Life after an IS Investment. Aligning Advances in Technology with the adoption of a suitable ‘Change Model’

6 Feb

When building a Business Case for an IS Investment it is important to consider and note the scale of the potential changes that may impact your IS Investment in the future. Implementing a new technology into an organisation can result in many internal changes within an organisation. But these changes are more on the continous side with technology because technology is continously changing and advancing itself at a rapid rate. So it is important to note which change model to adopt to which will allow your organisation to approach and counteract this occurrence. Change models such as The Incremental model of change, The Punctuated Equilibrium model of Organisational Transformation, and the Continuous Tranformation model of change are the three current academically most spoken about change initiatives in todays literature. The latter mentioned is the model where I feel organisations adopting new technology must adhere to as to allow themselves to continously keep with changes in technology in order to survive.

The argument put forward by the proponents of this model is that in order to survive, organisations must develop the ability to change themselves continously in a fundamental manner. This is particulary the case in fast moving sectors such as retail where as greenwald (1996:54) notes, ”if you look at the best retailers out there, they are continously reinventing themselves”, congruently to this Brown and Eisenhart (1997:1) maintain that: ‘‘For Firms such as Intel, Wal-Mart, 3M, Hewlett-Packard and Gillette, the ability to change rapidly and continously, especially by developing new products, is not only a core competence, it is also at the heart of their cultures. For those firms, change is not rare, episodic phenomenon, described by punctuated equilibrium model but, rather, it is endemic to the way these organizations compete. Moreover, in high – velocity industries with short product cycles and rapidly-shifting competitve landscapes the ability to engage in rapid and relentless continuous change is a crucial capability for survival

The rationale for the continuous transformation model is that the environment in which organisations operate is changing, and will continue to change, rapidly, radically and unpredictably. Only by continuous transformation will organsations be able to keep aligned with thier technological and other environments and thus survive. Peter O’Neill, Managing Director of IBM Ireland will further elaborate on my choice of model.

Sources:

Greenwald, J (1996) Reinventing Sears, Time,  23 December, 53-5.

Brown, SL and Eisenhardt, KM (1997) The art of continuous change: linking complexity theory and time-paced evolution in relentlessly shifting organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42, March, 1-34

Burnes, B. 2004, Managing Change, 4th Ed, London: Prentice Hall

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