IS Business Performance

3 Feb

The measurement of information systems performance in a firm is both complex and uncertain. The impacts of IT are often indirect and influenced by human, organizational, and environmental factors [1]. Established reference models and frameworks for building a BPM have become common place in the business world today. But what exactly is a measure? ‘A measure (or metric) is a quantitative value that can be used for purposes of comparison (Simmons 2000)’. There are numerous attributes which can be useful in selecting, creating and interpreting measures. Examples of these include: 1) objective/subjective, 2) Lagging/leading, 3) Financial/non-financial and 4) responsive/non-responsive [2]. Information Systems are created when applying IT in order to help firms perform tasks. Benchmarking (Seddon et al., 2002) and Balanced Scorecards (Kaplan and Norton, 1996) are methods which organizations have turned to in an effort to gain a better understanding of the tangible and intangible benefits of their information systems.


Kellen (2003) believes that another way to assess and compare information systems when evaluating business performance would be through the use of a set of criteria factors which are thought to be important. These criteria would need to be operational and measurable in order for them to be useful and are presented in a hierarchical format consisting of five categories. These are 1) Organization, 2) individual, 3) Information, 4) Technology and 5) Systemics. Kellen concludes that this model may be very useful as a check-list system, but that it needs to be operationalized and also needs to be exposed to practice. With a set of criteria for deciding goals and whether or not they have been fulfilled, there could be a check-list system before, during and after a design phase, for example. Jiang and Klein (1999) studied the evaluation of information systems from the users point of view, and they summarized earlier literature into four main categories of criteria. These are 1) Performance issues, 2) Decision quality 3) Personal impact and 4) Organizational impact [3]. Although there have been many papers written about how to measure, there is not as much written on what are the key aspects in a BPM system. De Haas & Kleingeld (1999) created a list of eight concepts which they believed should be the main criteria for BPM. Their list consists of: 1) Controllability, 2) Validity, 3) Completeness, 4) Cost-effective measurability, 5) Specificity, 6) Relevance, 7) Comprehensibility and 8) Coherence [4].

Although several models for measuring information systems performance in a firm exist today, many of them share a similar problem of focusing on a subset of the information system. Many also have not had much experience in real world testing, so although they might be a good concept, they might not be successful when exposed to practice. The criteria model, for example, although exists, is empirically untested and so further work will have to be done in order to determine the validity of the criteria and their interdependencies.







One Response to “IS Business Performance”


  1. Business Performance: Performance Management Systems « So Opinionated … - February 7, 2013

    […] ncooney1 has mentioned previously, models and frameworks for building Business Performance Management […]

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