Reducing Risk Factors on IS Success

5 Feb

As we have seen from the previous blogs concerning Delone and Mcleans framework and the different variations/extensions by mcoconnell and zonic89, we must also take into account the risk factors that may impact information system success. “The high failure rates long associated with information system (IS) projects, despite advances in techniques for information technology development, suggest that organizations need to improve their ability to identify and to manage associated risks”. Jiang, J.J.; Klein, G.; Discenza, R. pg 1. [1], [2]

The failure rate for large scale information system development projects are very high, with many companies either discontinuing their efforts after investing resources or failing to forecast the anticipated outcome of a particular investment. Even though there is a large advancement in IT, many technology information systems still don’t achieve the organizational objective [1], [2].

One of the major problems in relation to achieving IS success is the failure to assess individual project risk. In result, many researchers have attempted to identify the different types of risks associated with IS development. Identifying risks such as technological change, personal change, top management support, unwilling users and multiple users, the size of the project, the complexity of the problem domain, unfamiliarity by team members with new technology and unstable information requirements. [1]

The second stage after identifying the risks is to develop an approach/strategy that can bring a structure in order to reduce the complexity and risk associated with a framework. Strategies have been developed including the use of prototypes that are made up of keeping the system simple, avoiding change, providing training, obtaining management/user support, and selling the system. An example of a framework that reduces risks in information system success is Jiang et al. contingency-based model of strategies and risk. This model specifically looks at whether the alignment of behavioural-based and technical-based strategies are effective at improving project performance and whether there is any risk involved after the introduction of strategies matching the behavioural and technology related risks. [1]

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Under the contingency theory approach, if the match between methods and uncertainties is good, then performance will be higher. Therefore the model, behavioural-related risks are addressed by employing behavioural-based strategies, whereas technology related risks are addressed by technical-based strategies. The contingency framework provides a further study to highlight the differences that exist among strategies and their ability to mitigate risks. A more suitable measure of success can be substituted to examine specific characteristics of importance to a particular organization. Other types of risks and strategies can be studied to help focus on project control. Risks that are not well controlled will be highlighted in order to reduce risks in information system success. [1]


[1] Jiang, J.J.; Klein, G.; Discenza, R.;( Feb 2001), “Information system success as impacted by risks and development strategies,” Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on, vol.48, no.1, pp.46-55

[2] Jiang, J. J., & Klein, G. (1999). Risks to different aspects of system success. Information & Management36(5), 263-272

One Response to “Reducing Risk Factors on IS Success”


  1. The role of the Conscientious Dissenter on an IT-Business case team « So Opinionated … - February 6, 2013

    […] and lucid21 both mention in their work on IT Success how appropriate staff (be it IT or otherwise) can lead to […]

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