Inderscience Publishers

Using information technology productively: practices and factors that enhance the success of IT

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This paper explores the factors and practices that influence the benefits provided by IT. The study uses the results of a questionnaire survey completed by the head of the IT department of 81 Australian organisations. To ascertain the level of success, the benefits of IT on 16 measures of organisational performance were evaluated. A hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted to subdivide these performance measures into manageable groups. Four sets of factors were examined: (1) Profile of the IT department, including budget and number of levels in the IT department, (2) Role of the IT department in the organisation's strategic planning, (3) Scope of issues addressed within the IT strategy, and (4) Profile of the organisation, including number of employees, annual sales, and principal ownership. Canonical correlation analysis was carried out to investigate the relationship between these practices and IT success. The findings clearly reveal that benefits are generally enhanced by maximising the role of IT in the organisation's overall strategy and by augmenting the number of issues addressed within the IT strategy. Increasing the investment into IT and the number of levels within the IT department enhanced quality and the value of products and services, but impeded the availability of stock (i.e. inventory levels of parts). Finally, organisational size and principal ownership did not appear to influence the benefits of IT.

Keywords: information technology, implementation success, survey, Australia

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