The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

A Chronic Wound Healing Information Technology System: Design, Testing, and Evaluation in Clinic  pp57-66

Antonio Sánchez

© Jan 2004 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 66

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Abstract

In the UK, chronic wound healing is an area of specialist clinical medicine that operates within the framework of the National Health Service. It has been the basis for the design, testing and evaluation of a prototype system of information and communication technology (ICT), specifically adapted to the domain. Different wound healing clinics were examined using a combination of 'hard' and 'soft' methods to allow a richer perspective of the activity and gain a deeper understanding of the human activity, its relation to the working information system, the existing information technology (IT), and the potential of a comprehensive IT system to manipulate live data in clinic. Clinicians and administration staff were included in all aspects of the process to enhance the design lifecycle and the understanding of the process. An observe, report, plan and act (ORPA) cycle, based on the dictates of action research, was established to accomplish the design and testing of a system that clinicians were comfortable enough with to consider its use in clinic. Three different strategies were applied to evaluate its use in participating clinics. Cultural historical activity theory was used as the main framework to analyse the activity system, and to interpret the clinicians and the systems performance, as well as their evaluation of the experience. Activity breakdown areas are suggested and reasons for them are considered in the light of wound care workers feedback, and the researcher's observations, notes, and analysis.

 

Keywords: Electronic data manipulation, clinical ICT, information technology evaluation

 

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Journal Article

The Effect of Information Systems on Firm Performance and Profitability Using a Case‑Study Approach  pp11-16

Mojisola Olugbode, Ibrahim Elbeltagi, Matthew Simmons, Tom Biss

© Mar 2008 Volume 11 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 51

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Abstract

Beale and Cole is a company that was experiencing significant levels of growth in its business. However, its existing operational practices and ICT infrastructure were incapable of efficiently sustaining their level of growth. A thorough analysis of the operational systems was carried out covering both the manual systems and those supported by its computerised accounting system. A number of beneficial changes were made, including the implementation of a major new business system replacing the old accounting system. In all these developments, the work of a teaching company associate, now known as knowledge transfer partnerships associate supported the analysis, but the full participation and support of all key personnel within the company was essential. Although there were problems during the implementation, these have being resolved and Beale and Cole now has a fully supported and integrated IT system which will maintain their competitive advantage and facilitate their continued growth and profitability.

 

Keywords: information, communication and technology, ICT, business systems integration, SMEs

 

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Journal Article

ICT Adoption and Use in UK SMEs: a Failure of Initiatives?  pp91-96

G. Harindranath, R. Dyerson, D. Barnes

© Jun 2008 Volume 11 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp51 - 108

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore some of the results from a survey of 378 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the southeast of England. The objective of this survey was to build a snapshot of the state of play of the information and communications technology (ICT) use by SMEs in economically significant sectors in this region. The sectors chosen were as follows: food processing, transport and logistics, media and internet services. More specifically, the survey was intended to answer the following questions: what types of ICT are in use by SMEs in this region, what prevents and facilitates the adoption and use of ICT amongst these firms, and where do SMEs acquire information on ICT related issues. Our survey suggests that most SMEs in the southeast of England are in general positively inclined towards adoption and use of ICT. However, this adoption and use of ICT is mainly focused on operational matters with few extensions into potential strategic use of such technologies in their business environments. SME ownermanagers perceive ICT to be often costly and complex and are wary of consultants and vendor organisations. We also discovered, somewhat surprisingly, that SMEs are largely unaware of existing policy instruments at the regional, national and European levels, designed to help them in their adoption and use of ICT.

 

Keywords: Information and communications technology, ICT, small and medium sized enterprises, SMEs, ICT adoption, ICT use, government policy

 

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Journal Article

Use and Impact of ICT on SMEs in Oman  pp171-184

Rafi Ashrafi, Muhammed Murtaza

© Nov 2008 Volume 11 Issue 3, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp109 - 212

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of an exploratory study carried out to learn about the use and impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Oman. The study investigates ICT infrastructure, software used, driver for ICT investment, perceptions about business benefits of ICT and outsourcing trends of SMEs. The study provides an insight on the barriers for the adoption of ICT. Data on these aspects of ICT was collected from 51 SMEs through a survey instrument. The results of the study show that only a small number of SMEs in Oman are aware of the benefits of ICT adoption. The main driving forces for ICT investment are to provide better and faster customer service and to stay ahead of the competition. A majority of surveyed SMEs have reported a positive performance and other benefits by utilizing ICT in their businesses. Majority of SMEs outsource most of their ICT activities. Lack of internal capabilities, high cost of ICT and lack of information about suitable ICT solutions and implementation were some of the major barriers in adopting ICT. These findings are consistent with other studies e.g. (Harindranath et al 2008). There is a need for more focus and concerted efforts on increasing awareness among SMEs on the benefits of ICT adoption. The results of the study recognize the need for more training facilities in ICT for SMEs, measures to provide ICT products and services at an affordable cost, and availability of free professional advice and consulting at reasonable cost to SMEs. Our findings therefore have important implication for policy aimed at ICT adoption and use by SMEs. The findings of this research will provide a foundation for future research and will help policy makers in understanding the current state of affairs of the usage and impact of ICT on SMEs in Oman.

 

Keywords: Information and communication technologies, ICT, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs, developing countries, Gulf Cooperative Council, GCC, Middle East, Oman

 

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Journal Article

ICT Evaluation in the Irish Higher Education Sector  pp187-198

Marian Carcary

© Feb 2010 Volume 12 Issue 2, Editor: Shaun Pather, pp129 - 198

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Abstract

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) evaluation literature now spans several decades. Nonetheless, evidence continues to suggest that there remains a lack of formal ICT evaluation practices within organisations. Several challenges exist, not least the social and political contexts within which evaluation takes place and limitations in existing evaluation techniques. However, while ICT evaluation exercises have spanned many fields of study, an in‑depth review of the ICT evaluation literature revealed that there is a paucity of ICT evaluation studies within the Higher Education sector. The 14 Irish Institutes of Technology (IoTs) have recently undergone an extensive transformation of their ICT systems. A national project launched by the Department of Education and Science and the Council of Directors of the IoTs performed a nationwide implementation of a suite of integrated Information Systems for library, human resources, finance and student management functions in order to standardise the ICT systems of the IoT sector. Yet, at the time of research, no formal evaluation of this project had been completed. This paper advances the body of ICT evaluation knowledge in the tertiary education sector through evaluating the impact of the Student MIS implementation within the IoTs. The research study was interpretive in nature; case studies based on multiple evidence sources were conducted in five IoTs. Analysis of the evidence led to the distillation of 15 findings on the Student MIS implementation which were centred on five key project areas – system selection, system development in the Irish IoTs, system commissioning, ex‑post performance at system start‑up and at the time of research. The 15 findings uncovered either support existing research in the ICT evaluation field or further advance the body of ICT evaluation theoretical knowledge. This paper makes a number of valuable contributions. It enhances understanding of ICT evaluation in tertiary education. It discusses the difficulties involved in operationalising a standard ICT system in multiple diverse organisations and provides lessons with respect to managing the difficulties experienced in large‑scale government projects.

 

Keywords: ICT investment management, ICT evaluation, ex-post evaluation, MIS, ICT in tertiary education

 

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Journal Article

Firms Patterns of e‑Business Adoption: Evidence for the European Union‑27  pp47-56

Tiago Oliveira, Maria Fraga Martins

© Jan 2010 Volume 13 Issue 1, ECIME 2009, Editor: Elizabeth Frisk and Kerstin Grunden, pp1 - 96

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Abstract

Research has shown that firms using e‑business achieve considerable returns through efficiency improvements, inventory reduction, sales increase, customer relationship enhancement, new market penetration, and ultimately financial returns. However, there is little systematic research in terms of e‑business adoption patterns in firms across countries and industries. This study addresses the research gap by analysing the pattern of e‑business adoption by firms across European Union (EU) members. For that, we used the survey data from 6,964 businesses in EU27 members (excluding Malta and Bulgaria). The choice of variables that we will use in our study is based on the technology‑organization‑environment (TOE) theory. In the TOE framework, three aspects may possibly influence e‑business adoption: technological context (technology readiness and technology integration), organizational context (firm size, expected benefits and barriers of e‑business and improved products or services or internal processes) and environmental context (internet penetration and competitive pressure). We performed a factor analysis (FA) of multi‑item indicators to evaluate the validity and to reduce the number of variables. We used the principal component technique with varimax rotation to extract four eigen‑value, which were all greater than one. The first four factors explain 72.4% of variance contained in the data. The four factors found are: expected benefits and obstacles of e‑business, internet penetration, technology readiness and technology integration. These factors are in accordance with the literature review. Afterwards, we performed a cluster analysis (CA) using variables obtained from the FA and the other variables were gathered directly (firm size, employees education, improved products or services or internal processes and competitive pressure) from the e‑Business W@tch survey. In the CA we used hierarchical and non hierarchical methods. We obtained four distinct groups of e‑business adoption. The pattern of these groups suggested that in the European context the most important factor to characterize e‑business adoption is the specific characteristics of the industry and is not the country to which the firms belong.

 

Keywords: e-business adoption, information and communication technology, ICT, technology-organizational-environment, TOE, framework, cluster analysis, CA, European Union, EU, members

 

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Journal Article

Multitasking: the Uncertain Impact of Technology on Knowledge Workers and Managers  pp1-12

Frank Bannister, Dan Remenyi

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

While the productivity paradox has now been officially pronounced dead, the argument and the evidence for this assertion are both at a macroeconomic level. What has been less closely examined is the microeconomic impact of recent developments in ICT on the productivity of office and knowledge workers. There is an assumption, readily seen in many advertisements for mobile technology, that multi‑tasking, WiFi connected laptops, Blackberrys, smart phones and so on are good for business and make people more effective and productive. This may be true some of the time and there is some (albeit limited) research which supports claims that these technologies increase productivity. However there are also emerging concerns that, in certain environments, these technologies may actually reduce productivity in both the short and the long term. This paper examines this problem and research to date and proposes a framework for further investigation of this phenomenon.

 

Keywords: multitasking, multicommunication, productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, ICT evaluation

 

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Journal Article

National Survey of SMEs' Use of IT in Four Sectors  pp39-50

R. Dyerson, G. Harindranath, D. Barnes

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

This paper examines the adoption and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across four sectors in the UK. In the paper we report on a survey that explores the factors facilitating or hampering the successful adoption and use of ICT by SMEs. We find that SMEs are generally satisfied with their investments in ICT but that they are concerned about the cost of such investments and are uncertain about the business benefits. Much of the investment in ICT is directed at meeting bottom line issues of cost and productivity but little use is made of potential strategic applications. A particular case in point is the diffusion of ecommerce in which firms report increased consumer interest but there is little evidence in the survey to suggest that interest is being actively managed by SMEs. One concern that emerges from the survey is the SMEs' perceived dependency upon consultants. SMEs appear to be encountering knowledgecompetency gaps related to ICT. They may be too small to be able to employ a dedicated ICT expert and lack the experience to have confidence in its reliability of consultancy advice. They often have limited experience in selecting, implementing and evaluating suggested ICT solutions. To help correct this gap in the provision of services, the government has tried to provide support with mixed success. Certainly, the UK government has had a strong interest in helping and supporting the SME sector. However, State sponsored solutions to meet this competency gap appear to be failing with little awareness or take up of such solutions by the SMEs that we surveyed. Something that remains unclear is whether this failure by SMEs to avail themselves of advice and guidance made available by the State reflects the quality of solutions offered or a more basic lack of awareness by SMEs.

 

Keywords: SMEs, ICT, technology adoption, ecommerce

 

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