Implementing ERP Systems Globally: A Case Study

Implementing ERP Systems Globally: A Case Study

Paul Hawking (Victoria University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/jsita.2010070103
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Recently, improved communication technology has seen the growth in a convergence of global corporate activities, and in an effort to improve their global operations, many companies are implementing global information systems. One such system, in particular, is the Enterprise Resource Planning system. In this regard, however, companies are faced with a number of complexities when implementing these systems in a single country. Due to this intricacy, considerable research has been conducted on the critical success factors associated with ERP implementations.
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Global Information Systems

Underpinning the level of integration and control in each of these strategies is the role of information systems (IS). This is supported by many authors who believe that a catalyst for global operations has been the improvement in the IS and the technological infrastructure that supports the systems (Markus et al., 2001; Ives & Jarvenpaa, 1991; Konsynski & Karimi, 1993). Barlett and Ghoshai (1998) argue that companies operating in a global market will be at a strategic disadvantage if they are unable to control and coordinate their worldwide operations.

The basic purpose of an information system is the provision of information to support decision making. Accordingly the improved flow of information provides companies with the ability to better coordinate and manage their operations while at the same time providing increased visibility to their global supply chain (Sheu et al., 2003). Traditionally this flow of information has been hindered due to a number of factors including; technological infrastructure, poor and disparate systems and lack of standardization. Most international companies operated in a relatively autonomous nature from country to country and the supporting IS was managed and developed in a similar way. However a number of authors argue that it is critical for global operations to have a centrally managed and coordinated IT infrastructure (Freeman, 1985; Carlyle, 1990). Accordingly companies developing IT strategies to facilitate their global operations has resulted in the emergence of global information technology solutions.

Ives and Jarvenpaa (1991) define these types of applications as information systems that:

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