Information Technology Infrastructure Flexibility

The Collision of Instruction Technology Infrastructure Flexibility on Strategic Alignment and Applications Implementation Sock H. Chung Department of Computer Instruction Systems College of Employment Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI 48197 sock. [email protected] emich. edu R. Kelly Rainer, Jr. ** Department of Skillful-treatment College of Employment Auburn University Auburn, Alabama 36849 (334) 844-6527 [email protected] auburn. edu Bruce R. Lewis Calloway School of Employment Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC 27109 (336) 758-7195 [email protected] edu ** Corresponding Author: Kelly Rainer The Collision of Instruction Technology Infrastructure Flexibility on Strategic Alignment and Applications Implementation Abstract IT infrastructure flexibility is now being viewed as an formal heart talents that is needful for forms to survive and supervene in speedily-changing, competitive, employment environments. Utilizing postulates from 200 U. S. and Canadian companies, this con-over investigates the collision of the disgusting ingredients of IT infrastructure flexibility (compatibility, connectivity, modularity, and IT idiosyncraticnel) on strategic IT-employment alignment and the distance of collisions implementation among an form. The findings from anatomy of a structural guile contribute appearance that connectivity, modularity, and IT idiosyncraticnel accept symbolical, assured collisions on strategic alignment and that all disgusting ingredients accept symbolical, assured collisions on the distance of collisions implementation. The con-over reinforces the moment of IT infrastructure flexibility to forms as one commencement for sustaincogent competitive usage. Key Words: IT infrastructure flexibility, strategic IT-employment alignment I. INTRODUCTION In the existing 1990s, Johnson & Johnson faced new employment pressures when capacious customers, such as Wal-Mart and K-mart, made new demands on the union, such as absorb savings and just-in-occasion accumulation sustenance. Johnson & Johnson’s employment and IT husbandrs acted in concourse to educe a new set of instruction technology (IT) infrastructure capabilities which strengthend the union to contribute the needful customs for its capacious customers conjuncture at the corresponding occasion reducing absorbs at Johnson & Johnson [Weill & Broadbent, 1998]. In the slow 1990s, Charles Schwab nucleused on delivering customized instruction to its investors in a occasisolely style. Using the union's IT infrastructure and collisions aligned delay its employment nucleus, Schwab became a ample custom brokerage solid. The solid was cogent to contribute instruction and manner occurrences in debateion its employment objectives. Customers could recover accumulation quotes and settle influence via Schwab's Web plight. As a result, the fortification continues to be an toil pioneer. These two examples conduct that an form’s IT infrastructure can contribute material benefits and a simultaneousness of employment practices [Kettinger, Grover, Subanish, & Segars, 1994]. A specially grave singularity of IT infrastructure is flexibility [Byrd & Turner, 2000]. Researchers accept customary that IT infrastructure flexibility should be viewed as an formal heart talents and that IT infrastructure flexibility is needful to manipulate increased customer demands delayout increased absorbs [Davenport & Linder, 1994; Weill, 1993]. As we debate give in educeing the hypothetical framecomposition for our con-over, two grave aspects of IT infrastructure flexibility escape from earlier research: the heart employment collisions of an form and the strategic IT-employment alignment. That is, an form’s IT infrastructure flexibility should be animadverted in its implementation of heart employment collisions and the distance of its strategic IT-employment alignment. Therefore, the view of this con-over is to empirically investigate the conformity betwixt IT infrastructure flexibility and the distance of collisions implementation in the form and the conformity betwixt IT infrastructure flexibility and strategic IT-employment alignment. II. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK We educe our hypothetical framecomposition by pristine retrospecting stipulationations of IT infrastructure and its ingredients. We then guileate the concept of IT infrastructure flexibility and its conformity to strategic IT-employment alignment and to collisions implementation in the form. Instruction Technology Infrastructure The subject of IT infrastructure has been a key outcome for twain researchers and practicing husbandrs for some occasion [see e. g. , Brancheau, Janz, & Wetherbe, 1996]. The form’s IT infrastructure basically unites technology ingredients to living employment needs but the IT infrastructure concept is more entangled. The stipulationation of IT infrastructure encompasses a abnormity of ingredients. Based on earlier studies, Duncan [1995] customary that IT infrastructure embraces a assembly of divided, material IT media that contribute a origin to encogent give and advenient employment collisions [Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Davenport & Linder, 1994; Earl, 1989; Keen, 1991; McKay & Brockway, 1989; Niederman, Brancheau, & Wetherbe, 1991; Weill, 1993]. These media embrace: (1) computer hardware and software (e. g. , uncounted systems); (2) netcomposition and telecommunications technologies; (3) key postulates; (4) heart postulates-processing collisions; 5) divided IT customs. Duncan [1995] as-well customary that IT infrastructure embraces the alignment of IT plans to employment objectives, the IT structure, and the skills of IT idiosyncraticnel. Broadbent and Weill [1997] illustrious that IT infrastructure capabilities encogent the incongruous stamps of IT collisions required to living floating and advenient employment objectives, and encogent the competitive positioning of employment initiatives. McKay and Brockway [1989] feeling IT infrastructure as the enabling origin of divided IT capabilities upon which the unimpaired employment depends. This origin is standardized and divided by employment discharges among the form, and typically used by incongruous formal collisions. Byrd and Turner [2000, p. 172] contributed a solid stipulationation of IT infrastructure as: “… the divided IT media consisting of a technical substantial dishonorservicepowerful of hardware, software, communications technologies, postulates, and heart collisions and a cosmical ingredient of skills, facileise, competencies, commitments, values, norms, and instruction that add to fashion IT customs that are typically uncommon to an form. These IT customs contribute a origin for communications correspondence opposite the unimpaired form and for the educement and implementation of give and advenient employment collisions. ” As can be seen from these stipulationations, the IT infrastructure is tight of two ingredients: a technical IT infrastructure and a cosmical IT infrastructure. The technical infrastructure consists of the collisions, postulates, and technology [Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Broadbent, Weill, O'Brien & Neo, 1996; Henderson & Venkatraman, 1993]. The cosmical IT infrastructure consists of the instruction and capabilities required to husband formal IT media [Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Lee, Trauth & Farwell, 1995]. Davenport and Linder [1994] suggested that a hale IT infrastructure strengthens employees to be cogent to execute their appertaining jobs, twain from having the availcogent technology and the needful technological skills. Instruction Technology Infrastructure Flexibility Existing composition on IT infrastructure flexibility feeling the concept delayout substantially defining it. Weill [1993] asserted that an IT infrastructure should be elastic to be cogent to manipulate increased customer demands delayout increased absorbs. Davenport and Linder [1994] customary that IT infrastructure flexibility should be viewed as a heart talents of the form and suggested that an efficient IT infrastructure is elastic and hale. Duncan [1995] observed that one form’s IT infrastructure may encogent strategic innovations in employment manneres, conjuncture another’s IT infrastructure may stipulation such innovations. She referred to this singularity as IT infrastructure flexibility and suggested that twain employment and IT collision educement capabilities animadvert the flexibility of infrastructure ingredients. She suggested that infrastructure flexibility mends systems educeers' power to guile and elevate systems to engage formal employment objectives. She feeling IT infrastructure flexibility through the singularitys of connectivity, compatibility, and modularity. She maintained that an form delay eminent modularity, compatibility, and connectivity would accept eminent technical IT infrastructure flexibility. Compatibility is the power to divide any stamp of instruction opposite any technology ingredient throughout the form [Duncan, 1995; Keen, 1991]. Tapscott and Caston [1993] illustrious that IT compatibility helps p formal boundaries, warrant employees, and fashion postulates, instruction, and instruction preparedly availcogent in the form. Connectivity is the power of any technology ingredient to imbisect delay any of the other ingredients internally and without of the formal environment [Duncan, 1995]. Tapscott and Caston [1993] emphasized that IT connectivity strengthens seamless and pellucid forms that are rebellious of occasion and intervenience. Connectivity facilitates the sharpower of IT media at the platform flatten. Modularity is the power to amply reconfigure (add, alter, or migrate) technology ingredients [Duncan, 1995]. She as-well customary that modularity is the standardization of employment manneres for sharpower and reuspower (e. g. , structured programming and ingredient-based software structures). Schilling [2000] suggested that modularity is a continuum describing the measure to which a system's ingredients can be disjoined and recombined. Byrd and Turner [2000, p. 172] guileated IT infrastructure flexibility as “…the power to amply and preparedly copious or living a ample abnormity of hardware, software, communications technologies, postulates, heart collisions, skills and competencies, commitments, and values among the technical substantial dishonorservicepowerful and the cosmical ingredient of the existing IT infrastructure. Historically, the flexibility of the IT infrastructure has been viewed as needful to adjust a speedily changing employment environment [Byrd & Turner, 2001]. This flexibility strengthens employmentes to efficiently use IT to supervene in dynamic environments. The criticize retrospect points out that strategic IT-employment alignment and heart employment collisions are embedded in the stipulationations of IT infrastructure and IT infrastructure flexibility. However, the real conformitys betwixt IT infrastructure flexibility and strategic IT-employment alignment and betwixt IT infrastructure flexibility and employment collisions accept not been empirically experimented. We experiment these conformitys through our conceptual guile. III. CONCEPTUAL MODEL IT Infrastructure Flexibility and Strategic IT-Business Alignment Strategic IT-employment alignment refers to the distance to which the IT sidearm, objectives, and plans living, and are livinged by, the form’s sidearm, objectives, and plans [Hirscheim & Sabherwal, 2000]. This alignment fashions an united form in which integral discharge, bisect, and idiosyncratic are nucleused on the form's competitiveness. Sambamurthy and Zmud [1992] suggested that IT husbandment is a collection of aligning the conformity betwixt the employment and the IT infrastructure to receive usage of IT opportunities and capabilities. Duncan [1995] pristine interjacent the alignment of IT plans to employment objectives in her designation of IT infrastructure. She continued by noting that an form’s IT infrastructure could be considered elastic if it strengthend strategic innovations in employment manneres. Broadbent and Weill [1997] customary that IT infrastructure capabilities contribute the origin for “…competitive positioning of employment initiatives. ” From this debateion, we proffer the aftercited hypothesis: Hypothesis 1: Each ingredient of an form's IT infrastructure flexibility achieve assuredly assume the form's strategic IT-employment alignment. IT Infrastructure Flexibility and Applications Implementation Today, IT collisions not solely manner postulates and contribute husbandment instruction reports. Corporations now use IT collisions to produce competitive usage [Earl, 1989; Porter & Millar, 1985; Powell, 1992; Saunders & Jones, 1992; Smith & McKeen, 1993]; to fashion new employment opportunities [Earl, 1989; Rockart & Scott-Morton, 1984; Smith & McKeen ,1993]; to mend customer custom; to improve result and custom quality; and to unite supplier and customer operations [Luftman, Lewis, & Oldach, 1993]. Several studies accept interjacent employment collisions as bisect of IT infrastructure [see e. . , Broadbent & Weill, 1997; Byrd & Turner, 2000; Duncan, 1995]. Duncan [1995] addressed employment collisions when she asserted that IT infrastructure flexibility strengthend forms to elevate collisions that more closely please employment objectives. Broadbent and Weill [1997] customary that IT infrastructure capabilities are the “dishonorservicepowerful for computer collisions. ” Byrd and Turner [2000] illustrious that IT infrastructure flexibility strengthend forms to “…amply copious and living…heart collisions. For this con-over, we use the distance to which forms accept implemented a abnormity of employment collisions to investigate the concept of “applications implementation. ” These eleven employment collisions in our con-over embrace occurrence mannering systems, husbandment instruction systems, executive instruction systems, conclusion living systems, facile systems, postulates warehousing, postulates mining, interorganizational instruction systems (e. g. , electronic postulates correspondence), instruction husbandment, netcomposition husbandment, and misfortune redemption. From this debateion, we proffer the aftercited hypothesis: Hypothesis 2: Each ingredient of an form's IT infrastructure flexibility achieve assuredly assume the form's distance of collisions implementation. Conceptual Guile This con-over utilizes disgusting earlierly attested measures of IT infrastructure flexibility: the technical ingredients of modularity, compatibility, connectivity, and IT idiosyncraticnel skills [see Duncan, 1995; Byrd & Turner, 2000]. The conceptual guile representing the conformitys addressed in this con-over is giveed in Figure 1. [pic]* p