Agility in information systems : enabling capabilities for the IT function

Hobbs, George and Scheepers, Rens 2010, Agility in information systems : enabling capabilities for the IT function, Pacific asia journal of the association of information systems, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 1-27.

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Title Agility in information systems : enabling capabilities for the IT function
Author(s) Hobbs, George
Scheepers, RensORCID iD for Scheepers, Rens
Journal name Pacific asia journal of the association of information systems
Volume number 2
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 27
Total pages 27
Publisher Association for Information Systems
Place of publication Atlanta, Ga.
Publication date 2010-12
ISSN 1943-7536
Keyword(s) IT function
viable system model
Summary This research identifies how the IT function can create agility in existing information systems. Agility is the capability to quickly sense and respond to environmental perturbations. We contrasted perspectives on agility from a widely used industry framework and that of the IS research literature. Beer’s Viable System Model was a useful meta-level theory to house agility elements from IS research and it introduced cybernetic principles to identify the processes required of the IT function. Indeed, our surveys of 70 organizations confirmed that the applied theory better correlates with reported agility than does existing industry best practice.

The research conducted two quantitative surveys to test the applied theory. The first survey mailed a Likert-type questionnaire to the clients of an Australian IT consultancy. The second survey invited international members of professional interest groups to complete a web-based questionnaire. The responses from the surveys were analyzed using partial-least-squares modeling. The data analysis positively correlated the maturity of IT function processes prescribed by the VSM and the likelihood of agility in existing information systems. We claim our findings generalize to other large organizations in OECD member countries.

The research offers an agility-capability model of the IT function to explain and predict agility in existing information systems. A further contribution is to improve industry ‘best practice’ frameworks by prescribing processes of the IT function to develop in maturity.
Language eng
Field of Research 080699 Information Systems not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Association for Information Systems
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Information and Business Analytics
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