IT Evaluation Frameworks — Do They Make a Valuable Contribution? A Critique of Some of the Classic Models for use by SMEs pp57-64
Given the plethora of frameworks and models available in this area, not all could be evaluated here. This paper takes seven popular frameworks and examines aspects of IT evaluation with particular emphasis on Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The frameworks were selected from the most well known of IT evaluation research including Delone and McLean, 1992, Seddon et.al. 1999, Farbey et.al, 1999, Levy et.al., 1998. Most of the frameworks were developed for large organisations and therefore those chosen were evaluated for their applicability to the world of SMEs. These are categorised into four areas: people issues, technology focus, evolutionary position and management aspects. The conclusion is reached that the use of a multi‑framework is needed for all organisations. This presents severe difficulties in larger organisations, as the problems of communications can be a stumbling block to completing the evaluation. However, this paper proposes that SMEs may find it easier to take parts of 'tested' frameworks used by larger companies and apply them. The communication links within SMEs are neither as complex nor as highly developed as in large organisations that may make this an appropriate approach.
This paper outlines the application of a model of business that has been developed from an amalgam of sources covering a wide range of research literature concerned with the relationship between electronic communication and the business. This model outlines what is termed an "organisational profile" profile and allows the analysis of the business with respect to its ability to perform in four distinct quadrants: management, processes, organisational culture and human resources. It is then applied to the adoption of ICT in the business and the supply chain using a case study of the UK construction industry. The results are analysed to show which elements of the model are important for success. The model shows that to be successful in the adoption of ICT a business must have threshold scores in each of these quadrants that show its make‑up or "organisational profile" (OP). It is this OP that is the most interesting point of the research. It has been found that certain OPs are more likely to succeed in this adoption than others and that the likelihood of success can be shown by the movement of the business in the four quadrants: thus the model can provide a rough prediction of the future success in various activities — such as adoption of ICT but can also be extended to other activities because of the widespread nature of the model developed. It is also planned to apply the model to different problems in the same domain in the near future so that further insights can be gained from the model and its application.
Keywords: e-commerce, ICT adoption, construction industry, business modelling, organisational profile