D&M IS Success Model………The Solution???

7 Feb

Is the framework for measuring IS and business performance upon us??? It is true that much of the academic literature on this topic can be outdated after time but in a trend which will hopefully continue, DeLone and McLean revised their model for IS measurement from the early 1990’s ten years later and it is still relatively well referenced in many academic pieces. Their framework, “D&M IS Success Model” was originally proposed after extensive research on business performance and was commonly referenced in future literature on the topic.

DeLone and McLean defined their model as follows: “…”systems quality” measures technical success; “information quality” measures semantic success; and “use, user satisfaction, individual impacts”, and “organizational impacts” measure effectiveness success.”  As can be seen from that description, the measures adopted for evaluating the success are not financial. This is also interesting as it was in keeping with many other scholars who argue that the most effective way of measuring IS success for business performance are non-financial.


The above visualisation reflects the particulars of the original D&M IS Success Model. From this image, it is easier for us to understand and comprehend how the individual aspects are intrinsically linked and dependent on each other.

However, when the time came for re-evaluation of this framework, some aspects were altered by DeLone and McLean. Notably, six dimensions of success were outlined;

  • Systems Quality – Desirable Characteristics of information system.
  • Information Quality – Desirable Characteristics of system output.
  • Service Quality – Quality of support that users receive.
  • Systems Use – Manner in which capabilities of system are used by staff and customers
  • User Satisfaction – Users level of satisfaction with reports, sites, services etc.
  • Net Benefits ­– Contribution level of IS toward success of individuals, groups etc.


While this model is arguably more rounded than the original one, it still is found wanting as it greatly depends on the organizational capability of the business. For example, measuring success is the key goal of this framework but how does one measure user satisfaction accurately? How is the net benefit and contribution level measured? Does this require extra framework intricacies to further mystify the process?



Measuring Information Systems Success: Models, Dimensions, Measures, Interrelationships. Petter, DeLone, McLean. European Journal of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis. University of Nebraska. 2008.


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