Evaluating Information Systems – A Necessary Evil?

23 Jan


When talking about the topic of IS performance in a business and evaluating it, there is a certain quandary as there is always difficulty in finding widespread agreement on all aspects of the evaluation process. Smithson and Hirschheim (1998), in their helpful article even allude to the tiresome process in the title, “Analysing Information Systems Evaluation: Another Look at the Old Problem”. In this article, they discuss the said topic and `make the point that the concept of evaluation of Information Systems is a complex process that causes great obscurity in its dimensions.

In addition to this, Serafeimidis and Smithson (2000) would seem to agree on this viewpoint on the subject as in their piece they detail various case studies and the respective efforts to counteract the challenges caused by evaluating Information Systems. They are of the opinion that “Information Systems evaluation is a difficult problem in both theory and in practice.” They go on to say, “However, we argue that the failure was not so much due to a lack of understanding of evaluation but more due to a failure to appreciate and support the necessary organizational changes.”

For my following blogs, the framework that allows a proper and thorough investigation of how IS and business are aligned will be addressed and with the advice and input of my esteemed colleagues, hopefully a concise and helpful framework will be organised for this “Necessary Evil”.





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