Competence of Information Technology Professionals in Internet-Based Ventures

Competence of Information Technology Professionals in Internet-Based Ventures

Tobias Kollmann (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) and Matthias Häsel (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-008-0.ch013
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This chapter articulates the knowledge and skills required by IT professionals in young Internet-based firms. Building on the general IT governance principle of aligning business and IT, it introduces an adequate competence model, outlines its dimensions, and suggests a framework for modeling the effects of factors internal and external to the firm on the value propositions of the different dimensions. The authors hope that a comprehensive understanding of the role of IT-related competence will assist founders not only in finding suitable partners, but also in aligning e-business strategy and information technology in Internet-based ventures.
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The growing relevance of information technology (IT) and, in particular, the proliferation of the Internet, has resulted in a new economic dimension that is characterized by new possibilities of creating value (Lumpkin & Dess, 2004). The so-called Net Economy inevitably facilitates various possibilities for developing innovative business concepts and realizing them by founding a new company (Kollmann, 2006; Kollmann & Häsel, 2006). In newly found ventures, founder competence represents a significant preceding indicator for success (Baum, Locke & Smith, 2001; Chandler & Jansen, 1992). Internet-based ventures are mostly established by heterogeneous teams of founders incorporating knowledge and skills from both the areas of business administration and information technology (Kollmann, 2006; Kollmann & Häsel, 2007). In particular, the founding team usually comprises at least one partner with a business background and one IT professional, as obtaining the required competence from external market participants is oftentimes unfeasible due to a lack of financial resources.

From an IT governance perspective, the choices regarding the acquisition, training and development of the individual competencies required to effectively manage and operate the IT infrastructure are of particular interest (Henderson & Venkatraman, 1999; Van Grembergen, De Haas & Guldentops, 2004). In fact, one important element of IT governance is the governance of human IT resources, that is, the knowledge and skills held by the IT employees of the firm (Gottschalk, 2006; Weill & Ross, 2004). Although the definitions of IT governance differ on some aspects, they are all focused on the link between business and IT (Van Grembergen et al., 2004). Within the Net Economy, IT governance is more complex than the traditional alignment of business and IT, as IT is integrated into business activity and thus the technological, managerial and organizational influences of e-business need to be understood (Patel, 2004). Accordingly, to explain successful venturing activities in the Net Economy, a comprehensive understanding of the various competencies involved is required. In practice, a deeper competence understanding could assist founders not only in finding suitable partners, but also in aligning e-business strategy and information technology.

From a researcher’s perspective, the competence of IT professionals in Internet-based ventures is largely unexplored. Although entrepreneurship scholars have intensively explored the concept of competence among entrepreneurs and its various dimensions (Chandler & Jansen, 1992; Chandler & Hanks, 1994; Man, 2002), these competence concepts fail to describe the various fields of professional knowledge required by IT professionals in Internet-based ventures. In a broader context, information systems (IS) literature has widely elaborated on IT/IS-related competence concepts, including the skills and knowledge required by IS professionals (Lee, Trauth & Farwell, 1995), the business competence of IT professionals (Bassellier & Benbasat, 2004), the IT competence of business managers (Bassellier, Benbasat & Reich, 2003), the competence of CIOs (Earl & Feeny, 1994) as well as the core IS capabilities on an organizational level (Feeny & Willcocks, 1998). However, studies such as these display on a more general approach of describing IT/IS-related competence and fail in capturing the particularities that IT professionals experience in Net Economy founding teams. In this regard, a number of authors point out that there is a lack of studies on the competencies that are required in e-business environments (Matlay, 2004; Sgobbi, 2002).

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Wim Van Grembergen
Aileen Cater-Steel
Aileen Cater-Steel
Chapter 1
Sherrena Buckby, Peter Best, Jenny Stewart
This chapter introduces current and prior IT governance literature across five key focus areas being strategic alignment of business and IT systems... Sample PDF
The Current State of Information Technology Governance Literature
Chapter 2
Junghoon Lee, Changjin Lee
Domestic and global companies are increasingly using information and communication technologies as a means of delivering their strategic visions and... Sample PDF
IT Governance-Based IT Strategy and Management: Literature Review and Future Research Directions
Chapter 3
David Musson
This chapter reviews the IT governance literature. It proposes that there are three different concepts that are grouped together as IT governance.... Sample PDF
IT Governance: A Critical Review of the Literature
Chapter 4
Jyotirmoyee Bhattacharjya, Vanessa Chang
This chapter introduces key IT governance concepts and industry standards and explores their adoption and implementation in the higher education... Sample PDF
Adoption and Implementation of IT Governance: Cases from Australian Higher Education
Chapter 5
Lynne Gerke, Gail Ridley
This chapter examines the potential to use an audit program based on the Control Objectives for Information and related Technologies (CobiT)... Sample PDF
Tailoring CobiT for Public Sector IT Audit: An Australian Case Study
Chapter 6
Tony C. Shan, Winnie W. Hua
This chapter defines a methodical approach, named Comprehensive Architecture Rationalization and Engineering (CARE), to effectively manage the... Sample PDF
Comprehensive Architecture Rationalization and Engineering
Chapter 7
Junghoon Lee, Jungwoo Lee, Ja Young Lee
Research has recently begun to place greater emphasis on the strategic application of IT in seeking to integrate firms’ IT infrastructures and... Sample PDF
A Comparative Case Study of Three Korean Firms: Applying an IT Governance Framework
Chapter 8
Breanna O’Donohue, Graeme Pye, Matthew J. Warren
This chapter focuses upon the Australian Standard for the Corporate Governance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) AS8015 (Standards... Sample PDF
The Impact of ICT Governance within Australian Companies
Chapter 9
Mark Toleman, Aileen Cater-Steel, Brian Kissell, Rob Chown, Michael Thompson
Acting upon the recommendations of a review of information and communications technology (ICT) governance and services at USQ, a major restructure... Sample PDF
Improving ICT Governance: A Radical Restructure Using CobiT and ITIL
Chapter 10
Brian Cusack
Security is a subprocess that affects all processes within an organization structure. The control frameworks of CobiT and ITIL provide a mapping of... Sample PDF
Managing IT Security Relationships within Enterprise Control Frameworks
Chapter 11
Michael A. Borth, Randy V. Bradley
This chapter discusses the overall importance of both corporate and IT governance, and demonstrates that IT governance is a very important... Sample PDF
Unexplored Linkages between Corporate Governance and IT Governance: An Evaluation and Call to Research
Chapter 12
Alea Fairchild, Martin Smits, Piet Ribbers, Erik van Geel, Geert Snijder
This document summarizes the initial findings of the I-Fit research project that started in August 2006 as a joint activity of a regional ICT... Sample PDF
I-Fit: Optimizing the Fit between Business and IT
Chapter 13
Tobias Kollmann, Matthias Häsel
This chapter articulates the knowledge and skills required by IT professionals in young Internet-based firms. Building on the general IT governance... Sample PDF
Competence of Information Technology Professionals in Internet-Based Ventures
Chapter 14
G. Philip Rogers
This chapter assesses what role maturity models can play in enterprise IT governance. Frameworks that are well known in the IT industry, such as the... Sample PDF
The Role of Maturity Models in IT Governance: A Comparison of the Major Models and Their Potential Benefits to the Enterprise
Chapter 15
Yael Dubinsky, Avi Yaeli, Yishai Feldman, Emmanuel Zarpas, Gil Nechushtai
Governance is the exercise of control and direction over a subject such as a society, an organization, processes, or artifacts, by using laws and... Sample PDF
Governance of Software Development: The Transition to Agile Scenario
Chapter 16
Anne C. Rouse
This chapter considers the governance issues raised by the increasing use of external parties to supply IT resources (including packaged enterprise... Sample PDF
The Governance Implications When it is Outsourced
Chapter 17
Muralidharan Ramakrishnan
This chapter is intended primarily for managers who are preparing to implement portfolio management concepts in an organization and students of IT... Sample PDF
IT Portfolio Management: A Pragmatic Approach to Implement IT Governance
Chapter 18
Andrew Dowse, Edward Lewis
With the cost, complexity and risk associated with IT systems, the approach to IT governance and service management in many organizations is to... Sample PDF
Applying Organizational Theories to Realize Adaptive IT Governance and Service Management
Chapter 19
Jon Iden
This chapter presents and analyzes a real life ITIL project, and it is based on a longitudinal case study. The purpose is to illustrate how the ITIL... Sample PDF
Implementing IT Service Management: Lessons Learned from a University IT Department
Chapter 20
Neil McBride
This chapter describes a suggested model for developing a service strategy within IT services. It considers the context, the organization of IT... Sample PDF
A Model for IT Service Strategy
Chapter 21
Manuel Mora, Ovsei Gelman, Rory O’Connor, Francisco Alvarez, Jorge Macías-Luévano
This chapter develops a descriptive-conceptual overview of the main models and standards of processes formulated in the systems engineering (SE)... Sample PDF
An Overview of Models and Standards of Processes in the SE, SwE, and IS Disciplines
Chapter 22
Claus-Peter Praeg, Dieter Spath
This chapter introduces an IT-Service management framework for the use of quality management concepts in the context of the life cycle phases of... Sample PDF
Perspectives of IT-Service Quality Management: A Concept for Life Cycle Based Quality Management of IT-Services
Chapter 23
Chee Ing Tiong, Aileen Cater-Steel, Wui-Gee Tan
This study reviews literature related to financial metrics that organizations could use in measuring the return on investment from their adoption of... Sample PDF
Measuring Return on Investment from Implementing ITIL: A Review of the Literature
Chapter 24
Dirk Malzahn
This chapter describes how models for software development and service delivery can be integrated into a common approach to reach an integrated... Sample PDF
Integrated Product Life Cycle Management for Software: CMMI1, SPICE, and ISO/IEC 20000
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