Structure of an AM Enterprise. 24
Fig. 11. A Progression of Manufacturing Paradigms. 24
Fig. 12. Common Attributes and Skills. 25
Fig. 13. The Evolution of Information Systems. 31
Fig. 14. Systemic View of the Company and the Environment. 32
Fig. 15. Information System Structure. 33
Fig. 16. A Systemic View of an IS. 35
Fig. 17. Concept of Application. 36
Fig. 18. Dimensions of Enterprise Applications. 36
Fig. 19. What is the Strategy?38
Fig. 20. Extended IT Governance Model. 45
Fig. 21. The ERM Model Proposed by COSO. 56
Fig. 22. EIS Urbanization and Alignment. 60
Fig. 23. Factors Influencing Information Systems. 71
Fig. 24. The Proposed Model to Achieve Agility in Manufacturing. 73
Fig. 25. Agile Manufacturing Paradigm. 73
Fig. 26. Model of Organizational Agility. 74
Fig. 27. Conceptual Model for an Agile Enterprise. 75
Fig. 28. Conceptual Model for Supply Chain Agility. 76
Fig. 29. POIRE Agility Evaluation Approach. 77
Fig. 30. Business Agility through CRM for Customer Satisfaction. 77
Fig. 31. Producing Agility through IT Configuration. 78
Fig. 32. A Framework for Executive IT Leaders to Strategic Agility. 79
Fig. 33. IS Integration to Improve Supply Chain Agility. 80
Fig. 34. Agility Types of Research Components. 83
Fig. 35. A Conceptual Model to Achieve IS Agility. 84
Fig. 36. Sensing Phase. 88
Fig. 37. DevOps Agility: Aligning People, Technology, and Process for Continuous Improvement. 104
Fig. 38. DevOps ITSM Maturity Model for Continues the Organization’s Measure and Improvement. 107
Fig. 39. The Proposed Agile ITSM Framework. 108
Fig. 40. Assessment Score. 110
Fig. 41. ITSM Maturity Score. 111
Fig. 42. Continual IT Improvement. 114
Fig. 43. The Proposed Model for Cloud Adoption in Organizations. 129
Fig. 44. Research Design. 134
Fig. 45. Cloud Usage by Type. 148
Fig. 46. Cloud Usage by Deployment Model. 148
Fig. 47. Combined Frequency Distributions for Responses to Aggregated IS Agility Categories. 149

List of Tables

Table 1. Research Questions. 6
Table 2. The Dimension of the IT Governance Model. 46
Table 3. IS Agility Research Streams. 62
Table 4. Agility Definitions. 69
Table 5. Agility Drivers Types. 82
Table 6. Sensing Types. 86
Table 7. The Proposed Framework Capabilities. 100
Table 8. New Skills and Attitudes Required for an Efficient ITSM. 105
Table 9. Organization Staff and Turnover. 109
Table 10. Participants’ Demographics. 109
Table 11. Continual Quality Improvement. 110
Table 12. Target Objectives of Phase 1 (Months 0–12) to Achieve the Target Maturity Level. 112
Table 13. Cloud Computing Studies. 122
Table 14. Summary of the Factors Studied Influencing Cloud Adoption. 126
Table 15. Participants’ Demographics. 136
Table 16. Quantitative Factors that Influence the Adoption of Cloud Computing. 137
Table 17. Mean and Standard Deviation of Full and Subsamples. 140
Table 18. Sample Size Calculation Using the G* Power Software. 143
Table 19. The Interview Questions Sample. 144
Table 20. Cloud Computing’s Impact on Information Systems Agility. 146

List of Acronyms

AM Agility Management
APO Align, Plan, and Organise
BAI Build, Acquire, and Implement
BSC Balanced Scorecard
ISO/IEC International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission
CEO Chief of Enterprise Officer
CG Corporate Governance
CIA Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability
CIO Chief of Information Officer
CMDB Configuration Management Database
CMMI Capability Maturity Model Integration
COBIT Control Objectives for Information and related Technology
COSO Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission
DOI Diffusion of Innovation theory
DSS Deliver, Service, and Support
DIS Direction of information systems
DBPA Data Base Agility Drivers
EDA Exploratory Data Analysis
EDM Evaluate, Direct, and Monitor
EUROSAI European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
EIS Enterprise Information Systems
ERP Enterprise Resources Planning
DSR Design Science Research
EG Enterprise Governance
IT Information Technology
ITG Information Technology Governance
ITGI Information Technology Governance Institute
ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library
ITSM Information Technology Service Management
IS Information Systems
SLA Service Level Agreement
ISO Information Security Officer
ISMS Information Security Management System
ISG Information Security Governance
ISSP Information Systems Security Policy
ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library
ISACA Information Systems Audit and Control Association
JIT Just-in-Time (manufacturing philosophy)
KPI Key Performance Indicator
MEA Monitor, Evaluate, and Assess
MENA Middle East and North Africa
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
OLA Operational Level Agreement
OA Organizational Agility
PDCA Plan-Do-Check-Act
PCM Process Capability Model
PMBOK Project Management Body of Knowledge
PSIS Policy Security for Information Systems
SLM Service Level Management
SMEs Small and medium-sized enterprises
SOX Sarbanes-Oxley Act
SPOC Single Point of Contact
TQM Total Quality Management
TQC Total Quality Control
VE Virtual Enterprise
UTAUT Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology


In the last decade, the use of information systems as a strategic tool has contributed significantly to the Information Technology revolution. However, the adoption of information systems is rarely successful without adequate precautions and attention. IT systems’ deployment is both a risky and profitable choice for an increasingly rapid and evolving economic context.

Nowadays, organizations increasingly require a reactive and proactive response to uncertain internal and external events and opportunities, demonstrating agility of action to reach a company’s operational performance. The issue is that organizations are generally not prepared to deal with significant uncertainties and unpredictability. Likewise, information systems are not developed to cope with change and unpredictability. Consequently, for many companies, IT signifies a constraining factor to business agility requirements.

Strategically, agility implied conquering new markets, taking risks, and considering new social and environmental challenges. Thus, in operational strategy, this means integrating stakeholders into the company’s practices and improving its understanding by re-evaluating all links in chain value to create a competitive advantage.

In other words, agility necessarily requires strategy and, more specifically, organization, culture, and business model to convey the need for responsiveness as effectively as possible.

Faced with the various transformations, and needs of the internal and/or external environment, it is essential to structure the company’s information system (EIS) to facilitate its evolution and modify its positioning, structure, and skills. All this in harmony with the company’s strategic development, while ensuring global consistency in terms of permanent IT alignment with the global strategy, interoperability, integration, autonomy, and flexibility. In other words, the EIS must be agile.

The book’s purpose is to analyze and explain the impact of IT systems’ strategic agility on organizations’ business performance in response to highly uncertain and unexpected events potentially significant.

The present book aims to create an explanatory framework that illustrates how and under what conditions IT helps organizations to detect and respond to uncertain events supported by learning capabilities. The main question of this book is the following: What is the role and impact of strategic IS agility on the operational agility of organizations in response to uncertain events?

This book delivers comprehensive coverage of the elements necessary for the development and the implementation of effective Information systems’ strategic agility. The book dissertation includes the concept, theory, modeling, and architecture of an agile information system. It covers state of the art, concepts, and methodologies for developing information system strategies taking into account the environment, the current development of information technologies, and the general trend of IS agility. The book should help companies to formulate the information systems’ processes of the twenty-first century to grow in the competitiveness of its area.

Abdelkebir Sahid

Yassine Maleh

Mstapha Belaissaoui