On the Imperative Solicitude for Evolvability Evaluation in Value Management

On the Imperative Solicitude for Evolvability Evaluation in Value Management

Kim Maes (Antwerp Management School, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium), Peter De Bruyn (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium), Gilles Oorts (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium) and Philip Huysmans (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijitbag.2014070104


A rapidly changing market environment is forcing contemporary organizations to continually adapt themselves. This causes the need for organizational structures, processes as well as their supporting information systems (IS) to adapt accordingly. Nevertheless it is striking to note that few value management practices explicitly incorporate evolvability as an important criterion for their evaluation of information technology dependent strategic initiatives (ITDSI). In this paper, the authors try to make a contribution regarding this issue. They explore some possibilities for assessing the evolvability of an information technology (IT) application. In addition, a set of five specific management guidelines is proposed to guide organizations, which are willing to address this issue, in their efforts. This should enable an organization to more easily select and deploy evolvable information systems, enhance its overall alignment with its environment and obtain a competitive advantage. The relevance of our approach is demonstrated by showing how it fits within the enterprise goals, IT goals and enabling practices as defined by the COBIT framework.
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Need For Organizations To Evolve

To survive in the complex and highly dynamic economic environment, organizations need to balance on a duality of change and stability (Farjoun, 2010). On the one hand, organizations are required to innovate their products, services and business processes to meet rapidly shifting consumer needs and boost their efficiency. This change inevitably brings uncertainty to stakeholders. Yet, organizations also need to be stable and reliable so stakeholders can understand their daily operations and strategic initiatives generating trust and predictable business value for them. As a result, organizations operate under pressure and should accommodate change in an efficient and effective manner. They should possess a certain level of agility, defined as “the ability to cope with rapid, relentless, and uncertain changes and thrive in a competitive environment of continually and unpredictably changing opportunities” (Lu & Ramamurthy, 2011, p932).

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