Editorial

Zahir Irani (Business School, Brunel University, London, UK)
Muhammad Kamal (Brunel University, London, UK)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Publication date: 9 February 2015

Citation

Irani, Z. and Kamal, M. (2015), "Editorial", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 28 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-12-2014-0119

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Editorial

Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Volume 28, Issue 1

It gives us great pleasure to welcome our readers to the first issue of the 28th volume of Journal Enterprise Information Management (JEIM), and express our appreciation to all our readers and contributors over the past year.

The first issue of Volume 28 commences with a conceptual paper by Arthur Ahimbisibwe, Robert Y. Cavana and Urs Daellenbach, entitled “A contingency fit model of critical success factors for software development projects: a comparison of agile and traditional plan-based methodologies”. This paper identifies and categorises Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and develops a contingency fit model contrasting perspectives of traditional plan-based and agile methodologies. This approach is based on the argument that there are several project management methodologies (such as PRINCE 2, The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide, Six Sigma, Rational Unified Process (RUP), and Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (CORBIT)); however, it is not clear whether project managers fully consider alternatives when conceiving and delivering a project. As in the words of Sheffield and Lemétayer (2013), the presence of several alternative project management methodologies often makes it challenging to determine the best alternative. The authors argue that when project categorisation systems and criteria are not logically matched with project objectives, characteristics and environment, this explains the rationale of why many software projects are reported to fail in their delivery; on time, in budget, or do not give value to the client. The authors systematically reviewed the extant literature and extract a total of 37 CSFs for software development projects, and then categorised into three major CSFs: organisational, team, and customer factors. The authors assert that the extant published research studies related to software development projects did not thoroughly incorporate contingency as moderation or contingency of fit (i.e. traditional vs agile). Whereas in this research, the authors developed a contingency fit perspective on software development project success, through contrasting traditional plan-driven and agile methodologies.

We then have a survey-based research paper by Ramaraj Palanisamy, Jacques Verville, and Nazim Taskin, entitled “The critical success factors (CSFs) for enterprise software contract negotiations: an empirical analysis”. In this paper; Jacques, Ramaraj and Nazim report that inapt Enterprise Software (ES) acquisition may lead an organisation to exceeded budgets and settling for minimum returns on investment, and this can also lead to an adverse contractual settlement (Verville et al., 2011). Also in the words of Rosenberg (2009), organisations often get despondent with the contractual gaps that can result in needless financial expenditure in ES contracting – as the licensing fee continues to increase with rising maintenance expenses, lack of flexibility and misalignment with business goals. The authors argue that in such cases, the acquiring organisations turns out to be more vulnerable to risks and slipups as the software contracts are usually inscribed using legal terminologies and primarily to the advantage of the vendor. Therefore, to avoid expensive ES contracting errors, this study empirically identifies the CSFs of contracting in the context of ES acquisition. In order to test the CSFs, a questionnaire survey was administered for collecting the data from companies mainly doing business in manufacturing and service industries. A total of 1,500 questionnaires were sent to randomly selected respondents from the list generated from LexisNexisR and Hoovers database. To minimise the potential adverse impact in the ES contracting and to build impending protections, this research empirically identified the CSFs by obtaining data from a sample of CIOs, IT managers, purchasing managers, legal professionals, and users on perceived importance of contractual issues. The factor analysis and non-parametric tests were applied for data analysis on the following five CSFs:

1. contractual assurances, forward compatibility and licensing;

2. right to use, and own, and use of own, confidentiality and payment;

3. software acceptance;

4. license assignment; and

5. vendor obligation for intellectual property (infringe and indemnify).

Shrinivas Patil and Winai Wongsurawat present research entitled “Information technology (IT) outsourcing by business process outsourcing/information technology enabled services (BPO/ITES) firms in India – a strategic gamble”. This paper investigates the IT outsourcing process (phenomena, reasons, and methodology) in a holistic view to yield knowledge germane to practitioners. Through this research study, the intent is to offer practitioners with a 360-degree insight into the IT outsourcing paradigm. The authors argue that if the strategy and risk associated with IT outsourcing are understood, the knowledge acquired from the latter could be incorporated into the motives for outsourcing, resulting in a greater probability of a successful outcome. Most Fortunate 500 companies have outsourced some significant portion of their IT services – this has resulted in IT outsourcing transforming into a $536 billion industry worldwide (Halvey and Melby, 2006). The current research was set in a real environment within a constructivism (qualitative by nature) paradigm. Qualitative research methodology that suited the research involved collecting data (through case studies) in the form of detailed descriptions relating to complex business activities of IT outsourcing. Large amounts of empirical data were gathered, which was collected from nine participants in the form of structured questionnaires. These data were the basis for subsequent quantitative data analysis. This research, therefore, focused on a mixed (hybrid) method strategy to test the conceptual findings. This hybrid method of research provided a demonstrable advantage and acted as a method to tally the results from both research methodologies (Leedy and Ormrod, 2001). Basically, this research intended to understand the role of various drivers of IT outsourcing by Indian BPO/ITES firms. However, the empirical findings indicate that even if firms opted for IT outsourcing for cost reduction other drivers like strategy and risk played a major role in their decision-making process.

The above IT outsourcing research is followed by another survey-based research by Christoph Fuchs and Andreas Otto, entitled “Value of IT in supply chain planning”. Through this research, the authors aim to answer the following research question:

RQ1. How should supply chain and IT managers set the investment priorities so as to enable supply chain planning to maximise value for the company?

The effective use of IT in managing supply chain(s) can result in enterprises developing a competitive advantage (Hassini, 2008). The latter argument is supported by Pereira (2009) who asserts that IT can expedite the information stream, therefore making the supply chain more vigorous and resilient without undermining its effectiveness. For examples, according to Stadtler (2005) systems such as advanced planning systems support Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems by providing functionality for elements of supply chain planning. The authors conducted a web survey by employing a structured questionnaire thereby contacting 193 supply chain or IT managers of German companies that manufacture in a continuous production flow with revenues of at least €100 million. Overall, the empirical findings exhibit that IT plays a significant role in supply chain planning. Some of the insights from these findings include:

  • IT functionality for supply chain planning is implemented to a medium degree;

  • the value of IT functionality in supply chain planning is high; and

  • IT functionality to improve intra-functional processes is significantly more often implemented than IT functionality for inter-functional or cross-company process optimisation although the realised value is the same.

The authors assert that the results indicate improvements in customer service for integrated but also for intra-functional or cross-functional solutions.

Then we have Hany Elbardann, Maged Ali and Ahmad Ghoneim with a conceptual paper, entitled “The dilemma of internal audit function adaptation – the impact of ERP and corporate governance pressures”. In this paper: Hany, Maged and Ahmad attempt to relate ERP systems with internal audit function (IAF), i.e. they argue that due to ERP systems’ sophistication and highly integrated nature, ERP systems have the potential to redesign the structure and practices of the IAF. The authors argue that over the years IAF has significantly transformed to handle the significant developments in corporate governance as well as IT evolution (e.g. see Bailey et al., 2003; Allegrini et al., 2006). However, Allegrini et al. (2006) further argues that it still remains a continuing challenge for the IAF to substantiate its added value to organisations through improving corporate governance in the extensive IT environment. To overcome the gap in the extant research, the authors proposed a conceptual framework for analysing IAF adaptation for the introduction of ERP systems in the corporate governance context. The framework is intended to explore changes in the IAF associated with ERP systems implementation and to derive conclusions that support policymakers, auditors, managers, and organisations. The authors identified institutional theory to be a suitable theoretical lens as the study focuses on translating ERP inscribed logic in the organisational context where governance institutional arrangements related to the IAF exist (e.g. see Gosain, 2004; Powell and DiMaggio, 1991). In their future research endeavour, the authors aim to validate the proposed framework through multiple in-depth case study method, thereby exploring and interpreting the ambiguous IAF change deriving from the implementation of ERP systems.

Following the above case study paper, we have another research based research paper by Hemlata Gangwar, Hema Date, and R. Ramaswamy presenting their research, entitled “Understanding determinants of cloud computing adoption using an integrated TAM-TOE model”. In this research, the authors infer that it is vital to address the impact of specific aspects of firm-related variables having influence on cloud computing adoption. This sets the objective for this study. This study is important as it leads to an understanding of the determinants and the underlying relationships of cloud computing adoption so that an effective adoption of cloud computing can be facilitated in the organisations. These determinants include:

  • relative advantage;

  • compatibility;

  • complexity;

  • organisational competency;

  • top management support;

  • training and education;

  • competitive pressure;

  • trading partner support;

  • perceived usefulness; and

  • perceived ease of use.

Further, the study attempts to develop and test an integrated TAM-TOE model that makes the model more relevant to the cloud computing market place, and allow for a greater prediction of factors associated with the usage of cloud computing services in organisations. To test the proposed framework, this research employs a questionnaire based survey method in which data are gathered from those organisations that have implemented a cloud computing infrastructure. The questionnaire was sent out to 1,000 randomly selected organisations from the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and of Industry of India, out of which 433 were found to be eligible for this survey on the basis of screening question. According to the findings, relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, organisational readiness, top management commitment, and training and education were considered as important variables affecting cloud computing adoption using perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness as mediating variables. Also, competitive pressure and trading partner pressure were found directly affecting cloud computing adoption intentions.

Finally, we have Changiz Valmohammadi and Mohsen Ahmadi with their research paper, entitled “The impact of knowledge management practices on organizational performance: A balanced scorecard approach”. This study aims to present a holistic approach regarding evaluation of knowledge management (KM) practices on organisational performance. This research explores that impact of seven CSFs, i.e.:

1. leadership role;

2. organisational culture;

3. KM strategy;

4. processes and activities;

5. training and education;

6. information technology; and

7. motivation and rewarding system, on organisational performance in the framework of four perspectives of balance scored card (BSC), i.e. financial, customer, business process and learning growth.

The main question of this study is raised as follows:

  • Is there any relationship between KM practices implementation and organisational performance based on various perspective of BSC?

The authors claim that the most significant gap in the literature is the lack of enough application of statistical and comprehensive methods like BSC that KM makes a difference to organisational performance. In order to respond to this literature void, the study contributes to the field of KM by empirically investigating the impact of KM practices on various measures of organisational performance in order to prove the suitability of a comprehensive approach like BSC.

We would very much like to thank our contributors for their excellent high quality contributions to this regular issue and hope JEIM readers will find the papers stimulating, original, and valuable.

Zahir Irani and Muhammad Kamal

References

Allegrini, M., D’Onza, G., Melville, R., Paape, L. and Sarens, G. (2006), “The European literature review on internal auditing”, Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 21 No. 8, pp. 845-853

Bailey, A.D., Gramling, A.A. and Ramamoorti, S. (2003), Research Opportunities in Internal Auditing, The IIA Research Foundation, Altamonte Springs, FL

Gosain, S. (2004), “Enterprise information systems as objects and carriers of institutional forces: the new iron cage?”, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 151-182

Halvey, J.K. and Melby, B.M. (2006), Information Technology Outsourcing Transaction: Process, Strategies and Contracts, 2nd ed., John Wiley and Sons Inc., Hoboken, NJ.

Hassini, E. (2008), “Building competitive enterprises through supply chain management”, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 341-344

Leedy, P.D. and Ormrod, J.E. (2001), Practical Research: Planning and Design, Merrill Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ

Pereira, J.V. (2009), “The new supply chain’s frontier: information management”, International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 372-379

Powell, W. and DiMaggio, P. (1991), The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL

Rosenberg, S. (2009), “How to negotiate better software licensing deals?”, available at: www.cioupdate.com/trends/article.php/3834356/ (accessed 21 November 2014).

Sheffield, J. and Lemétayer, J. (2013), “Factors associated with the software development agility of successful projects”, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 459-472

Stadtler, H. (2005), “Supply chain management and advanced planning – basics, overview and challenges”, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 163 No. 3, pp. 575-588

Verville, J., Kock, N. and Taskin, N. (2011), “Critical enterprise software contracting issues: rights, assurances and responsibilities”, Journal of Electronic Information Systems, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 1-14