Although the discipline of information systems (IS) development is well established, IS failure and abandonment remains widespread. As a result, a considerable amount of IS research literature has investigated, among other things, the factors associated with IS success and failure. However, little attention has been given to any possible relationships that exist among the uncovered factors. In an attempt to address this, we examine the development of a successful IS, and compare the factors associated with its success against the factors most reported in our review of the literature as being associated with IS failure. This may be an important area of study given, for example, project management practices may be affected by knowing whether success and failure are two sides of one coin, or different in nature. The results of our exploratory study showed that four of the six factors associated with the success of the investigated IS were related to the factors identified from our review of the literature as being associated with IS failure.
In the first section of this literature review a brief account of the problems surrounding IS development and evaluation is presented. This includes a brief discussion of the difficulties faced when defining IS success and failure, the high failure rate of IS developments, and the question of when and how IS development outcomes should be measured. The second section then presents a brief overview of the six factors found to be the most regularly associated with IS failure during our review of the literature