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Contingency Framework for Addressing Failure in Information Systems

Blair, Garry and Pagano, Rosane and Burns, Beryl (2019) Contingency Framework for Addressing Failure in Information Systems. Journal of Innovative Research in IT & Computer Science, 03 (02). pp. 1-4. ISSN 2456-8074

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Abstract

Projects to implement new Information Systems are activities marked by a high degree of failure. Public and private sectors have both provided examples of extreme failure, leading to considerable loss of revenue. The National Health IT programme in the UK, for instance, cost an estimated £10 billion in a critical project delivery failure [1]. The failure of systems to deliver the required improvements and, in some instances, keep key customer data secure, has also led to further organisational costs, in terms of time, reputation, revenue and opportunity. The requirement to achieve success has become greater for IT projects as organisations' value chains are increasingly dependent on technology to deliver goods and services, hence obtain competitive advantage or maintain market position. The approach to IT project implementation problems has, generally, been focussed on critical success factors and risk analysis. This paper examines the alternatives via empirical research and an analysis of key themes in the literature to propose a holistic approach, based on a systemic perspective of project management. An outline contingency framework is proposed, highlighting critical areas to address, in order to plan and resource projects. The objective is to reduce the impact of failure on the organisation, hence limit the resources wasted on IT project failure. The systems viewpoint allows a holistic perspective and in terms of this research, it is based on the premise of the social construction of risk, where the failure of IT projects is rooted in the societal context, rather than simple mono causal attribution. This environmental perspective allows a deeper understanding of such failure to be accessed and should permit the creation of measures to assist future projects and reduce or prevent the occurrence of wasted resources in such activities.

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