IS Design Considerations for an Innovative Service BPO: Insights from a Banking Case Study

IS Design Considerations for an Innovative Service BPO: Insights from a Banking Case Study

Myriam Raymond (Université d'Angers, Angers, France) and Frantz Rowe (Université de Nantes, Nantes, France & SKEMA Business School, Sophia-Antiplolis, France)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITSA.2016070103


S. Alter's Work System Method is used in advancing the understanding and analyses of service innovation Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) from a business systems viewpoint. We propose to use this framework to distinguish what usually characterizes IT-enabled BPO service innovations, and which implications could be drawn for the underlying IS's design. We focus our analysis guided by the Traffic point banking BPO case study in Egypt. This paper brings forward important IS design considerations to the attention of systems analysts and designers to take into consideration while working on the conceptions of Innovative Service BPOs.
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The Work System Framework

In 2008, S. Alter (2008a, 2008b) proposed to use the work system framework to advance the understanding of interactions among the elements of service systems. The work system is defined as being 'a system in which human participants or machines perform work using information, technology, and other resources to produce products and services for internal or external customers.' He calls for the 'componentization' of service. The work system framework is extended in Alter's model by incorporating (a) the service value chain framework to account for service-related aspects of systems, and (b) the work system life cycle model to highlight possible planned and unplanned changes that may affect the system.

Service innovation is fundamentally about creating beneficial improvements (Alter, 2008a). Innovativeness of services is likely to differentiate the service provision of one company that of its competitors. The company with a stronger service provision can thus attract new types of customers or penetrate new markets and retain current customers. Companies can also better find innovative solutions to current problems, which will eventually contribute to their revenue growth.

The framework geared towards systems (2008a, 2008b) is especially useful in answering our question regarding the impact of service innovation on IS design issues because it reconciles the social and technical views of information systems and focuses on a contextually anchored view of IS (Paswan, D'Souza, D., & Zolfagharian, 2009). Moreover, 'these frameworks can be used to organize many additional concepts related to each element of the frameworks' (Alter, 2008a, p.67)

Figure 1.

Work system framework (Alter, 2008a)

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